Dear Dr. Date,My e…

Dear Dr. Date,
My ex-girlfriend and I broke up at the end of last school year. It was a really tough breakup and I said some things I did not mean. We had been apart all summer, then when school started, we began bumping into each other. The thing is, I really miss her, not just as my girlfriend, but as my friend. But I don’t know how to talk to her since I said some really mean things to her at the breakup and again when she tried to talk to me at the beginning of the year.
Now that I think about it more, I find that I really want to talk to her. The only thing is, I am afraid how she may react or if she even wants to talk to me.
–Please Help

When I was a sophomore, I was in a pretty mixed-up relationship that spread itself out over a couple years. I was mixed up, immature, selfish. I was also a nice guy and an OK boyfriend. The relationship was, at times, comical, with us breaking up and getting back together five times. Like you, I said some things I regret that I wish I could take back. I also behaved poorly. I wish I could take that back, too.
I only tell you this story because I wish I could have dealt with the situation better. I wish someone had told me what I’m going to tell you now. You were mean and you were a jerk. There’s nothing you can do but be a better person from now on.
I think you and your ex can be friends and, if you are like me, you could even get back together if the situation was right. You should know, however, that if she were to write in to me with her side of the story, I’d tell her to avoid getting close to you. It’s extremely hard to reprogram a couple so that they treat each other differently. If you did get back together, there would be so many old nasty habits surfacing that you’d end up in the trash again soon.
So what is it exactly that you want? Do you want to fix your reputation? Do you want to have your ex as a friend? Do you want to date her again? Each of these is vastly different and you’d be wise to know exactly what you’re after before you start screwing with her head. I’d forget about fixing your reputation overnight. It won’t happen that way. Why don’t you just be her friend and stop saying mean things to her?