Decisions relating to love bring about more regret than those involving work, a new study finds.
Researchers performed experiments in which more than 500 men and women rated the intensity of life regrets. Across the board, disappointments involving romance or family—ending a relationship, cheating, or not spending enough time with relatives—were consistently rated as more intense than education or career regrets—quitting a job or dropping out of college. In fact, love regrets outnumbered work regrets by more than 2 to 1 in some comparisons.
Researchers believe the reason may have to do with our desire to belong and feel connected to others. “We crave strong, stable social relationships,” explains study author Mike Morrison. “Our well-being suffers if we lack them.”
Listen up, workaholics: You’ll feel much worse about forgetting your anniversary than making a mistake at work. “Don’t let your regrets fester. Instead, try to do something to fix them,” says Morrison. “Use the lessons from the past to avoid making the same mistakes the next time a similar situation arises. Regrets can serve to make you a better, wiser person.” Luckily, it takes only a little effort to keep the romance alive. Below are some advices.
Step Away from the Phone and Computer
OK, you take our advice and head home from work early to be with your partner. But then you spend the night G-chatting with friends instead of talking with her. Relationship happiness decreases as cell-phone usage increases, found a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. Unplug and unwind together.
Be More Attentive
When it comes to romance, forget the box of chocolates and long-stem roses. Instead, just say these magic words: “Tell me about your day.” Wives care most about how affectionate and understanding their husbands are, according to University of Virginia study. Ultimately, your wife will associate this bond with romance.
Another dinner-and-movie date? Yawn. It’s time to spice things up. According to a study in the journal Psychological Science, boredom can be just as bad for your marriage as fighting. Researchers analyzed 120 couples on their 7-year anniversary, and then again on their 16-year anniversary. The couples that said they were the most bored in year 7 were significantly less satisfied with their relationship 9 years later. Can’t think of any great new ideas? Don’t worry: We’ve got you covered. Here’s how to make every date an unbelievable adventure. (Speaking of getting bored, trying a new sex position is one of the easiest ways to inject variety into the most intimate part of your life.