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The Psychology Behind Drunk Texting and the Emotional Impact of Alcohol

People drink alcohol for various reasons, and usually, there is nothing wrong with getting a few drinks once in a while unless it turns into an addiction. 

However, what happens when after getting drunk, the person engages in other behaviors that are usually not a part of their personality? What does it mean if a man drunk-texts you?

We will see how alcohol can influence your actions and look at how you can respond when you receive drunk texts from someone you know.

How Does Alcohol Impact Actions Emotionally?

how does alcohol impact actions emotionally

An alcoholic drink affects the brain and makes you feel relaxed, confident, and outgoing. If you drink moderately, you get a tipsy feeling, which makes you happy and gives you the courage to do things you would not normally do.

However, regular use of alcohol, especially among college students and young adults, can alter their mental health and result in antisocial behavior. Therefore, we should limit our alcohol use to special occasions, as regular use can result in addiction.1

Why Do People Drunk-Text and Does It Mean Anything?

People drunk-text because alcohol gives them the courage to say things they would normally not say. Moreover, if the things they say when under the influence of alcohol are out of line, they can blame all of it on the alcohol.

If a person texts you while drinking, it means they are thinking about you, and there usually is some truth to what they say when drunk. One’s true desires and feelings come out when they are drunk.

23 Ways to Respond to Drunk Texts

Replying to a drunk text can be tricky as you cannot gauge the true feelings of the person on the other side of the screen. Below are some ways to respond to a drunk text based on the situation and the desired results.

1. If you like him

If you know your crush has gone out drinking with his friends and you still receive a text from them, there are huge chances that it is a drunk text. However, before you get ahead of yourself and start imagining a future with your dream guy, take a deep breath and open the text from your phone notifications.

If it is a simple ‘hey,’ there are chances they are trying to be friendly, so let them take their time and see where it goes. 

However, if, like most drunk texts, it is also a flirty message, then there is nothing wrong with flirting back. Just keep in mind if you want to take things slow and are not looking to have sex with them right away, you should keep the flirting down and set boundaries.

2. If they confess their feelings for you

If a guy texts you after having a few drinks and confesses their love for you, in most cases, be sure they are their true feelings. They might have had feelings for you for a long time and just needed the liquid courage. 

Depending on your connection with this person, you might be happy, shocked, or uncomfortable after reading their drunk texts.

No matter how you feel after reading the confession of love texts by someone, it is crucial to consider that there are chances that one of their buddies might have sent you this message as a joke. 

Therefore, consider keeping it casual as there are chances that the guy will explain the embarrassing texts in the morning with a sober brain, and then you can choose how you want to respond.

3. If you want them to confess their feelings for you

If the man has the hots for you and is drinking and subsequently texting you, it is not that difficult to admit their feelings - all it requires is a little nudge! If you both like each other, but you are waiting for them to make the first move, then just poke them a little and let the alcohol do the rest. 

You can tease them by saying something along the lines of why they are drunk texting you so late at night, and do not forget to add a playful emoji. Alcohol affects a person's inhibitions, and in a magical way, it might make them confess their feelings to you, after which you can admit yours and enjoy the time, which was made possible by the social lubricant, alcohol.2

4. If they are trying to flirt through texting

if they are trying to flirt through texting

If you have received a flirty drunk text from someone you are dating or like, you can consider engaging in a little flirting. You will be surprised to see how easily the conversation flows and how enjoyable and fun the texting becomes, as the drink will give the man an ego boost.

However, if someone you respect a lot and cannot imagine having a relationship with has drunk-texted you, it makes sense to ignore the message. Avoid doing something that you will regret later, as the next day, the man can say that it was the alcohol talking, and you will be the one left feeling bad.

5. If they are sending inappropriate drunk texts

Most of us have been on the receiving end of inappropriate messages more than we would like to admit. Many intoxicated men under the influence can creep you out with their cheap behavior. Here, it is best to set boundaries and tell them you will have a conversation with them in the morning when they are sober. 

It might sound harsh if you are close to this person, but too much alcohol makes it difficult for people to make sound decisions, so it is important you take control of the situation. Do not worry about hurting the person, and simply ask them to stop drunk-texting you.

6. If they want to hook up

If someone texts you for a booty call when they are under the influence of alcohol, it is your choice to decide whether you want to throw caution to the window and have some fun or want to be a little more held back.

Alcohol can make emotional regulation a little difficult, which might be the reason behind the booty call drunk text. If you are interested in hooking up with this man, then yay, go ahead with the sexual encounter after making sure you would not see it as a mistake the next morning. 

However, if you are not interested in sex, the best approach is to ignore the message and speak to them in the morning when they are sober. 3

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7. If you do not want to engage

There is nothing to feel guilty about if you do not want to engage with someone who is drunk-texting you at night. You can ignore their message, and they will definitely text you back in the morning when they are sober.

8. If they want to talk to you.

Drunk texting does not always mean that the person is interested in you or wants to sleep with you. Often, drunk messages can be from just a friend who wants a shoulder to cry on. 

