I Want My Ex Girlfriend Back – The Anatomy of the Apology

Published: 15th January 2010
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"I have to apologize if I want my ex girlfriend back?" he says to me. "But . . ."

"It's not that hard," I tell him. "After all, dude, you did blow it."

"Yeah, I know . . ." he mumbles. "But . . ."

"No more buts!" I bluster at him. "Here is the who, why, when, what, and where of the apology. Lissenup!"

Who. This is obvious. Apologize to the woman you love, dude. No, not your mom. Your girlfriend. What isn't so obvious here is the collateral damage that may have been done. Are there others associated with your girlfriend who are due an apology? Her family members or friends? Apologizing to the people she cares about will mean a great deal to her. BUT, you apologize to HER FIRST. Don't forget that.

Why apologize? Because you blew it. If you want to show her you truly love and respect her, then you will apologize. Don't bury it and hope she'll forget. Apologizing clears the air and gives you a chance to start over. If you're thinking, "I want my ex girlfriend back, but she's the one who need to apologize," then you will never get anywhere. Never apologize as a sneaky way to try and get her to apologize. That's tacky and manipulative. You should apologize because you are sorry for what you did. Plain and simple.

When to apologize and when not to. There will be times when an apology will make it worse. Did you get into a bad situation? Maybe you have to make that situation right before you apologize. Correcting the consequences of your actions will show her you truly understand you did something wrong, and that you are taking responsibility for it. Sometimes an apology is not enough. You'll know it's time to approach her when you have done everything you can to make up for what you did.

What kind of apology? There are basically two concepts here that many people confuse. There is saying "I'm sorry," and saying, "Please forgive me." If you have cleared the air sufficiently, and things seem a bit smoothed over, you can say, "I'm sorry, I hope you'll forgive me." If you did something really beyond the pale, and you think she is not ready to forgive, then don't expect her to. Just tell her, "I'm really sorry for what happened." Don't ask for forgiveness in this case, not if she hasn't had time to process what's happened.

Where and how do you approach her? It depends entirely on your situation, but here's a few basics. Never call her at work or approach her in a large group of people to apologize! This is a very private thing. It may work out best to call her and ask if you can get together any place she likes. Let her know ahead of time you intend to apologize. This will give her the opening she needs to decide if she's ready to accept your apology.

So there we have our five whowhatitz. And there you are at the coffee shop, she has her double-shot non-fat short extra-hot latte with hazelnut and whipped cream between her hands, and you have a huge black coffee because that's all you could think of to order. What in the world do you say? Be sincere. Say only what you mean. Deliver your apology in the most straightforward manner. "I'm sorry. I know I blew it. I've taken steps to make sure this never happens again, and I've learned from it."

At this point she will do one of two things. Accept your apology or not. However, if she accepted your invitation to talk, she's unlikely to reject you. Your odds are good she will accept. Can you take this acceptance with good grace? Please don't jump up and shout "Whoo Hoo! Free mochas for everyone!" Just thank her with a smile on your face, and ask her if she'd like to go to dinner. But what if she doesn't accept? How do you take that with good grace? Listen carefully to everything she says. Those reasons why she is still angry will be your clues as to what you need to work on next. Stay quiet and accepting. Never blow up in her face. Never leave in a huff. Simply let her know you are sorry this is still hurting her, and ask if there is anything you can do to make it right. That's when you can leave with dignity, and begin to think about your next move.

"That's some great information about how to apologize if I want my ex girlfriend back," you think. "But now what do I do?" You need a plan. One that talks about how to apologize in greater detail and shows you how to put this relationship back together. Find out how it all works in this step-by-step action plan at http://www.relationshipteam.com.

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