The holidays can be tricky times, what with all that joy and alcohol flowing everywhere. Sometimes situations can get a little heated and confusing, that’s why we’ve reached out to therapist Ellen Whyte for a little advice on a problem sent in by a reader.
The reader writes, “I’ve known B since school and we’re super close. Last Saturday night we went out and had too much to drink. Somehow one thing led to another and we ended up in bed. I woke up when it was still dark, realised what had happened and ran away! What’s do I do now? We’re both single, so it’s not that… but I don’t want to lose my friend. Help!
Ellen’s advice is below:
Okay. First, breathe! It seems the main problem here is you also don’t want to lose him, but you fear what has happened now makes it impossible for you to remain just friends. So this is where you ask yourself why did this happened?
It’s possible it was just booze. People do crazy things when they’re drunk. But on the other hand, alcohol lowers inhibitions, which is why shy people sometimes drink before singing karaoke. Maybe you both have a subconscious attraction to each other? Could last night be the result of years of suppressed longing?
For the moment, ignore what happened. Just think about B and figure out how you really feel about him. Then you can talk to him in a proper frame of mind. If you decide you want that night to be the start of something more, and he does too – it’s all good. But if one of you wants to carry this forward and the other doesn’t, then be gentle with each other, and try not to lash out.
If both of you think it was a mistake, then I suggest you pretend it never happened. I know this may sound odd, especially when you are burning with embarrassment. But life can be very difficult and longtime friends are vital for your happiness. You and B. have been close for years. Don’t throw that away. It might be awkward for awhile but if you are both committed to moving forward, the memory will eventually fade.
Now please call B. You rushed off, so he’s probably worrying about what you’re feeling and thinking. He may also be asking himself the same questions you are.
(One last thing: you have also not expressed any concern about an unwanted pregnancy or an STD (sexually-transmitted-disease) so I take it you used a condom? If you didn’t, you’re smart to visit an STD clinic immediately.)
Ellen Whyte is a British therapist based in Malaysia. Visit www.lepak.com or email email@example.com for details about her email, Skype and Facetime counscelling services.