Greetings, Doc. I’ve never done this before, so I don’t know what to expect or truly ask for.
She snapchatted me last night saying someone at the bar looked like me and she was a little tipsy for sure. And then she went on for a couple minutes kind of complimenting me saying how much I’ve matured, and grown, and seem better than I was when I was in high school. She went home and she didn’t reply to my last snap, so I sent her a good night message and she opened it this morning and hasn’t responded to me sense.
Thank you for your time!
Where Do I Go From Here?
Amusingly enough, WDIGFH, this actually reminds me of an old opener that was taught back in my PUA days. It was known as “The Drunk ‘I Love You’s” opener and it went like this: “Hey, I’ve been having a discussion with my friend and I wanted to get an outsider’s/woman’s opinion on something. Do you think that drunk ‘I love you’s’ count?” And from there, either you tried to ground the story in how you thought they didn’t but your friend insisted they did, or you riffed off whatever the person you were talking to replied with.
Amusingly: men tended to say “yes”, women tended to say “no”… but only about the opposite gender.
Now that being said: this doesn’t really mean anything, WDIGFH. There are three factors at play.
The first is that you had — or have — this history of your crush on your friend and having been turned down.
The second is that you haven’t seen each other in person in two+ years, and you live more than a thousand miles apart.
The third is that she was drunk — or at least a little tipsy.
(The bonus factor is that Jesus-fucknuts-Christ, she’s going to bars and getting drunk during the goddamn pandemic??)
Now from the way you phrase things, I’m assuming that you and she were actually in contact before she snapped you from New Orleans and that this wasn’t a “notification-out-of-the-clear-blue-sky” situation. I’m also assuming that these were sent to you, specifically, and not to her entire contacts list. That would mean that it’s not unusual for you and her to talk — whether Snapchat is your primary point of contact or not. And when that’s the case… well, it’s not unusual for someone to send a “hey look I’m having fun!” message to their friends. Especially if they feel like they look great and even more so if they’re a little tipsy. Since the dawn of cheap or unlimited SMS and MMS on cellular plans, many a person has fallen to the siren call of drunk-texting friends, exes or folks you barely know… often with a “guess who’s druuuuuuuunk” message.
Just as frequently, folks have looked at their message history in the cold light of sobriety and thought “Oh…. fuck.” The morning-after shame/embarrassment of drunk-texting can be mighty indeed. This is one way that Snapchat has been a godsend; because the messages disappear after viewing, it means that there’s less evidence to bolster your regret along with your hangover. As a result, folks who’ve been a little loosened up after a couple drinks may send texts or pics or both that they would never send in the cold light of sobriety — the classic “well it seemed like a good idea at the time.” After all, if you know that the pics will vanish — and you’re alerted if someone screenshots it — then you’re less likely to be worried about the potential fallout.
Now that having been said: just because the pictures or the texts disappear doesn’t mean that the after-the-fact embarrassment or awkwardness does. For many folks — just as people have done after having had a few too many drinks and then making out with someone they wouldn’t have or spilling their guts out to someone — the answer is to just pretend that it never happened and stuff the entire thing down the memory hole. When folks bring it up — as you did, with your friend — they will pretend that they have no memory of the event and fervently hope that the other person will either believe them, or take the hint and agree that why no, they clearly have no memory of this and we should just pretend it never happened.
Which is basically what your friend is doing here. While it’s certainly possible that she has only hazy recollections of that night, it’s more likely that she realizes she may have given you the wrong idea and is trying to shut down the entire conversation.
Here’s the thing: I think that you’re reading more into this than there actually is. While she may have been having fun pulling faces for the camera in New Orleans, I suspect that your history of feelings for her is coloring your interpretation of things — a sort of dickful thinking, if you will. I have no doubt that she views you with affection and thinks you’re a great guy. In fact, that’s pretty much what she was telling you in the more recent message: that you’ve matured a lot and seem like you’ve grown and improved since high-school. I believe she is 100% sincere about this and absolutely meant every word. But I don’t think she was telling you because she’s developing feelings or because she was drunk and horny. I think in both cases, these were alcohol-induced “thinking of my friend” moments, not “my feelings have changed”. In fact, the odds of things changing are fairly remote. While it’s true that time and growth can hit the Cosmic Reset Button on a friendship and make someone see the other in ways they didn’t before, the fact that there’s that much distance and that much time between seeing each other in person makes it far less likely. Instead, I think it’s fairly safe to say that this was a person who had a few drinks, decided to text a friend and goof around a bit. The second time, I think she was legitimately paying you a compliment about your growth as a person.
But I think that you’re reading more into things than that.
The best thing I think you can do here is follow her lead. Take these as nothing serious, accept the compliment for what it is… but realize that these are messages for a friend, not for a potential lover.
Dear Dr. NerdLove: I have a relationship win for you:
To be blunt, I’m just about everything that should make it hard for me to date. I’m a 5’2 autistic nerdy trans man with social anxiety and chronic pain. I wasn’t even sure if I could date in the queer community because I’m not attracted to guys. My dad encouraged me to date lesbians because he didn’t think anyone would see me as a guy. (That was a terrible idea, and I didn’t.)
But the traits that you can put on paper don’t tell the whole story. And luckily for me, you don’t need to be attractive to everyone in order to find one person to date. So I’m in love with a beautiful enby who is as weird as I am. I was afraid of scaring them off at first, so I hid the weirder parts of me- pushing myself to act like I’m not in pain, or suggesting activities where eye contact wasn’t needed. I don’t remember how we moved past that. It was probably gradually revealing vulnerabilities on both our sides. And now they tell me about their weird mental images (“I’m picturing your leg, but bread”) and I tell them where my pain levels are at or just allow myself to act “pain loopy” (which is when my verbal filter dies and I make many observations about my hands).
Thank you for being a source of wisdom,
Part of A Matching Set of Weirdos
Dear Dr. NerdLove, here’s one for your relationship wins collection.
I’ve been a viewer of your column for years and after reading several of your helpful columns and watching videos I finally had the courage to join a dating website at the age of 26. Being a nerdy cis female hetero person that I am I had always been afraid of online dating. But meeting people in real life had very little success up to that point. I really felt there was no help for me. But there was a part of me that couldn’t help but be hopeful that maybe there was someone out there who could care about me.
After a couple of duds I finally met the man of my dreams! I was a virgin but he didn’t care. Then we found out together that I had vaginismus plus a gag reflex. He still didn’t care and we worked out together new ways to have fun. A year and a half later he proposed! We bought a house together. We do chores together. We hike and workout together. We help and encourage each other and I can’t wait to marry him.
Thank you for all that you do. I’m not sure if I would have had the courage to make a positive step in the right direction if I hadn’t found you online.
Thanks so much for sending in your stories, PAMSW and Overjoyed! I’m glad to hear how well things are working out for you!
How about you, readers? Do you have a relationship win story? How have you improved your personal life, your friendships or your romantic relationships? What are some of the ways you’ve made your life better recently? Let’s share some hope, some positivity and success to help inspire folks to achieve their own victories.
Send your success stories to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header “relationship wins”; maybe you’ll see your success story in a future column.