Thanks for asking this Adam. An effective google search led me here as I have have been thinking about a personal experience months ago. I even composed a facebook message yesterday, apologizing to my ex. As I thought about sending it, I started to recognize, and even more so after reading northernGateway's excellent post today, that motives in these types of situations are very tricky.
I would recommend being patient and really considering why you are planning to apologize. In the moment, we may feel we're doing the noble or right thing. But at the end of the day, or the next day, we may realize we acted out of self motivation and not for the benefit of the victim.
Maybe it would help if I summarized what happened to me. A year and a half or so ago, my then girlfriend at the time spent the night at my house and we shared some consensual second base stuff (we didn't go to third or home base: no genital touching or intercourse). She woke up the next morning, and probably feeling guilty, hurriedly got ready to leave. I hugged her, and told her she didn't need to hurry out. But the situation got a little inappropriate as she repeated the desire to leave and tried to get up and I still hugged her. When I recognized that her voice was more serious, I felt awful. I knew that I needed to let go. I apologized immediately and sent an apology via text later that day as well.
I'm not a huge guy, but I was probably strong enough to hold her against her will for a moment there. To be honest, I was feeling a bit guilty that morning about the second base stuff as well. We both were religious and our actions violated our personal belief set. In scenarios like that, I want my partner to stick around and talk about it, and not just sprint off in shame. Being alone sucks. So my motives for hugging/holding her hopefully weren't the worst? Regardless, with all of these #metoo posts, I cringe to imagine that I may have contributed to any sort of oppression or negative feelings that women go through. Abuseful words or actions done towards women are absolutely awful and undeserved. The whole scenario is very unpleasant.
Yesterday, as these worries were growing about my actions many months ago, sending a personal apology seemed like the right thing to do.
But another key factor in this scenario is that we are no longer dating. A couple months after this incident, and hopefully hopefully unrelated to this event, my gf dumped me. It broke my heart. To be honest, I think that I loved her. When she ended it over the phone hundreds of miles away, I began to think about all the things that may have led to her leaving me. I was helpless and tried to understand why and apologized for anything. But it was one of the worst nights of my life.
Now, about a year later, approaching halloween day when we had our first date several years ago, my mind is filled with thoughts of her. I want to be with her, or the idea of her at least. I know through fb likes, that she has been happy to see #metoo posts. So me apologizing to her in private, or in public...idk, it just seems impossible to do without having some sort of personal motive to impress her and win her back. I feel awful about my actions that morning, but I also still miss her. I hope that she has forgotten about the whole thing, and I hope she's happy with someone else in her life.
That's a lie, the idea of her being with someone kind of sucks. I've dated several people after her, and no one compares.
Sorry, I digress. Just the same, and way too many personal details later, I think it's best that I internalize my feelings of remorse at this point, that I like and support other posts of people sharing their experience/apologizing, and that I try to improve my friendships with other people who may need someone to talk to. And of course, never repeat that type of action again.
Figured I'd share this personal experience. Hopefully my open form thoughts help someone who is similarly on the fence about reaching out to apologize for something said or done in the past. I may be wrong, and would welcome anyone's thoughts/opinions. I hope this post finds you all hopeful and in good health.