What Do Men Regret Most?

In a recent study, Neal Roese and Mike Morrison of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign randomly called 370 adult Americans and asked about their biggest regret.

Love-related laments, comprising 18 percent of all regrets, were the most common, edging out family, education, career, finance, parenting, health, friends, spirituality, community, leisure, and self.

While 44 percent of women picked romance-related bummers as their biggest regrets, only 19 percent of men chose the same. Thirty-four percent of men chose a career-related regret, compared to 27 percent of women.

Joachim Krueger, a professor of psychology at Brown University, told LiveScience:

There’s a general idea in research that women are more concerned with social relationships than men are. Men are more concerned with career and self-advancement.

According to Roese, men said they usually wished they had pursued a different career or education—one that satisfied them more instead of making them more money.

People who were more educated also had more career-related regrets, while those with less education had more educated-related regrets.

Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do,” but this study shows that this isn’t the case. There was a pretty even split between positive and negative regrets.

We all have regrets. I regret consuming ice cream this morning, knowing I’m lactose-intolerant. I regret calling my ex-boyfriend. And I’ll probably regret it when I get the Justin Bieber haircut that everyone is telling me not to attempt. But hell, these regrets create who we are.

“The bad [part of regrets] is obvious,” said Roese, “but the good is it helps us put our lives together, helping us to put things into perspective.”

[via Gawker < Mindhacks]

—Photo PhysOrg.com


About Zaneta Jung

Zaneta Jung is a self-proclaimed nerd who is fresh out of college and learning to navigate post-grad life (i.e. how to buy meat). Also she wants to ride an elephant one day.


  1. It’s not surprising men also feel regret over all kinds of relationships. After all, contrary to popular feminist belief, we are human too. 🙂

    I have some regrets about past relationships that I probably shouldn’t have entered into in the first place, but as you said those experiences are what shapes us.

    • Please show me where a feminist has said men are not humans. Really… this crap is getting old.

      • Yes it is quite old.

        “Feminism, the radical belief that women are people too….”

        Ever heard that slogan Kyle?

        See if you can connect the dots and answer your own question.

        Hint: Think about the implications of someone who may disagree with the politics and how they would be viewed by the sloganeers

        • Bart, I’m really going to try to give you the benefit of the doubt and not assume you’re plainly retarded… but how does ““Feminism, the radical belief that women are people too….” in any way, shape, or form imply the men are not human.

          In fact, it says… men are human… most everyone recognizes this… but women are *also* humans thus also should have human rights.

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