Good Things to Do for Your Girlfriend When You Have Messed Up

He wants you to know that he messed up and he's sorry.
... Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

At some point, everyone must make amends. Your road back begins with a sincere apology that your girlfriend might or might not accept. If she is open to your apology, you can work out actions that will inspire her to take you back. Acts of kindness and gestures that make her smile could help her forgive you.

1 Apologies Matter

A sincere apology begins with taking full responsibility for your actions, writes psychologist John Grohol in “How to Make an Adept, Sincere Apology” on the Psych Central website. Be specific about your misdeed. Express remorse for your actions and assure her that you won’t repeat the mistake. If you aren’t truly sorry, don’t apologize or you will make the situation worse. Don’t use “if” in the apology. For example, “I’m sorry if I hurt you,” or “I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt.” This minimizes your responsibility and communicates that she is partially to blame.

2 Make It Right

Try to correct the situation. If you broke something, replace or repair it. While flowers and chocolates might be her favorite gifts, using that to soften her is a cheap way to get beyond the misdeed. If you hurt your girlfriend’s feelings, restore her dignity, suggests sociologist Martha Beck in “The Right Way to Apologize” for Say that you are sorry. "I shouldn’t have said that. I’m sincerely sorry I hurt you.” Put it in writing on a pretty card so she sees that you understand.

3 Reconnect With Her

A remorseful apology will help you reconnect with your girlfriend, according to mediator Sam Margulies in “How to Apologize to a Woman” for Psychology Today. If your girlfriend cares about the relationship, she will see reconnecting as a positive step. Offer to take her to the movie she’s dying to see, buy her lunch at her favorite eatery or do something she wants to do.

4 Get Her Input

You might have no idea how make amends, so ask her for suggestions, advises Margulies. Say, “I want to make this right, but I don’t know how. What can I do to make this right and gain your forgiveness?” Listen to her and find common ground. Follow through on your promises. If she won’t forgive you, accept that and move on. Learn from the mistake and don’t repeat it.

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.