Confronting My Guy Friend Who Touched Me Inappropriately

Confronting My Guy Friend Who Touched Me Inappropriately

All I can say is I didn't quite expect it.

I've had a guy friend for a few years now. I'll be using the term "friend" quite loosely because it's not like we hang out or even talk all the time, and I'm not sure if he would be the type of guy I'd otherwise befriend if it weren't for the circumstances. He is in the same class as me, and as my class is quite small, it's only natural that we've ended up talking and getting to know each other. We've also hung out outside of school, but always with the other people in my class. We're not so buddy-buddy that I'd like to hang out with him one on one.

He's a pretty nice dude. A bit nerdy. Somewhat shy and quiet. He's not exactly the biggest clown or anything, but he does have a funny side and is able to crack a joke every now and then. Let's call him C.

Last weekend, another friend of mine (who is much closer to me than C is), had a birthday party. Let's call her E. The plan was that everyone (some of E's personal friends as well as people from our class) would first gather at her house and have a pre-party. Then, around midnight, we would all go to a club where E had made reservations for us. Just a couple of couches, nothing fancy or anything. I was working a lot that day, so I couldn't make it to the pre-party, but I did make it to the bar. This is where it all happened.

Confronting My Guy Friend Who Touched Me Inappropriately

I didn't see much of E that night, since she was a bit all over the place and mostly wanted to hang out with her personal friends, which I understand because she sees us a lot at school. That was ok with me, because I had my other girl friend and classmate with me there, J. She's probably one of my best friends. The two of us and C naturally ended up hanging out together, because we didn't really know any of E's personal friends.

J and C got a few drinks, and then we sat down on one of the reserved couches. Me in the middle, J to my left and C to my right. Both J and him were already a bit tipsy from before, but J decided to take it easy. She calmly sipped on her shot and drink, whereas C pretty much downed all of his and also had a lot of vodka. He became noticeably drunk after a very short while. And because of that, he also became a bit more touchy with me.

At first I didn't really think much about it, or even notice it. This wasn't exactly my first time hanging around drunk people, and even though I've never drank myself, I know that becoming touchy is one of the side-effects of being drunk. Also, it was a natural part of our conversation when it first started happening. So for instance, when someone got their phone out and started snapping pics of everyone, he would put his head close to mine and make a goofy face. Or he'd lightly punch my arm if I said something funny. Very basic stuff.

What made me really uncomfortable, though, was when it started to feel unnatural, and like it wasn't just a part of our conversation anymore. Suddenly he'd put his entire arm around me, and for no reason. He would randomly start caressing my thigh and my knee, even if we weren't talking at that moment. And this happened only minutes after we'd talked about the fact that everything is going well between my boyfriend and I, and that C has also found a girl now and that they've decided to not see anyone else.

The otherwise nerdy, shy and somewhat reserved/quiet guy was suddenly loud and obnoxious, but most importantly, extremely handsy.

Confronting My Guy Friend Who Touched Me Inappropriately

He would also occasionally grab my neck. This, accompanied with the frequent thigh grabbing/caressing, started making me feel very anxious. If he had been a stranger, I'd have had no problem telling him to fuck right off and to stop touching me. But he was my friend. I kept making excuses in my head that he was just drunk. But it was so unlike him. And the more he touched more "intimate" areas like my thigh or neck, the more nauseous I became. I kept thinking that if someone who doesn't know us were to look at us, they would think we were together, or that we have a "thing". It wasn't just friendly touching anymore, it felt like he was claiming me as his by putting his arm around me and by having his hand move up and down my leg.

J also started noticing how handsy C was, and looked a bit concerned. We'd been talking about maybe moving to the dance floor once a good song comes on, but I was running out of mental excuses for C and just wanted to get away. So I quickly got up and told J that I wanted to dance. Unfortunately, C followed with us.

