Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Love Tops Most People’s Lists of Regrets

As Frank Sinatra once sang: “Regrets, I have a few/ But then again, to few to mention.” Most of my regrets involve food and drink — specifically, food and drink I wish I hadn’t consumed so much of on any given night (especially that one night… oy vey). I wish, back when I was 26 and not sure what the hell to do with myself, I’d kept working until I figured it out instead of going thousands of dollars into debt for graduate school and still being confused about my future when it was all said and done. And, of course, when it comes to relationships, mistakes were made, and I’d definitely do things differently if I had a chance for a do-over.

This latter regret, it seems, is definitely not unique — at least not for women. According to a new study, “about 44 percent of the regrets described by women were about relationship mistakes compared to 19 percent of men’s. In general, about 18 percent of those polled “cited regrets involving romance. That was followed closely by regrets about family (16 percent), education (13 percent) and career (12 percent), finance (10 percent) and parenting (9 percent).”

Many of the regrets cited were about missed opportunities and failing to take risks, both in relationships and around work and career. There’s a sort of double-edged sword associated with rising higher in society and being presented with greater opportunities. The more opportunities one has, the more potential directions there are for one’s life to go. It’s human nature to wonder about the opportunities not taken — the paths not traveled — and to compare where you have ended up to where you imagine you might have gone had you chosen differently.

“Regret is an essential part of the human experience,” says senior study author Neal Roese, a psychologist and professor of marketing at Northwestern. “You should listen to the lessons your regrets tell you, which is quite often how you could have done things differently or how you could change things.”

Everyone makes mistakes, adds Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago. “It’s how you get up, and how you rebound, that matters. Instead of letting regret dominate life, savor what you do have, and what did go right . . . We need to look more in terms of our strengths, and not our weaknesses.”

So, what are some of the decisions you are happy and proud you made? I’d say, for me, the best decision I made was moving to New York to see if I had a future with Drew. Up until that point, I’d let fear keep me stuck in relationships and patterns that didn’t work. Making that big move was one time I felt the fear and “did it anyway” and it made all the difference in my life. Starting this website was a pretty good decision — one that involved some risk on my part — and one whose rewards I hope continue to grow. What about you?

72 comments… add one
  • BoomChakaLaka July 5, 2011, 12:38 pm

    I find it tough to regret anything in love especially since it will/should ultimately make you a stronger person. Even though I *wish* I hadn’t spent those last 2 years with my ex, I’m so glad I did. I gave that relationship everything I had and when it crumbled before my eyes, I knew 100% that it would never work, no matter what I tried to do.

    But now, I know the signs to look out for and hopefully won’t make the same mistakes again.

    But I don’t think the question asked for my two cents, huh? Just my biggest risk. Geez, I would say deciding to give love a second chance with my current BF. I was totally jaded after everything happened with the ex and still am to some extent. But the BF is slowly but surely tearing the walls down by being as awesome and as wonderful as he is.

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  • Bethany July 5, 2011, 12:39 pm

    When it comes to love, specifically, I only have one regret- I dated 2 or 3 guys in college very casually (at least in my mind), and I hurt them pretty badly. 10 years later, I still feel bad about that. I wish I could have been kinder. But because of that, I’m now more aware of how my actions impact others.

    On the flip side, one of the best decisions I ever made was moving out of a bad living situation and living alone. It was glorious. 🙂

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    leilani July 5, 2011, 12:51 pm

    I don’t really regret any of the big relationship decisions that I made, because I feel that those decisions were the ones I had to make at the time. Even though I sometimes put myself in bad situations, I needed to be in those situations as a part of my growing up. The only things I regret, really, are the stupid mistakes I made when I was single and desperate (which, sadly, there was a period of for me). I regret hooking up with guys I wasn’t actually attracted to, and going out with guys I found boring. I regret how low my standards were. But even that, while a little cringe-worthy, has no negative bearing on my life now. Everything worked itself out.

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  • TheOtherMe July 5, 2011, 12:54 pm

    I am a relationship person. I don’t really regret any relationship I have been in, ( even the few really bad ones ) but I do regret a few “hookups” because looking back, they were the ones that didn’t really give me any “growth” on a personal level.

