I kissed my off-again boyfriend's roommate—what now?
May 5, 2010 7:18 AM   Subscribe

I got drunk and kissed my on-again-off-again boyfriend's roommate. Help me salvage my relationship of nine years as best I can. (Special snowflake.)

I'm a 24 y/o female who has been seeing my on-again-off-again boyfriend (six months younger) for nine years. (I have had several long-term relationships with other people during this time.) We dated in high school for two years and then broke up during our senior year. Since then, we've re-connected (read: slept together, considered feelings) every few years, when I'd come home from college.

Most recently, I moved home and we were on-again for a brief six weeks. Things felt kind of awkward, and we broke up. Two weeks later, we slept together again, and had a heart-to-heart about needing to get to know each other better again if we were going to re-start the relationship. Things seemed like they were on a good path to a healthy friendship, if not more.

So. Let's call my currently-off-again boyfriend "Fred," and his roommate "Bob."

I went out this past Saturday night to a local pub, and after contemplating leaving for lack of people to talk to, I ran into Bob, Fred's roommate. Bob was pretty drunk and talkative, and told me that he "has to hate me" because Fred and I are currently off-again, but that he actually "really kind of likes me." Some other folks showed up (friends of Fred's) and Bob started buying shots for people.

Bob got really flirty and I didn't stop him (and quite possibly reciprocated—I'm a little foggy on this). He left the pub to go to a party, and when leaving he gave me a peck on the lips. I was surprised, but figured that'd be that. A few drinks later, Bob came back, and my memory is pretty spotty. All I really remember is that I ended up sitting on his lap, and that we kissed (tongue, the whole shebang) several times. I remember him offering to sleep with me, which I turned down. And then the bartender came around for last call, I went to close my tab, and Bob disappeared.

Fred knows that Bob and I kissed. I don't know who told him, or what level of detail he got. Fred told me via text message that he's not angry, just weirded out, and that he doesn't want to see me right now. That's totally fair.

Fred is incredibly important to me. If I believed there was such a thing as "the one" or a "soulmate," he'd be it. I think he is a beautiful person, a good person, a person that I hope to know for the rest of my life. Regardless of what our relationship status may be, I have nothing but love for Fred. We may not be in-love (and we might never be again), but I absolutely love who he is.

So, MeFites, it's clear I have a drinking problem, and I'm going to be tee-totaling it for the foreseeable future. It's really embarrassing that I let myself get that out-of-control. Had there not been alcohol involved in this situation, it wouldn't have happened, end of story.

Also, I'm aware that I'm struggling with loneliness and not feeling like I'm worth anything. (I am living with my parents, unemployed, have crazy student loans, am not working on anything I care about at the moment.) I have moderate depression and anxiety for which I take meds (another reason not to drink), and there is a possible bipolar ii diagnosis in the works. I am getting the distinct impression that a version of my mania is triggered by alcohol.

The alcohol and the mental health issues are not excuses for my actions, but do help to explain. I am well aware of my need to overhaul my life. I fully own this mistake, I am not trying to shift blame.

So, what do I do to salvage my relationship with Fred? Do I just wait? I don't want to pester him with phone calls, texts, emails, or running into him at "his spots." But I also know that if I drop out of his life completely, I'll also be even more miserable—just disappearing makes it possible for him to resume his life as if I don't exist here, which isn't something I want. Also, the people I've been social with since coming back home are primarily his friends.

As for Bob, I can't contact him (I don't have his phone number, he's not on facebook)… and I'm not sure I should, even if I could. What happened was a one-time thing and I think it's best to just turn our backs on it completely.

Please, I'm not looking for advice on changing my life. I don't need to be told that I need therapy or different meds, or that I need to stop drinking—I am fully aware of all these things.

I am also aware that I'm not in great shape to be in a romantic relationship, but I care deeply about saving my relationship (friendly or otherwise) with Fred.

Feel free to contact me at throwaway197@gmail.com.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Get over it. You're not a bad person because you kissed some guy in a bar who was flirting with you.
posted by three blind mice at 7:34 AM on May 5, 2010 [9 favorites]

Please, I'm not looking for advice on changing my life. I don't need to be told that I need therapy or different meds, or that I need to stop drinking—I am fully aware of all these things.

Well, then, what do you want from us?

I'd leave these guys alone for now. Really. I suspect you won't, because it sounds like you're feeding off the drama that this is creating (for example, you say at one point that you think it's fair that Fred doesn't want to see you--then, in a panic, a few paragraphs later suggest that you should call him and needle him for contact because having him get over you will make you "miserable.") Honestly? I think it's time to be miserable for awhile. Mourn your relationship, get your mental health shit together, and stop looking to guys you're not in love with for validation.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:39 AM on May 5, 2010 [19 favorites]

So you are not currently dating Fred? Then he really has no cause to be angry with you. If he is angry with anyone it would be his roommate, who possibly broke the "bro code" (don't hook up with your buddies ex).

So, what do I do to salvage my relationship with Fred? Do I just wait?

Give it time. If "he's not angry, just weirded out", then just give him some time and he will get over it.
posted by I am the Walrus at 7:39 AM on May 5, 2010

So, what do I do to salvage my relationship with Fred?

