Recently, I was kicked out of our house for a misdemeanour. It was difficult, caused a lot of tension with my partner – and I found myself having to say to sorry to my guy… a lot. I wanted to make it up to him in a big way, beyond just using my words to show my remorse. Apologizing isn’t easy, whether it’s for a big indiscretion, or simply something mean said during an argument. But, it’s essential to keeping your relationship healthy and happy for the long-term – and that applies both ways! Each partner needs to be able to admit their mistakes, and make up for it. So, how can you make your apology as heartfelt as possible? Here are some of the steps I took on the path to apologizing.

1. Stay Off Social Media

Do not say sorry on social media or make drastic changes to your status, letting everyone in your life know what’s going on. You don’t need to become a broken record and text repeatedly. Keep all of your apologies offline, and try to avoid drunk dialing by temporarily removing their phone number from your phone. It’s more heartfelt to show your remorse in more personal, sober ways. If your partner apologizes solely on social media, that’s a bad sign.

2. Handwrite a Card or Letter

Keep any letters short, to the point, and with words you really mean. Own up to what you did, and be specific about your actions and how you are going to change. Avoid buying your partner cliche presents, like flowers or stuffed toys, because this probably won’t do anything to impress them. Instead, make sure your feelings come from the heart, not your wallet.

3. Apologize Face to Face

At some point, you’ll need to face the music and look the person in the eye and say that you’re sorry. Make sure you select a place where it’s quiet and private. Don’t do a Cory and leave your sunglasses on when you apologize. Likewise, if your partner has hurt you, you’re going to want that real-life interaction where you can see their expressions and remorse in person.

4. Food and Alcohol

Despite the aforementioned advice about no gifts – men love meat, and a home cooked meal for anyone is a great way to show you care about them. I’m a big believer in the way to a man’s heart is through food. I cooked my man a full English breakfast with the works – eggs, bacon, sausages, hash brown, sauce, roast tomato with herbs and two slices of crusty fresh bread with real butter. The smile and thanks was worth the effort, and definitely aided my apology.

My man is fussy about his alcohol, so I knew this was going to be a hard task. He loves craft beer though, so I just peeked in the recycling bin and found out what he had been drinking recently. Fortunately, I had noticed him drinking this a few times so I knew it was the best one to purchase as a six pack.

5. Time Heals All Wounds

Your actions will speak louder than words. If you have learned your lesson and are prepared to change your ways, it will show over time. You may just need to weather the storm until it settles. It might take your partner a while to forgive you, so the best thing to do is give him the space he needs – and likewise, let your partner know if you need space to forgive them as well.

Apologizing is a vital part of being in a serious relationship. We all muck up at some point in our life so don’t beat yourself up about your mistakes.