When you're in a relationship, it is important to acknowledge and apologize when you hurt your significant other's feelings. But it is important to do it in a way that is meaningful and sincere. Saying 'sorry' but not intending to improve our actions will cause a lack of trust. To prevent this from damaging your relationship, follow these steps:

Take The Initiative: Don't wait for things to get so ugly the person you wronged is forced to confront you. If you make the first move, it'll show humility and earn respect. Everyone has had to apologize for one thing or another, so everyone knows how hard it is.

Make Contact: The eyes are the windows to the soul. Vom, but true. If you can't look at the person you're apologizing to, they can't see your sincerity. Ensure they're picking up what you're putting down by keeping your body language open. If you're not apologizing in person, at least make a phone call or put it in an email. A curt text is just not gonna cut it.

Denial Isn't Just A River: This is your one chance to own up. Accept your share of the blame and don't try to drag others down with you. Also, keep in mind that you only get to apologize once. So, don't leave out any crucial information that could bite you in the ass later. Otherwise, you'll seem extra shady and even more of a jerk for thinking you could get away with it. No credibility for you! And like a social disease, this kind of information drama will spread and destroy your reputation with others. Then you'll be lonely ... so, so lonely.

Listen Up: Hear them out. Listen to how they feel and what they have to say about the whole situation. Be sympathetic.

Don't Expect Insta-Forgiveness: Let the person know you understand there is a price to pay for what you did. You regret your actions, but you can't take them back. Hopefully, over time, you can earn their trust again.

The Good Old Times: Remind the person that you never meant to do anything to jeopardize your relationship, but life is confusing sometimes and you hope this bad decision won't turn everything good you've shared into rot. Contain the problem by expressing that you appreciate them and give them some perspective by recounting that there is more to what you have together than this one incident. Remember all those fun times we've shared, pal o' mine? Now, it's time to hug it out.

Stay Out Of Trouble: When your sincere apology is accepted, you are still on probation. Obviously, you'll be walking on egg shells with the person you wronged, but stay out of drama with others. You can make a full recovery from the situation by carrying yourself with the dignity befitting a lady or gentleman.

via TheFrisky