Have you ever woken up from a crazy night out and had a raging headache – not only from stupid amounts of alcohol, but also from yelling likely nonsensical arguments during drunk fights with your partner?
Ooph, can we just blame it on the booze…?…
Well, to a certain an extent. As you might know all too well, alcohol lowers inhibition, which can lead to less-than-ideal decision-making. But you also have responsibility over yourself and your actions.
The reality is, alcohol can bring out both the best (or at least funniest) and the worst (or at least most idiotic) in us (if the “worst” is more serious, please skip to tip 10*).
And although being committed to someone (namely, in your 20s) can foster so much growth, opportunity, and understanding, it can also mean yipping at each other about pathetic things like how you’re no longer winning beer pong games, how one of you always gets to pick the drunchies spot, or, most of the time, something you don’t even remember.
Having dated through Junior and Senior years of college, John and I are very equipped to be doling out advice on this topic *sigh*. We are also well aware that the main problem with drunk fights is that it’s hard to think straight – I mean, you’re drunk! Which is usually why, even when you don’t typically fight in sober life, it can be easy for things to go from 0 to 100 real quick when you’re drunk. It may even prove more difficult to navigate drunk arguments when you don’t usually fight when you’re sober, because you have less practice arguing effectively.
But that’s okay! I’m here to give you 10 very simple (read: drunk-proof) tips that you can try out the next time you and/or your partner feel slighted while intoxicated:
How often have you woken up, looked at your partner, and started laughing hysterically because the night before you yelled and pouted, but now can’t even remember what the fuss was all about?
That should tell you that most of your drunk arguments are pretty pathetic (I’m not even going to sugarcoat it).
BUT, the humor of it doesn’t automatically wipe away how you felt in that moment. Whatever you were upset about was, in fact, the biggest deal in the world. And laughing about it now won’t necessarily stop those feelings the next night out, either.
So what should you do about it in the future, if you don’t want to have an argument and ruin the good night?
Let. It. Go. At least for now. Annoyed that she interrupted you repeatedly during a conversation with friends? Upset that he spilled a drink on your feet while dancing? Well, if you bring it up in the moment, you may be too heated, which may cause your partner to get heated, which may cause you two to sound like “ow;ksah$fISk#jHsdsKozpSI&kshd!jofh” for the rest of the night instead of continuing to have a good time. Not worth it!
But when you whip out your phone, pull up your trusty Notes App, and write (as best as you can spell) “nOt coool he spitle drinmk on me an no apoologty”, you can be rest assured that if it’s something that you actually want to discuss later, you can discuss it when you’re (hopefully) sober in the morning.
Okay, let’s say your partner spilled a splash of gin and tonic on your shoes and didn’t notice, then kept dancing. You could, in your drunken yet shocked state, swipe at their shoulder and say “HEY! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT!? Osdhjfiashdfioawhnrf”.
But you could also (without using too much brain power, don’t worry) think “have I done anything like this in the past, or could I do anything like this in the future?”. If the answer is a resounding yes, then ease up! It’s easier to be aggressive and snobby under the influence, but remember to treat them how you’d like your tipsy-topsy, not-always-perfectly-upright self to be treated if this were you.
Trust that your partner cares, and isn’t malicious, neglectful, nor inconsiderate – just a bit drunk.
If you absolutely need to say something in the moment because it’s a little more pressing than an accidentally spilled drink, bring it up with calmness and understanding (don’t assume the worst!), then suggest discussing it in the morning. But since you should discuss it in the morning anyways, try to stick with tip number 1 as much as possible!
Now, let’s say you get easily excited under the influence, and you keep interrupting your partner in a conversation at a party. They are getting annoyed, and end up snapping at you aggressively. It’d be SOOOOO easy to quickly snap back in your drunken, aggressive stupor. But easy now often means spiraling into back and forth nonsense and ruining the rest of the night.
You may be noticing a pattern here; try your best to save the conversation for later, this time by not responding how you may initially feel inclined to. This doesn’t mean ignore your partner, because that would likely make them more upset. Just acknowledge your partner’s feelings, apologize if it seems appropriate and reasonable to (in this hypothetical example, you probably should), then suggest kindly to talk about it later, stating “this will be a better conversation in the morning. I understand you’re upset, but can we talk about it then?”.
