Imagine what F. Scott Fitzgerald or Harper Lee would do if the love of their life casually tossed them under the bus. Told them they were not The One and wished them well. How would John Grisham or Nora Roberts react in such a situation? Cancel their next book signing and huddle under the covers with a used paperback of Endless Love? Rent all the Will Ferrell DVDs they could get their hands on? Not a chance. They’d sit down and write the perfect letter, and they’d make things right again.
Let’s assume you want to reconcile, and that you want this for all the right reasons. You’ve changed, seen the error of your ways, and the logic in his or hers. You’ve allowed enough time to pass to not confuse survival with forgiveness. The question then is, how? With so many options and so little time before the fat lady sings – that’s her warming up on the side of the bed that used to be yours – what’s the most effective first move, an ice breaker that doesn’t sink like an engagement ring thrown off a bridge?
Consider writing a letter. Letters make a great opener in the chess game of winning back your lover. One reason is that you can rethink and revise until you print or hit Send. A golden rule of writing the perfect beg for another chance letter – and this one will take some serious willpower – is to leave your “finished” letter alone for two days before you read it again, and then undoubtedly change it one more time. Show it to someone you trust and listen to their input.
The key here is making it obvious that you understand your departed lover’s point of view. Not necessarily agree, but now you get it. There are as many possible approaches here as there are reasons for breaking up, only you know what transpired in those moments before the curtain came down. But know that time has worked its miracle on him or her, too. Emotions may have tempered. Rather than apologize or grovel, a better approach might be to suggest another look at things, something calmer, with different stakes and softer words. Don’t be afraid to admit what you’ve realized during your time away, what you’ve come to understand not only about yourself, but about your relationship. Express your belief that there’s hope, that you’ve bottomed out on what it was that was so good and worth saving, within the context of what needs to change. Be humble, but don’t be too needy. Be honest, but don’t tear the scab off of any old wounds. Be soft, but let your strength shine through a thin and sincere veneer of emotion that cannot be mistaken for anything other than love.
Don’t expect miracles. A letter can be the first volley in a game of posturing and pride, and if you’re the healthiest player on the court, you’ll know what your next move should be.