Relationships 101:
How to Say You're Sorry

by Bonnie Burton

So you goofed up. You were supposed to meet him after soccer practice for pizza, but the date totally slipped your mind and you went music shopping at the mall with your friends. Or maybe you insulted the poor guy by telling him that his new band name "The Tongue Depressors" was totally stupid.

Either way, you hurt your honey's feelings and now you better remedy the situation before it turns into one of those grudges you'll never shake.

Saying you're sorry isn't the easiest thing to do, so here are a few tips on how to apologize to the same guy who brings you flowers when you're sick.

Be sincere.
Nothing adds more fuel to the fire then an insincere apology. Saying you're sorry with a shrug of the shoulders and a cold tone is just going to show how much you don't care about his feelings. How would you like it if he stood you up on a date and then gave you an apology that sounded more like a passing thought than a remorseful confession? You don't have to beg and grovel, just tell him you're sorry and mean it.

Walk the talk.
Sometimes saying you're sorry just isn't going to cut it. Show him you're sorry instead of just saying it. Surprise him with a box of his favorite donuts while he's studying for an exam. If he sees that you're genuinely upset because of your blunder and that you're trying to win back his smile, he might be more apt to let you off the hook. However, this doesn't mean you can buy his forgiveness. So don't kiss his best friend then buy him a Sonic Youth CD as some kind of forgiveness trade.

Don't do it again.
If you apologize and say that you won't make the same mistake again - then don't. If he's mad at you for being three hours late for a date, don't be late again. If you don't think you can't stop yourself from doing it again, don't bother promising him you won't. Making empty promises as a way to gain back his trust just isn't cool.

Make your apology mean something.
Apologize for things that actually are your fault. Saying you're sorry every time the weather ruins your picnic or when he gets the flu is silly and annoying. The more you say you're sorry for the little things beyond your control, the less importance those words will have when you really do screw up big-time.

Nobody has to be the winner.
Saying you're sorry doesn't mean you lose some sort of power in the relationship. It means you messed up and now you want to address it, ask for forgiveness and then move on. Your boyfriend isn't going to think you're weak if you admit once in a while that you're wrong. People who always have to be right aren't seen as strong individuals. In fact, they're mostly seen as stubborn, bitter people. Be the bigger person and fess up when you're wrong, wrong, wrong.

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