to wonder if I missed out...

(30 Posts)
SunshineQuack Thu 03-Apr-14 13:01:17

So, the backstory.

I went to an all girls boarding school (it was horrific) and was also a fairly shy teen. As a result, I didn't really have boyfriends or get to spend a lot of time in mixed company until I went to university. In my first term I got together with my DH, we moved in together at the end of my first year, and got married straight out of uni. DD came along six years later.

I love my family to bits and most of the time I love my life, but sometimes I worry that I missed out in some ways. I went out for drinks with friends recently and they were talking about the crazy things they did when they were young, and the messy break ups and wild affairs and holiday flings. And I realised that I had nothing to contribute.

I don't want to have an affair or leave my lovely DH. I just want to stop feeling so boring and left out. I've tried reminding myself of all the fun things DH and I have done together and the stuff we've done as a family, but that's not helping today.

sunshinemmum Thu 03-Apr-14 13:09:08

I think that a lot of people get to the point where they feel regret around missed opportunities in the past. My teens were horrendous and I really regret not being academically able and having the same opportunities as my sisters for further education.

In lots of ways I envy those people who met their partners or husbands early on. I'd like to go back and shake a fist at my young self and say, 'They don't deserve you, you fool, study travel and make something of yourself.' smile

And I bet that you have a lifetime of experiences that make you far from boring flowers

Objection Thu 03-Apr-14 13:50:56

Do you feel like you "are boring" or are you "bored"?
Two very different things.
If you feel you are boring then its not a big issue - you are worrying about other people's perception of you.
If you feel bored then you may need to change something or make an effort to do more for example.

I'm 22, my OH is 27 and we own a house together. We've been living together for 3 and a half years. We live in a tiny village which his parents live in, his grandparents do too.
My best friend thinks that this is incredibly boring and couldn't stand for it herself. She is about to go travelling for 2-3 years around the world (same age).
Yes, I'm the boring one of the two of us. But though I get jealous, I sit down and think; I don't really want to go travelling for years. I want to own a nice house, have a family and afford to do what I want.
Soon, that's what BF will want too - but I'm already on my way.

If you are happy with what you have, there is no point spoiling it for yourself by worrying that you "may regret" choices or that other people think you are dull. (Which I do all the time BTW, total hypocrite!)

jojane Thu 03-Apr-14 13:55:28

I think everyone wonders about the paths not taken. Even though I lived, travelled and worked abroad and had some great times and amazing once in a life time experiences everytime we visit a friend in london I get such a strong pang of regret that I never lived in London when younger and lived the "sex in the city" type of life, ridiculous really as
A) I lived in Cardiff for uni and a little bit after and had a job and cocktails after work etc etc
b) I know I would have ended up in a grotty bedsit eating toast and value noodles not some Kensington gorgeous flat on the edge of the park!

meditrina Thu 03-Apr-14 13:57:22

The 'wild times' may be better in retrospect - there's no fun about the things you regret or which hurt you, even if you can dress them up as anecdote later.

I wonder how many of them envy you?

chocoluvva Thu 03-Apr-14 14:02:07

Have you ever considered getting a year off from work and living/travelling/working abroad with your DH and DD for a year?

BankWadger Thu 03-Apr-14 14:03:20

I was talking to an old school friend a couple of years ago and she was saying how she felt a bit jealous of me having been off travelling etc. It made me stop and think as she had been with her husband since high school, loves him dearly and they've built a nice life together. I have had my heart properly broken a couple of times and at times thought I would never find the love and security she has always had.

No doubt you have friends how look at your life and feel envy at what you have, just as you have feelings of wondering if you missed out by not having what they have had.

I think Objection's words are very wise.

I'm not going to lie -- I had a long and crazy life before I met DH in my mid-30s and I don't regret any of it. I had a blast, most of the time, and even the bad bits taught me a lot. But I have friends who did the same and DO regret it. It can go either way.

I certainly don't think you're boring if you've never gone through all that. In a lot of ways you're lucky. But at least in my experience, when I'm feeling like I'm boring it's usually a sign that I need to find something new to do, something to get excited about. So it's worth thinking about a bit.

minipie Thu 03-Apr-14 14:24:41

I know what you mean OP - DH and I also got together at uni (although in the third year) and I feel the same way as you sometimes about my 20s - others were out dating and drinking and I was much more domesticated - so perhaps I missed out.

