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Past relationship: A missed opportunity?

We are often left fretting when we compare our present life with what our life could have been if we had not made certain mistakes in our past love lives.

sex and relationships Updated: Mar 28, 2011 11:18 IST
Shara Ashraf

At 31, Ananya Mahar is married, has a four-year-old kid and is a successful software professional. But what often leaves her fretting and anxious is the fact that she can’t help comparing her present life with what her life could have been, had she not made certain mistakes in her past love life. And that includes breaking off with the ‘champu-ish’ guy in her college, who was head over heels in love with her, and is now a handsome chef settled in the US.

Mahar is not alone, who has such regrets. A recent research says that the number of women who regret about their past love life is more than double the number of men who do so. And the most common regrets are about "the one that got away", "a missed opportunity" or "someone they knew, with whom it didn’t quite work out", elaborates the research conducted at America’s Northwestern University.

Couple fightingSo, what makes women wish they could turn back time to make some serious amends in their love life? "It’s because women keep blaming themselves for everything that goes wrong. They keep thinking that they could have done better while most men prefer to toss the blame on their partners," says lawyer Zainab Jabri. Dr Deepali Kapoor, a psychologist, says most women find themselves accountable for a broken relationship as they are always taught to accommodate.

"The world over, women are taught not to be as assertive, opinionated or aggressive as men. Their expectation from their own self is too high and they consider themselves responsible for a break-up." Media professional Swati Mishra (name changed), dated a guy for two years and then broke off because she felt he was a tad too possessive. She says, "I felt he was trying to control my life. I got desperate to break free. Now, I realise although he was being overtly protective, he did care about me. I broke up in a haste," she says.

But there can be a lesson hidden in regret as well. "Regret can be positive, as it helps you avoid repeating mistakes," says Kapoor. Another finding of the study would leave men fuming. It says almost twice as many women as men wish they had married someone else. "It’s the constant pressure of multitasking and making endless adjustments in life that make a woman think like that," says psychiatrist Sandeep Vohra. Men, would you mind switching role and introspect for a change?