If your partner is reasonable, that should be a fine request, and you can continue to have a good time. If they feel the need to discuss it RIGHT NOW, then breathe, and allow your partner to continue sharing how they feel and saying what they need to say. Oftentimes, drunk fights only happen because people are just talking past each other and not listening at all. So you likely won’t have to say much, or anything, before your partner is like “okay I’m good now” – just listen.
If not, and things are still starting to get heated – of if you are both upset at the same time – try the next tip:
If you’re both equally upset or things have somehow spiraled, try separating yourselves for a bit. You don’t necessarily have to leave the party / bar / event, or even leave the room (although recommended). This also doesn’t mean storming out of the room and slamming the door in the middle of their sentence.
Just agree, together, as kindly as possible, that it’d be best to momentarily occupy different areas in order to have the time and space to calm down. Don’t try too hard to process what just happened – because in a drunken state this may only lead to more confusion and more anger, annoyance, or frustration with your partner. Just do something else, let off some steam, and try tip 1 so you can move on for the night and come back to the argument when sober if need be.
Speaking of being led to more anger, annoyance, and frustration…
Listen, we all love our friends. Friends are great because they often have your back (even when they shouldn’t) and they are GREAT at hyping you up in any circumstance.
But that’s usually the exact opposite of what you need when you’re trying to de-escalate a pathetic argument while intoxicated.
Talk to your friends – yes – but about anything else than what you’re upset about. This is easier said than done, especially if your friends are the curious types, but just be explicit: “UGH I’m annoyed right now but I’m drunk so I can’t process this correctly so can we just talk about how great Cheetos are again?”. Done.
I know this one is literally a buzzkill, but it needs to be said. If you know that you are prone to fighting and more aggressive or snappy or irritable behavior once you’ve had too many drinks, then try not to have too many drinks! Responsible drinking can be great, but it’s really not that cute or fun (for you or anyone around you) if you are consistently upset every time you drink.
If this is your partner, have that conversation with them (when sober, of course). State how you feel about their drinking habits in a supportive, understanding, but constructive way and come up with a plan together to start drinking less.
If the drunk fights are recurring :
Along the lines of tip number 6, if you are your partner are consistently fighting while intoxicated, and you know that it’s not because you’re overly drunk, then have a discussion to figure out the root of the problem.
Is there a pattern or a theme to the fighting? Is it about one, two, or three particular things that need further assessment (e.g. jealousy, behavioral issue, power dynamics issue, decision-making issue, etc.)? Why does this keep happening?
Make sure you and your partner are being completely open and honest during this assessment, because lack of honesty – sweeping seemingly “little” problems under the rug – could be the very reason these issues only pop up when your inhibition is lowered.
So when this whole “wait for the morning” morning discussion time actually comes, you and your partner are either going to laugh it off or try to actually fix the situation, especially if it’s recurring, as addressed in Tip 7.
If it’s a deeper issue that you do indeed need to fix, realize that it may not be fixed overnight. Understand that it may happen again. And again. And another time.
But as long as it’s getting better each time and not worse, try to be patient with your partner and with yourself.
This one may sound silly, cute, or just corny, but either way – it actually really works.
Personal example: Senior year of college, anytime John and I would look at each other and say “hey, let’s have a good night” with a wink (on his part – a sad, attempt at a wink on my end), we would never fight.
That’s not to say we would fight every single time we didn’t say that (it wasn’t that statistically correlated) BUT, those simple words always allowed us to successful employ any of the aforementioned tips in this article – especially “letting it go” – if we were to ever start getting drunk-upset. It somehow had the power to ensure that we were going to remember who we were as people, remember how much love we have between each other and how much we mean to each other – even if we got drunk enough to forget one of our shoes at the party.
A drink or two (or three) can be really fun in the right environment, with the right people. And these tips for your and your partner’s drunk fights are tailored around futile, trivial, or perhaps even slightly comical drunk fights.
However, if you are having serious, harmful, or abusive drunk fights, and/or you or your partner have an unhealthy drinking problem or addiction, please seek help and resources. You can start with the websites listed below:
Resources, support, and help for abusive relationships
Resources, support, and help for addiction:
I hope these tips will come in handy the next time your partner dances on someone a little too sexually, buys too many drinks for people at the bar, or whatever else may get on your drunken nerves.
Any other tips you can think of? Have you been in this position before and if so, what did you do? Comment below to share!
Loving the old; exploring the new,