Women & Regret

Paradox on the SoSuave forum had an interesting question after reading War Brides:

I’ve seen it mentioned here in passing but I would like to know how women handle regret.

How do they handle decisions that may affect their destiny?

Moments like:

Seeing someone on a train, bus, coffee shop, grocery store but not saying hello when the moment comes.

Meeting someone great at a party but not exchanging numbers.

Not calling back a guy

I have seen low IL changed to high IL but do women generally waver in their interest level all of the time?

The funny thing about regret is, it’s better to regret something you have done, than regret something you haven’t done.

Any observational answer I could offer here is going to have to be adjusted to account for women’s inherent solipsism – everything is about her, and everything confirms her assessments as the default. As such, you have to bear in mind that regret, for women, usually begins from a point of how a missed opportunity could’ve better benefitted themselves. The root of this is grounded in women’s constant, in-born psychological quest for security. Hypergamy, by necessity, makes for solipsistic women in order to best preserve the survival integrity of the species. That’s not to say women can’t sublimate that impulse as necessity dictates, but just as men must sublimate their sexual imperative, women begin at a point of tempering the insecurity that results from hypergamy.

Guilt and Regret

Using hypergamy as a woman’s point of origin, this affects how women process regret. At this point I should note that guilt and regret are not cut from the same vine. You can feel guilty about something you did or didn’t do, as well as feel regret for something you did or didn’t do, but the two are not synonymous. I want to avoid that confusion here from the outset, because guilt is associated with a lingering negativity, while regret comes from different motivations. If you did something you feel guilty about, you probably regret it, but you can regret something you have no feelings of guilt about.

After you finish reading this post check out the ‘Missed Connections’ section on your areas Craig’s List. Read the differences in tone, vernacular and purpose of both men and women lamenting a missed chance at something they hoped might develop. There’s no guilt involved in this wishful thinking, only a regret for not having taken an action.

Women’s Regret

Women’s experience of regret depends upon the degree or intensity of the encounter in relation to their own conditions. I know that sounds like psycho-babble, but let me explain. If, and to what degree, a woman experiences regret in the situations Paradox is describing, these are directly proportional to her self-worth versus the (perceived) value of the encounter.

At the risk of coming off as shallow again, the fat chick who thinks she blew a shot at a Brad Pitt will regret it more than the HB 9 who happened to lose an “average” guy’s phone number. I’m going to catch fire for this I’m sure, but it’s really an autonomous response for human beings to make subconscious comparisons and employ a natural ego preservation. While it’s latent psychological function is to help us learn from experience, generally regret is painful, so our natural response is to defend against it. We tend to regret not capitalizing on situations where the perceived reward value is high. The psychological buffer of course comes in rationalizing the actual value potential of that missed opportunity or minimizing the negative impact of the taken opportunity.

So the debate is really how do women in particular process this reward valuation with regard to men? Again, I’ll say it breaks down to subliminally recognizing their self-worth, modified by social affirmations and then comparing it with the value of the encounter. Even semi-attractive women (HB 6-7) have a subconscious understanding that most intersexual encounters they have are mediated by their frequency – how rare was that opportunity? Meaning if a girl is constantly reinforced with male attention (guys asking her out all the time, social media influences, etc.) the rarity of any one encounter is compared against the frequency with which guys are hitting on her. This is female Plate Theory in action. If you happen to be one among many of the throngs of her suitors she’s less likely to regret not following up with you in relation to the extraordinary (see Alpha) guy she perceives has a higher value than she’s normally used to being rewarded with.


35 responses to “Women & Regret

  • The Shocker

    A girl I was seriously involved with (90 lb. homecoming queen, it became a LDR) did me dirty 4 years ago- I cut her and all her friends off as soon as I found out. Recently a friend told me he ran into her one year ago and she invited him to a party at her house for old times sake. While he was there, in the middle of the party she had a breakdown and they talked in her room for an hour while she was crying because she still feels regret- even though her boyfriend was at the house.

    Since I cut her off, the only view I have into how she dealt with it comes from a google search of her name taking me to her Pinterest where even today she posts things like:

    ‘We’re not friends, we’re strangers with memories’
    ‘Yes I’ve made mistakes, life didn’t come with instructions’
    ‘Some things fall apart so other things can fall together’
    ‘Maybe redemption has stories to tell’
    ‘When you finally let go of the past, something better comes along’

  • gregg

    regret and woman is very interesting question. Core of woman is empty – it has to be so, to be able to absorb WHATEVER ensures her survival. Genuinely absorb. Man would fight for freedom, ideas, religion, morals. Woman would gladly abandnon everything – if it benefits her well being and survival. Her nature is inherently protean – she could be innocent virgin in one moment and dirty slut in another. She could be loving mother and supporting wife and a year after cold bitch with traits even satan himself would be proud of having. And after all – she is still feeling that she is right.