    That said, I am proud of :
    • Purchasing a condo after my divorce
    • Working for myself
    • Not feeling pressured to be at a “specific” place relationship-wise
    • My solid family ties.

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    Firegirl32 July 5, 2011, 12:57 pm

    I have a hard time regretting anything. Good, bad or plain out shitty, it has lead me to this very moment. And this very moment, I am the happiest I have ever been. Each decision made, changed the direction in my own Choose Your Own Adventure. We all have those “Why me, what did I do to deserve this?!” moments. Then you realize one day, as your laying your keys to a trailer on the counter for the last time and walking out with the last of the cleaning supplies, that you are a stronger, more open and happier person that you have ever been. That amazing people have come into your life and it was all worth the fight. 😉

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    bittergaymark July 5, 2011, 1:08 pm

    I regret being born in 1970 versus 1990. I regret that I met the love of my life too early. Meaning that he was a college senior and I was a freshman so it was only logical when he moved back east that I would stay out west and finish school. I regret that when we reunited at Homecoming four years later (unexpectedly just ran into one another in a crowd on 30,000) that I didn’t immediately charge a plane ticket to NYC for that visit right away, instead of putting it off. I regret the fact I didn’t send him a case of diet coke every week because if I had, he wouldn’t have gone for a walk to buy some that night he was crushed and mangled to death by a fucking drunk/cunt driver who careened into both him and a traffic light.

    I regret that I never have really met anybody who can even come close to competing with Kirk. I should have tried harder in my twenties. But I always just thought it would eventually “just” happen. NEWSFLASH: It doesn’t. It hasn’t. And it won’t. I regret that I don’t have any good pictures of us together.

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      dans July 5, 2011, 1:38 pm

      This post was extremely heart breaking, but amazing in its wisdom. I’m in my mid 20s and its such a weird place to be, the feeling of “growing up” really starting to sink in, and the hope that things will “just” happen and fall into place eventually. I am frozen by the fear of leaving my comfort zone and taking risks. Thank you for giving me something to think about and act on from here on out.

      And the picture bit. just perfect.

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    • moonflowers July 5, 2011, 9:02 pm

      Mark, I am so sorry for your loss. *hugs*

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    • plasticepoxy July 6, 2011, 11:08 am

      This hurt to read, it was as if each word was cutting deep, like they burrowed into my heart then came together to take out a huge bite. Thanks for sharing something so personal Mark.

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  • MissDre July 5, 2011, 1:08 pm

    I think my only regret in life is sleeping with guys because I was so insecure and I just really really wanted them to like me, or sleeping with guys because I liked them and didn’t really know how to speak up and say no, I’m not ready yet.

    It’s not so much the number of guys that I regret, it’s that I always ended up feeling used and empty and worthless after each encounter. And I really wish it hadn’t taken me 5 years of this behaviour before I really began to realize what I was doing wrong, to love myself, to take care of myself, to believe that I am worthy of being loved and to be able to say no if I am not ready.

    I try to be proud of myself for coming so far and growing up the way I have, and mostly I am. But I still have days where I hurt inside and feel ashamed of my past.

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  • beans629 July 5, 2011, 1:20 pm

    I regret that I spent a long time believing that my happiness could be the result of something other than myself.

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  • fallonthecity July 5, 2011, 1:31 pm

    I regret spending so much time in a relationship where I wasn’t really valued. Dude was pretty obviously hung up on an ex, and I wish I had got out waaaay sooner, but I ended up staying a year and a half. I also regret being kind of mean to a guy I dated casually — but he started to develop “real feelings” for me and I sort of blew him off. I wish I’d been kinder about that.

    I don’t know if there’s a relationship decision I’m particularly proud of. I’ve only seriously dated a couple of guys… and even those weren’t THAT serious. So I guess I’m just hoping I’ve learned some valuable lessons that I can use the next time I want to be in a relationship.