On the other hand, I think the kind of experiences you are describing (messy break ups, unsuitable boyfriends, drunken one night stands etc) are great fun as anecdotes to tell many years later, but mostly not that much fun when you're going through them. Judging from my brief pre-DH experience grin.

I also think that couples who have been together from a young age (which includes me and DH) often have an easier and dare I say happier relationship than people who get together at say 30. Because you grow up together and shape each other and end up more similar and less likely to disagree as a result.

So overall... I think you're better off, I really do.

SunshineQuack Thu 03-Apr-14 14:41:41

I don’t know if I think I’m bored or boring. I think a bit of both. I have a very comfortable life – DH and I moved into our current house just before DD was born and have been here since. We definitely have a routine – we have a ‘date night’ once per week (which is something like the cinema, or getting a drink and cheap dinner at the local pub), we have friends round to see us once per week to play board games (and have a drink when DD has gone to bed), I run a children’s drama club which DD is involved in, and we watch the same TV shows on the same night. Our idea of a bit of a trauma is when a season of Criminal Minds ends. My friends are either other mums from school or the friends I’ve had since university.

I guess you’re all right about the grass always being greener. I had a whinge at this to my sister, who is a super high achiever, and she said she often feels jealous of me because as far as she’s concerned, she works every hour god sends, doesn’t have a partner and really wants kids but worries she’s running out of time. She thinks I’m living the dream.

DontCareAboutYourShoes Thu 03-Apr-14 14:46:52

I agree about the grass being greener. I wish I'd met my true love at university and was living happily ever after. Someone doing that might wish they were playing the field a bit. Everyone wonders.

sunshinemmum Thu 03-Apr-14 14:47:09

I think it is common and quite wise to reassess things from time to time. Those crazy break ups probably chipped away at your friends a bit.

Ds has now gone to secondary school so of course I am sifting through the baby photos missing those times and wandering what the heck is there for me next. You can't win sometimes, but I do remember feeling exactly like you do, for quite a long time actually.

sazzlesb Thu 03-Apr-14 15:00:09

The main thing that worries me about my "crazy" pre-marriage college and working life years in London is that I have an insight into what shenanigans my daughter might get up to one day and me not being in a position to moralise to her!!!

Objection Thu 03-Apr-14 16:50:12

I also think that couples who have been together from a young age (which includes me and DH) often have an easier and dare I say happier relationship than people who get together at say 30. Because you grow up together and shape each other and end up more similar and less likely to disagree as a result.

A lovely perspective right here!

Objection Thu 03-Apr-14 16:51:32

God, that sounds amazing SunshineQuack - may I steal some of your schedule?

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Thu 03-Apr-14 16:57:52

you sound like you have a lovely life

SueDoku Thu 03-Apr-14 17:03:34

I met my OH when we were 16 and we married at 21. We had 2 DC, bought a house and were very happy. Then he was made redundant and made a complete life change (which I supported completely) and I felt that we were both growing and learning through our 30s and into our 40s. I was a SAHM for 10 years, then worked p/t in a local business for another 4 years, while he built his new career. Then, at 42, I returned to f/t work – in my original career – and loved it. When I was 46 he announced that I didn’t ‘make him laugh’ any more, that he’d never ‘had fun’ and was off to enjoy OW (plural)... leaving me with the DC.

I upgraded my qualifications, got promoted, bought a little house when the DC left home – and now I’m retired, and happy. I’m ‘boring’ but that’s fine smile. He was ‘bored’ – and bailed out as soon as he could...angry. Just look carefully OP and make sure that you’re both on the same page of your life stories – if you are, that’s great – if not, then have a backup plan.

Good luck..! flowers

I met DH at Uni and we were together for 3 years. Then we had a break of a year and a half when things got a bit 'wild'. Then we got back together and married a year later and have been married for 15 years. Having experienced both sides of the coin, I can honestly say I wouldn't be bothered if the 'wild' bit hadn't happened. I don't regret it exactly but I did nothing I'm proud of and wouldn't miss any of the experiences if they hadn't happened. I'd be perfectly happy if DH and I had stayed together and there had been no-one else.

