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An apology letter to girlfriend might not be your usual way of communicating with your partner, especially since you could easily shoot her a text or email. Sometimes it takes something more substantial and detailed–like a letter, to say how truly sorry you are.
A letter gives you a chance to lay bare your thoughts and feelings concerning what has happened. You’re able to validate any ill feelings your girlfriend might be experiencing regarding your conduct. There’s also a chance to take responsibility for your role in what went wrong.
Take it as an opportunity to explain how you’ll interact with your girlfriend in the future to ensure you have a healthy and mutually-rewarding relationship. Overall, apologizing opens up the doors to communication and allows you to reconnect with your girl pal.
I’m guessing you’ve never written an apology letter, or you have but need fresh ideas on how to structure it. I’ve got you. We’ll explore what it means to apologize, why it’s hard to do sometimes, and when is the right time to send a letter.
I’ve included a sample letter and will guide you through a detailed, step-by-step process (with examples) to writing a powerful apology that can restore your relationship.
What Is an Apology?
An apology is a statement said orally or in writing to acknowledge or admit a wrong, mistake, or failure to do something. The statement is usually accompanied by an expression of regret and an oath to avoid similar conduct in the future.
Some apologizers throw in a please-forgive-me part. You may or may not wish to ask for forgiveness. I suppose it depends on the nature and severity of the wrongdoing.
However, apologies that are sincere and heartfelt tend to make a greater impact. I would like for you to keep that in mind once we begin exploring the steps for preparing your letter.
What Is a Sincere Apology?
A sincere apology is one that acknowledges what you’ve done wrong. In making it, you should express regret, e.g., “I regret my decision.”
You can go on to say how the mistake was a learning and growth opportunity for you. At no point should your words indicate you’re making an excuse or trying to justify what went wrong.
Keep the focus on your behavior. Do not shift it to what the other person did. If you do, that’s nothing more than a deflection and intention to shift the blame to your BFF.
The onus is on her to recognize and take accountability for her role (if any) in what transpired.
Here are two acceptable examples of the proper way to acknowledge the wrong.
Here are a few examples of what’s NOT a proper apology.
There are other things a true apology should and shouldn’t include, which you will read as you go over how to pen a touching apology to girlfriend.
Why Is It So Hard to Apologize Sometimes?
Ego and pride can make something as simple as saying “I’m sorry for my action and how it affected you” much more difficult to do. Arrogant or narcissistic people usually don’t like apologizing. Their fragile egos cannot withstand admitting they were wrong.
For some people, saying sorry makes them feel inferior or powerless.
Others would rather not acknowledge their misstep to avoid feeling ashamed or guilty. You may feel apologizing will cause the other person to think you’re solely responsible for the problem.
When to Send a Girlfriend Apology Letter
An act that hurts one person may not hurt another person. One person may expect an apology or repentance, while another may not. Usually, the individual’s personality type and core values influence how they react. You’ll have to judge each situation on a case-by-case basis to determine what conduct, on your part, warrants an apology.
An apology letter to girlfriend may be warranted in cases of a terrible wrong or if you feel you’re best able to get your thoughts across using that method of communication. Here are some example situations that may require writing a letter:
Remember, you can offer an apology even if your action was unintentional. Timing is also important, in terms of reaching an amicable solution. The sooner you attempt to make amends, the sooner your relationship can get back on track without ill feelings or resentment on both sides.
A Step-by-Step Approach to Writing an Impressive Apology
Sometimes saying you’re sorry just isn’t appropriate or enough. The situation might be so dire, it calls for a formal apology. For example, causing your girlfriend to lose her job. You may, however, find yourself at loss as to how to begin penning the letter, especially if you haven’t written one before.
A convincing apology should have these six (6) primary elements:
- Acknowledge the mistake or wrongdoing
- Recognize the effect of your conduct and provide validation
- Apologize for the mistake or wrongdoing
- Show a willingness to accept the consequences of your action
- Share how you intend to resolve the issue/fix the problem
- Ask for forgiveness
By following the outline above and the guide below, you will end up with a letter that could reestablish trust in the relationship.
STEP 1. Acknowledge Your Mistake
Begin your apology by letting your girlfriend know you’re aware that you did something wrong. For example, if you lost some of value that she lent you (maybe a record her dad gave her as a kid), say,
“I’m aware I made a terrible mistake by not taking good care of the record you lent me.”
Starting by acknowledging your mistake lets your girlfriend know right away what the letter is all about. Straight away, you’re able to disarm her and get her interested in what’s written in the rest of the letter.
Further, accepting that you erred shows you’re willing to take ownership of the offensive conduct. The acknowledgment at the outset conveys sincerity and could make her more open to resolving the problem and offering forgiveness.
STEP 2. Recognize the Effect of Your Conduct
Not all of us have the emotional intelligence or self-awareness to see the effects our behavior has on others, whether intentional or not. As such, it’s vital to take the opportunity to recognize the impact your slip-up has had on your gal pal. She might be feeling sad, angry, disappointed, or distrustful.