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    • Ross July 7, 2011, 2:21 pm

      Don’t feel too bad about either decision. Maybe the year and a half you spent with “hung-up-on-ex guy” was the most important year in his life and it helped him get over his anger and bitterness. I am a guy and we don’t do subtle very well. It is a shame but if you are nice we will think we still have a chance and you are playing hard to get. It just makes things drag out and end even worse at times.

      For future relationships I would say the one thing I think I regret not figuring out sooner is that people don’t change, not really. If there is some person who you really love except for this one little annoying thing then you better learn to love that annoying thing or break it off now. The lazy person that uses others is not likely to suddenly mature and grow a work ethic, the person who cheats on you in a committed relationship is going to cheat on you when you get married, and so the list goes on.

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  • SGMcG July 5, 2011, 1:35 pm

    Part of me regrets that my post-graduate studies were not as successful as I should have made them. Yet if I didn’t go to the school I did, I wouldn’t have gotten in touch with my friend, who invited me to that sci-fi convention, where I met my husband. The hand of fate definitely worked in my favor in that end.

    I do regret the demise of some romances and friendships. Not the fact that they ended, because I do feel it was for the best, yet the fact that there hurt feelings involved in the process of those break-ups. Some of them were salvaged and we are able to communicate on FB still, yet others are just completely dunzo – and I regret that they didn’t end with the dignity they deserved.

    Overall, I don’t regret much about my life though. It is what it is and I am happy with what resulted. If anything could be regretted it should be that I probably didn’t incorporate the lessons I’ve learned as well as I could. Some lessons I learned pretty well from. Others I struggle still, and that’s just a personal shame of mine.

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  • spaceboy761 July 5, 2011, 1:37 pm

    My only real regret in life is staying with my college girlfriend for as long as I did, only because I kind of knew it was a mistake as it was happening and stayed with her anyway.

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  • ted July 5, 2011, 1:51 pm


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    • frankiegreen July 5, 2011, 1:56 pm

      Wow Ted, how do you walk with that giant chip on your shoulder?

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      • spaceboy761 July 5, 2011, 1:57 pm

        Awkwardly, I assume.

      • beans629 July 5, 2011, 2:19 pm

        Lol. Maybe he should change his moniker to ‘angryted’. I think it’s still available.

      • TheOtherMe July 5, 2011, 2:59 pm

        Looks like the original post disappeared ?

      • TheOtherMe July 5, 2011, 3:00 pm

        Either that or the reply function isn’t working very well today 🙁

      • TheOtherMe July 5, 2011, 3:01 pm

        Yup, I keep replying and it just goes to a new post…

      • spaceboy761 July 5, 2011, 3:04 pm

        Testing this out…

      • TheOtherMe July 5, 2011, 3:17 pm

        Still no △△

      • MissDre July 5, 2011, 3:01 pm

        Yeah I was gonna say, what happened to the original post? I wonder if Wendy deleted it? Because I can’t see any option to delete my own posts….

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        Wendy July 5, 2011, 3:17 pm

        I deleted it. I try to catch and delete really hateful, misogynistic comments, but I’m not glued to my computer at all times and don’t always catch the comments right away. I saw this one when I got back from the gym and knew it had to go. Sorry for the confusion.

      • MissDre July 5, 2011, 3:20 pm

        Is there an option to have it say “this post has been deleted by the administrator” or something like that? It’s ok if there’s not. That comment was pretty nasty and better to have it gone.

      • MissDre July 5, 2011, 3:21 pm

        Ah, looks like there is. Thanks Wendy!

      • Addie Pray July 5, 2011, 6:36 pm

        Man, I missed the original post. I was too late to DW today. You snooze you lose, I guess. Add it to my list of regrets. Along with the pizza I had for dinner last night (and breakfast this morning).

  • ted July 5, 2011, 1:53 pm

    i personally have no regrets because i don’t live in the past.
    i’ve had bad experiences, but i learned from it and moved on.

    you learn and move on. life is too short for regrets.

