Q: My boyfriend and I have been going out for about 9 months. The other night, after getting really drunk with some friends, he asked me to come get him. On the ride home he told me that he loved me. He apologized for telling me when he was drunk and said that it was really hard for him to say but he really meant it. Now he says he doesn't remember anything about that night, so we haven't talked about what he said. I want to bring it up but am not sure I should. Should I just give him time and let him say it when he is ready or is it okay to talk to him about it? I don't want to make him uncomfortable or embarrass him but I want to know how he really feels. -- Carly, 25
Dr. Susan: Alcohol loosens inhibitions and makes people say and do things they might not do otherwise. Sometimes inebriation causes people to confess to their most true, most deep feelings, but just as often, what comes out of a drunk's mouth is heightened emotion that won't be there in cold sober daylight. It's impossible to know for sure whether your boyfriend meant what he said for real, or whether it was only what he felt at that drunken moment. I think it's fair to say that, after nine months together, you ought to have a good sense of how much he cares for you, no matter what he says. I wouldn't put too much stock in a comment he made when drunk, especially if he has no memory of that evening at all. So if you bring up his feelings, stick to the present and see if you can get him to open up a bit more. Make him feel safe. Perhaps be willing to open up yourself and see how he responds.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.