9 Clear Signs He’s Truly Sorry For Hurting You

“Sorry” can be a powerful word, but it’s also a word that people tend to use carelessly. Saying it, whether you mean it or not, is often the quickest way to earn forgiveness for a mistake. As the receiver of the apology, it’s important to be able to tell whether your partner is genuinely sorry for hurting you, or if he’s just saying sorry so you’ll get over it. Keep reading for nine clear signs that he truly regrets what he did to you.

  1. He doesn’t push you to forgive him. Often, people who aren’t really sorry will seek forgiveness so they can feel better about what they’ve done. Although someone who’s genuinely sorry can still ask for forgiveness, he won’t pressure you to forgive him if you’re not ready. If he’s really sorry, he’ll give you the time and space that you need to process the situation clearly. He will understand that your healing is more important than him being relieved of his guilt.
  2. He has visibly changed. The clearest sign that he’s actually sorry for hurting you? Him not making the same mistake again. Change is the most powerful way of showing that you’re sorry for your past actions. He can say sorry all he likes, but if he continues to hurt you in the same way, he’s not actually sorry at all.
  3. He’s willing to talk about the past. We’ve all made mistakes. We all know how difficult it can be to reflect on those mistakes, especially when we’ve hurt someone close to us. It’s a sign that he’s truly sorry if he is willing to talk about what happened with you. It shows that he’s ready to put his discomfort aside to help you through the healing process.
  4. Your relationship is his priority. It’s likely that your relationship is under some strain if your partner has done something to hurt you. If he’s really sorry for what he did, then he’ll do what he can to try and mend the relationship. It will become one of his highest priorities. You can tell that he’s making your relationship a priority when he goes out of his way to spend time with you, regularly checks in with how you’re feeling, and tries to prove to you that you can trust him again.
  5. He doesn’t make excuses for his behavior. Part of being genuinely sorry is owning up to what you did wrong. After all, you’re not really sorry if you still can’t admit to messing up! It’s a sign that he really does mean his apology if he doesn’t try to make excuses for his behavior. Rather than coming up with a million reasons why it wasn’t his fault, he’ll simply admit that he screwed up.
  6. He offers to make it up to you. Typically, when someone is genuinely sorry, they’ll want to find ways of making up for what they’ve done. He’ll make the effort to nurture your relationship and restore it back to the way it was before. And he might offer to do certain things to prove to you that he’s really sorry. For example, if he missed a really important event in your life, he might promise to be there for every future event that you have.
  7. His apology is actually genuine. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to tell a genuine apology from a fake one. A fake apology will usually feature lots of excuses and place the blame elsewhere. You’ll hear things like, “I was just having a bad day,” or “I wasn’t myself.” The apology will end quickly and won’t actually get into why you feel hurt. But a real apology will be specific, heartfelt, and followed by a change in behavior.
  8. He’s not angry, annoyed, or upset with you for being hurt. It’s a red flag that he’s not actually sorry if he’s upset with you for being hurt. If he tells you to get over it or move on before you’re ready, then he’s likely not too bothered that he hurt you. He’s just bothered that you’re making him feel guilty over it. Certain infractions take more time to get over than others and that’s okay. A guy who is actually sorry won’t rush you to go back to how you were before for the sake of his own comfort.
  9. He clearly understands what he did wrong. It’s difficult to be sorry when you don’t understand what you’ve done wrong. So if he doesn’t really know what he did, he can’t be genuinely sorry. On the flip side, it’s a sign that he is truly sorry if he makes it clear that he understands what he did was wrong, and why he was wrong. This understanding is important since he won’t be able to change his behavior without it.
Vanessa Locampo is an Aussie writer who’s equally obsessed with YA fiction and pasta. Her time is divided between writing all the things, reading all the things, listening to Queen, and bopping her cat on the nose. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and has written for sites including Hotsprings.co and Discovering Montana, and currently works as an editor at Glam. You can keep up with her on Instagram @vanessaellewrites.