Earlier, J had joked about how you should always move to the middle of the dance floor if you're a bad dancer, because there's not a lot of room to move around and people outside the dance floor won't see you. Apparently this had stuck in C's mind, because he started grabbing our necks and quite forcefully pushing us towards the middle. Since I had wanted to escape, this wasn't exactly the ideal situation. Luckily the touching stopped on the dance floor and it's not like he tried grinding on me or anything, but just his presence made me uncomfortable at this point, and I felt like I couldn't enjoy myself anymore. So after maybe 10 minutes of dancing, I grabbed J's hand and started moving away from the dance floor. I don't think C noticed at first, because he didn't follow us.

We sat down on one of the reserved couches and I just told her that I couldn't deal with this anymore. I'd worked two shifts that day so I was already very tired, and I'd told myself that I'd hang out for at the very least an hour. That hour was almost up, and with C making me progressively uncomfortable, I just felt like there was no reason for me to stay anymore. I asked J if he had been like that with her at the pre-party, and she said no. This worried me, because a couple of years ago, C had made it somewhat obvious to me that he was interested in me. And now I was worried that maybe some feelings were bubbling up inside him because of the alcohol, even though he has apparently found someone else. The thought of that made me even more anxious, and I was already feeling a bit guilty for not being brave enough to tell him to just stop. I felt like because I sort of froze in the situation, I'd almost disrespected my current relationship and my boyfriend. I felt guilty, even though I hadn't done anything wrong.

I went up to E, told her to have a really happy birthday and to keep partying, but that I had to leave. She got a bit sad since we had barely had any time to talk, but she understood that I was tired from working. She had not noticed the situation with C.

But as a cherry on top of this already messy night, while I was getting ready to leave and talking to J close to the bar, I could see from the corner of my eye how two guys walked unnecessarily close to me. J's face dropped and she just gave them a death stare as they walked past. I asked her what the fuck happened, and she said that one of the guys had stopped for a split second to sniff my hair. Sniff my hair! Awesome! I didn't get any eye contact with the guy who actually did it, but I did get it with his friend. I just looked at him like "fucking really? That's the kind of guy you like hanging out with?".

While I was walking home, I tried calling my boyfriend to tell him what had happened. He didn't answer, so I just told him the next day. He was just sad that it had happened and said that guys at clubs suck.

I woke up to a couple of sound messages from my friend J. Apparently once I had left, C started touching her as well in the same way. Once they had left the club and were outside, he kept trying to hug her and asked her if she could warm him up since it was cold. She had just awkwardly laughed and told him no. She told me that the whole thing was bizarre, because one second he was telling her how awesome it was to finally have a girlfriend, but the next he'd touch her inappropriately and try to force her to hug him.

I was torn. I didn't know what to say. On one hand, I knew that he had been drunk and that it was very unlike him to behave like that. On the other hand, I wanted to tell him that he had crossed a line and that he should be more careful. I spent a good chunk of that Sunday talking to J about what had happened.

Confronting My Guy Friend Who Touched Me Inappropriately

On Monday I didn't have any school and decided to meet up with another friend, S. S thought that I definitely should tell him. C had also sent me a text and asked about homework, so it was clear that either he was pretending nothing had happened, or he genuinely didn't know he had crossed a line. With the help of S, I started writing out a text to C.

I've been thinking about something. At E's party you got a bit too close, and I think it was because you had quite a lot to drink, but I still want to let you know that I don't think it was ok. Like how you put your arm around me several times, and caressed my leg and my neck. I didn't really want to say something then because of the circumstances. But it was just too much, and I think you crossed a line, especially considering that I have a boyfriend and it seems like you have a girlfriend now, too. I think everything is still ok between us, but I just thought I'd let you know so that you're more self-aware the next time you decide to drink...

I also think a part of me had a difficult time sending that message because I didn't know how he would react. What if he would suddenly start blaming me, or the alcohol. What if he'd end up saying something stupid like "you should have told me to stop" or "I thought you liked it", when he was the one who shouldn't even have touched me like that in the first place. I didn't want this one incident to completely ruin things between us and make things awkward, especially considering that him and I still have a class together, so it's not like I can run away from him.

