You may have taken your boyfriend for granted after becoming more relaxed in your relationship, or perhaps new demands at school and home required too much of your time and attention. Regardless of why it occurred, no one likes to be taken for granted, and your boyfriend may feel neglected, confused and angry. A sincere apology can help to get your relationship back on track and demonstrate to your boyfriend that you value him.
Start With Acknowledging the Problem
When you acknowledge that you have taken your boyfriend for granted, you have taken a big step. Taking him for granted isn’t OK, but you’re not alone. Taking a partner for granted is a common problem in relationships, according to psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne in the "Psychology Today" article, “The 9 Most Common Relationship Mistakes.” The good news is that you recognize the existence of a problem that has damaged your relationship. Taking responsibility for a problem helps you to understand how your actions have influenced your boyfriend’s behavior and readies you to make amends.
How and When
It matters how and when you apologize to your boyfriend. If he expresses feelings of anger about being taken for granted, give him a day or two to cool down, recommends psychologist John Grohol in the PsychCentral article, “How to Make a Sincere Apology.” Waiting longer than a couple of days may create additional problems if your boyfriend interprets your silence as indifference to the problem. Even if you and your boyfriend regularly stay in touch through texting, resist the temptation to apologize through a text message. Apologize in person.
Be Specific With Your Apology
When you offer an apology to your boyfriend, be sure to tell him that you are responsible for taking him for granted, and that you understand why your behavior was hurtful. For example, you may say, “I am sorry that I haven’t devoted the time and attention to our relationship that your deserve. I hurt your feelings and I don’t blame you for feeling angry.” Give your boyfriend an opportunity to respond. He may or may not respond as you hope; he may need to express some feelings of frustration.
Differences for the Future
A sincere apology includes strategies for making things better in the future. Discuss the changes you are making to ensure that he will not be taken for granted again. For example, tell him that you will not ignore his text messages and calls, or cancel a date when a girlfriend calls to suggest a shopping venture with her. Ask your boyfriend for feedback. Talking about how you plan to address the problems builds reassurance that you will not repeat the same relationship mistakes.
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