What makes ‘sorry’ an apology?

I believe that two phrases should never be uttered to another person without truly and wholly meaning it. These phrases are also two of the hardest to say, even. Both are declarations; one is a declaration of love, and the other is a declaration of apology. And interestingly, one of my favorite quotes about saying sorry comes from one of my favorite romance novels, Love Story, by Erich Segal. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  But I really wonder if not saying sorry, when you should, would help in a healthy and happy relationship?

‘Sorry’, I feel, has an ambiguous quality of being both an ugly and beautiful word, not necessarily at the same time. Sorry is ugliest when it’s thrown around half-heartedly. When you, conveniently, throw in a sorry so that you can put an end to the uncomfortable conversation, which you know will not end in your favor, you render the word ugly. That half-heartedly uttered word then floats like a feather, falling from a height and landing on still waters causing ripples enough to make you believe of an impact but too tiny for the water to even feel it. But a well-meant apology is like a long awaited rain that seeps into the forgotten layers of land, quenching its thirst from deep within. While a well-meant apology is therapeutic and cathartic to both sides, a half-hearted and ill-meant apology is like the letter ‘e’ in ‘apologize’, that nobody cares about because you don’t pronounce it! But like they say, “if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” If how someones feels is beyond your scope maybe they don’t matter to you and you can reserve your ‘sorrys’ only for those who matter.

That brings us back to our previous discussion- if not saying sorry is really what love is about, or is it ok to not apologize to the one you love when you have wronged them. Like they all say, there might not be a one-rule-fit-all in here. This could be a ‘to each his own’ sort of a scenario were some may prefer apologizing when they know they’ve wronged while some wouldn’t deem an apology necessary. But, when you wrong someone you love it’s always better to let them know that you aren’t taking them for granted, and that, whether you verbally spell it out or not, you are sorry. But, most important of all, I think it’s always ‘healthier’ to say sorry only when you mean it.


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