Love means never having to say you’re sorry.
* Oliver Barrett IV (Ryan O’Neal) in Love Story, (1970)
I first came upon this quote when I read the book Love Story by Erich Segal over twenty years ago. It is an idea that I have puzzled over so many times since. It seems to me that when we are in love, we should be saying that we are sorry MORE than we do to anyone else. Relationships and trust are fragile. If they become bruised and neglected, they do not heal easily. I believe that it is important to acknowledge when we say or do things that are hurtful, even when we do not intend the hurt. We need to acknowledge and apologize for speaking without thinking; for taking our moods out on our partner; for losing control. A relationship is something to cherish and to treat like the most valuable, irreplaceable possession you own. Yet so often we take the above quote to heart, even if we have never read it. We assume that we will be automatically forgiven. We assume that we have nothing to apologize for. We do not like to admit that we were wrong and hurtful. It makes us feel less than we want to be; weak. However, admitting that we were wrong is a strength, not a weakness. It is standing up and saying, “I messed up. I shouldn’t have done that. I was wrong. I am sorry. Can you forgive me?”
And so often the answer is, “Yes.”