Luckily, he took it well. He apologized for his behavior and said that he honestly doesn't even remember much from that night, but that the fact that he was drinking was no excuse. He said he was sorry and that he felt like an idiot. A weight was lifted from my shoulders. This was the C I knew, not the drunk idiot I saw at the club that night who kept making us uncomfortable with his physical advances. And when we saw each other in class, he wanted to pull me aside to apologize once more face to face. I smiled and said that it's totally fine, water under the bridge. Knowing that he felt awful about it and was now going to be more careful was "punishment" enough. Because if it hadn't been me, some other girl might not have been so kind with him. He also decided to apologize to J on his own accord, even though I hadn't mentioned her and she had decided to not bring it up with him.

All in all, I think this was perfectly handled. Although I could have told him to stop at the club, I'm not sure he would have gotten the message, seeing as how drunk he was and how he barely remembered any of it afterwards. It probably wouldn't have had the same effect as the message did, that he could read when he was sober. I also think he handled things perfectly. Not only did he actually say sorry, but he took responsibility for his actions despite being drunk, made sure to apologize once more face to face and also apologize to J. That's how an actual good guy behaves.

So, that was how I handled things when my guy friend crossed a line. I think this is a good lesson for all of us, not just in damage control but also in terms of taking responsibility and handling things like adults.

Thanks for reading!

lumos is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
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Most Helpful Guy

  • That was quite an interesting read. Good thing things got sorted out after all. It can happen.

    "I asked her what the fuck happened, and she said that one of the guys had stopped for a split second to sniff my hair. Sniff my hair! Awesome! I didn't get any eye contact with the guy who actually did it, but I did get it with his friend. I just looked at him like "fucking really? That's the kind of guy you like hanging out with?"."

    You know... things like that tell you a lot about the person. In this particular matter the people he/she/it hangs out with tell a lot about their self.
    Kind of surprising but at the same time it is not.


Most Helpful Girl

  • Good for you for saying something! It's easy to say "oh you should've done xyz" in the moment, but when you're in it it's totally different. And drunk people react in totally unexpected ways sometimes. The fact that you spoke up at all is great enough.

    • Thank you! Yeah, it's always easy to tell someone what they should have done when you've never been in that position yourself, or if you don't understand how hard it is to act when you freeze up. I truly believe that saying something right then and there would have either just made things worse and a lot more awkward, or he wouldn't even have understood me as the music was so loud and he was so drunk. So tbh it wasn't worth the fight in my opinion.

    • I agree. It probably would've just made the situation that much worse. I'm glad it had a positive outcome.

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What Guys Said 54

  • I would say that you handled it well AFTER the fact, but in my opinion you need to NOT feel guilty or afraid to cut off the behavior while it's happening. You mentioned several times that you were uncomfortable but were afraid/nervous to say anything. DON'T BE.

    You don't have to be loud or mean about it - at least, not at first - but you could have said something funny but still to the point, like:

    "Woah, someone's a little handsy when they're drunk, aren't they? Look, sailor boy, I know the liquid courage makes it seem like every girl in the club wants to be felt up, but you *really* need to save it for your girlfriend. Now, who's up for karaoke?"

    It gets the message across that it's not okay, but you also aren't making a huge deal about it and calling him a terrible, awful guy - you're just establishing boundaries. And you're maintaining your sense of humor while you do it.

    If the behavior doesn't stop, THEN it's time to escalate a bit, and, again, you'd be perfectly justified.

    I think it's true that most of this was "drunk behavior" - but that doesn't give anyone a pass. No one made him drink, and if he can't drink without crossing boundaries, then he needs to not drink. He's ALWAYS responsible for his behavior - which even he recognizes.

    The point is: please don't feel like you have to suffer or tolerate boundaries being crossed in order to maintain a friendship - you don't. SAY SOMETHING - but try to say it with some humor and tact, but also with enough seriousness so that people know you mean it - and you won't have to put up with drunken groping that you don't want.

