As Sir Elton John sang it best, sorry seems to be the hardest word. But a sign of growing up and maturing is having the self-awareness to realize when it's time to make an apology. It's all too easy to clam up when you've got a loved one staring into your eyes. Instead, you might find it easier to say exactly what you mean with an apology letter to your girlfriend.
Never written one before? We've got all the tips you might need and a few example letters to get you started.
6 Tips for Writing a Heartfelt Apology Letter to Your Girlfriend
You don't have to be well read or highly educated to be able to write a heartfelt apology letter to your girlfriend. Knowing niche grammar rules isn't going to make the sentiments you're expressing any more genuine. But there are a few guiding principles for writing an apology letter to your partner that you should take heed of.
1. Say It, Don't Think It
The hardest part of writing an apology letter is actually writing the thing. No matter how sorry you feel, or how much regret you have over your behavior or things you said, your girlfriend won't know unless you use your words and tell her and communicate. So, the most important part of writing an apology letter is saying everything you feel. Don't leave anything up to interpretation. Clarity is key when it comes to forgiveness.
2. Be Authentic to Your Voice and Words
You don't need to throw in thous and yons just to give your letter more authority. Your girlfriend fell in love with you being you, and your letter needs to reflect that. Make sure you're using your own voice and phrases to apologize, especially if you're getting advice from someone else. Take everything and put it in the letter in your own words.
3. Acknowledge Her Feelings
Early in your letter, you should acknowledge her feelings. Your girlfriend needs to know that you're not just writing this letter because you're tired of getting the silent treatment. Show her that you're not only regretful of your actions because of their consequences, but that you can see why she's upset in the first place. Validating your partner is important, and it's vital that you explicitly state it in your letter.
4. Focus on Your Mistakes, Not Hers
Deflecting isn't a cute look, so you don't need to fill up your letter with "and I only said that because you said…" or "but I didn't get upset when you did this…" Instead, focus on your own behavior, actions or words, that led to this situation. Use the letter to reflect on your mistakes, not focus on theirs.
5. End it With a Commitment to Change
A great way to end an apology letter to your girlfriend is with a commitment to changing your behavior. Saying that you're sorry might soothe some of the sting of your past choices, but sorry isn't enough, and it's not going to move your relationship into a healthier place.
Give them a concrete example of ways you're going to improve on your mistakes, and they'll be hard pressed not to accept your apology.
6. Don't Use it to Keep Score
Lastly, when you find yourself writing an apology letter, don't spend the entire time thinking about how this is another point in your 'good partner' book. The purpose of writing this isn't to use it later to keep score on how well you've treated your girlfriend. Instead, it's meant to let you think about your words and only offer exactly what you mean.
Remember that your girlfriend may not be ready to forgive you or talk about the situation right away. Give her some space and let her process.
Apology Letter Examples You Can Expand On
There's nothing like an emotionally charged situation to give you writer's block. If you're struggling to get all of those feelings you have inside onto the paper, try using one of these example letters as a jumping off point.
General Apology Letter for Your Girlfriend
When you're in a relationship, you spend a lot of time together and you might say or do something less than thoughtful. Use this as a basic template for something you've done that has hurt her feelings or upset her or to apologize and make up after a fight.
Hi [Name or Nickname],
I love that we can talk about anything and do everything with each other. I know that when I [restate what you said or did] it really hurt your feelings. You have every right to be upset. It wasn't right, and I am so sorry I wasn't more thoughtful with my [words/actions/choices].
I plan to work on my [name the issue you'll work on or a specific action you'll take to improve - communication skills/tone of voice/being present/listening/paying attention to her, or anything else you can identify] to be a better partner to you. You mean everything to me and I'm sorry I hurt you. I'd like to take you out to [dinner/ice cream/coffee] so we can talk. Please forgive me - and let's work through this together.
When writing an apology note to your girlfriend, think about her love language. What will make her really feel loved and know you're truly sorry? Express your feelings in a way that resonates with how she feels most loved.
Apology Letter for Betraying Their Trust
Use this letter if you've done something to betray your partner's trust.
I know yesterday went less than spectacular, and I know I shouldn't have jumped in to debate with your feelings. I've had some time to think about it, and you're absolutely right. If I was in your position and my partner did something like that, I'd be extremely upset. Given the circumstances, I think you've handled it really well.
I know this isn't something we can fix overnight, but I need you to know how sorry I am for betraying your trust. I never intended to lose something so important to me, but I'm committed to working hard to earn it back. But I understand if you're still angry with me and want some space. Let me know when you're ready and we can talk more about this face-to-face.
Apology Letter for Lying
You can use this letter to apologize for lying to your girlfriend about something.
Dear [Their Name],
I won't try to justify how I lied to you because you're right, it's absolutely unacceptable. There's no way we can build a strong foundation for trusting each other if one of us isn't being honest.
Although this isn't a justification, I want you to understand that I only lied because I couldn't face hurting you, and I knew telling you the truth would. But, in sparing your feelings then, I only prolonged hurting them 'til now. Please give me the chance to make it up to you in whatever way you need.
Apology Letter for Forgetting Something Important
Use this letter to apologize for forgetting something important.
I made a huge bungle of things and I can't tell you how sorry I am for forgetting. No matter how busy things get, you're always remembering the important stuff for me, so I can see how after you put in so much effort, it really hurt to not have that reciprocated.
There's really no excuse for it slipping my mind, but I promise that I'm going to be better in the future. I do take your things as seriously as mine, and I need to be better at showing that.
All my love,
An Apology Can Go a Long Way
There's no doubt in your girlfriend's mind that you feel sorry, but she needs to know that your feelings aren't out of self-interest but rather in real regret over contributing to this situation in the way that you have. From small slights to massive mistakes, an apology letter to your girlfriend can go a long way in repairing your relationship.