A study has shown that more than twice as many women admit to mistakes with ex-partners – 44 per cent compared with 20 per cent.
The telephone survey asked 370 adults aged between 19 and 103 what they considered their biggest single regret to be.
The most common disappointment was romance, with nearly one in five of those questioned saddened that a relationship hadn’t worked. Not surprisingly, perhaps, single women were most likely to regret the one that got away.
Relationship expert Jean Hannah Edelstein said it showed that women felt they were ‘more responsible for the emotional side of the relationship’.
‘Women are more inclined to look inwardly to identify reasons why a relationship broke down than men,’ she added.
‘They are also more likely to think they were to blame and that it was their fault and will ask themselves, “What is it about me that I could have done differently?”.
‘Men, if they ask themselves those questions, would be something like, “What was their problem?”, or what else was going on in their life at the time.
‘Too few men admit to regret because they think it is unmasculine, but they should consider reflecting more.
‘Honest reflection after a relationship can never be a bad thing.’
Even though the study reinforces the idea that women mourn failed relationships and reflect on their failures while men appear ready to move on straight away without looking back, earlier research found that almost twice as many women as men wish they had married someone else.
More than 20 per cent of married women said that if they could go back in time they would change their husband, compared with 12 per cent of married men.