Regret is a strange thing, especially when it comes to love and romance. For even the happiest person, there is often a sense of something left undone or unsaid, like the wrong choice they made in the past, or an opportunity for love, or a relationship that went on too long, or it could be anything. When singles talk about their past relationship failure, they shift the focus off of building a present, and possibly even a future, with another person.
Have you ever wondered how romantic regret could haunt some people their entire lives? Who are your exes? How many have there been?
Remember, choosing to eat that chocolate bar from the store when you’re following a strict diet or wanting to watch that movie on TV that caught your attention when you should be studying for your exam. Living for the here now might not cause significant damage every time, but choosing immediate gratification in your dating relationship is a recipe for regret.
Is it important to tell your partner all about them? Every one of them?
As awkward as it may be, you’re going to have to discuss your dating history with your partner. The focus needs to be on sharing historical information that would have potential relevance in your current relationship. So who are the good exes worth talking about? Find out.
Should you be open about your dating history?
Being completely open about our dating past can be a good thing as it has the potential to build deeper trust. If your partner is concerned about something from your dating history, it’s important to reassure them that the past is in the past. Just be aware that your partner may struggle with it a little at first.
People have two types of history, a good one, and horrible. The variety of behaviors involved, situations in which they can occur, and ways that they can end, creates a challenge for researchers to understand and predict people’s emotional reactions. Still, we’ve researched a quite bit about individuals respond to dating history, especially about their feeling of regret.
Following are some of the findings:
Men and women have different regrets: Women are more likely to reset a dating history, and their emotional response might include shame or self-blame. Men are more apt to regret their choice regarding a partner, lamenting their situation if the partner was sexually permissive or unattractive.
Men and women can react positively to dating history: According to recent studies, 70 percent of men and about 50 percent of women have predominantly positive responses to their most recent dating history. They divide into two groups – the happy hopefuls and the content realists. The happy hopefuls tend to drink heavily before dating, often engage in physical relation, and anticipate a relationship to emerge from their encounter potentially.
- Physical involvement or not?: Women often have fewer regrets when a dating history does not include physical participation.
- Action vs. inaction: Men expect to regret a missed opportunity for a casual physical involvement more than women do, and more than they would regret a physical involvement that did occur. Women, on the other hand, anticipate regretting sexual action more intensely than sexual inaction.
- Choice of partner: People are more likely to regret a dating history if it involved physical involvement with someone they had known for less than 24 hours.
- Dating can be a learning experience: It depends on how positively people view dating. It may be linked to increases their comfort with engaging behavior and increases their interest in romantic relationships. Dating can help people to boost their confidence as a partner.
- Long dating history? More chance of regret: As complex as sexual regret is, the evidence does not support the idea that people who report more hookup partners are more likely to have regretted a decision to engage in sexual activity.
If you do feel the need to disclose aspects of your dating history, then you should do so by emphasizing what you learned, not just about yourself, but about the kind of relationship you ultimately want.
Remember, your history does not disqualify you from dating or marriage.
Do you have the experience to share? Looking back on your dating history, do you have regrets? If so, what are you doing to work through them and to protect yourself from future regrets?
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