Dear Auntie Sparknotes,
Let me start this out by saying that I never get drunk.
I'm a freshman in college, and before a week ago, had never had more than a half of a beer at a frat party on Halloween. So, when my roommate acquired multiple bottles of alcohol, I was a bit skeptical. However, after having my first shot that night, I decided "What the heck do I really have to lose?" and went for more at a party a couple of days after. Unfortunately for me, my dorm crush was there. One thing led to another, and we ended up going back to his room together. Now, I told him in a drunken stupor that I wasn't interested in more than friendship that night if he didn't actually have feelings for me. Shocker, he admitted that he didn't like me, but said it didn't matter.
I woke up next to him the morning after and crawled awkwardly back to my room, completely embarrassed, confused, and mostly hurt. I don't know what to do, as he seems to be pretending that nothing ever happened. The worst part is that I can't even be mad at him! It's not like he took advantage of me, because I knew what I was getting into, right? At this point, I just don't know what I'm expecting. Am I crazy? And how the heck do I make this less awkward?
Oh, geez. Sparkler! Give yourself a break, okay? If I asked for a show of hands from every person who ever did something dumb or self-destructive and felt bad about it afterward, whether or not they were under the influence of alcohol at the time, the entire adult population of the earth would reach for the sky. You're human, and humans sometimes hurt themselves. And despite the bruise to your ego, and the temptation to overanalyze things in the aftermath, I hope you can appreciate that the guy in question is actually handling this as kindly and straightforwardly as possible; knowing that he doesn't feel about you the way you feel about him, treating your hookup like an isolated non-event spares you both the awkwardness of having him reject you a second time. The best thing you can do now is follow his example.
Which means, first and foremost, embracing and accepting the truth: you very courageously admitted your feelings, and he very honestly told you they weren't reciprocated. And you're right: if a no-strings-attached, emotionless hookup wasn't okay with you, that would have been your cue to leave.
But while you might feel disappointed, embarrassed, and ashamed of your decision to spend the night, these emotions will not kill you. It's good to feel them. They're there for a reason; they're telling you something important. And as much as it sucks to feel angry at yourself, and as tempting as it is to lay that anger on someone or something else just so you don't have to carry its weight, trying to blame the guy or the alcohol or some combination of the two means missing out on one good thing you can gain from a bad decision: the ability to choose differently next time.
So, let the rejection sting, as rejection always does. Let your feelings of unhappiness and confusion be an indicator that hooking up with a guy who doesn't like you doesn't make you feel good. Let yourself sigh and say, "Ugh, I wish I hadn't done that." And if you truly feel that this decision was both ill-advised and one you wouldn't have made while sober, then resolve from now on not to drink... or at least, not to drink your better judgment under the table.
Have you ever hooked up and regretted it after? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.