How to Recover After Sending a Drunk Text

It’s Friday night and you’re out with the girls having a great time, until someone orders an extra round of drinks that you know deep-down you shouldn’t join in on, but why not? You pull out your phone, turn off your decision-making filter, and start typing. Let’s be honest, we’ve all sent an occasional drunk text to the wrong person. It’s normal to have urges to do things you may not normally do when you have one glass of wine too many.

While that may be true, it doesn’t mean you don’t regret dialing an ex’s number or texting someone you wouldn’t dare to while sober. Maybe in your drunken state you thought it would be a good idea to reach out to an old flame, or you were looking for a hookup. No matter what the motivation behind it, now you’re stuck with the consequences. Adam LoDolce, founder of, weighs in on how to handle the aftermath of sending a drunk text. Here’s what to do after you push “send.”

1. Admit you were drinking

When you make a mistake sometimes the best thing to do is own up to it. There’s no shame in going out and having a good time, so don’t worry about being judged. “Admit that you were drinking - keep it playful and light and don't make a big deal out of it,” says LoDolce. “Chances are if you don't get too weird about it, then they won't.” Even if the person already assumes you were drinking, owning up to it will give you the extra advantage.

2. Break the silence

The worst thing you can do is nothing at all. If you admit you had maybe one drink too many, and act like it’s no big deal things will mend quickly. “Mention something if you have to see them in person,” says LoDolce. “It helps to pad the awkwardness of digital ‘screwups’ when you acknowledge it in real life. You could say something like, ‘So, have you been getting any more drunk text fails, or am I the only one?’”

3. Shut it down

This may seem like an obvious answer, but it’s much easier said than done. “For thousands of years people have been getting drunk and enjoying their night without relying on the cell phone to make it happen,” says LoDolce. “Put it away and have fun with your friends.” Powering off your cell is a great way to guarantee that you won’t keep responding after sending the initial text. “You can just turn your phone off and your drunk self will probably think it's dead,” says Amber Layfield, a senior at Appalachian State.

4. Laugh it off

Sometimes, the best thing to do when you make a mistake is laugh about it. What’s done is done, and if you don’t have the energy to cover your tracks, just take pride in laughing at yourself. “Most drunk calls or texts I send are to hook-ups I don't care to have a relationship with, or care about their opinion of me,” says Rosario Bollotta, a sophomore at Gulf Coast State College. “So I just laugh about it and move on.”


Until there’s a real app to stop you from sending an embarrassing drunk text, it’s up to you to deal with the outcome. Just because you sent a text out or called someone doesn’t mean you would do the same sober, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Focus on what’s really important, like fighting that hangover!