The famous line from Erich Segal's book Love Story considered by many to be a classic account of love, separation, death and pain. Let me say at the outset that I don't particularly like the book, it's way too sappy and says 'just the right things' that just don't work for me.
Love is never like that, you never do say the right things, you say more often that not, stuff that's horribly wrong, but then you hope that the person you are saying it to, manages to comprehend what you're saying through that all bumbling rambling rubbish, forgives you for your lack of clarity and appreciates the sentiment behind what you were trying to say. So I completely and entirely disagree with the notion that love means never having to say you are sorry.
First, let's take the first form of love we learn to recognize. That of our parents. In many Asian societies we never ever tell our parents we love them. One of the things that struck me most about Western TV serials and soap operas when they first appeared on Indian television was that of characters hugging their parents and saying: I love you Mummy/Daddy. I don't think I've ever told my parents that, and I can safely say that most Indian kids never do. Doesn't mean we don't love our parents, it's something we just never ever do. But it doesn't mean we don't say sorry. Just as we learn to recognize parental love, it brings with it the implicit understanding that your parents will love you no matter what, as long as you own up to what you've done. And that means having to say your sorry.
I don't have any biological siblings and I find it hard to write about relations between siblings. But I think the above formula would equally apply. Whether you say sorry through a word, a gesture, or even something like eye contact, you need to apologise. If you don't say sorry, there will be no healing.
And so when it comes to man-woman love and for that matter man-man or woman-woman love, I don't see why the formula is going to be all that different. If you don't say your sorry or hear any sorries being said in your relationship, then:
1. There's a serious chance that the other person will think you're an arrogant twat, and there goes your relationship.
2. That you have a problem with owning up to something that you did, i.e. you think you think you're always right...and we can return to 1.
3. You guys have never ever hurt each others' feelings or done something that would merit a sorry. Whoa...are you even having a relationship then?
4. You're afraid that your sorry will be taken as a sign of weakness. Either you are in a relationship where your partner dominates you and you don't want him to get the upper hand all over again, or you dominate and 1 and 2 apply, and you don't ever want to back done. Either way it's unhealthy.
5. There is probably plenty wrong with your relationship but that you guys are afraid that sorries and a 'let's talk it over' session will completely degenerate and that will be that. There is so much that one has to say sorry for her that you don't even know where to begin.
These are really just off the top of my head. I'm sure that there are plenty of other things that would indicate unhealthiness in a relationship if there isn't a 'sorry' floating around now and then. However, how you say sorry isn't the point, saying it is. You could just hug the other person, give them a gift, do something nice for them like cooking a meal, do something that they hate doing like a household chore, an unexpected phone call, or just muster up your courage and utter that five letter word. It won't cost you all that much.
Except if you're in an abusive relationship where you're the one always saying sorry and you get no apologies for what the other person is doing to you. Stop saying sorry and get the hell out of there.