Everyone has one. That friend of the opposite gender (or maybe the same, we don’t judge here) that you’ve been attracted to for, like, ever but it’s always the wrong time. Maybe you’re in a relationship while he’s single, maybe he’s in a relationship when you break up with your boyfriend. But for some reason, you keep missing each other. He’s your what-if guy. The guy that is always in the back of your mind each time you end a relationship. You might talk to him about your boyfriends and wonder why they can’t be as cool as he is. He might complain to you about his psycho ex-girlfriend and wonder why all girls are so crazy except for you.
And then, for one reason or another, the stars align. You’re single, he’s single. You’ve been talking to him a little more lately and you start to feel those “what if…” feelings rise again. You push it down, thinking “He’s just a friend, I don’t want to ruin the friendship.” These are smart thoughts. But, because fate is a cruel, coldhearted bitch, you find yourselves in a situation where there’s alcohol. You probably drank a little too much, and all of a sudden, all of your unspoken feelings rise to the top…
The next morning, you wake up. It takes you a little while to realize you’re not in your own bed. And that you’re not wearing as many clothes as usual. And that there’s someone next to you. And then suddenly and without warning, the events of the previous night come rushing back with all the speed and destructive force of a runaway train. You lie there, stunned with the knowledge that your friendship with this guy has changed, possibly forever. Maybe (if you’re lucky) this was the catalyst that leads to a lifelong friendship turning into a perfect romantic relationship that will lead to marriage. But, far more likely, you realize you made a HUGE MISTAKE. Panicked? The voice of experience is here to help.
DON’T: Pretend it never happened. Deciding to pretend like you didn’t just have your mouths all over each others’ faces would be like the Titanic pretending that it didn’t just have a giant hole ripped into it by an iceberg. In this metaphor, your friendship is the Titanic, and your hookup is the iceberg. Your friendly relationship will slowly fill with frigid water and sink if you don’t take the time to repair the massive gaping hole that is leaking feelings all over the place. (This metaphor is getting messy.) If you acknowledge that something happened, you can start to repair what broke.
DO: Talk about it. I know that it’s hard, you’re probably embarrassed, but letting your… indiscretion fester in silence is probably the worst thing you can do. If you want to leave the room with your friendship (if not your dignity) intact, the best thing to do is immediately address what happened, even if all you say is “OMG I’m so embarrassed, can we talk about this later when I’m not naked?” Make sure you are both aware of where the other person is coming from – if he thinks that now you guys are dating and you view it as just a casual hookup to relieve sexual tension, BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN. So be a big girl and just talk about it.
DON’T: Try to hide what happened from your mutual friends. They will notice that something has changed. Your friends are not stupid. They are your allies in this situation. They will be the ones who make sure to sit between you two on the couch so you don’t have awkward moments where your legs touch. They will most likely mock you mercilessly for showing your boobies to your dude friend, but they will (if they’re good friends) support you and be there for you as you navigate the awkwardness. Because that’s what friends do.
DO: Laugh about it. It might take a while, maybe a couple years, before you can look at each other and go “Hey remember when we saw each other naked? HAHA!” but it will probably happen. Unless you don’t follow the above advice. Then things will be awkward forever. And you don’t want that, do you?
So, discussion time. Have you ever hooked up with a friend? How did you deal with it?