Dates rarely go as planned, we are humans and as humans we make mistakes. Reflecting on those mistakes and having empathy for our dates is extremely important to developing a long-term foundation.
You are not expected to apologize for being yourself and for everything you do. Shit happens and sometimes things are out of our control.
However, there are circumstances when it is important to apologize and most of those reasons have to do with situations where we are in control of how we treat our date.
Do you know when to apologize?
Here are some examples of when you should apologize:
- Being late for a date. Whether it is directly your fault or not, it is respectful to let your date know you are sorry for being late and further explain what happened. Having no regard for other people’s time is just plain rude!
- Being rude. Self explanatory, if you have directly or indirectly offended your date, apologize.
- Lashing out/Losing your temper. We all have bad days, but if you have lost your temper on your date, there are no excuses for this, apologize.
- Not calling them back. Sure life happens and we get busy, but there is etiquette when it comes to responding to your date. Apologize, if you did not get back to them in a timely manner.
How do you apologize?
- Don’t apologize with the expectation of an apology in return. If you are apologizing just to get an apology in return, do you really mean it?
- Don’t make it about you. Your “oh woe is me” speech still does not justify your behaviour. Trying to evoke sympathy out of your apology, really negates the apology to begin with. In the same respect, don’t be defensive while apologizing.
- Don’t demand forgiveness. Don’t demand anything. Let your date receive the apology and sit with it for a bit.
- Never use the word BUT. Saying “but” after an apology is not an apology.
- Be specific. Do you even know what you are sorry for? Reflect on what happened and take time to empathize with how your date might have felt in that moment.
- Mean what you say, don’t fake it. If you’re not really sorry, I would suggest you are with the wrong person. If you have truly hurt your date and you don’t empathize with how they are feeling or want to apologize, you don’t truly care about them.
- Don’t keep apologizing – Let it go. Apologize and let it go. Once you have apologized you have done all you can do. Either your date will forgive you or they will not and you have learned a big lesson for your next new date.