Irene S. Levine, Ph.D.

Irene S Levine Ph.D.

The Friendship Doctor

An Accidental Kiss Between Friends: Can it be forgiven?

An "accidental kiss" suggests a lapse in judgment.

Posted Dec 14, 2011


Dear Irene,

Two of my best friends, Charles and Sunny, started dating each other. Sunny went away for about four months, and they broke up just because of how long she would be away. But Charles was under the impression that they were still together because Sunny was telling people overseas that they were. 

Charles and I accidentally kissed one night when we were very intoxicated. We were both expecting Sunny to be extremely mad. When she returned and I told her, she wasn't mad at all because she started dating a guy while she was away. So, in a way, she was relieved. 

About three months later, Charles and I kissed again, and this was while Sunny was still dating the guy she met overseas. To Charles and me, it didn't seem like a big deal, because to us, she was over him and with a new guy, which broke Charles's heart.

She found out about us from other friends. She didn't talk to me for about a week, and we finally talked and she said she needed a "break" from our friendship and some space. To me, I am wondering if she is mad that Charles and I kissed or is it because she found out from our other friends instead of me?

How much space should I give her? Should I say nothing for the entire time she needs space or should I call her saying I am sorry, and want to meet up? Should I wait for her to contact me or should I contact her? When is too soon or too late?

Signed, Amy



Dear Amy,

I don't quite understand the very ambiguous, on and off again relationship between your two friends. If Charles had the impression that he was still involved with Sunny after she left, "accidentally" kissing you suggests a lapse in judgment. If you expected Sunny to be mad, it seems like your involvement with your best friend's boyfriend was inappropriate in your eyes, too. 

It may be that Sunny was humiliated and wanted to save face when she learned what had happened. Instead of showing how hurt she was that her two best friends betrayed her, she hid (or denied) her emotions and led you both to believe that it was no big deal. Because you owned up to the transgression, it may have made it a bit easier for her to get over it. 

When this happened a second time, it probably hit a raw nerve. If you have no serious interest in a romantic involvement with Charles, I wonder why you would jeopardize your friendship with both best friends for a dalliance like you did. 

Before you contact Sunny, I think you need to get a grip on your own behavior and figure out what was going on. What kind of relationship do you have or want to have with Charles? Once you do, maybe you can explain it to Sunny. Unfortunately, I'm somewhat doubtful about the future of this friendship.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene

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