    • My friend J was a lot more firm with him than I was so I’m not sure if he had gotten the hint. She has also been in similar situations before where she has literally lashed out on the guy. She even had to do it that same night with someone else who tried her patience at the dance floor. But when it was C, she froze up just like me, simply because he’s our friend and it was unexpected.
      It’s easy for everyone to tell me exactly how I should have behaved because it didn’t happen to you. But when you’re frozen and in that moment, legit nothing will get you to snap out of it.

    • Maybe it would help to remember that people who are drinking are often not themselves. Sometimes you have to treat them like a little kid, and you can't be afraid to do that. I get what you're saying, but that's a mental block you have, and I'm trying to help you get past it so that you don't have to suffer from a guy's poor, drunken behavior.

  • As someone who often drank too much in college and immediately thereafter, I'm glad you handled this in a mature manner.

    I remember a female friend coming up to me at lunch in the college cafeteria and asking how my face felt. I didn't know what she was talking about; apparently I had made a lewd suggestion to her friend at a dance so she slapped me good. I didn't even remember it.

    • This is why I kinda felt like saying something right then and there wasn't worth it. He probably wouldn't even have remembered it, or even understood what I was trying to do or say. So although I could have done something in the moment, in the end it feels like I probably wouldn't have accomplished much.

    • Yes, drunk people are not good at processing information, so it was better to wait to confront him about it.

  • Perhaps it's best to nip the problem in the bud. Stop it right from the start and tell him it's not welcome.

    (Side note: Dunno why, but there's a voice telling me C's girlfriend might not exist... but of course I could be wrong. Neither here nor there really)

    • He has shown me a picture of her and has talked about her on numerous occasions. Would be very weird and unlike him if she was totally fabricated.

    • she certainly didn't existed in a way that they are having sex, obviously

    • poor guy just wanted some tlc but he didn't know how to express it the right way

  • If you’d both been single would you still think this was inappropriate, or just unwelcome?

    Do you think gradually increasing intimacy level of physical touch while trying to flirt is not normal?

    I have no doubt he was reading your reactions poorly which is pretty typical when people are drunk.

    • If we had both been single, it would have been just a tiny bit inappropriate. Mostly just unwelcome. Simply because I'm not like that. Like you can't just start caressing my thigh and have me think it's the best thing that's ever happened to me, especially if we're talking about a stranger.
      Gradually coming on stronger is normal, for sure, but I think time and place matters a lot. To do it at a club with a girl who has not once showed any interest in you and to go for her thigh and neck almost immediately is too much.
      In this case he shouldn't even be reading my reactions, because being physical with me is pretty off-limits from the get go. We're both in relationships and just friends. So keeping it minimal and in non-intimate places are ok, such as the arms. Like I mentioned in the take, I was totally fine with him putting his head close to mine for a pic, and him punching my arm when I joked. That's the line he should have kept himself within.

  • Thanks for sharing your Take with GirlsAskGuys Community. Such Takes are rarely seen. Great Job. I wholeheartedly appreciate your Take.

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What Girls Said 29

  • I am really sorry about that. I have been through similar things before and I understand perfectly well how shitty it feels. I also understand that it is normal to freeze during such moments.
    Your mind goes completely blank, you want them to stop and you hope they will read your body language, but for some reason it is hard to utter the words because you are panicked.
    You also hope they will stop because they are not a random stranger, they are your friends who know you to some extent.
    There have been occasions when male "friends" of mine, sniffed my hair, touched my legs or my waist, attempted to tickle me, one of them even commented on my ass.
    When I told them to stop (on different occasions), some of them apologized, while others called me a bitch. I stopped being friends with them, even with the ones who apologized.
    Men who commented that you should have said something during that moment, cannot understand how difficult it is to get over your fear and speak up. I have spoken up most of the times such incidents occurred, but I admit that it was really something that was very, very hard to do.
    I even felt guilty afterwards for absolutely no reason, even though I had done nothing to reinforce their behavior.
    As for him being drunk, I do not consider that to be an excuse. If I were you, I'd think he is lying his ass.
    I've been drunk before and the next day I remembered perfectly well what I did the night before. Plus, he decided to apologize to the other girl even if he didn't "remember" the whole thing (you didn't mention his actions towards her and she didn't mention anything to him either, which means he knew perfectly well what he did).
    Anyway, just be careful. I wouldn't trust that guy if I were you.