    So – there is a question. What is regretful to the nature. Nature wants the propagation of strong, virile genes. Nature uses every thing – chemicals, illusions, hormones, to facilitate this goal. Nature is amoral, animalistic, utilistic. Nature CARES about the propagation of species.

    There comes the regret of women. If she is past 30 and does not have the child, if she missed the oportunity to extract commitment and genes from really high value guy, if she missed the oportunity to manipulate other men to slave her and her offspring, if she fucks up her chances with men, work, friends. In other words everything that could pose a threat to her role in society, security and survival, or to her role of a propagator of species – now this is the source of a deepest regret of her. And the very nature…moans with her. If you want her to feel regret concerning you and you are weak, or do not have the power or genes, wait. The very nature HATES weak, non agressive males. So does she.

  • Hong Kong TangoFest

    A girl I went out with a few years back pre-game went overboard on the shit-tests and eventually I dumped her.

    To this day we remain friends and sometimes hang out. But at least once a year, she’ll call me out of the blue crying about how much she misses me and that things didn’t work out. I’m always alpha…strong…changing the subject. I think that only makes her want me more. The more I try to get her off the phone, the more she’s telling me what a great guy I am and how she regrets treating me badly blah blah blah…

    Some girls live in the fantasy of what could have been rather than appreciating what was….

  • YOHAMI

    Speaking from my experience, women experience:

    Regret: when they miss on an opportunity. However if the opportunity presents again, they would still not take it. So “regret” is really a shape of “unfairness” or unjustice: It’s not fair that the my number won the lottery precisely the day I didnt buy a ticket – it’s not fair that I like Brad Pitt so much and he’s not talking to me. Why unfariness instead of actual regret? because when a woman adopts regret, that makes her an active asset, which feels uncomfortable, while if she puts it outside, and she’s a victim of the regretable situation, not only it feels more comfortable but also she has more chances of reverting the situation: a damsel in distress can usually get help, sympathy and resources.

    Guilt: when they have done something that damages their self image and their value in eyes of everyone else, and she cant hide away from it nor dump it anywhere else. Like picking the wrong profession or marrying the wrong person or aborting or when her secrets get exposed. Then guilt appears. This guilt, though, isnt usually on hand with regret. Chances are she would still have done the same if given a choice. Guilt will torment her but it wont make her move, it will just drag her down. It will be, like regret, masked with unfairness and unjustice, but with her as the damaging agent. She´ll need someone else to do the cleansing for her – with chances that she will take the cleansing agent (friends, lover, white knight, system) and dump the guilt / blame on them if it becomes unbearable.

  • YOHAMI

    I have paid attention to if women feel regret / guilt when they inflict pain, even unavertedly on someone else, like lovers, partners, or other female friends. I havent found any evidence.

    When they hurt a female friend, it’s only when the friend cries and demands attention that she will empathize – but the empathy will be suspended if the hurt friend becomes accusatory.

    So I dont think we can talk about regret / guilt from a male-moral-code point of view.

    I´d like to know what Stingray has to say about this.

  • Sam Spade

    In both sexes, as options go up, the propensity to regret diminishes.

  • anonymoushopefully

    I agree with everyone above. And from personal experience, I liken it to their “black book”, or their “shoebox (or storage unit)” of “memories” they hold onto with that “perfect” someone – or every perfect one they were with. When I’ve been that someone, like above mentioned, they will call, months, years later, still expressing their “regret”, love for me, etc…and “if only” and always looking for one thing – to see if I still “love” them, because they still “love” me. Or they call crying about something, to which I respond with, why are you calling me, stop crying, you weren’t raped, you got drunk & fucked another guy, call someone else, have a nice evening.

    My last encounter with such an ex, who still keeps (years after we’ve been apart) literally two huge boxes full of letters, artwork of mine, correspondences, photographs, paintings, doodles, notes, whatever-you-name-it in them (and decorated around her apartment – like it’s a replication of our old apartment when we lived together; and, to my knowledge, from speaking throughout the years with various mutual friends, she will often pull out the boxes and look ove/ share all of the memories “fondly” – my word for it – telling her friends how she wishes things worked out, how I was the best, how I’m this and that yada yada (usually a day or two after one of said mutual friends will call asking if I still feel for her, to which I reply, if I did, wouldn’t I still be communicating with her?

