That’s a quote from the movie Love Story, and after that movie came out in 1970, you saw it everywhere. I mean everywhere. It’s one of the top movie quotes of all time, and because of that, I think Erich Segal did us all a great disservice.
I mean, give me a break. If you truly love someone, you ought to have the courage to say you’re sorry when you screw up. Because you will screw up. Everyone does, sooner or later. You should say you’re sorry as often as necessary, and be sincere about it when you do. Love should not be an excuse for being a dick.
So many people in this world think it’s a blow to their ego to apologize or admit they’re wrong. In fact, being able to do so demonstrates one’s decency and respect for the other person. Admitting that you’re human and that you make mistakes shows maturity and emotional intelligence.
Being unwilling to say you’re sorry when it’s called for reveals that you are an emotionally stunted child, and perhaps you are not capable of holding up your end of a relationship and shouldn’t be in one. My mother used to say “When you make a mistake, try to fix it, but if you can’t, then own up to it.” I couldn’t agree more.
Saying you’re sorry is never fun, but it’s necessary for growth and to avoid festering resentment that will ultimately destroy the love that is there. Saying you’re sorry means you’re more interested in making amends than you are in winning, and thus causing your partner to lose. People who can’t or won’t say it really are incapable of any healthy form of love.
A better quote would be, “Love means having the guts to say you’re sorry.” Or even better, “Love means doing the best you can to never have a reason to say you’re sorry, but saying you’re sorry when you do have good reason.” Okay, so it’s not as catchy. So sue me. Er… I’m sorry.