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    • spaceboy761 July 5, 2011, 2:03 pm

      This sounds like the emotional equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling “LALALALA CAN’T HEAR YOU LALALALA CAN’T HEAR YOU”

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      • Caris July 6, 2011, 9:17 pm

        you are funny 🙂

    • beans629 July 5, 2011, 2:22 pm

      If you don’t have any regrets that just tells me that you didn’t think deeply about what happened and why and how you would change your behavior in the future to be a stronger better person.

      I’m not even going to broach the topic of self analysis and reflection.

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    • MissDre July 5, 2011, 2:28 pm

      Wallowing in past regrets is bad. Being miserable about something you can’t change is pointless.

      Having a few regrets and reflecting on what you could have done differently is good. Gives you the wisdom to make better choices in your future.

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    • justpeachy July 5, 2011, 3:37 pm

      Either that or you never stepped out of the box enough to make any mistakes

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  • Mainer July 5, 2011, 1:54 pm

    No relationship regrets. You grow and learn from relationships, be it friendship, romantic, or professional; to regret those is to wish they never happened, which is the same as wishing you never experienced anything. What-ifs are healthy and normal, and to be 100% confident in all your decisions is to not understand them fully; every decision has some compromises that would have otherwise changed you. Our lives have millions of potential paths. There is no destiny, there is no fate. You make decisions that put you on a certain path and that path becomes your life. There is nothing that is “meant” to be, that is just a rationalization you tell yourself to feel better about your decisions and where you find your life has led you.

    Am I better off now than I would have been if I made different life choices? It’s impossible to say and there is no way to know. All I know is if I’m happy right now, which I am. Could I have been happier if I made other decisions? Maybe. But there’s no sense in dwelling on maybes. Dwelling on maybes is what leads to indecision. Indecision leads to inaction. Inaction is standing still as life moves forward. Everything you need to know is going on right in front of our eyes. We learn from the past we created and apply it to the future we know nothing about. Regret is a waste of time.

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  • Pam July 5, 2011, 12:55 pm

    I am glad that I left my marriage. For a long time I regretted it because, well, he made it so HARD. But I have almost got myself out of debt now, I OWN my car outright, I bought a home… I have taken my kids to Disney World… and I don’t have to account for every freaking penny I make and spend every night when I get home from work!

    I do regret marrying him in the first place, because he was a jerk even then. I wish that I would have spent more time in my late teens and early 20s without a boyfriend — most of my friends didn’t date seriously until after university and that allowed them to focus on what THEY wanted to do with their lives instead of focusing on making someone ELSE happy or compromising for love. I missed out on travelling and getting a job in a better city…

    Now I have to find a way to get to grad school and re-establish myself in a CAREER rather than living out my life as an over educated receptionist

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  • frankiegreen July 5, 2011, 1:57 pm

    No regrets. All decisions, especially the bad ones, have led me to where I am today- and that’s a place I never thought I would be, but I couldn’t be happier.

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  • Handy July 5, 2011, 2:01 pm

    My one real regret was the relationship that he broke off instead of me being the one to call it quits…Ah, if I could but go back in time, I’d kick him to the curb for treating me the way he did.

    But, I ought not regret it, because somehow, when he dumped me and I was rock bottom something inside me stirred. I realized that I deserved better than that and I never, ever let a guy treat me like dirt again.

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    • SpaceySteph July 5, 2011, 2:16 pm

      Hah I know that feeling. If only I could have realized what a massive jerk he was and dumped him before he broke my heart…
      Oh well!

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  • ted July 5, 2011, 2:02 pm

    There is no concept of regret in eastern philosophy.

    Because you recognize that you cannot control the outcomes. You have free will, and you can choose your actions buy the outcome IS NEVER in your control. Never. If you believe that the outcome is in your control, it is an illusion.

    Regrets only arise from the illusion of control over outcomes.

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    • spaceboy761 July 5, 2011, 2:21 pm

      I ‘liked’ this because eastern philosophy apparently has a lot in common with stochastic modeling techniques.

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    • lk July 5, 2011, 2:27 pm

      Is that the same philosophy that teaches about “fickle, hare-brained idiot women?” Haha…

      I don’t believe that people must be necessarily dissatisfied with the outcome to have “regret.” I subscribe to the concept of “upaya” – that everything is a lesson – & so I believe “regrets” are the struggles of a student to learn those lessons.

