Friday, January 9, 2009

Regrets in Dating

A lot of articles discuss all the good things about dating. In order to grow and learn, I think it's important to learn about the regrets people have as well. There were some suprises and there were many types of regrets. It is interesting to ask yourself about the regrets because it often highlights dating issues we often forget to mention. It is useful in pointing out that we are not alone in the mistakes that we make while dating.

Here are some lessons learned:

Dating a married person.

Seems like just about every version of this scenerio is about the same. Dating a married person is a complete trainwreck. Lies, deceit, regret, cheating and false promises, and this almost never has a good outcome. This is a great example of how people waste their time waiting for someone who will never leave and be yours. You are sharing your love with someone else with stolen moments and brief weekends where you were not the only person on their mind. Avoid marrtied people like the plague unless you want to lose all the dignity you ever had.

Highschool Sweethearts

It appears there are a lot of people who have spent years wishing they had married the person of their dreams when they had the chance. Your Highschool or College sweetheart came at a time you were too young and too busy sowing your oats. You come to realize, years later, that you use them to compare everybody else. Only to find the level of emotion never quite match. This leads you to believe you are settling and making do. If you are thinking about that long lost love, and can't let it go, you are really doing a disservice to your current partner.

Getting Cold Feet

Not asking someone out when the opportunity arises. This appears to be a big one because you are dealing with that naggin 'what if.' This tends to come out as a regret at a time when other things are not going well and you find yourself fantasizing and thus cursing yourself for not taking the chance. What if you had asked him out? What if you had said yes to that cute guy? You wonder if they could have been that soulmate. You might be married and had children. Taking no action seems to have a long term effect. Just look at the popularity of reunions.

Staying the course

Not ending a bad relationship earlier. There are many of us who have started a relationship only to discover that it wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. The door is always in the same place, yet we chose for many a reason not to walk out of it. Maybe it seems the right thing to do, you don't want to admit you were wrong, or maybe you were just scared. No matter the reason it was a disservice to both parties. The fact is, too many of us have stayed in long term relationships that were not good for ourselves and our partners.

Mr. or Ms. Rigth?

Hardly. Dating the wrong person for the wrong reasons. Sex, appearance, business reason, even sympathy are all wrong reasons. There are plenty of people out there who have dated people for the wrong reasons and lived to regret it. This has to be balanced against hindsight. Hindsight is indeed 20/20. You can decide later it wasn't the right thing and that is fine. But if you aware of it at the time, then there's no excuse.

I gotta work

Typical. You work so much to get the pinnacle in your industry, staving off everything else. Currently, a third of all adults are now single and that number is growing. The most commonly sited reason is that we put our career first, especially through our 20's and then begin seriously dating in our 30's when we feel ready. The problem with that is we are not as young as we were, not as attractive as we were and in some cases, that 'clock' is ticking and a good portion of the great people are committed elsewhere. A great many of us appear to be wishing we had sorted out our love lives earlier.

The Hearbreaker

Leaving someone you were in truly in love with. There have been many instances where people in love have ended a relationship and seem to struggle to find an explanation as to why. Usually the decision was regretted very quickly and then find out that the rejected partner has moved on with their life...a life you will never be a part of. A good portion of the time, cheating is the primary cause, that's to say, getting caught. If you love someone stay with them faithfully.

The Big Jerk

Not being the nice person you could have been. Treating someone badly in a relationship always comes back to haunt you if you are the guilty party, no matter how it made you feel at the time. As we grow older and reflects on our lives we think about those we could have been nicer too and it's always suprising how many of us admit we could have been nicer to our partners. I am not talking about physical violence here, though we all admit it exists within our society. I simply mean being courteous, kind, remembering birthdays and anniversaries, buying flowers, compromising, going on holidays and being romantic and spontaneous. Live and learn.

The Bad Breakup

Breaking up is hard enough in most cases. But breaking up in a cold and callous way is even worse. Almost every one has done it or had it done to them, and it's a regrettable situation. It's easy to love and move on when you are younger. You may not quite have that perspective on life, but as you grow older and have it done by someone you loved, it will break your heart. You will drive yourself crazy thinking about what went wrong if the relationship ends badly. No explanation, no reasons given. One day it's fine, the next day it's over. Breaking up via email, texting or phone are cowardly and it appears that many of us are guilty of doing just that.

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