And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him.
A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
~ Ecclesiastes 4:12
For all but the first four months of high school, I had a boyfriend.
It was a tumultuous thing, this teenage romance, full of all the
drama and conflict of an 80s John Hughes film. Break-ups. Make-ups.
Cheatin’ hearts. Both of us.
I remember practice-writing my married name a thousand times – my
first and his last – and I even set our wedding date for September 17,
1985 (I liked that date for no particular reason at all). As fate and
young love would have it, we went our separate ways by college and
eventually lost touch altogether.
Years later, when I heard “our song” begin to play at our ten-year class reunion – The Commodores’ Three Times a Lady – I asked my husband of then eight years if he minded if I asked my old beau to dance. He was fine with it, but my friend declined–his wife didn’t approve.
It was the last time I saw him.
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The way I see it there are two ways to live with regret:
1) To be bound by it, anchored to your
past, where your history informs your present and you’re too paralyzed
to move forward (negative and unproductive).
2) When you recognize if you were given
the chance to go back in time and make different decisions,
understanding then what you know now, you likely would. It doesn’t mean
you’re continuously beating yourself up over it; you simply have the
benefit of knowing the consequences of your past decisions and realizing
there was a better choice you could have made.
Unless you happen to end up marrying your high school sweetheart,
maintaining a close friendship with him after marriage probably isn’t
the best idea. Conversely, your relationships with your girlfriends are something you can hold onto always and forever.
This, among several reasons, is why we encouraged our children to pursue friendship with members of the opposite sex when they reached high school. While we didn’t forbid dating, we discouraged it by encouraging group outtings and spending time with their friends.
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I'm over at incourage today, talking about dating, not dating, how regret can be
negative or constructive, and how your choices serve you.
Please click to continue reading and to offer your perspective.