It’s OK to make a sincere apology to your boyfriend for a mistake you made. It’s not OK to pretend that your actions or words weren’t hurtful and to mandate that your boyfriend ignore them. Your desire to apologize to him demonstrates that you value the relationship; expressing a sincere apology in a letter can repair some of the damage that resulted from your hurtful behavior. Write a letter that will encourage your boyfriend to feel better about you and about the relationship.

The First Step Is the Biggest

You take the first step when you acknowledge that your actions hurt your relationship and you recognize that taking responsibility for your actions can be challenging. In other words, apologizing is not for weaklings. It takes guts. By admitting that you need to apologize, you are exhibiting commitment to your relationship. By saying “I’m sorry,” you demonstrate strong character, notes psychologist Aaron Lazare in the Psychology Today article “Go Ahead, Say You’re Sorry.”

Mean What You Say

Expressing your apology with sincerity increases the likelihood that it will be accepted, says psychologist John Grohol in the Psych Central article “How to Make an Adept, Sincere Apology.” If communicating sincerity to your boyfriend is your goal, steer clear of “half-baked” apologies. For example, don’t state in your letter, “I’m really sorry you took it the wrong way when I talked to that guy after the game,” or “I didn’t mean to make you mad when I gave the bracelet you gave me to my sister.” Instead, clearly express that your actions were wrong and own them.

Spell It Out

Make sure that your letter leaves no doubt about why you are apologizing. For example, make the apology specific by saying, “I know that standing you up was hurtful and wrong. I should have met you as promised, and there was no excuse for disappointing you. Please forgive me.” Expressing that you know your boyfriend was looking forward to sharing the event with you communicates that you understand why your actions hurt him and damaged your relationship.

Don't List Your Transgressions

You may feel anxious about mending your relationship with your boyfriend. It’s normal to want to make amends and regain his trust. Perhaps you feel regret for some other wrongs that you believe should be righted. However, this is not the time to apologize for every word and deed that may have wounded your boyfriend in the past. Focus your attention and apology on the current issue, and offer your promise that this mistake won’t reoccur, recommends Grohol.