28 Heartfelt Ways to Say You’re Sorry & Apologize to Someone You Love

Have you accidentally hurt someone you care about? Make a mistake? It’s time to learn how to apologize to someone you love and make things right.


Flowers and cards can say, “I’m sorry” but alone, they just don’t cut it when you are trying to give a sincere apology to the person you love. When we honestly apologize to someone, it is because we want forgiveness. We want to be let off the hook for whatever wrongdoing we’ve done, or hurt we’ve caused. But, if you want to make things right, you need to learn how to apologize to someone you love in the right way.

You can’t always receive the forgiveness you seek when you simply flop down a bouquet with a generic thank-you card. Apologies take effort, and you should take the time to formulate a genuine apology.

When you’ve made a relationship boo-boo, you’ll definitely need to make it up to your partner. Instead of laying the blame on him/her or pretending nothing’s wrong, start working on fixing the problem with the following ways of learning how to apologize to someone you love. 

How to apologize to someone you love with words

You can’t just whip out a peace offering without specifying why you’re sorry and what you want to do about it. Sometimes, the simplest way to apologize is by honestly expressing how you feel. Here are some phrases you can say *and you must mean!* to help you craft the perfect apology:

1. “I was wrong. I’m sorry.”

2. “I’m sorry for being so insensitive.”

3. “I wish I could take back what I did/said. How can I make it up to you?” 

4. “I’m not perfect, but I try my best. Please accept my apology.”

5. “You may not forgive me for what I’ve done, but I just want you to know that I’m sorry and I want to make everything all right again.”

Let your actions speak volumes when you want to say sorry

Words may occasionally be enough to get you back into your partner’s good graces. But just imagine the effect of your apology if you combine it with something sweet, creative, and memorable.

Here’s how to apologize to someone you love without relying on words alone.

1. A handwritten note on fancy paper
This one just never gets old. Using your own words *and not a Hallmark card*, tell your honey how sorry you are for what you did. If you’ve got enough space, you can highlight some of the ways you can make it up to him/her. You get plus points if you make your handwriting extra legible!

2. Leave the note somewhere your significant other will see
If your schedules don’t match, don’t worry, you can leave them a little surprise for when they wake up.

Leave your note on his/her nightstand, bathroom mirror, or even on the kitchen counter to make their day start off with a slightly lighter heart.

3. Write a list
Instead of writing long, verbose paragraphs of text, try using lists.

For example, you can make three separate lists like “The Things I Did to Piss You Off”, “The Things I Will Do to Make It Up to You”, and “The Reasons I Love You too Much to Let This Pass.”

4. A message in a bottle
If you know that your partner will be coming home tired, get out the bath salts and get a bath running! Add in a bottle with your handwritten note to float around in the tub. Who can resist an apology when it comes with a warm bubble bath? 

5. Apologize using a children’s book
So maybe a handwritten note isn’t for those who don’t have an inner Shakespeare. If that’s the case, you can use somebody else’s words as long as the sentiment is the same.

Children’s books are simple, sweet, and often funny – the perfect mix for tugging at your partner’s heartstrings.

6. Play an apology tune

Bring out your inner bard and craft a tune for your honey to hear. But in lieu of musical skills, you can refer back to classic songs. Like with using a children’s book, you’re using another person’s more poetic take on apologies, but that doesn’t make your meaning any less poignant and sincere.


7. Use food
If your honey’s a foodie, then the best way to their heart is through their taste buds. Order some takeout from his/her favorite restaurant and add in your apology within the package.

If your honey’s not a foodie, pizza with the toppings shaped into “I’m sorry” can work too! If you got your honey to go out on a date with you, then ask the restaurant if you can accommodate a request to add an “I’m Sorry” shaped squiggle to their cheesecake. 

8. Cook for them
If you’ve got some culinary skills, then now is the best time to use them!

Whip up your sweetheart’s favorite meal and make him/her breakfast in bed, a surprise lunch, or a romantic homemade dinner. Let’s face it: it’s hard to reject an apology with the smell of your favorite dish wafting in your home.

9. Clean up
Chores can often be the cause of friction between a couple. But they can lead to serious fights if you forget too often or if you’ve promised to do it but got too carried away with something else.

If your boo-boo is forgetting to clean up, then the first step to apologizing is by cleaning up more than what was expected. Add in a note that says something along the lines of “I’m sorry. Let me clean up my mess.” 

10. Attach a note to your pet and send it to them
The best way to get puppy-dog eyes is to use an actual puppy! Attach an apology note to their collar and send them over to your partner.

But if your dog isn’t particularly obedient, sometimes a photo can work too. This can also work with well-trained cats, parakeets, or even iguanas! Just make sure you use something sturdy and non-distracting, lest your pet think you’ve just attached a toy for him to play with.

11. Tinker around social media
This may sometimes be criticized by others as attention-whoring, but if you think only social media will get your lover to forgive you, then by all means, go for it!

