Should a Guy Send Gifts To Apologize When He Screws Up With a Girl?
Recently, we had a message come in via Facebook, relating a heartbreaking incident where a man makes a play for a girl and gets rejected. We will heavily redact the message to protect the reader's anonymity. He begins with
I am writing this letter in desperate times. I am ready to give up and am certain my life is to be spent alone (and destitute).
How can you not be attentive to a message that starts like this? He goes on to say that he has ruined one marriage and has a couple of kids, both hours away from him.
He tells us that he screwed up a marriage to an "amazing girl" and he is still "haunted" by this experience. But wait! Is new love coming around the bend? He says,
This time I tried to reunite with a girl I knew (barely) in high school.. we caught up a bit on Facebook. . Haven't seen each other in 15 years...talked about her [being] tired of this long distance boyfriend in [another state] ... and flirting went on.. well last night we hung out and had a good time. She even was like wanting to see me again soon!
Doing good so far, pal. So what happened?
Apparently I screwed up and stuck my foot in my mouth.. she had [a] hangover so I got a friend to drop off a card ...small note..and a [medicine designed to help with hangovers].
He tells us that he heard nothing back. Next, she apparently responds to him, but says that she's not into him. She goes on to say that she's not leaving this boyfriend for him.
He says that he would like to be with this girl. But even if she cannot get the girl, he wants to gain the "confidence and ability to be able to be successful with women..."
A number of things are obviously wrong with your approach. But I do not fault you for falling into that trap, because it's difficult to see one's own actions. That's just human nature; we're all like that.
1. It's Dead, It's Over
You have a case of one-itis with this girl. You're too stuck onto this one girl. Or more accurately, you're stuck onto this incident involving this girl.
I do commend you for saying that you want to improve your skills. This shows that you're willing to move on. But the fact that you say "even if I cannot get her" shows that you're still hanging on to some degree.
It's over. It never happened in the first place. But whatever was there is vanished. Move ahead.
As a man, you have a full range of options out there with women; this woman is not everything.
2. No Gifts
By sending gifts at this early juncture, you presented yourself as having lower value than her. She immediately saw you as the lower value potential partner and rejected you because of this. If you had a shred of hope for having a relationship with this woman, those gifts put the final nail in the coffin.
It's debatable whether you really did "stick your foot in your mouth" enough to turn her off. After all, she was drunk, so she may have a greater tolerance level for a slight. Or what you perceive as a slight.
Even if she wasn't drunk, you need to stick to your guns and not apologize. Apologies should be a rare thing. Apologies have great value because of their rarity and because you are essentially opening up a vein to another person. Save apologies for people who have great meaning to you--parents, lovers, siblings, even children.
I am not saying that you should never apologize. I am saying that you should apologize only on those rare events when you have truly hurt another person and feel genuinely sorry.
Those gifts were well-meaning, and I wish we lived in a world where people in the early stages of dating could send gifts without coming across as creepy, overbearing, or stalker-ish. Sad to say, but that's how it comes across to the other person.