Most Americans harbor romantic regrets, especially single women, says a recent study from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Key findings from the study include:
- About 44 percent of women reported romance regrets versus 19 percent of men.
- Women also had more family regrets than men.
- About 34 percent of men reported having work-oriented regrets versus 27 percent of women reporting similar regrets.
- Men also had more education regrets than women.
- Individuals who were not currently in a relationship were most likely to have romance regrets.
- People were evenly divided on regrets of situations that they acted on versus those that they did not act on. People who regretted events that they did not act on tended to hold on longer to that regret over time.
A Los Angeles Times story explains regret as “one form of the endless loop of what-might-have-beens that braids itself into the ongoing life narrative that runs in our heads…” We all know regret as the chances we did or did not take, the words we did or did not say and the people we may have hurt along the way, including ourselves.
Living with regret can be debilitating. It can hold you back from experiencing new, fruitful relationships, and it can taint your view of the past, present and future. It would be much easier to use a magic eraser and remove all of the hurt we have each experienced in our dating journeys, but we would lose the lessons that have ultimately created who we are today.
Live life prayerfully, seek out the sacraments, and let love and truth be your guides, and you will be sure to live a life with no regrets.