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?
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 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.