    But, back to my last encounter with her, I literally had to tell her to her face (after she’d made numerous advances on me, I mean literally grabbing me forcing lipi to lip, having to throw her down to the couch, not throw, but ya know what I mean, even to the point of trying to pull me into bed – as last time I saw her a year prior I pretty much hatefucked her for I guess my own catharsis considering what happened between us, another stor); had to tell her: I DO NOT love you, and yes, at one time, we were ‘in love’, and as greatly deceptive as it was to our adolescent and maturing minds, that passed; you had your chance, and you chose differently [after change of subject, always her trying to bring up the relationship we had, and would have now if we’d stayed together, while I just wanted to see if she was doing alright, until finally half-jokingly but were you there you’d know it was serious and she couldn’t doubt it I had to say: “Listen, babe; sit down. [she sits down, as she was getting hysterical] you are now no more than a whore to me, or in other words a free woman who likes sex, and there’s nothing wrong with that – admit it [she did - she is quite possibly the slooziest of sloots I know to this day], and that life you dreamt of which we were in the process of making, was destroyed in one fell swoop by your self-serving decision at the time,” etc.

    .. this is after about 45 minutes of her telling me back and forth both how many people she’s been sleeping with, to how she wishes we were married by now, and knows we’d have a kid too at this point, to how I shouldn’t fuck so-and-so or have been with this person, and how much she still loves me, and oh how she had her first threesome (all these little shit tests to see if I responded to her having been with other people – I was tuning my guitar at the time, and not really interested in what she was saying tbh), and how she wishes I – emphasis on me -, didn’t break up with her,” which is when I reminded her that she was the one who chose to leave, I was simply the one who left. I’ve had a similar conversation with her on average every 3 months since I left her years ago. And every time I hear about her, she’s become more of a floosy, and more of everything she blamed me for in the relationship – cept now she admits it – does admittance of such things come with the acceptance of being a slut at some point? like they no longer care, they say, yes, I am a whore, and it makes me AWESOME. In her words, living the “holly lifestyle” – hollywood.

    Rant aside – it’s not guilt or regret, it’s little memory box fantasies they hold onto of what could’ve been, and how lucky they were or could have been, and are simply awaiting the next time they have photos to keep in their memory boxes while they ride the cock carousel – in some cases stepping up the ladder, in other cases going back down.

    In summation: no regret, no guilt, just ways of testing if another still felt how they did before when they are able to communicate about it. Or, to brag to friends about what they once had. This is when it comes to relationships.

    Then again, I’m talking about a specific person. So who knows. Maybe I’m off topic here. Maybe I’ve only been in LDR with BPD WTF.

  • dragnet

    Rollo Tomassi, call your office–

    Woman writes book about how “swagger” and confidence is what’s bringing down young men and boys:

    http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/three-biggest-fears-raising-boys-today-025400779.html

  • Vicomte

    Yohami’s articulated this perfectly. I agree with everything said.

    Every girl, every time, I have yet to see evidence to the contrary.

  • Cream

    Excellent breakdown.

  • FFY

    Exactly.

    I’ve had times when I’m in completely in the zone. Girl here, girl there, girl drops out, new one comes, and so forth. There is so much going on, you don’t even have time to regret anything (regrettable or not).

    Then when times slow I got these feelings, not so much missing them but definitely wishing they had stayed around or that I might have done something differently. But that’s just lack of options talking because everything was great when things were hot, it’s not anything meaningful and there really wasn’t anything I would *actually* change.

    During those times I was hot, I was experiencing what a normal girl in peak SMV experiences pretty much 24/7 without any effort. If things don’t work out it’s quite literally onto the next one, and the next one, and the next one if necessary. No time to reflect or feel bad for very long because there is a new potential lover around all the time. This is why most girls aren’t going to regret anything other than a missed opp with a bigtime alpha.

  • Stingray

    Yohami,

    This will be incomplete as I have not slept much of late. 3 sick kids and I came down with it yesterday. My brain is foggy, so ask for clarification if needed.

    I really can’t speak for other women as I don’t think it’s the same for young women today as it was for my generation growing up. I believe their sense of entitlement has blunted their feelings. I do know that women are capable of feeling these things, but the feelings are intensely uncomfortable so we fight to make them go away. Rollo had a post on how solipsism aids in this not too long ago.

    However, yes. We do feel guilt and regret. And yes, your right. We tend not to show it unless we can see for ourselves how much the other person has been hurt. If we can’t see it for ourselves, then we will do our best to rationalize it away so we don’t have to feel it any more. We will do almost anything to make the intensity of those feelings go away. They are all consuming and it is not one feeling that we are consumed with. It is several. Regret, fear, sadness, helplessness, guilt, no control, etc all at the same time. The sooner we can get rid of them the better and we will do almost anything to make them go away. Lying to ourselves is one of the easiest ways of doing that. That’s why it goes away so quickly when the friend becomes accusatory. Now we have a reason to put the fault back onto the other person and let the feelings go. Anger is far easier to deal with and far more focused.

