The Zoomer Report: Regrets

What do you wish you’d done differently? Whether it’s the great guy who got away or the dead-end relationship that went on way too long, romance gone wrong tops the list of regrets for most people.

Nearly a fifth of participants in a study out of Northwestern University cited regrets involving romance. That was followed closely by regrets about family, education, and career, finance and parenting.

Women were more likely than men to have regrets about relationships. That’s what fueled 44 per cent of their regrets compared to 19 per cent of men’s. Men, on the other hand, were more likely to have regrets about work or education – 34 per cent compared to women’s 26 per cent, according to the study.

Many of the regrets around work involved missed opportunities – turning down a job instead of taking it, failing to take risks that could have led to a more fulfilling career. Those with less education were more likely to have education regrets. And those with more education were more likely to have career regrets.

Short-term regrets tended to be about things people did like forgetting to call Mom on Mother’s Day.

But the long-lasting regrets were more often about things that people did not do, such as never expressing their feelings to a loved one or taking a career risk. What does it all mean? When in doubt, go for it! And remember regret is an essential part of the human experience.

Photo ©iStockphoto.com/ Lisa Valder

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Libby ZnaimerAbout The Zoomer Report
Libby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.

Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.