Having a fight with your girlfriend never feels good, and if you go to neutral and separate corners afterward, you can feel even more distant. Fortunately, you can take the opportunity to see a disagreement as an opportunity to do things differently. This can include working toward rekindling your relationship and getting your her back. Being tactful, respectful and vulnerable are the best approaches to winning back her heart.
Allow time for you both to calm down and think more clearly. Little can be accomplished when one or both of you is still upset or enraged after the fighting, so it’s important to let emotions settle. Each person is different in terms of how much time they need to calm down, so don’t assume that she is at the same point as you emotionally. Instead, allow her a reasonable amount of time such as a few days to a week, so that she can sort through her strong emotions and begin to see things more calmly. Then send her an email or text message asking for an opportunity to talk when she feels ready. Avoid pushing her to choose a day, time or location, which can cause additional arguing.
Apologize. An apology isn’t just the act of saying “I’m sorry.” It should include accepting responsibility for your role in the argument, a statement of regret and an explanation that points out what you will do to fix the situation or at least prevent it from occurring again. What an apology isn’t, explains author Beverly Engel in the online publication “How to Give a Meaningful Apology,” is a way of absolving you of what you've said or done. Keep in mind that the apology isn’t for you, it’s for her, and can make or break your opportunity to get her back.
Identify what factors or behaviors led to the fight and what you can do to reduce the risk of encountering them again. If your arguments tend to be centered around not spending enough of your free time with her, for example, it’s time to reconfigure your schedule. Change is necessary, but it should also be attainable, so dropping all of your friends in order to spend every waking moment with her isn’t a solution. If possible, sit down with her to determine an acceptable compromise that suits both of your needs. This approach also conveys to her that you are willing to make changes to improve your relationship.
Work on your own life and expect a measure of resistance from her when you ask her to come back to you. Spending time rehashing your fight or the relationship is a waste of energy and won’t help the situation. While you wait to contact her, spend that time on yourself. Enjoy your favorite activities and spend time with individuals in your life who provide emotional support. Recharge, distress and don’t spin your wheels worrying about what has happened or what will happen. Neither of these are in your control. Spending time on yourself makes you a better version of yourself, and a person who is happier and more emotionally available for your girlfriend, should she decide to start over with you.
Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.