You can use your Facebook profile by posting images of yourself in an apologetic stance or holding up an “I’m Sorry” sign. You can even escalate this to Twitter or Reddit and watch as it goes viral! 

12. Get their friends in on it
No, we’re not saying you should apologize through one of your partner’s friends. We’re saying you can ask for their help or advice in coming up with the best way to apologize.

For example, if you’re the showy type, you can ask their friends to lead your partner to the park after work where you’ll be ready with a bouquet and petals shaped into a heart. Who says big gestures should only be reserved for proposals? 

The 8 essential steps of apologizing to a lover

Now you know a few ways on how to apologize to someone you love, there are a few other things you need to bear in mind before you go in there and say you’re sorry. Bear these points in mind when righting a wrong.

1. Find out what exactly happened. Don’t guess what the issue is, ask your partner to clearly tell you what you said or did to hurt them.

2. If you are at fault in the situation, then you should take responsibility for your actions. Placing the blame elsewhere is immature and will set you back further, possibly risking your relationship.

3. You should prepare your apology, taking into account what you want to say and how you want to say it. Also, you should keep the delivery of your apology, such as the time and place, in mind.

4. Say sorry sincerely. If you’re not genuine, the apology will definitely fail and you will be back to square one.

5. Be grateful and thank the person for listening to you. Depending on what you’ve done, that could be more difficult than you understand.

6. Don’t assume you will be excused, and instead ask for forgiveness.

7. Remember to be patient. Sometimes, accepting an apology can take time, and your partner needs space to think about what comes next.

8. Follow through on your word. If, in your apology, you agree to do something, or stop doing something, make sure you honor those promises.


The 3 differing degrees of apologies

Now, while the points above are the fundamental steps to creating a meaningful apology, you also need to take into consideration the differing degrees of an apology. Bear this in mind when figuring out how to apologize to someone you love.

1. The simple apology
The first degree of apology is for those small things that we could just let pass by without any apology at all.

But, if you truly love your partner, you will want to acknowledge even the smallest wrongdoing, and give a short but sweet apology to let them know you care.

Your partner will be thankful that you are concerned with all of their wants and needs, and have taken the time to address why they are upset.

2. The nice gesture apology
No one is perfect, and sometimes, even the most organized person can forget an important date, event, or responsibility.

A good gesture apology doesn’t need to be too big, but it can’t be too small either. It should be just enough to let your partner know you are truly sorry.

3. The wholehearted apology
The third degree of apology is for those of us that have really messed something up big time. This apology isn’t for forgetting to call, or mixing up a birthday. It is in response to something that could cause serious relationship turmoil. 

The wholehearted apology is somewhat less concerned with what you do, or what gifts you bear, and more about what you say, and how you follow up.

Imagine you have done something you cannot take back, and many consider a deal-breaker – you’ve cheated on your partner.

No amounts of flowers or chocolates are going to offer your partner the apology they need if monogamy was something you promised each other in your relationship.

The wholehearted apology thus should begin with some deep reflection on why you are in this situation in the first place, and where to go next. Even if you’ve done something so big that it might mean the end of your relationship, you still need to offer a well thought-out, wholehearted apology.

You need to think of exactly what it is that you want to say, and how you want to say it. You need to be honest, and insightful. Don’t say things that are typical, and what your partner is expecting. Say the truth, even if it sucks.

Wholehearted apologies are the hardest, because sometimes, you won’t be forgiven. The best that you can do is to offer your sincere regret, uphold the promises you made after the apology, and try to learn from your mistakes.

After all, that’s one of the most important lessons when learning how to apologize to someone you love.

After the apology

Of course, getting your partner to accept your apology is just the first step. You also have to follow it up with genuine remorse and restitution.

There are some apologies that are merely accepted, but not necessarily forgiven. That usually happens when they acknowledge your apology and start to be more open, but their hearts aren’t completely ready to really forgive you. 

This is the case when what you did really hurt your partner so they need time to heal and learn to trust you again. These situations call for more than just flashy acts or sweet little gestures. They call for real commitment and consistent action to remedy your wrongdoing.

Don’t just assume that the journey is over once you learn how to apologize to someone you love; perhaps they need time to think it over.

On the brighter side, smaller transgressions like forgetting to do some chores, getting a virus in your partner’s computer or forgetting to take the dog out can be remedied by just undoing the wrong you did or doing what you forgot to do.

The sweet gestures, the notes, and little surprises are just an added touch to show that you really care about making things okay again. 

Apologizing in love

While these essential steps, and different degrees of “I’m sorry” can help you out if you’ve made a mistake in love and need to apologize, they are not fail-proof.

Not all things can be forgiven. If you’ve done something truly menacing or cruel that could likely have a lasting impact on a relationship, regardless if an apology is given or not, forgiveness might be hard to come by.

It’s best to steer clear of such a situation from the beginning, and instead be honest and trustworthy throughout your relationship. Then you won’t need to do so much apologizing.

Use these ways to learn how to apologize to someone you love. We hope these tips help you get your partner to forgive you for what you’ve done. Good luck!