Here’s how to backtrack after sending a risky (maybe drunk) text

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Here’s how to backtrack after sending a risky (maybe drunk) text

It was bound to happen

You know when everything is going great, and you're getting along, and going on cute dates, and having really good sex and then you go ahead and fuck it up by sending a risky, tipsy text? Yeah, me too. If you haven't done it are you really even a millennial? Stats would say, no. Fine, there aren't actually any "stats" per say, but my evidence is that I don't know a single person who hasn't sent one, and that's all the evidence you or I need.

A "risky" text can be defined as anything from "You up?" to "What are we?" to "Maybe we should take a break." Do you actually mean it? No. Are you just trying to get a rise out of them? Probably. Will you regret it in the morning? Definitely. But it doesn't all have to be over. There are still a number of ways you can save this…whatever this is:

Do NOT pretend like it never happened

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One of the worst mistakes you can make — and I have seen countless people do it — is pretend like you never sent the text in the first place. I can't count on two hands the number of times a friends has asked me to read a message to assess how risky it was, only to brush it off, and hope they didn't notice or don't remember. They definitely noticed, and at this point, you've made it awkward. It's your job to fix it, not theirs.

Apologize as soon as you can (and are sober)

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You know you can't ignore it, but if you're going to have to do something about it, where do you even begin? The way you always should after a fuck up: with an apology. This does not have to be, and should not be, long. The only thing weirder than sending that message in the first place is making some huge weird deal out of it. Keep it brief, and genuine. Something along the lines of, "Probably shouldn't have send that last night, haha. Do you mind if we talk?" This will show them that not only do you know it was slightly out of line, but you're mature enough to recognize a mistake when you make it.

Make light of it, but not too light

If you and this person are truly compatible, you should be able to make a light joke about it without them thinking you've lost it. It's the same as sex — if you can't laugh about awkward moments during it with someone, they are not the one. Throwing a "Thiiiiis is awkward 😬" in there might actually lighten the mood. That said, you do not want to crack a joke and completely drop it, because that's just not a healthy way to handle things. Find a middle ground where you can both be comfortable taking about it, but you can also talk about it.

Ask if you can chat about it in person

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The whole reason you got yourself into this mess in the first place is because your drunk fingers couldn't put the damn keyboard down. So do you really think the best way to fix it is by texting them about it? No. Same goes for asking out or breaking up with someone. No serious conversation should be had over text, unless you are willing to risk losing them. If that's the case, then type away, because it's a downward spiral from here.

Get it out of the way and then move on

If they agree to talk about it in person, it will be tempting to drop it and pretend like nothing ever happened, but this is only postponing an inevitable chat. Since it just happened and the wound is fresh, it's more natural to bring it up, and bandage that shit. Do not harp on it. Once you have laughed about it and moved on, there is no need to bring it up again, until you are actually sure it is the right point in your relationship to bring it up.

Leave the phone at home next time you go out

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We all get a free pass, but expecting multiple free passes is a little much to ask, especially if you don't feel you're at a place where you can talk about these things comfortably and in person while sober. We've all told ourselves we can bring the phone and just avoid texting them, but as the night drifts on and your friends start peeling off with their partners, it becomes a lot harder to stick to that promise. If possible, it's best to just leave the damn thing at home.

You wont miss much, and if you do, it means they miss you, too.

@carolinephinney

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