People like to say that they live life without regrets. But if we never felt bad about our decisions, how would we ever learn to do things differently? The truth is, many people do have regrets, and those regrets can be powerful learning opportunities — especially in relationships.
Relationships are one area where, no matter how smart you are, you're bound to mess up. Skills like judging other people's character, managing strong emotions, and balancing your needs with a partner's are learned over time. And usually, learning them requires making a few mistakes.
These mistakes can be blessings in disguise. After all, life would be a lot less interesting if we could just read a guide on how to have healthy relationships and then enjoy them effortlessly. What makes relationships — and life — so fulfilling is that as we go through them, we learn to become better and better, and there's always more room to improve.
To help everyone along in that journey, I asked people what their biggest relationship regrets of all time are. I could relate to a lot of them, and I bet many others can too. From staying in relationships past their expiration date to giving up your dreams for a partner, here are some of their answers.
If we can learn anything from these people's regrets, it's probably that people regret sacrificing themselves for their relationships. If you want to minimize regrets, then, maybe the key is to honor your own desires, goals, and intuitions.