According to the Ask Men website, the following are the top 10 male regrets. And whilst regrets are counterproductive, they are part of human nature. This list is purely about male regrets, stuff that young men are suited for and that old men now realise was precious but fleeting. They interviewed older men about everything they wished they’d done, had done differently or had never done at all. They talked a lot about relationships, careers and misspent youth, but the overarching idea was that you have to seize the day before you’re confronted by the fact that you don’t have too many days left to seize. I thought it would be good to share their results, so that we could at least avoid the ones we already haven’t made! And yes, I’ve made some, avoided some, and going to correct some, now that I know…
No.10 – Not playing a team sport
Sports are more than just an increasingly valuable physical activity in an increasingly obese world. Sports, especially of the coordinated team variety, are just as mentally and socially involved as they are physical.
They serve as a kind of brief break from stress and worry; on top of that, being genuinely good at a sport (or at least having a few solid moments of accomplishment) gives you a feeling of agency and vigour that you can’t get from anything else. This is particularly true after you’ve waited until you’re limited to golf and skittles.
No.9 – Not staying in touch with friends
Outside of school and work, you’re unlikely to wind up in situations where meeting people is purely incidental, where everyone is more or less forced to get to know one another and form friendships. Of course, you’re not guaranteed to make friends in either situation, which is why it’s so important to retain the ones you have.
Neglecting friendships is easy — everyone’s busy and everyone loses touch from time to time — but trying to revisit friendships after years have passed rarely works out.
No.8 – Not getting in a fight
With how much certainty can you think of yourself as tough if you’ve never been called out on it? You may not think of doling out an ass-kicking as a confidence-building exercise, but it sort of is. The most tangible benefit of getting in a fight is, quite simply, that now you’ve gotten in a fight. Plenty of guys wonder how they’d hold up in that situation, but they just can’t be sure, and of course this is something there’s ample excuse not to do when you’re older. If you didn’t have at least one solid fight while you were young, there’s a good chance you never will.
No.7 – Not splurging on a badass car
It becomes progressively harder to justify having an impractical, flashy, impressive ride as you get older — there’s a point after which having a family and trying to fit a career-oriented status quo will no longer tolerate your tooling around on an explosively loud muscle car. Even if you do hit a midlife crisis and decide you need a cherry-red convertible to call your own, it won’t be the same because you’ll no longer be the young, carefree guy you’re picturing — you’ll be the guy who sought escape from a midlife crisis with a cherry-red convertible.
No.6 – Getting married too soon
Many marriages end in divorce, and one of the most common reasons for divorce is that both parties had a different view of how the relationship would turn out down the line. Some spur-of-the-moment relationships work with no planning at all, but they’re not the norm; you need to be fully prepared for married life because emotion alone isn’t going to be enough. Winding up in an unhappy relationship, especially with kids involved, is guaranteed to influence the rest of your life.