Remember to validate her feelings in the process. You could say something to this effect:
“I realized how upset and disappointed you are over my lack of care for a record that had such sentimental meaning for you. I would be upset, too, if someone did that to me. So, yes, you have every right to feel that way.”
People feel good when you recognize they are humans with feelings just like you. You’re also demonstrating empathy by showing you understand why your girlfriend feels that way.
STEP 3. Apologize for Your Mistake
Go right into your apology in the next paragraph. Consider formulating it like this.
“This brings me to the most important reason for my letter, which is to sincerely apologize for how I acted. [Anne] I’m sorry for losing the record you trusted me with. I should have taken greater care to keep it safe, but I didn’t, and I know I failed you.”
According to VeryWellMind, “Apologizing re-establishes dignity for those you hurt.” Your girlfriend will likely feel a lot better knowing that you value how she feels and even took the time to write her a traditional letter.
Keep the focus on your action only. Do not introduce the word “BUT” right after you said what you’re sorry for. “But” automatically voids the apology. What you say next could also come across as shifting the blame to her.
Be careful not to bring up your girlfriend’s prior actions, reactions, or responses in order to defend yourself, criticize her, or justify what happened.
STEP 4. Show a Willingness to Accept the Consequences
You’re doing great thus far, having arrived at the climax of your letter by making a clear and unequivocal apology. Now it’s time to take things to the next level by showing your girlfriend you understand there could be repercussions and are willing to accept them.
Remember to express regret for the consequences your girlfriend had to face as a result of your negligence.
Here’s what you could write:
“By losing the record, I cheated you out of an opportunity to ever listen to it again. I’ve also caused you a financial loss, which I’m sure you don’t put as high of a price on as the sentimentality. I want you to know I take full responsibility for my action and accept the consequences.”
Your willingness to face the consequences of your action shows integrity and humility. It further signals how sincerely sorry you are. There’s also a level of reassurance you would take greater care of your girlfriend’s belongings if she were to trust you again with a personal item of hers.
STEP 5. Say How You Intend to Resolve the Issue
In the next paragraph of the letter, turn your attention to the way you intend to fix the problem or improve the situation. This is huge since many people say sorry and leave it right there. They don’t take accountability for leaving you less off, whether financially or otherwise.
Continue the letter by reassuring your girlfriend you’re willing to do everything within reason to make amends and restore trust.
In this case, the example scenario is losing her record. Remind her you’re aware there may be a cost attached and that you have no problem paying her back, or finding a replacement to ease the pain… perhaps making new memories together moving forward.
You could put it this way:
“I know I’ve caused you an emotional and financial loss and I’m willing to repay you. I’ve been searching online for a replacement. I’ve even spoken with your dad to express my sincere apology. Whatever it takes to fix this, I’ll do for you.”
Coming prepared with an action plan to resolve the issue shows your BFF you put serious thought into finding a way forward.
STEP 6. Ask for Forgiveness
End your apology letter to your girlfriend by asking her to forgive you. Keep it short and to the point, but be sure to let her know you’re open to suggestions on how to move forward.
Here’s an example of what you can say:
“Once again, I am truly sorry. I assure you this won’t happen again. I hope you accept my apology and can find it in your heart to forgive me. I value what we have and am willing to take any further step you think might help bring a final resolution.
It's now time to deliver your letter!
Once you’ve successfully penned your thoughts, read it over to ensure you used the right words and are sending the message you intend. A good rule of thumb is to put yourself in your girlfriend’s shoes to see how you would receive the information. Make any necessary adjustments then arrange to deliver or mail the note.
Sample Apology Letter to Girlfriend
I know you’re really mad at me right now and don’t want to hear from me, but I hope you’ll hear me out.
You trusted me enough to lend me a record that holds great value in your heart. Losing it is totally my fault. I should have taken greater care of where I placed it, as promised. I want you to know that you have every right to be angry at me.
I’m truly sorry for losing the record by not acting responsibly. I know I failed you. Please know that I’m willing to replace or repay you for the cost as soon as you let me know which option you prefer. Or if there is someone other way to right this wrong, let me know. I’ll do it for you.
I’m also taking this opportunity to ask you to accept my apology and forgive me in your own time. If you decide to trust me again with your personal belongings, I want to reassure you that I will never let this happen again.
Thank you for reading the entire letter. I hope to hear from you soon.
Final Thoughts on Apology Letter to Girlfriend
Every once in a while we screw up so terribly in our relationships that writing a traditional letter might be the most effective way to make things right. You may have to ‘put pride aside’ and ‘eat humble pie.’ It’s worth it!
By apologizing in a formal way, you show you’re serious about taking responsibility for your mistake and willing to take steps to make amends.
Both you and your girlfriend will benefit in the end and can continue your courtship without any hard feelings.
Want to strengthen your relationship and avoid the need for apologies in the future? Read our piece on 15 Best Trust Building Exercises All Couples Should Try.