When it comes to admitting to regrets - particularly among women - romance is the most common source of nagginganxiety, the latest research finds.
And in the field of romantic relationships, everyone seems to have made decisions they had come to regret, according to Neal Roese, professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business in Illinois.
Some 370 adults across the United States - ranging in age from 20 to 80 - were asked in a telephone survey to list their biggest regrets, and the most frequently mentioned issue had to do with romance, said Professor Roese.
About 44 percent of the women interviewed listed romance, while only 19 percent of the men mentioned it, he said.
Many of the romantic regrets were about ‘the one that got away, a missed opportunity or someone you knew in college with whom it didn’t quite work out,’ Prof Roese said.
The second-most common regret centered around family issues, such as a desire to have been kinder to a loved one.
Others regretted not going to college or not divorcing sooner, or choosing money over a life’s passion.
Prof Roese said many of those who took part in the survey were eager to do so, and some even became tearful as they spoke.
But saying ‘I wish I would have’ isn’t all bad.
‘Regret is something that can push people into better success in the future,’ Prof Roese explained.
‘It’s a motivator. It’s a benefit if you take a lesson and move on quickly. It’s a problem if you keep [re-living] that same regret over and over again.’