      But what do I know? I’m just an idiot woman. *Sigh*

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      • tedster July 5, 2011, 6:59 pm

        I assume we are talking about the following definition of regret.

        regret verb (used with object)
        to think of with a sense of loss: e.g. to regret one’s vanished youth.

        The conquest of karma lies in intelligent action and dispassionate response. This is not a matter of belief, karma is a natural law, much like gravity.

        You can certainly try to learn from your mistake, if there was one, but ultimately you move on. Regret implies that you still have an emotional attachment to something that happened in the past, by definition of the word.

        Life is stochastic, shit happens, don’t waste your time thinking about it.
        And never assume that you have any control over the outcome of your actions. The sooner you realize this, the better.

  • kdog July 5, 2011, 2:19 pm

    I feel like having regrets is so subjective to the time/place that I’m currently in. When I am happy and “fulfilled” I don’t regret much (I got here b/c xyz…). But when I’m having a hard time where I am at I feel like there are too many to count. I can tell you that the idea of looking back and wanting to do it all differently is something that scares the living daylights out of me. I think taking the risk will always put you in a better place than chosing not to and living with the What If.

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      Budjer July 6, 2011, 12:44 pm

      I totally agree with this. Probably why the majority of the poll was “love” since it is something a lot of people get bummed about frequently. To add to your point though a recent regret of mine is not taking a chance and talking to a woman I “met” at a conference for my scientific field. The odds were totally stacked against anything resulting of it (she is Brazilian and I’m American) but I really regret not talking to her at least.

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  • SpaceySteph July 5, 2011, 2:22 pm

    I have a couple regrets about love.
    I regret not taking a chance on a guy back in a summer program in high school. Neither of us had kissed someone before, and so we were both too scared to make the first move. So nobody ever did. I don’t really wish I were married to him now or anything, but it would be nice to have put the “what-if?” to bed.

    Also I regret getting so wrapped up in my college boyfriend that I didn’t enjoy the experience of moving away and starting over in a new town. I was so busy trying to keep our relationship alive that I didn’t put down the roots here that I should have. I was keeping my life on hold until he graduated… I wish I had known then that I could have my own life and that the right relationship would still succeed.

    And I regret that when that jerk dumped me, I spent so many months moping and crying and not eating and hoping every time the phone rang that it was him, to take me back. What a waste. I hope that if I get my heart broken again I’ll remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and not be so fucking miserable about it. I see one of my friends going through this now- mopey facebook statuses, refusing to leave her house, etc… and I just wish I could shake her and be like “snap out of it! its gonna be ok!”

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  • spaceboy761 July 5, 2011, 2:25 pm

    I wish I had grown taller.

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    • BoomChakaLaka July 5, 2011, 3:12 pm

      Do you wish you were a baller?

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      • MissDre July 5, 2011, 3:14 pm

        What song is that??

      • spaceboy761 July 5, 2011, 3:23 pm

        Additionally, I wish I that I had a girl that looked good. I would call her.

      • MissDre July 5, 2011, 3:25 pm

        Now I have that song stuck in my head.

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        Firegirl32 July 5, 2011, 4:01 pm

        Me too. Ugh.

      • BoomChakaLaka July 5, 2011, 4:07 pm

        Too Short. Sorry if I’ve ruined everyone’s day…lol.

      • MissDre July 5, 2011, 4:12 pm

        Now I’m going to go home and listen to Invasion of the Flat Booty Bitches….

  • Krissy July 5, 2011, 2:31 pm

    My only regrets have to do with friendships that went bad. I’m not sure if there was anything that I could have done to save them, but I wish I would have noticed them going downhill sooner. I also regret wasting any time at all with a certain man who had a girlfriend that he didn’t care to tell me about until I was already way too invested.

    I don’t regret taking a chance on love and moving to be with someone that I’d only known a few months. It was a little bit crazy, but I never have to wonder if it would have worked out. I’m still with him 3 years later and couldn’t be happier.

