Photo by: pedro alves via Flickr
Despite the pain that usually comes with entering into a romantic relationship, people -- whatever their gender preference is-- are still willing to fall in love.They probably are followers of a philosophy from Saint Augustine, who wrote that it is"Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all."
The high rank of romance or finding love on the bucket list of many people is not surprising at all.In a survey of 370 American men andwomen, commissioned by two psychology experts, the study found that 18 percent of the respondents listed romance andlost love as the things they will regret the most at the end of their lives if they did not enjoyed or had it earlier.
Other regrets in life
After romance and lost love, the next regret cited by 16 percent of the respondents is family, followed by education (13percent), career (12 percent), finance (10 percent), parenting (9 percent), and health (6 percent).If those who cited romance,family, and parenting are combined, they would account for 43 percent, while if it is education, career, and finance that arecombined, it is only 35 percent, showing that not many people at their deathbeds would regret not having spent more time atthe office than regret not having spent more time with the family.
The two turned out to be the most common regret, because "People crave strong.stable social relationships and are veryunhappy when they lack the; regret embodies this principle," Mike Morrisson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Neal Roese of the Kellogg School of Management at the Northwestern University in Illinois, said.
However, when gender is factored in, it is females who have more regrets about missed romance than more who have higherchances of regrets about their work and career.The study found that there was some link between level of education andromance, with those who lacked a high education having the most regrets, while those who have high levels of education hadthe most regrets about career, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Study on friendship
However, Roese, in another study in 2012 with Morrisson and Kai Epstude, titled "Life Regrets and the Need to Belong,"which was published in Sage Journal, again found that relationships and career were the biggest regrets.The research hadmore than 1,300 respondents across five studies.
The respondents said that their regrets over their relationhips were more intense than their regrets about career and otheraspects of their lives that were nonsocial.On top of their concerns was the lack of, dysfunction, or loss of social connections.The authors also found a link between how intense were people's social regret with how much they felt their fundamentalneed to belong came under threatt from loss or lack of relationships.
Close friendships versus social media friends
Roese, in the Harvard Business Review article, noted that part of the challenge when it comes to friendships is its changingdefinition.People may have very strong commitments to family and work obligations, but due to frequent travels, work-from-home arrangements, and excessive use of technology, real, close friends are often less than the 10 fingers on our hands.Yet, we could have hundreds or online, and even offline friends, whom we choose to text or tweet rather than meet them faceto face.
He recommended taking more steps toward more meaningful friendships so we can cross off friendships from the list of liferegrets.These steps are making more effort, asking for your friends' perspective, planning around share interests, makingnew friends, and giving higher priority to work and friendship.
Advice for people in their 20s
An article in The Independent cited a recent Reddit thread about tips so people in their 20s would have no regrets when they grow older.That age is crucial because it represents the crossover from a carefree and dependent way of life as minors and teenagers when people make major decisions that affect their future live.This is the period when big career and romantic relationships are made.
One sound advice from a Redditor was to marry someone who is your best friend, with whom you share a common philosophy in life, common values, and common goals in your future.The Redditor added, "Don't marry someone, primarily, because their ass look good in jeans."
The 20s is also a good period to acquire good habits in term of health such a regular exercise, eating properly, proper body hygiene and the like.It is because habits formed early in life tend to stick that by the time a person reaches his 30s or 40s, he is already on auto-pilot with how he does things.Another Redditor stressed, "Your 20s, particularly your mid to late 20s, are critical to establish yourself.Make the best of it."