A Few Words On Regret - 10.10.97

The other day I got into a conversation with a friend about relationships that we'd been in. We didn't run down the list of everyone that we'd ever seen, but we did touch on some of the highlights of various ones that we had been in. Although most of these highlights ended up being bad things that had gone on, there were some interesting stories shared, as well some severe laughter.

Out of all this talking came a very interesting point that we started discussing. My friend told me that they had recently been having almost the same discussion with another friend of theirs. During their talk, the person they were talking to stated that they "regretted ever knowing someone" because it had been caused so much pain in their life. Although this statement seemed fairly plausible at first, the more we thought about it, the more we both seemed to disagree with it.

Let me first say that I'm not totally against the above statement from that person's perspective. Obviously, I haven't been in every relationship imaginable, and I haven't experienced everything there is to experience. I'm lucky to say that I've never been physically abused, but like most people I've gone through some emotional distress that was influenced directly by a relationship. I don't condemn them for saying it, but I don't think that I would ever say it myself. Before you call me a complete hypocrite, keep reading.

In beginning my own defense, let me state that I've been in several relationships, and they've definitely not all been good. There have been good points in each one of them, but I've also had my share of experiences that would sound like bad Melrose Place plots if I shared them here. Even at that, though, I don't regret anything that has happened.

The main reason behind this is because each one of those times I screwed up something, I still had that experience of someone being mad at me. Each time I got jerked around, I felt the pain of being shafted by someone I cared about. They may have been mistakes (bad ones at that), but I can look back on them and hopefully learn something from them and save it for future use. I may not like what has happened to me, but I can certainly choose not to go through the same things again if I see the same situation arising. Likewise, I can admit that I made a stupid mistake and try to remember not to do something that made someone upset.

I guess my point is that it's better to have had the experiences than to not. At least you can choose whether you want to learn anything from them or change what you're doing at all. Unless you're born with the art of relationships perfected, you're going to make mistakes at some point anyway. It sounds kind of cheesy, but I'd rather be living and learning than regretting and stagnating.