Wedding Woes

Don't say anything.

Dear Prudence,

I graduated from high school in 1999, and over the past few years, something has been chewing at me: I was a 16-year-old boy, and she was a 17-year-old girl. Occasionally, we would hang out and have a few warm beers and get a bit frisky—hand stuff, mostly PG-13. “Becky” was always an active and willing participant. If she ever sent any vibes or reluctance, I pulled back the reins. That being said, I clearly initiated a majority of the encounters. I’m afraid that I may have been overzealous at times, initiating sessions more than she would have initiated them herself. Like I said, I’m pretty sure that she was always down and she never felt cornered or pressured, but the #MeToo movement has encouraged me to reexamine these moments. Becky and I moved to different sides of the country, and we see each other every five years or so. There is no mention of our past relationship when we see each other. My issue is, if I decide to apologize, I don’t want to sound like a creeper by bringing up 20-year-old stuff to a married woman. Do I say anything?

— I Was a Teenage Horndog

Re: Don't say anything.

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I wouldn’t. You’re assuming she didn’t want the advances but you don’t really know. Just let this one go. 

  • Reevaluation of past behavior does not mean you need to work it out on anyone else.  You've maintained a friendly relationship where your past has remained in the past and she's never indicated in any follow-up interactions that she's got an issue with you, so don't make it weird.  It's not on her to validate that everything was 'OK'. 

    If you have kids or close relationships with nieces or nephews (or a relationship like that), then model correct behaviors now, teach about consent, and ensure they know better to do better.  That's how you do the 'right' thing. 
  • Don’t make it weird. Reaching out to her would be super weird. If you thought you did something wrong then that’s a different story, but reaching out and saying “Umm hey did I assault you when we were teenagers” puts a lot of work on her to reassure you about your past behavior. That’s not her responsibility. 
  • I think it's great the LW is examining his past behavior, to make sure he did the right things.  I think everyone can benefit from that kind of self reflection (in general) to make the world a better place.

    But it sounds like he has given this a lot of thought and doesn't think he did anything wrong or pressuring.  He needs to let this go and stop torturing himself!  He and Becky are still casual friends and see each other very few years or so, I'm guessing when she is in town.  So it doesn't sound like Becky feels harmed by what they did as teenagers either.

    It would just be a really weird and awkward conversation that doesn't have much purpose.
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