Is He Really Sorry Or Does He Just Want You To Shut Up?

When your boyfriend apologizes in the middle of an argument, it doesn’t always feel sincere. In fact, it often feels like he isn’t actually remorseful and is just saying “sorry” to get you to be quiet. If you aren’t sure if he’s being genuine or not, here’s how you can tell if his apology is the real deal:

  1. He knows what he’s sorry for. If a man can’t tell you what he’s sorry for, then the truth is he has no idea. Even worse, he doesn’t care enough to know why he should apologize. Saying sorry without knowing what he’s apologizing for is just an asinine way to end an argument. It doesn’t mean he cares.
  2. You’ve actually hashed things out. If he rushes to say he’s sorry without the two of you having an actual conversation, then he just wants you to shut up. In order for him to understand why you’re upset and for you to understand why he acted the way he did, you need to actually talk to each other. If he apologizes immediately, he’s just trying to say the magic words that will make you go away.
  3. He’s not angry when he apologizes. An apology means a lot, but only if it’s genuine. If he’s saying it in any kind of irritated tone, you can be sure he’s just trying to end the argument. He shouldn’t be angry, annoyed, or display any other emotion that suggests he feels forced to say he’s sorry. His apology should come from within, not from what he wants out of you.
  4. He gives you an actual apology. Just saying “I’m sorry” isn’t enough. A real apology consists of more than just those two words. He owes you the truth and an explanation for his actions. A man who is truly remorseful will tell you exactly how he messed up and make sure you know he’ll take steps to prevent it from happening again. You deserve to know why he’s sorry, and only a real apology will give you that.
  5. He actually listens to how you feel. Men who don’t give a crap are going to ignore you any time you express your feelings. A guy who’s actually sorry and cares about how you feel isn’t afraid to listen. Your pain doesn’t inconvenience him. If he says you’re overreacting, then he’s not sorry, and he definitely doesn’t respect how you feel.
  6. He acknowledges that he hurt you. That’s what an apology really boils down to: regretting that his poor choices hurt you. If he can’t understand the damage he did and why, then he’s not really sorry. A man who actually gives a crap will take your pain seriously, not disregard it.
  7. He asks for your forgiveness. He wants you to forgive him, but understands that it might take a little time. He knows that you can’t turn your anger off like a switch. If he cares enough to ask you to consider forgiving him no matter how long it takes, the apology is real.
  8. He doesn’t level the playing field. If a guy’s not actually sorry, he might try to bring you down even more. For him, the best way to do that is to bring up one of your faults or betrayals. If he’s trying to remind you that you’re not the best girlfriend either, then he’s not sorry. He just wants the fight to be over.
  9. He explains himself, but doesn’t make excuses. If he’s a good man, then he didn’t hurt you intentionally. Therefore, he may feel the need to explain himself to you so you can understand that he didn’t intend to cause you harm. Just remember, excuses and explanations aren’t the same thing. If he’s just looking for a way to make your anger disappear, then he’s not sorry. He’s just excusing his bad behavior and hoping you’ll do the same.
  10. He wants to find resolution. He doesn’t think that just by saying sorry the conversation will be over. He may not enjoy fighting, but he’s not just trying to end the argument, either. He wants to find a solution to your problems. He wants to reach common ground, because a man with a real apology cares how the relationship goes on.
Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and been writing professionally since graduating in 2013. In addition to writing about love and relationships for Bolde and lifestyle topics for Love to Know, she also writes about payment security and small business solutions for PaymentCloud.

Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. Kelsey enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

You can find more about Kelsey on her LinkedIn profile or on Twitter @dykstrakelsey.