    • I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt because I don’t think him saying he didn’t remember much changed anything. He said he only remembered bits and pieces which I think makes a little bit of sense given how much he drank. And I think people react to alcohol differently; some black out, others don’t. So I dunno, even if he’s lying I don’t really care at this point, because he did apologize and will be more careful. And I will keep my distance for a while.

      Otherwise yeah, I agree. It’s incredibly difficult, and you keep making excuses for them because they’re your friend and you didn’t expect it. I’m glad you ended your friendships with the ones who lashed out on you, calling you a bitch is not cool at all. 😠

  • Whoa, girlfriend, you are testament to "over-thinking" a subject.

    What does it take for you to persuade yourself that your body and the boundaries you set for intimacy are yours and yours alone. It doesn't matter who he is, your past, etc.

    You set the limits. You let people know NOW when it happens and if the feeling, the behavior, the circumstance is right for you.

    Anything less... you put yourself in your own "victim" box.

    • Freezing up in a situation like that is just as natural as fight or flight. Regardless of any boundaries I have, reacting the way I did is completely normal. Just because I didn't know how to react then and there because I didn't expect it, doesn't mean that I caused that situation and that I'm somehow held responsible for what he did.

    • Sorry, I didn't mean for my statement to seem unsympathetic to your situation. Yes, we all freeze up from time to time and I understand that. What I hope for you though is be in a place where you do not have to obsess over situations that are hypothetical. All that hair-splitting could have been replaced by telling your friend, i. e., : "I like you as a friend. When you touch my body like you were doing last night it was both inappropriate and not welcome. You were taking intimacies with my body and I let you do it. It's my fault for not stopping you then and there, however, I was struggling with concern that I would embarrass you. I am no longer struggling with this dilemma. You are still my friend. However, if you should touch me again like you did without my consent, consider our friendship over. Do you understand this?"

      If you want personal power, take responsibility, don't foist it off on him.

    • ... well, that was basically what I did tell him.

  • First of all someone who does "inappropriate" things to you isn't a "friend", so starting with the right premise will help arrive at a solution.
    So what would that simple solution be you ask?
    ... find some "friends" :)

    • I'm all for giving second chances, though. What he did wasn't ok, but it could have also been a hundred times worse. Also, considering that he took full responsibility and is now going to be more careful with his drinking in the future, I'm not willing to write him off just yet. Had he reacted differently though, or acted like a douchebag about it even when sober, I would have definitely reconsidered our friendship.

    • Good approach Ms Lumos.
      You certainly know the intimacies of the situation and relationship much better than do I.
      I would most gracefully yield to your wisdom and graciousness to your friend in this matter. :)

  • You brought me back to a time when I went through nearly the same situation. It was also in a club with a few friends including a "touchy-feely" friend. But it was just a regular night, not a special occasion. I also "froze" at some moments but also acted on it when I felt "enough was enough!" I was quite afraid because the guy was quite big. He got to the point where he raised my arms and licked my armpit while we all danced! I burst out of the dance floor and he, along with the rest in our group, followed me outside. I cried in anger and stomped my heel on his foot so hard that my heel broke. It appeared like he was going to retaliate but the others shoved him away. The night in the club abruptly ended. I was taken home by the other girls while he rode with the other guys. We let the situation cool off the whole day & night that followed. Later on, the other guys confronted him and got him to apologize to me. Since then, I simply avoided going out if he was part of the plan. I also haven't heard if he repeated his antics with others. I guess I learned something from what he did.

  • Once again, the comments are more telling than the actual experience you had (which, I can say with confidence has happened to just about every woman).

    It seems as though blue anons just really want to blame you for his actions. They don’t understand what it’s like to be in that situation.

    And the worst part is that they probably wouldn’t think anything was wrong if they had seen such an incident unfold in front of them in real life.

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