    I have found, that it behooves a woman to face what she has done head on and feel the regret and the guilt. It’s terrifying, but once one learns to face it, one can learn to deal with it appropriately and one can make sure something like that does not happen again.

  • Johnycomelately

    +1
    “Cleansing agent”, sometimes I think the confessional process instituted by religion was solely designed for women, men take the pangs of guilt to the grave.

  • Johnycomelately

    Holy shit!

    I have a female friend who still talks about leaving a guy when she was 22, she is now 37 and has hit the wall hard, while he is now a millionaire entrepreneur banging 18 year olds on some European coast.

  • Stingray

    Also, I think a large part of a woman’s feeling of guilt stem from how she made the other person feel rather than what she actually did.

  • Candide

    Which is why the most common “sincere apology” from women is “I’m sorry you feel that way” not “I’m sorry for what I did to you”.

  • Team-Red

    I would ask the seemingly large cohort of single, childless, 30+ year old women if they have any ‘regrets’ for not dialing down their over inflated hypergamy and for not settling one of the likely 4-6 suitors she could’ve had in her Prime SMV years.

    There must be a point in time when she realizes that the 6’3″, 250k a year investment banker just ain’t showing up at the door?

    ‘There aren’t any good men left’ will be her excuse post hamster wheel run, and a weekend trip to the cattery will soon follow after cutting her hair off. Boom!

  • Daniel

    The one ex from my past that really did a number on me had stuff on her Pinterest like “Just because I have a smile on my face doesn’t mean I don’t have problems” or something like that and “I cry not because I’m weak, but because I’ve been strong for too long”

  • M

    yup.

    and she comes up as a quiver match on my recently made OKCupid. hahah

  • Emma the Emo

    Are you sure this is the typical female thinking process about guilt and regret? I had something like that, only I’d call it pathological perfectionism.

  • YOHAMI

    I dont know if it’s typical, that’s just what I’ve encountered firsthand.

  • Stingray

    I took it to the Nth degree to make it easier to understand and explain, but I do think this is how women tend to deal with feelings of guilt and regret, yes. Of course, depending on each situation, the degree to which this all happens will be different.

  • Linkage Is Good For You.6-24-12 | Society of Amateur Gentlemen

    [...] Male – Daddy Issues, Women & Regret, Case Study – The [...]

  • Big Pimp

    OMG! LMFAO !! Thats how i plan to roll. Stick it in my Ex’s ass. Become a millionaire and clown everyone. Single, with no kids :-)

  • Randy

    ” Core of woman is empty – it has to be so, to be able to absorb WHATEVER ensures her survival”

    What a weird thing to say.

  • Wingwoman

    So dumb.l know old woman and the only ones with regrets are the ones who stayed with d-bags for the sake of those ungrateful dissappointing prats known as childern.

    Men want childern WAY more than the average woman does. That’s probably why men usually want sex more too.

  • Wingwoman

    I actually don’t think there is much differance between men and woman on the topics of regret and guilt about relationships. There is a strong correlation to number of partners. For woman having or not having childeren is not as big a deal as people make it out to be. Believe it or not woman have a life and self worth outside of using are vaginas despite what some people would like to think. The grass is always greener and it’s real easy to think of would could should ofs as positives one might have missed and forget the negatives that were avoided.

    Who doesn’t regret when they fuck up nice things for themselves at the very least? I think woman regret even when the other person is the one who fucks it up more in some strange way that’s why they be cling on to assholes who wasted their time because they make excuses for them. The neutrotic ones blame themselves for everything and cry about it. Women like closure more then men and get more invested in the plans they make.

  • Wingwoman

    I agree with most of that except the in the eyes of others part. Your basic flaw is just puting to much of the focus external although it could be a part of it. Womans feelings are much more internally generated and external is more validation or conflict.

  • Sal Ceech

    Rollo .. here,s one for the brothers ;) … this to me represents a “how do you know if you have unplugged”. I know I have cuz ,I would not give up the hummer … enjoy =)

  • Year One «

    [...] Women & Regret [...]

  • Jack

    I don’t think women really ever regret anything because the sheer power of their rationalization hamster. I think after enough time has passed they have figured out a way to compartmentalize and rationalize whatever ills or issues they have faced.

    I’m 100% certain they never regret screwing over a beta or someone who they lost interest in. I’ve seen some women mumble the words of regret but deep down in places they don’t talk about they really don’t regret what they did.

    Women have no sympathy for weak men. Zero.

  • Preventative Medicine – Part IV |

    […] concern is voiced for society and women as a whole. Rarely is this social concern an admission or testament of her own regret, but rather it’s something she must address to reconcile the parts of her past, the […]

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