So, a simple message from an intoxicated male friend at night does not need to be a cause for worry, as they might simply want to share a problem with you, which they might be unable to share with others.

Long story short, your friend's alcohol consumption is not a reason to avoid responding to their texts for fear of making a mistake.

9. If they are bored

If a man sends you several one-line texts in a row while drinking, it could mean they are bored or want attention. There would be no important information in these texts, and they would be filled with occasional ‘miss you’. 

You should consider responding with short, crisp answers to such messages because you might be taken for granted if you give them attention.

10. If they seem like a different person

Alcohol affects people's minds in a way that it might seem as if you are talking to a different person altogether. 

If you like a guy but are not enjoying the drunk version of them, then it is better that you speak to them only when they are sober, or else you risk breaking the connection.

11. If they want to sort things out

It is not always an ex who wants to sort things out or is seeking closure. Many times, we have friends with whom things have fallen apart, and now that they are drinking, they are thinking about the friendship and want things to be like they were before.

If an old lost friend with whom you had a tuff is texting you at night drunk, there are chances they are missing you and all the fun you had together. They want to repair the relationship, and truth be told, they do not have the guts to talk to you when they are sober and are using alcohol to give them some courage to approach you.4

If you miss your friend and feel you fought for a silly reason, then this is an opportunity to forgive and forget. 

However, if you feel you are still upset and do not want to talk to them, then you should consider ignoring their drunk texts. It might be difficult for you to talk considering their intoxicated state and doing this will only cause further misunderstandings.

12. If you are an option for them

If you know through your mutual friends that the man who has sent you drunk texts is in the habit of doing so with other females, it shows he is an immature person for whom you are just an option. He is someone who is in the habit of drunk texting different girls at night and then blaming their behavior on alcohol.

There are chances that before texting you, they have tried texting other girls, or maybe they are texting different girls simultaneously, which shows they are just looking for attention and do not respect you. 

In this case, you can simply ignore their messages. If you are in the mood for revenge, you can tell them you know they send similar text messages to other girls at night, and they should stop drunk texting you now.

13. If they are interested in spending time with you

if they are interested in spending time with you

If a man drunk-texts you, there is a huge chance that they are missing you and thinking about you. The good thing about texting while drinking is that the person can be direct without any shame or formalities. So if a man is at a party and drunk texts you to invite you to the party, it can be an excuse to see you.

If you are not interested in going out, you can make an excuse that you are busy. However, if you want to meet the guy, you can simply accept their offer to meet you. 

One thing to remember when planning to take things slow is that it can also be a booty call, and if you are not interested in a hook-up, make sure you do not accept the invitation to meet them in a hotel room or some secluded place. 

14. If you are not sure about how much alcohol they have had

In some ways, drunk dialing is better than drunk texting, as you can at least get some idea about how much alcohol the caller has had by hearing their voice. When deciding how to respond to the text received from a drunk man, it helps to gauge how much alcohol is in their system, which is almost impossible to find in texts.

In such a situation, it is best to make a call to the person and have a small talk to tell you how much alcohol is in their system, and then you can proceed accordingly. If you feel that the person has had too many drinks, it is best not to engage in long conversations with them as they would not be their own self.

15. If they are being overly emotional.

Alcohol can make some people too emotional to the extent that they start talking about all the sad and negative things in their life. If you are receiving drunk texts from such a person, you can try to console them, but there is nothing bad in leaving their messages at “read” if it is getting too much for you to handle.5

16. If they send you funny texts

Drunk texting or drunk dialing can help you break the ice. So if you like the person on the other side of the screen and they are not sending you cheap texts, there is nothing wrong with engaging a little. 

While drinking alcohol, even a shy person can become a fun extrovert, and texting between you two can help you make a connection, and in the morning, you both can laugh at the texts exchanged. 

This fun behavior of the other person will give you access to know them better, and you may still have a lot to share once they are sober.

17. If you are not sure why they are texting you

When a guy drunk-texts you in the night, there can be many possibilities behind their actions, and it is not wise to jump to conclusions. Yes, there are chances that they like you and are thinking about you while drinking, but there are also chances that they simply want to share something with you.

So you can try to go with the flow without pointing out that they seem drunk. Keep the conversation casual and reply as you would normally do to their texts. Give them some time to open up, and you will soon know why they are drunk-texting you at night. 

18. If their texts are illegible

If you have received a drunk text and cannot make any sense of it, it can mean the person who has sent the text is deep in alcohol. Communicating over text is always difficult when compared to a call in which you can hear the other person's tone and make out their intentions. 

To avoid any miscommunication, it is better to send a 'question mark' in reply to a drunk text you cannot understand. You can even reply with a 'what?' or 'didn't get you' to let the other person know you could not make sense of their drunk text. If it is something important, they will message you again. 

