Why do I want to call my ex when I’m drunk?
TIINA HEIKKILÄ, text
HENNA SILLANPÄÄ, translation
DRUNK DIALLING became easier in the early 2000s when mobile phones became more common.
We called doctor Erkki-Pekka Helle, or Eki, who used to write the legendary advice column Bees & Honey for the magazine Suosikki.
Dear Eki, why do I want to call my ex when I’m drunk?
When you are intoxicated, you lose your inhibitions and the disappointments you have experienced come to mind. On the other hand, you may feel emotional distress caused by the relationship ending, or the way it ended. Break-ups are usually caused by disagreement or conflict. Often the reasons remain unclear which may lead to ruminating and bitterness afterwards. When you’re drunk enough you may not remember, or want to remember, how the relationship ended.
Did this subject come up when you wrote your advice column?
Not really, at least not directly. The issue is very diffuse and there isn’t much research on it either. Calling was more complicated when we only had landline telephones. Back then, we also sent letters and writing one would make you think. You wouldn’t send a letter under the influence. Now it’s easy to take out your phone at the bar counter or wherever.
Why are we embarrassed afterwards?
Drunk dialling often causes a moral hangover. When you don’t get a positive reaction, you feel bad and embarrassed.
Usually it’s a mistake to call your ex-partner while drunk, but the amount of alcohol you have drunk also makes a difference. Having a drink or two may relax you and the other person won’t even notice.
Where is the line that separates problem behaviour?
Recurrence points to a problem that should have been solved in the break-up situation. The receiver of the call often feels bad either way. The best way to solve the problem is to discuss the break-up trauma with a professional or with your friends.