Acknowledging that you have taken your boyfriend for granted is the first important step toward apologizing to him for your behavior. If you say sorry purely to end a disagreement or put your boyfriend in a better mood, it won't do anything to repair your relationship. A genuine apology should show regret, take responsibility and commit to making amends, says Beverly Engel in the article, "How to Give a Meaningful Apology” for the UMass Amherst Family Business Center.
Put Your Pride to One Side
It can be difficult to say sorry to a partner, especially if you believe that he has behaved unreasonably too. However, it's wrong to think that apologizing makes you appear weak or desperate, or amounts to an admission that you are a bad person, says licensed psychologist Guy Winch in the article, "Why Some People Refuse to Apologize" in "Psychology Today." A genuine apology shows strength of character, can be cathartic and may result in a closer bond with your boyfriend.
It may be tempting to apologize to your boyfriend by text or email but your apology will be more meaningful if you do it in person, says advice columnist Slash Coleman in the article, "10 Ways to Apologize Appropriately" in "Psychology Today." Remember what you are saying sorry for -- taking your boyfriend for granted. Show how much you care for him and value your relationship by making the effort to speak to him face-to-face, no matter how busy you are.
Show Regret and Empathy
Your apology should convey to your boyfriend how much you regret taking him for granted and acknowledge the damage your behavior caused. Keep it simple, but heartfelt. You may say something like, "I'm really sorry I took you for granted" or "I'm so sorry for acting as if I don't appreciate you."
Perhaps you took your boyfriend for granted because you were too stressed about work to give your relationship the time and attention it deserved. Don't be tempted to make excuses for your behavior, or blame someone else for the problem, such as if you were to say: "My boss has been putting so much pressure on me recently that I haven't had time to think about anything else." If your boyfriend thinks you are trying to justify your actions, he may not believe you are genuinely sorry and this may make matters worse. Don't forget that the only reason for your apology should be a desire to make amends, say relationship experts Linda Bloom and Charlie Bloom in the article, "Read This Before You Apologize to Her (or Him)" for "Psychology Today."
Learn From Your Mistakes
Perhaps the most important part of your apology is an assurance that you have learnt a lesson and will try your hardest not to take your boyfriend for granted again. Your boyfriend needs to believe that you are committed to treating him with love and respect in the future. Say something like "I'm so sorry I took you for granted. I'm going to set aside time to catch up with you every evening."
C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."