So you missed the big birthday. You skipped out on the anniversary. You got stuck on the runway in Hong Kong the day before Christmas. Now how do you make up for it? From the massive mistakes to the big mistakes (like the aforementioned examples) to the little ones (forgot about that dinner date, didn’t make the bed, fell asleep and missed the movie), there’s a right way to apologize for just about anything. From custom mugs to in-line skating in Sao Paolo, you can certainly find an appropriate Way to apologize. Here are some classic and not-so-classic ways to tell a special someone “I’m sorry.”
Didn’t put the toilet seat down again? Went out with your friends when you were supposed to be spending the night with your sweetie? You can avert a big explosion by taking some simple steps. First, apologize. Next, present a gift! When it comes to tiny mistakes, little gifts can do wonders. You’d be amazed how quickly someone with a mouthful of chocolate forgets that you called them “the stupidest person on earth” just two hours earlier. These gifts are also good substitutes for “thinking of you” presents.
Candy and Chocolate
Sweets are the quick fix to relationship bliss. The bigger the mistake, the better the candy or chocolate. So if you stepped on your sweetie’s toe this morning, some Hershey’s will do, but if you knocked them to the ground while horseback riding or embarrassed them at a party, go with something from Godiva or Vosges. Check out our Valentine’s Day Guide for Chocolate Lovers for more direction.
Flowers say “I’m sorry” quite well. Everyone loves getting them. Though flowers are often assumed to be a gift exclusively intended for girls, they can be a great gift for guys, too. Defying convention and delivering flowers to your boy can leave a positive, lasting impression. And what girl doesn’t delight with the arrival of a dozen roses? See our guide on the subject.
Card and Customized Gifts
Apology Cards and customized gifts are the sincere way to say “I’m sorry” for a little mistake. They show that you took the time and effort to do something not only special, but personal, for the person you’ve offended. And you can be sure that these gifts will hang around their place for weeks or even months to come. Electronic gift cards can do the trick as well.
Okay, if you’ve gotten yourself into a pretty big mess, you’re going to need to show comparable speed in getting yourself out of it. This is where the mistakes most commonly associated with big “uhohs” belong. If you forgot someone dear to your heart’s birthday, anniversary or another significant date, if you lost your passport the night before a big trip or did something equally stupid, then these are the textbook ways to get out of the lurch.
Jewelry is the tried and true way to fix a botch. Jewelry is also nice because it is a scaling solution. As with most gifts, the bigger the mistake, the better the jewelry. Of course, if you know that the person you’ve wronged loves a particular stone, you’re armed with very powerful knowledge. If you don’t know what kind of jewelry they like, well, you might want to send an extra apology for that, too. Jewelry isn’t just for women. Some men love gold chains, cool earrings and rings.Watches are also a great gift choice for men. Know what the recipient likes before you do any shopping. Check out the Jewelry and Watches buying guide for some good advice.
A Night on the Town
A popular and effective way to say “I’m sorry” is with a night out on the town. Spending time with a loved one can remind you both of why you liked each other so much in the first place. Begin with a romantic starter, like a limousine rental or a horse and buggy ride. Then, make your way to (your reserved in advance) dinner for two. Afterwards, if you’re both still up for it (or if you really messed up) go to a late movie or, if you’re in a partying mood by then, shoot over to your favorite bar or club. At the end of the night, all of those bad vibes will have melted away.
An Intimate Dinner At Home
Sometimes keeping the “night on the town” indoors is a great way to apologize. Turn the lights down, put on some quiet dinner music, light some candles, make your sweetie’s favorite dish, give them a nice long massage and top it off with a delightful dessert, either fresh fruit or maybe a nice sorbet. After that, snuggle up with a DVD you both can enjoy or veg out with a video or board game.
Absolutely Massive Mistakes
If you have done something absolutely horrible, then it belongs in this category. Many mistakes that fall under this title are surefire relationship or friendship killers. If you’ve cost a loved one their job, stolen a friend’s significant other or done any other of a multitude of terrible disservice to someone you care about, then you’ll need to think long and hard about how to win them over once again. Some of these mistakes are too awful to mention, but if you’ve made one, you probably know it. Be prepared to give the biggest apology of your life. Expect to open your heart, and your wallet, and dish out thousands. Even then, there’s no certainty that you’ll ever be forgiven.
When you really screw things up, a brand new car may soften the blow. This gift is only appropriate if your friend, family member or lover happens to be a car fanatic or if they’ve had their eye on a new vehicle for some time. Spare no expense with this gift. Those little extras will give you the chance to personalize this gift.
A luxurious, all-expenses-paid vacation package is one of the best “I’m sorry” gifts in the world. Try an isolated and foreign land where wounds can heal in privacy and peace. If your sweetie’s anger bubbles up, he or she can always storm off to explore museums, cafes or scenery for the day. If you really messed up, you don’t even have to be in on the trip. Just send him or her off with the guest of his or her choice.
A New House
When you’ve really messed things up with your lover and it seems nothing but a complete break from the past can provide a solution, then perhaps a new house will do the trick. This is a serious purchase not to be taken lightly, but if you truly care for someone, it may be an option. If your lover has been bugging you to buckle down and buy a house or if it’s time to sow new roots, take the plunge and save your relationship this way.
Some jewels can cost as much as a house. If you’ve got seemingly no hope, but still refuse to lose your very serious girlfriend, fiance or wife, then designer jewelry may be able to help. Diamonds are the tried and true way to rack up your jewelry bill. Expect this stone to compete with a wedding ring in terms of beauty and charm. Try combining jewelry with any of the aforementioned solutions for the ultimate “I’m sorry.”