If someone apologizes for treating you poorly and then goes right back to treating you the same exact way, their apology doesn’t count. It’s meaningless. It isn’t an indication of their maturity. Real maturity means recognizing your flaws and putting effort into correcting them.
Don’t feel guilty for walking away from someone who regrets hurting you, someone who seems remorseful, someone who looks you straight in the eyes and apologizes. You’re allowed to walk away from someone who hurts you time and time again — especially if they’re hurting you in the same exact way.
If someone really loves you, if they have their heart set of staying with you, then they’re going to make corrections to their bad behavior. They aren’t going to be able to stand seeing you in pain. Hurting you once will be more than enough.
The right person for you isn’t going to be perfect. They are going to make a few minor mistakes throughout your relationship. But the difference between someone toxic who doesn’t deserve your love and someone with good intentions who does deserve your love is whether or not they take active steps to better themselves.
There are some people who will apologize to you because they know that’s what you want to hear, because it’s the easiest way to end the conversation, or because they feel horrible now that they’ve been caught. In the moment, the tears they shed might be authentic, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to turn around and start treating you better — at least not for long.
It’s common for manipulators to play it safe shortly after making a mistake. They might start sweet-talking you again. They might set aside more time for you. They might create the illusion they are changing for the better. And then, when your guard is down, they will go right back to being an asshole.
You have to be careful when someone apologizes to you, because you don’t want to give someone a second (or third) chance they haven’t earned. You don’t want to lower your standards in order to keep someone you love around. You don’t want to put yourself in a position to be hurt again.
You should only accept an apology if you truly believe the other person is going to work on themselves and follow through on their promise to never make the same mistake again. If this is the third time they’ve made the same exact mistake and same exact apology, then they probably aren’t going to change, no matter how many times they swear this time will be different.
Remember, apologies mean nothing. Actions mean everything.
It’s easy for someone to say I love you, I’m sorry, it will never happen again. It’s much more difficult for someone to change their behavior, work on ridding their baggage, and finally treat you the way you deserve.
You don’t have to feel bad about walking away from someone who makes a show out of apologizing to you. You don’t owe them anything, not your time, not your energy, not your love.