Why Do People Drunk Text Their Exes?

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Drunk texting your ex is a common phenomenon that can leave you filled with regret the next morning. And being on the receiving end of these texts can have you wondering if there’s any truth to them.

But why does alcohol make people feel like they need to reach out to ex-lovers, partners, or even flings? Do drunk texts mean anything, or is it just the alcohol talking?

Below, we’ll dive into why people drunk text their exes, how you should respond if this happens to you, and how to stop if you find yourself drinking and texting.

What Does Drunk Texting Mean, and Why Does it Happen?

women texting while day drinking
Photo by Eve on Unsplash

There’s a reason why alcohol and careless texts go hand-in-hand. People who drink often say or do things they regret, thanks to the way alcohol reduces inhibitions.

In other words, your fear of embarrassment (and any sense to save your dignity) can go out the window with enough booze. This can result in foolish messages to just about anyone—but drunk texting your ex is especially common.

So, What Does It Mean When Your Ex Drunk Texts You?

An ex might have a few underlying motives when they drunkenly reach out to you:

  • They’re looking for an ego-boost. An intoxicated ex-lover might text you to get validation or affection when they haven’t found it from anyone else.
  • Unresolved feelings. A drunk person who hasn’t worked through their past could be seeking closure for the way a relationship ended.
  • They might want to have sex. If this is their intention, you’ll probably pick up on it right away.
  • Your ex might just be bored. There’s a slim chance that boredom is the only reason they’d reach out, but it’s possible.
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Should You Take Drunk Texts Seriously?

Alcohol affects a person’s perception, emotions, and inhibitions. So, the question, “Do drunk texts mean anything?” comes with a lot to unpack.

There might be some truth to what a person says while drunk—but it’s still likely they’d never have sent you those texts sober.

As confusing (and even sometimes flattering) as these messages can be, it’s essential that you don’t get wrapped up in overanalyzing them. Chances are your ex wasn’t thinking too hard about the words or emojis they used when they messaged you.

In other words, always take drunk texts with a grain of salt—no matter who they’re from. And keep in mind that serious conversations are best left for sober minds.

Best Responses When an Ex Drunk Texts You

man sending a text in a restaurant at night
Photo by Eddy Billard on Unsplash

So, you received a drunk text from an ex, and you have no idea how to respond. What should you do?

In general, you have a couple of options:

  • If you want to talk more, let them know that you can do it in the morning when they’re sober enough to communicate with you.
  • If you don’t wish to speak with the person, set boundaries, ignore them, or even block them.

Of course, there’s always the option to talk it out right then and there. But this could lead to misunderstandings and heightened emotions from the person who’s been drinking.

What to Do the Morning After You’ve Sent Drunk Texts

If you’ve ever woken up to your phone buzzing with replies to drunk texts you sent the night before, you know how humiliating it can be. How do you fix it, and how do you save yourself the embarrassment of doing it again?

First, do some damage control. Apologize for anything you said that might be out of line. Then, consider the underlying reasons why getting drunk compelled you to reach out like that.

Maybe you need to seek inner closure from the past or cope with things in a sober state of mind. Whatever the case, it could be time to do some inward digging, and even lay off the booze until you sort things out.

You might also want to ask a friend to hang on to your phone for you next time you go out, and think about how to keep your drinking under control.

How to Stop Binge Drinking and Texting

The occasional tipsy text or drunk dial isn’t a big deal. But if you find yourself binge drinking and sending texts that you regret frequently, it might be a sign you need to cut back on the alcohol.

Luckily, there’s help if you’re struggling to reduce your drinking by yourself.

Ria Health offers online support you can access anywhere, right from your smartphone. You don’t need to consider yourself an alcoholic to join, either—this program works for people who just need to cut back, too.

Speak with a member of our team today, or learn more about how it works

Have questions about online alcohol treatment?

or call (800) 504-5360

Written By:
Alicia Schultz
Alicia is a Minnesota-based freelancer who writes for Ria Health and various other brands in the health and wellness space. Beyond addiction and recovery, she also covers topics relating to general well-being, mindfulness, fitness, mental health, and more. When she’s not writing, you can find her relaxing with her three-legged cat, trying new workout routines, and spending time with her loved ones.
Reviewed By:
Evan O'Donnell
Evan O’Donnell is an NYC-based content strategist with four years’ experience writing and editing in the recovery space. He has conducted research in sound, cognition, and community building, has a background in independent music marketing, and continues to work as a composer. Evan is a deep believer in fact-based, empathic communication—within business, arts, academia, or any space where words drive action or change lives.
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