Study finds romance is most common regret

A new study from Psychological and Personality Science found that romance is the biggest source of regret for Americans. Eighteen percent of people surveyed regretted something romance-related.

Senior Melissa Kuebler agrees. Her parents said if she didn’t date until she was 18, they would give her a car. But Kuebler decided to date, and she said it became one of her biggest regrets.

“I regret my first boyfriend,” she said. “It was such a waste of time.”

But for some St. Thomas students, their regrets have more to do with school work.

While the study found that 13 percent of participants listed education as their biggest regret, those who had less education were more likely to regret their lack of schooling.

Some students said they had regrets related to their study habits.

“My biggest regret is procrastination, even though it’s ongoing,” freshman Michelle Graff said. “I always regret waiting until the last minute to do all my stuff, because then I don’t get the grade I want.”

Senior Nick Michalak agreed.

“I regret not studying enough, because now I am trying to go into the real world, and I have mediocre credentials,” Michalak said.

Some students said their biggest regret was something they didn’t do.

”I guess there is no hurt in trying, and not even giving something a chance would, in a sense, be seen as failure to myself,” junior Jenny Mammen said.

Mammen’s biggest regret is not studying abroad.

“Studying abroad is something I really wanted to do, and then I just kept putting it off and things
kept getting in the way,” she said. “I don’t know if I will be able to find time once I graduate.”

The study also found that women regretted romance more than men. Forty-four percent of women regretted romance while 19 percent of men did. But men had the highest regrets related to career choice at 34 percent.

“I think women put more emphasis on relationships and love itself. Men kind of take love as a building block for each relationship,” Mammen said. “They kind of tend to see the positives, and women tend to see the negatives and tend to put the blame upon themselves, so that’s why they feel it’s a bigger regret.”

Freshman Mark Painter agreed with the gender differences.

“In general, in groups of guys, there is more stress in what you are going to do for a job, how much money you are going to make and stuff like that,” Painter said.

According to the study, other top regrets among Americans relate to family, finances, parenting, health, friends and spirituality.

Jacqueline Destache can be reached at