Is it ever too late to say you're sorry?

Back story: My first ever girlfriend. Met while working a summer job away from my home. Got serious very fast.

She was wonderful in every way - lovely, charming, delightful, generous, kind and many other superlatives that are beyond my vocabulary.

I was immature, callous, naive and ignorant (at best).

Summer ended, I went home. Discovered other women were interested in me as well and just ended contact with the women above.

Now I'm not so vain as to believe that encounter was of much import in her life but it is something that I've felt bad about for decades as I know she was hurt.

Is it ever too late to say you're sorry?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Never. There is no statute of limitations on being a jerk, and an apology, even a late one, is always good form. Just know that you cannot control her reaction to it, she may say 'who is this', she may say fuck off, or she may be gracious and accept it. Don't have expectations of how you think she should respond, because she's entitled to feel however she feels about you, and your apology.

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    THIS IS NOT RELEVANT ANYMORE
    • This is the best answer. I apologised to my ex about how things ended between us about 7 months after the break up. Never received a reply, but I guess at least I tried.

    • Thank you. I don't have high expectations nor do I deserve absolution, I just think it might be the right thing to do.

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What Girls Said 6

  • No I don't think it is ever too late. I mean how long ago was this?

    If it was a year ago, I'd say go for it. if it was over 30 years ago, then I'd say she's probably forgotten all about it and not to bother. :)

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    • It was 30 years ago. Attending a recent funeral of a friend from back then welled up these memories - mostly good, but some regrets as well. Figured now that I'm less testosterone poisoned than I was I could maybe fix some of that regret.

  • If it still bothers you, then say sorry. I think it's the right thing to do.

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  • No, never too late . just do it! She will love you for it!

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  • What are you hoping happens from this?

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    • Ideally, she would get a boost to her self esteem and perhaps take some sting out of the memories from back then.

      For me it would provide some closure and possibly some absolution, though I expect nor deserve none. I do NOT wish to rekindle this relationship, just right a past wrong (as much as that is possible).

    • Based on the age and the backstory, I'm guessing this happened more then 30 years ago.

      Would you have to go out of your way to do this? or is she still in your life?

    • We have no contact really. We live in the same state. We have some mutual friends.

  • No, it's never too late. Even if she doesn't receive it well, you can feel good about yourself for trying. Rehearse with trusted friends. Good luck

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  • No it is never too late to say sorry

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What Guys Said 7

  • It's never too late. She may not forgive you, but apologizing will give you closure. I've apologized when people have said I shouldn't, when the person I was apologizing to wouldn't hear or forgive me -- no matter the outcome, I always feel better. If you feel like you should say sorry, then absolutely do it. It's a wound that needs to be closed.

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  • I think if we look back through the course of our lives, with the kind of meta awareness where one starts to see patterns, it is clear, that we learn something from every relationship, every relationship served a purpose. So on my part, there is certainly awareness that I treated every girlfriend I have been with badly, from a certain perspective. At the same time, there was genuine affection and tenderness there, along with a lot of ignorance on my part. Anyway, these relationships helped me wake up. It is my firm belief, that we all are in amidst this process of waking up. Many of us, are as you say, self absorbed, callous, able to see little outside our narrow concerns, as to how we hurt others. But after some months, years, decades even, something hits us, it's our conscience; we've been moved at our core. And finally we understand, the consequences of our actions, and will do so, always, now. Now we have seen with our own eyes, now it is no longer some theory, some thought, some abstraction, given by others, no: we have seen it at our core.

    But now we have seen it, do we need to keep crucifying ourselves? We have seen it. What more can be done? It's not practical to go back and right every wrong, these people who were in these relationships have learnt important lessons too, perhaps not to be deceived by appearances, to ensure one sees the whole, instead of what one wants to see, to put oneself first at times and protect ourselves, for others might exploit us - this is not the same as cynicism. Plus, often, it is to soothe our own consciences, which is selfish in itself. You have seen it now, there is no use continually going over the past: forgive yourself. There might be exceptions to this rule, sometimes it is right to go back, and say you are truly sorry, and it affected you.

    One lives life with this new knowledge, with this new tenderness for others, with this new empathy. And then you treat people better, you forgive others when they commit the same mistakes that you did, because you see how easy it is to fall into that trap.

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  • No, but at this point (decades) is it worth it? Is she in your life at all? If not, I'd let sleeping dogs lie

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    • We have only had contact through mutual friends. Nothing direct and it has been many years. Even then it was just news about marriage, kids, divorce, business, etc. Most recently she had contact with my sister but that was years back as well.

    • If you need it to sleep better at night, go ahead and apologize.

  • Sounds ... wow. I'd say contact her again and say you're sorry. It is good closure, and at this stage in life you probably can never have too many friends.

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  • Yes, but hopefully sharing the story will get other people to thinking! Good for you!

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  • no, never late. say you're sorry and we all make mistakes dude.

    good luck man :)

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  • how many years ago was this?

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