However, if the follow-up text also does not make any sense, then instead of ruining the mood of the other person by asking them again and again what they meant, it is better to ignore the message. In the morning, when they get sober, they would probably message or call you again to apologize for their behavior the previous night.

If their follow-up messages do make sense, you should carefully read the message and decide on what to reply by choosing one of the ways described here that suit you best.

19. If they drink a lot

If the person from whom you have received the drunk text is a close one and you know they are in the habit of drinking alcohol regularly, then you can advise them to control their drinking habit. 

Tell them how this addiction can affect their life and how you are there for them if they need any help in coming out of this situation.6

20. If you think they might pose a risk to themselves

Alcohol can make you do things you would not normally do, like suicide, physical violence, or any other crime. If it seems that the person drunk dialing or drunk texting you is in a state where they can harm themselves, then the best approach is to try to help them

21. If they are sending you angry texts

if they are sending you angry texts

Many people are in the habit of bottling their feelings no matter how upset they are or what they are feeling from the inside. However, once the alcohol goes inside, their behavior changes, and they get the courage to speak their mind, which can sometimes be too direct and hurtful.

If you are receiving angry texts from someone, it is best not to take them personally and not reply to them, as the other person might not be in a state to discuss. It is best if you talk to them later when they are sober with a fresh mind. 

22. If they are sending you nostalgic texts

When drinking, most of us become sentimental and start missing the old times. If you are receiving nostalgic drunk texts from a guy telling you about all the fun things you did in the past, it may be a sign that they are missing you. 

Depending on your connection with this person, you can also take a walk down memory lane and share with them the memory of the fun times you had.7

23. If the message is from your ex

If your ex is drunk dialing or drunk texting you, there can be a few underlying motives. There are chances that they are lonely and need someone to talk to, or they are just horny and want to hook up with you. 

However, if your ex is a good person and you are still in contact with them, they might be missing you and want to get back together. In this case, you should consider telling them to talk to you in the morning when they are sober to make sure their feelings are the same when they are not drunk.


Do true feelings come out when drunk?

Yes, alcohol affects the brain; as a result, your inhibitions melt, and there might be some truth to what a drunk person says. In the same way, drunk people can pick a lie and really drive it home since the veil of consciousness has probably dropped. So, it is possible to tell someone how you truly feel when you are drunk dialing it’s equally possible to tell some fibs.

Do drunk texts mean anything?

If he is texting you when intoxicated, it could point to the fact that he likes you romantically and does not have the guts to come out of the friend zone. It could also mean that he feels quite comfortable around you, and you’re his go-to person when he wants to express himself. Similarly though, it could just mean that he is bored.

How to respond to drunk texts?

When you receive a drunk text, carefully go through the contents of those messages before responding. If the drunk texts are borderline creepy, there is no reason to continue texting. If it is something you can laugh off, then do just that. If you are uncomfortable engaging with drunk texting, you can speak to the guy in the morning when they are sober.

How to tell if someone is drunk over text?

For one, it may take them longer to respond to your text messages. Also, you may notice some wrong spelling and typos that are quite uncharacteristic of them. They will also be bolder and say things they would not discuss on a typical day.


Being on the receiving end of a drunk text can be delightful or annoying; depending on your relationship with the sender.

If you are confused about how to respond to a drunk text, there is no shame in ignoring it until you are sure about their underlying motives and find a way to respond. It is best not to judge anyone based on texts they send after having a few drinks.

What are your experiences? Have you received texts from someone after they had a few beers or smashed on tequila shots? How did you respond? Do you think drinking alcohol makes you lose control while texting? Let us know in the comments.

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.

6 Sources:
    Rehm J. The risks associated with alcohol use and alcoholism. Alcohol Res Health. 2011;34(2):135-43. PMID: 22330211; PMCID: PMC3307043.
  1. Winograd RP, Steinley D, Lane SP, Sher KJ. An Experimental Investigation of Drunk Personality Using Self and Observer Reports. Clin Psychol Sci. 2017 May;5(3):439-456.
  2. Trub, Leora & Starks, Tyrel. (2016). Texting Under the Influence: Emotional Regulation as a Moderator of the Association Between Binge Drinking and Drunk Texting. Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking. 20. 
  3. Abbey A, Smith MJ, Scott RO. The relationship between reasons for drinking alcohol and alcohol consumption: an interactional approach. Addict Behav. 1993 Nov-Dec;18(6):659-70. 
  4. Ashton K, Bellis MA, Davies AR, et alDo emotions related to alcohol consumption differ by alcohol type? An international cross-sectional survey of emotions associated with alcohol consumption and influence on drink choice in different settings.
  5. Kingston, A.H., Jorm, A.F., Kitchener, B.A. et al. Helping someone with problem drinking: Mental health first aid guidelines - a Delphi expert consensus study. BMC Psychiatry 9, 79 (2009). 
  6. Kotani, Megumi & Kusumi, Takashi. (2020). Effects of nostalgia and beverages on mood and perceived social support. Journal of Health Psychology Research. 33. 

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