Apologize and let him know you'd still like to be part of his life and then back off and let him decide if he wants that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:42 AM on May 5, 2010 [3 favorites]

Mountain, meet molehill.

You're not dating "Fred", but you've had something off-and-on for 9 years. You're 24. He's only weirded out and not angry.

Stop looking for drama where none exists or some strange validation from strangers online. Although this may seem like a big deal to you, in the long-term it is something that you will look back on and laugh about.

Let it go.
posted by purephase at 7:43 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's sounds like Bob took advantage of you. He knew you were in a vulnerable state and kept buying you shots then made out with you when you were no longer in control. I say follow your instincts and avoid him.
posted by Bonzai at 7:44 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

I totally agree with PhoBWanKenobi, and I also find it hard to even understand what's going on with this question. Are you in a "relationship of nine years," or did you only "sleep together" and "consider feelings" with him "every few years" for the past 6 or 7 years? (That sounds like there were, at most, 3 isolated, abortive attempts at a relationship from then till now.) How recently did you get "on a good path to a healthy friendship, if not more"? If you're only at the level of approaching a possible "friendship" and then possibly a relationship, how does kissing another guy on one occasion even remotely resemble cheating?

I think the way you wrote the question might actually say more about your situation than the details themselves. You gloss over nine years of something-or-other, but then you give a dramatic, minute-by-minute account of the kissing stuff. There's not much of anything serious going on, but you're getting energized by the idea of being involved in tumultuous dating drama.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:50 AM on May 5, 2010 [7 favorites]

If you're trying to find a way to apologize to Fred for what happened it seems like the standard apology format will work for you.

- this is what happened
- I am sorry [with no "but I was drunk" or whatever other mitigating circumstances might be there]
- this is what I will do to make sure it does not happen again because I care about you [cutting down on drinking or whatever]

You're acting like you and Fred had more of a relationship than friends-with-benefits over the past few years. Fred seems to be okay with things but weirded out. That seems appropriate. I guess I am also confused with your "relationship of nine years" assertion. For many people, there are romantic partner relationships and non-romantic partner relationships. So, if you had other romantic partners over the past nine years, did they see you as having another boyfriend and being in an open relationship? If not, my feeling from my own perspective is that you're possibly misrepresenting your relationship with Fred. Itm ight be worth figuring out what Fred's take on the whole thing is once you guys have patched up this particular situation which, of course, you will.
posted by jessamyn at 7:59 AM on May 5, 2010 [5 favorites]

Leave Fred alone, since that's what he's asked for, and you say you care about him. So demonstrate that by listening to what he's telling you his needs are right now.

Stay out of romantic relationships. Therapy, assess relationship with alcohol etc. You know the drill - you pretty much answer your own question.
posted by rtha at 8:05 AM on May 5, 2010

As someone who was in a Fred type relationship for...uh...8 years, really look at whether this relationship would ever actually factually work. There's usually a reason why after that amount of time things haven't settled into an actual steady relationship. You may make better friends (with benefits if you want) than lovers and there is nothing wrong with that.

That said, if you really want to salvage the relationship and make it more, I've found that not contacting the person worked as they usually contacted me within 2 months, typically to do some activity that would presumably lead to making out.

Basically make sure there is a real relationship to salvage and not just temporary lusty feelings that make you feel good. The temporary lusty feelings will come back on their own, I really don't think there's anything to salvage. They will disappear when you or Fred gets into a committed relationship. You can memail me if you want to talk more.
posted by WeekendJen at 8:08 AM on May 5, 2010 [3 favorites]

You're 24. After a night of drinking, you kissed (but did not sleep with) the roommate of your Currently-Off-Again boyfriend.

I mean, you know Fred better than anyone here does, but this really sounds like no big deal. I can't imagine any sane person really getting upset about this at all. It doesn't sound like you have a drinking problem, it sounds like you got drunk and kissed a guy.

That's incredibly commonplace, and not the sign of anything worrisome.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:14 AM on May 5, 2010 [6 favorites]

Off-again means off-again and it seems like Fred knows that and is not angry. Feeling weirded out about partners' other partners is normal and generally fades over time.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:22 AM on May 5, 2010

Move on. Don't make out with guys who are obviously getting you drunk so you'll make out with them. You're 24. You should find an on-always relationship and be madly in love. Just because you've sunk 9 years of puppy love into this guy does not mean you must stick with him. Most people don't marry their high school sweetheart for good reason. Enjoy your freedom to pursue with abandon.
posted by amanda at 9:53 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

You're 24. You're not in a relationship. End of story. Beans.
posted by spicynuts at 10:20 AM on May 5, 2010

You actually handled yourself pretty well; I think if I were Fred, I'd trust you more after this little incident.

Provided I knew what really happened, that is. You need to make sure Fred does have an accurate account of what went on, because it's not necessarily in Bob's best interests to tell him the truth, and he isn't coming across as the most faithful of friends here.
posted by jamjam at 10:39 AM on May 5, 2010

Do I just wait?

Yes. Or rather, do not wait on finding a new guy to make out with who has nothing to do with those people and hopefully doesn't drink too much also.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:38 PM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

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