Question: I’ve had this crush on a boy from school for the latter half of the year. However, at the start of the year, I decided that I wouldn’t have any sort of relationship, be it strictly sexual or otherwise, with anyone in my program because it is such a tiny program and things inevitably get messy. Thus, I have just dealt with this crush in a “it’s never-gonna-happen” sort of way. He seemed to be flirty with me this year, but I didn’t know whether to take this as actual interest or just friendly flirtation.
Flash forward to our end-of-the-year party, and let’s just say I had a little too much to drink and somehow woke up in a bed with him the next morning with little recollection of any of the goings on of the night before. So not only did I break my rule, but I also have no idea whether or not I actually slept with him. I know something happened as I wasn’t clothed when I woke up and, well, yeah, something happened.
This is all sorts of frustrating. I still really like this guy, but now I feel like an idiot. He’s not the kind of person who I would just want to have a one night stand with and then not talk to again, and now I feel like that’s my only option. So I guess my question is, have I royally messed this up? Should I just go back to my rule of no relations with people in my program or should I try and salvage something from this bad night of drunken debauchery? – Troy, Toronto, Canada
First, this guy likes you already. He was flirty, and the first real chance you got, you ended up in bed together. Your dismissal of the obvious evidence is reaching the level of the climate change deniers.
Meanwhile, at this point, the, um, genie is out of the, uh, bottle. Why the insistence that it be put back in? Because it’s a small program, and things could get messy? I suppose there’s some logic there, but how long is the program? Another year, maybe two? Worse case scenario: you can’t coexist for a time that short, even with a bitter ex, in the confines of a well-structured program?
Anyway, you tried it your way and things got messy anyway. They are messy, and they’re never going to not be messy again. This all happened at the program party, right? So not only did you get together, everyone knows you got together.
This is completely just a guess on my part, but I think there’s something deeper going on here with you. You have a crush on this guy. He obviously has a crush on you too. And yet not only did you invent a mediocre reason not to pursue him before, you’ve invented another even less compelling reason not to pursue him now, even though the, um, cat is already out of the bag, and you and he and the entire program already know it.
I’m also sensing some serious shame about this one-night-stand, which I think somehow plays into your reluctance to pursue this guy.
But you know what? Having a drunken romp isn’t the worst thing in the world. There are some very good reasons to regret them, but most of these reasons involve married or involved partners or unsafe sex – both things I’m assuming wasn’t the case here.
What’s really going on here? Internalized homophobia? Low self-esteem? Give it some thought, okay?
Let me psychoanalyze you even further and say I think there are usually reasons why people succumb to nights of drunken debauchery, and they usually involve some kind of self-denial. In other words, I suspect you’ll end up in bed with this guy again before too long – because, well, the stallion is out of the barn.
I think you have two choices: openly pursue a relationship with this guy, or skulk along lusting for each other, occasionally giving into temptation (and alcohol) – after which you feel great shame and regret.
Brent Hartinger contributes to the entertainment site AfterElton.com and is a Young Adult novelist.