I am nine months into marriage and already have regrets. I do not regret my choice of partner, or our choice to get married, but do regret who I was prior to marriage and what I did (or didn’t do) when I was single.
I wish I had more sex before I got married.
I wish I’d had sex with more men and women. I wish I hadn’t been afraid to experiment with my desires, or that I had come into them sooner. I wish I had sex with different races than my own. I wish I had more one night stands and that I hadn’t been afraid to have them. I wish I had guest-starred in someone else’s threesome. I wish I could have owned the term slut, rejected the term slut, or been given the chance to grapple with the idea of what being a slut meant. I wish my number of sexual partners were higher than five.
There is the chance to take other women to bed with my husband and me now, but not other men. I don’t want other men (but I once did) and I’m not entirely comfortable (yet) with sharing my husband with another woman, even if I want her too.
I wish I had spent more time being single.
I had my first boyfriend when I was 15, and dated him on and off until I was 17. After my first boyfriend, I immediately starting dating another guy and after him came two and a half years of long-distance relationship, followed by another two and a half years in a face-to-face relationship.
After those five years, I had my first chance to be on my own, but I did everything I could not to take it. I slept with my ex regularly, hoping he’d realize he was still in love with me and treat me better the second time around. I took up with a guy who cooked at the restaurant where I waitressed, so when things got bad with the ex, I’d pick up with the cook, and vice versa. I chatted with guys on OKCupid and flirted with others in clubs and at parties. I surrounded myself with men the best I could, and avoided any time by myself.
I wish I had used the time to read and write, spend time with my friends, and go to movies alone. I wish I had dated myself as fervently as I dated and attempted to date men.
Luckily, my husband and I are of similar mind. We both believe in quality time spent together and apart. But I wish that I had been courageous enough to override the fear of being lonely and learn how to be alone.
I wish I had studied abroad in college, or moved after graduation, or traveled in my 20s.
There was an excellent English and writing program in Bath that two of my best friends attended that I wished I had been a part of as well. I was attached to a guy at the time and chose him ahead of my education and stereotypical foreign self-actualization.
I also wanted to move to New York in the fall of 2012, but instead got engaged and have only visited New York once since. I wish I had fulfilled my romanticized, glamorous dream of slowly starving to death in a claustrophobic Brooklyn apartment, while trying to break into authorship and publishing.
I could have had a lot of sex in New York (these tie together).
I wish I had taken road trips, bought plane tickets, and visited all the major cities: Miami, Portland, Chicago, Seattle, and LA. I imagined the starry-eyed scene of traveling alone, preferably via railway or plane or some other giant metallic transportation system.
I didn’t want to be engaged before my late 20s, or married before I turned 30. Instead, I met my husband at 23 and married at 26.
There is regret that comes when you meet your husband before you’d planned. There are sexual adventures to be put away or postponed, and your grand adventures now include a travel partner. But as far as my current sex life, personal growth, travel plans, and marriage? I have not one complaint. I’ll take a tangible, flesh-and-blood husband any day.