Most relationships have their ups and downs, and if you're the one who has caused a rift, it's important that you make amends as soon as you can. If you have managed to hurt your girlfriend, you're probably feeling terrible about it -- but if you can earn her forgiveness, chances are that you'll both feel better about the situation. There are several things you can say and do to make amends, and even make the bond between you better.

Say Sorry

You must begin an apology by genuinely acknowledging what you have done wrong, and how much you have hurt your girlfriend, according to Sam Margulies, director of the Institute for Dispute Resolution at Seton Hall Law School. For a girl to forgive you, you must take responsibility for hurting her feelings, express remorse and ask what you can do to make things right, Margulies suggests. Saying "I was wrong. I am sorry that I hurt you. What can I do to make it up to you?" is a good way of starting making amends.

Buy Her a Gift

Tokens of reconciliation make it easier for people to forgive those who have done them wrong, as shown by research published in the Journal of Personality. Receiving gifts as material symbols of remorse makes people feel more agreeable towards you, revealed the 2012 study, carried out by Emily A. Impett of the University of Toronto and fellow researchers. A bunch of flowers, with a heartfelt note of apology attached, could put your girlfriend in a more forgiving mood. A box of chocolates or a cuddly toy are other good heartwarming gifts.

Rebuild the Trust

In close relationships, trust can be shattered if you hurt the other person, and it may take some time to rebuild. Promise your girlfriend that you will do everything within your power to never hurt her again, giving specific examples of how you will take steps to avoid it. You can re-establish unity as a couple by talking about "we" rather than "me," according to the Conflict Information Consortium at the University of Colorado. Let your girlfriend know that you will prioritize your relationship, and not make decisions without considering how it might effect both of you.

Be a Better Boyfriend

Your girlfriend may feel more upset at the overall pattern of how you treat her than she is over the specific offense. To genuinely make amends, you must commit to treating your girlfriend with love and respect on a daily basis. Speak to her affectionately every day, telling her how much she means to you. Find ways of building positive experiences into your relationship. Focusing on fun, growth, and development leads to happier relationships, so encourage her ambitions and support her dreams and goals.