Connection regrets are the largest of the four categories in the deep structure of human regret. They arise from relationships that have come undone or that remain incomplete. The types of relationships that produce them vary. Spouses. Partners. Parents. Children. Siblings. Friends. Colleagues. The nature of the rupture also varies. Some relationships fray. Others rip. A few were inadequately stitched from the beginning.
These findings about connection regrets are consistent with the Study of Adult Development at Harvard Medical School, the longest-running examination of lifetime well-being in this history of psychological science. In 1938, researchers at Harvard recruited 268 undergraduate men, and followed them for the next 80 years. The audacious goal was to try to determine why some people flourished in work and life and others floundered.
The lesson of closed doors is to do better next time. The lesson of open doors is to do something now. If a relationship you care about has come undone, place the call. Make that visit. Say what you feel. Push past the awkwardness and reach out.
Nostalgia is likely at the heart of your dilemma. Past loves, after all, can all too easily be remembered without their nagging doubts and niggling details. Consequently, remember that those old relationships broke down for a reason. It is important to bear this in mind to avoid idealising a liaison that, being in the past, is uncorrupted by the mundane pressures and little disappointments of daily life.
Is it, however, ever a good idea to end a relationship because of an ex? Kalish started the Lost Love Project back in 1993 from her base in California State University. The aim was to carry out a survey of men and women who had tried to reunite with their old flames.
But the most frequent regrets involve romance, according to a new study by Neal J. Roese, a professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, and Mike Morrison, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This and other findings contradict some of the results of previous, smaller studies, which had ranked education-related regrets in first place.
Whether a breakup changed your daily interactions, your living situation, or what you thought your future might look like, it's hard to get out of a relationship without some change to your life. Because they can cause such a change, you might start to think about how things would've worked out or could've worked out if you'd made different choices, done things differently.
"One thing that I hear about good relationships that end is that a lot of the problems they had could have been avoided," Kevon Owen, M.S., LPC, a clinical psychotherapist and counselor, told INSIDER. "If they would have spoken up about things that were bothering them, they could have avoided it getting to the point of resenting the other person. They were fearful of upsetting the other person or being rejected. With this particular regret, I like to think about it as long term investing in the relationship. It may cost a little bit up front but over time the compound conflict that will be avoided is immeasurable. A relationship is best when you really know what the other person really likes and dislikes and who they really are. This is a live and learn kind of regret that calls for some reflection and awareness."
Whether you gave it your all in your relationship or not, after breaking up, you might start to think that maybe you didn't and that if you had, you might still be together. It's a common post-breakup regret.
"A relationship ending makes us become nostalgic and you tend to remember many of the good things you shared with your former partner," Dr. Alisha Powell, Ph.D., LCSW, a couples counselor, told INSIDER.
On the flip side of things, feeling as though you didn't end things soon enough and instead let the relationship linger, potentially even making things worse between the two of you, is another common regret that you might have after you break up with a partner. Relationship coach Sheila Darling, LMSW, told INSIDER that feeling as though you wasted that time hoping that the dynamic between the two of you would change and things would get better can certainly be a source of regret.
"Once out of the relationship, they are more open to support from friends and/or professionals who can help them gain insight into their own behavior so they can look at the relationship in a different light," Darling said. "Once a relationship has ended, it is easier to evaluate the time, energy, physical and financial commitment that was put into it and then decide if this is a healthy way to move into a future relationship."
Owen said that if you "[allowed] the relationship to become way too serious and involved too fast," that that is a common regret you might have after a breakup. Introducing them to family or close friends too early on, getting a dog early in your relationship, pooling your finances early on, and the like can all be things you live to regret after breaking up.
"People tend to look at regrets as failures however every experience we have helps us with future experiences," Darling said. "Setbacks such as a failed relationship help us to know just what we need and want in a future relationship and within ourselves."
"Romantic relationships can sometimes take up enormous amounts of emotional energy. Sometimes our friends get left behind in the whirlwind," Powell said. "You might find yourself regretting not reaching out more as your friends may have moved on with their lives without you."
Whether your relationship lasts forever or not, at some point, you might regret shifting all of your attention away from other relationships. It can be especially difficult to deal with something like this right after a breakup when you might need your support system most of all.
Spending time trying to make your relationship work might not be a mistake, but if it ends in a breakup, you may find yourself regretting not spending time with your kids, focused on friendships, or doing other things that matter to you too, Darling said. It can feel like you missed out on things when you were focused on something that ultimately didn't work out.
If you're dealing with regrets after a breakup, there are things that you can do to move past them. "The first is to take personal responsibility for your role in the breakup and make a commitment to change things that you personally want to change," Darling said. "Not to change for someone else or to please a partner, but for yourself because you want that personal growth."
As new regrets emerge you will have a place to put them, but you will also be able to leave them there. Leaving the boneyard of regret is not denial as the boneyard will be there if you ever need it. But do not set up camp there. Leave.
The best way to end a relationship is to initiate the conversation about the break up face-to-face with your partner. Yes, it sounds hard. And, it is. But respect plays a fundamental component in learning how to end a relationship without regrets.
Expressing your respect for your boyfriend or girlfriend or partner and respect for the romantic relationship that you built with them is important. Although the idea of talking about such a difficult and uncomfortable thing over texts can seem appealing and easy, it is not respectful.
Figuring out how to end a relationship the right way requires courage. A lot of it. Brace yourself for the painful and uncomfortable conversation with your partner. Brace yourself for their potentially negative reactions. Do it face-to-face.
To move on in life, it is important to learn how to end a relationship without regrets. Understand the effective ways to do so, and also go for psychotherapy or counseling to prioritize your mental health.
Even though the study reinforces the idea that women mourn failed relationships and reflect on their failures while men appear ready to move on straight away without looking back, earlier research found that almost twice as many women as men wish they had married someone else.
Despite the widely acknowledged importance of burnout and career choice regret [13, 27], the status and relationship of these two aspects among Chinese neurology postgraduates are largely unexplored. In this national study, we examined the status of and factors associated with burnout and career choice regret among Chinese neurology postgraduates. Based on our findings, we proposed some suggestions that may be helpful to inform employment measures.
We found that sleep deprivation and family factors were important elements in career choice regret. A previous study also found that chronic sleep deprivation caused depression and anxiety, which affected attitudes and efficiency at work . Family factors included family income, marital status, and whether the participant had children. Postgraduates with a low monthly family income were more likely to plan to become doctors, which may because doctors are well-paid comparing with other careers. Those who were married had a high risk for career choice regret, possibly because their heavy clinical workload may lead to conflict between work and family life, and strained relationships with their spouse or children. A study  suggested that career choice regret among neurology residents was influenced by work-family compatibility, which was consistent with our findings.
Relationships are one of the most important things in our lives, whether it be with friends or a significant other. Sometimes relationships can be a roller coaster of emotions and we begin to start doubting ourselves and the decisions we've made. Regrets often come after a fight or when things don't go the way you hoped or envisioned. The good news is that having regrets can also mean you've grown as a person and realize you should have done things differently.
For example, Bustle spoke with people who experienced regret in romantic relationships. They expressed disappointment in themselves for not expressing how they truly felt, giving up their dreams for a partner, and staying in relationships past their expiration date. Experts say this is normal, and that lack of communication is a common regret. Psychology Today interviewed 700 experienced people about what they regretted most when it came to relationships and a common theme was not saying how they really felt. Many said they didn't regret the things they said, but regretted what they didn't express, whether it be deep feelings, compliments, or gratitude. 1e1e36bf2d