    I really try not to have too many regrets in life. When I’m feeling down about the past I just need to remind myself that I was always doing the best that I could for myself at that time.

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  • Temperance July 5, 2011, 2:50 pm

    I wish that I established better eating and exercise habits when I was super thin, and that I recognized how freaking hot my body was back then. Now, I’m trying to lose the extra weight, and it’s not going anywhere.

    I similarly regret majoring in English. No one told me that finding work in my chosen field (editorial) was practically impossible. Oh well, at least my grades were good enough to go to law school.

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    • Ross July 7, 2011, 2:23 pm

      If you are in law school right now I hate to tell you this but the market for law school grads right now is horrible.

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  • Laurel July 5, 2011, 2:53 pm

    I regret all the booze and processed food I ate too much of when I was depressed from being done with school and unemployed. Losing weight is a lot harder than gaining it, that’s for sure.

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  • SaraRosie July 5, 2011, 3:49 pm

    I regret only one relationship because it all went way too fast and I never stopped to see the red flags. On our second date he told me he was being deployed to Iraq 2 months later – i should have slowed it down and just became friends before he left. Instead it became a full blown relationship. It ended so badly and all my friends and family tried to warn me about getting attached to someone who was leaving, i was just so excited to meet someone after my Ex who seemed so “right”. Also I loaned him my old computer which i never got back, that was a hard lesson to learn!!

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  • Mel July 5, 2011, 6:13 pm

    I regret unceremoniously dumping a really nice guy at the beginning of college because I met someone new. He and I weren’t right for each other, but I should have paid more attention and realized that earlier instead of waiting for something better to come along just to avoid being alone. I also could have ended it in a much more compassionate manner.

    I regret spending way too much time in college obsessed with clinging to a boyfriend rather than having a healthy balance between a boyfriend and my friends. I know I missed out on a lot of stuff because I spent too much time with boyfriends, and partly because of this I actually drove away my second serious boyfriend and several girlfriends.

    I regret dating boys because they liked me but I never stopped to ask myself if I really liked them.

    I regret staying in an awful marriage for three years before I finally realized I had to end it – and even further back I regret not having the guts to call it off before the wedding even though there were so many signs that it was a bad idea. But, this one had a happy ending! Just months after I ended my marriage, I met my new husband and he is the most wonderful person and partner I could have ever wanted. And I never would have met him if I hadn’t still been in the same town where I lived with my ex (because of my ex) and I may not have appreciated all he had to offer if my ex hadn’t treated me so badly, thereby forcing me to reevaluate what was really important in a relationship and marriage.

    And lastly, I do NOT regret having the guts to chase my new husband! I knew I liked him but I didn’t tell him right away because I didn’t want to scare him off. But, when he was about to ask out another girl I finally had the guts to tell him how I felt and luckily he felt the same way! It was really scary at the time, but so worth it.

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  • Lexington July 5, 2011, 9:15 pm

    I regret not working harder in college the first time through and not making good grades. But even then if I had a real job now I wouldn’t be with my now fiancé so I can’t really regret that. I mostly just regret being poor.

    Also I wish I had grown a pair and just told a guy we weren’t right for each other instead of slowly drifting away. I feel bad about that, he was nice.

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    Kiwi July 5, 2011, 9:19 pm

    One regret. My grandmother was sick with leukemia and forgoing treatment, but at the time she was still well enough to walk around and eat. I stopped by to drop off a key before I went for a run. She offered to cut me up some melon before I left, and I refused… What I wouldn’t give to eat some cantaloupe with her in her kitchen again. I suppose I have learned to truly value the small moments in life.

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  • caffeinatrix July 5, 2011, 9:24 pm

    Like someone else here said, I regret more when I’m not that happy with my life. Right now I’m single and stuck in a dead-end, low-paying job, so I can think of a few regrets.
    I regret pushing away this guy that really liked me in college. He had liked me for a few years, and I knew, but I wasn’t really interested. I had dumb priorities for a boyfriend when I was younger, and I didn’t believe that anyone could like me the way he did. I just couldn’t see dating him, for whatever reason. I ended up really hurting him, and he understandably stopped talking to me.
    That’s probably my biggest regret. The other smaller regrets I can chalk up to learning experiences, but the only thing that makes me feel better about the above situation is the idea that if we had gone out, I probably would still have been too immature to appreciate what he had to offer and I would have ended up hurting him worse.