Honeybear30 Thu 03-Apr-14 19:03:08

I've been with dh for ten years, met at 16, married for two and first baby on the way. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have lived that 'other' life but actually I'm happy so I don't have any regrets. Also I've seen my friends go through all sorts of crap and I count myself lucky I never went through any of it. Yes they've had some fun, but I have to, just in different ways. When I look around at other peoples lives, husbands and boyfriends I still think 'I've got the best one' and I think as long as I feel that way then I must be doing ok.

Totally agree with the pp about younger couples growing up
together. We certainly have, we're not the same people we were 10 years ago but we are still in love and make each other happy.

I'd say the 'grass is always greener' is very relevant here. Speak to your friends, you'll probably be surprised how many of them wish they had the life you've had.

SunshineQuack Thu 03-Apr-14 20:28:47

Thank you for so many nice comments. I think DH is happy with me and has the same plan as me although you never know what will happen in the future. I think, talking about it, it isn't that I want to change the life I have now (well, maybe a tidier house and a garden that didn't look like the place where good intentions go to die). I've just been feeling like I maybe rushed here a bit too quick. But I am now reminded that I don't know what the future holds and maybe I should appreciate what I've got.

Other question to the lovely ladies who settled down young - do you ever feel like you're clueless in some ways? A friend of mine was recently talking about her ex and some shenanigans with their dc and I said I couldn't believe that anyone could behave like that, because I was shocked, and she laughed and said I lived in a different world. Which, to be fair, I fuess I do. And I felt incredibly useless for not being able to help or offer anything useful.

MoominMammasHandbag Thu 03-Apr-14 20:56:11

Me and DH got together when we were 27. We used to sing the Leonard Cohen song that has a bit that goes "We met when we were almost young...." to each other, 'cos we though we were worldly wise. We had both been out with lots of other people, and had relationships that had lasted a few years.
Of course we were just kids really. I just kissed a few frogs before I got to DH. If we'd met on our first day of University, or our first day of school even, that would have been fine with me. Everything before DH was just practising.
You sound like you have a lovely life OP, and a firm grasp of what is valuable and important in life. I imagine your point of view would be very useful to any of your friends who had problems.

Honeybear30 Fri 04-Apr-14 06:38:40

It was a bit mean of your friend to laugh, you live in a different world but so does she. I'm sure there are things that you know about that she doesn't. I often find I can't contribute to messy break up stories or also what to do when dating, because I really am clueless. But many of my friends don't understand why I chose to marry young, or indeed that I am pregnant now. When it comes to that, they are clueless. I don't think anyone has all the answers, we are of course limited by our own experiences. But next time your friend laughs maybe ask her why she's laughing, is it because she has to deal with an ex and her dc's and you don't? I'd rather be in your shoes.

Odaat Fri 04-Apr-14 06:53:18

OP if it is any consolation I regret being TOO wild and al that came with that!

I always feel like i missed out on a normal uni experience because I was either absaloutely utterly wasted (all day) or trying to not drink an get help for that.

I don't think all the wild affairs are all they are cracked up to be at times (trust me) Sometimes we share and laugh at these in order to block out the mortification/ horror of it!

I know there is a happy medium of course , all I am saying is I am sure many are in your position with certain regrets. Even if it is because there experience is the total other end of the spectrum (ie me)

smile

Odaat Fri 04-Apr-14 06:55:38

Ps I have a friend like you a totally admire her for being in such a solid relationship, she is one of the first I would go to for advice on general life and maintaining a rlship smile

MyBaby1day Sat 05-Apr-14 06:10:59

Sometimes people's lives go differently, I know people who do the whole drinking/clubbing etc. scene and it's really not for me I know this, but even so, sometimes I wonder if I'm missing out. But it is the other man's grass thing as I get a lot of envy over countries I've travelled to, I've not been able to afford done the off for a year travelling around the world but I have seen 11 different countries whereas many of them haven't. It's not too late OP and if you fancy visiting somewhere with a new friend-I'm up for it!! grin

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