A new study from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University reveals that our biggest regrets have nothing to do with work or career accomplishments. According to the study, people are most likely to regret decisions related to their personal relationships, such as cheating on a spouse or letting “the one” get away.
The study findings are interesting because it shows us that satisfaction often has nothing to do with climbing the corporate ladder. Instead, life’s greatest happiness stems from strong personal relationships and a rewarding love life.
Here are some ways you can strengthen your relationship and keep romantic regrets at bay:
Get home to your spouse! Make the most out of your workday, so you can get home in time to spend time with your partner. Between work, kids, and errands, it can be hard to find a moment alone. Yet, if this study teaches us anything, it is that while you probably won't regret leaving the work at a reasonable hour, you will regret skipping date night or forgetting your partner's birthday. It’s important to have career goals and to work hard, but your job can’t give you the solace, pleasure, and intimacy that your partner can.
Everyone should have a quitting time, and if you make the most of your workday (i.e., stay off Facebook, skip the long lunch, and stay focused), you won’t have to stay at the office until the wee hours. Ask yourself: If I die tomorrow, what would I have rather done with my last day? Stayed at the office and ditched date night, or enjoyed a beautiful meal with my partner?
Don’t miss the little things. You can find more joy and pleasure in your relationship simply by remembering the little things and honoring your connection with your partner. Create special little traditions that you both enjoy, whether it’s ordering Chinese on Friday nights and watching old movies, or reading the paper in bed on Sunday mornings. These minor things end up being the major moments that you treasure and remember for the rest of your life, so keep up your traditions and put your relationship first.
Lastly, and most importantly, have more sex. Start tonight…work can wait!