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  • Fairhaired Child July 6, 2011, 1:12 am

    I agree with what “BoomChakaLaka” said. I really WISH I hadn’t been in some relationships, but even after said relationships if I met an ex they would sometimes ask “do you hate me”. No I do not hate them, even the really aweful exs because they taught me something, something about myself or something about how other people can act towards others or treat others.

    I do regret that I had not seen the signs sooner in a single relationship, where he was extremely controlling and verbally abusive towards me. If I saw him though I still can’t say I hate him, but that I’d feel sorry for him that he feels that he must treat someone that way. (Granted my heart would probably seize up and as soon as he walked away I may still burst into tears at the memories) Because of that relationship I’m much more independent and value my freedom as well as feel I don’t have to “answer” for any of my actions, so long as I’m not breaking any laws etc. I do what I do because I feel like it, end of story.

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  • SpyGlassez July 6, 2011, 2:12 am

    I regret nothing about love or relationships, but I do have regrets about one friendship that ended badly. I was suffering one of my bouts of depression, and not handling it well; she had never been good at handling emotional scenes (by her own admission). Things blew up, shit went down, and we haven’t spoken in at least 7 or 8 years. I don’t regret the end of the friendship – it was probably bound to happen – but I regret that I cannot tell her how sorry I am for my share, because she wants nothing to do with me. For a long time I blamed her, but I was mentally ill – not everyone can or should handle someone with a mental illness. I realize how I created the situation we were in, and how I gave her no choice but to leave the way she did. I regret that I can’t explain that I understand it now.

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  • bitterbitterbitter July 7, 2011, 2:14 pm

    voting for O – what a mistake that was.

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  • Hookey July 7, 2011, 2:15 pm

    No regrets about breaking up with old flames. Rather grateful that the splits happened because after checking pics on Facebook, they all turned into their respective moms.

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  • Chris July 7, 2011, 2:53 pm

    I regret not telling a particular female friend in HS how I felt about her… We were the best of friends but I went away to college and eventually the military…married etc. 20 years later we connected and chatted and she mentioned that her mother always thought I was in love with her.

    I told her that I had been, that she was my first love, but I had never spoken my feelings for fear of ruining our friendship. Which lets face it, was unlikely to survive world travel in any case.

    She told me that she had felt the same, and she named her first boy after me. Her marriage failed, and that’s when she searched for and found me.

    My marriage has not failed, and although I still think of Rose constantly, I cannot destroy my wife for some ghost from the past… My wife is happy, and who am I to break her heart?

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  • regret guy July 7, 2011, 3:04 pm

    I am actually finding hard to think of anything I don’t regret except my children.

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  • "Owen Orwell" July 7, 2011, 4:59 pm

    I regret not leaving my wife in the first year after she had a personality change and began to drink in a different way, and to argue all the time. I stuck with her, cause the Catholic Church said to and because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else, and when the divorce came, five years later, it was a nightmare out of Poe–maybe “the Pit and the Pendulum.” And I really regret, once the divorce was on me, not realizing that I could not save my children from this self-centered alcoholic woman unless I raised $30,000 for a full-out custody fight. No one told me that was what was needed, and I did not imagine it for myself. It seemed like such a huge sum of money, and I was a lover not a fighter. I could have saved my youngest child from the miserable and depressed childhood he had, and I regret that I didn’t.

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  • willis July 7, 2011, 5:00 pm

    I regret that evening 40 years ago I received a call from my fiance, JeanAnne Bream, saying she had changed her mind and no longer wanted to marry me. I wanted so much to make a life with her and have thought of her often over the years. I am happy with the life I did make, with the person I chose years later. Perhaps it was for the best. But I still wonder.

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