As we grow and learn to navigate our way through life, gain a little experience, and a bit of wisdom…it can be easy to look back at a younger version of ourselves and pick out our flaws and mistakes…and our missed opportunities. Especially when it comes to love.

But don’t stress yourself out about it. We were all different people back then. And hindsight is 20/20, after all. When you’re lost in the moment, it’s easy to forget the nervous jitters, the suffocating expectation, the sweaty palms…love can be a HORRIFYING experience those first few times! LOL! And while we may look back and wonder what we were so afraid of in the first place…that didn’t make things any easier when we were living through it.

This time, we’re talking about the ‘ones that got away’ from us. That beautiful person that we really wished we had approached, or talked to, or confessed our deepest desires for…but just never took the leap of faith. Do you regret it? How do you think it would have turned out if you HAD asked them out on a date, or told them how you felt about them? If you could go back in time and give your younger self a nudge in the right direction…what would you say?

Now, this is assuming, of course, that you actually have any regrets when it came to relationships when you were young. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe you were bold enough to go for it, each and every time, and make no apologies…whether the outcome was for the best or for the worst. If that’s your story, tell us that too! We’d love to hear it! And so might anyone else who might be reading this.

Give us your thoughts! As always, anonymous entries are welcome. And all answers will be added to a future issue of Imagine Magazine! Cool?

Type away! The world is listening! 🙂

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“I’ve never had any regrets quite like that. I have had opportunities that I missed, to get laid, that I never followed up on, or I missed because I am clueless a lot of the time about people hitting on me. They have to be ridiculously obvious before I can tell if they’re being more than friendly.

The only regrets I have about relationships, is how I treated my first real girlfriend. I was still trying to figure out how I felt, and how I identified, and while the sexual desire was there, my emotions on a deeper level were confused. I just can’t get emotionally attached to a woman on an intimate level, like that. I believe they call it “homoerotic”, but physically, I’m bisexual. So naturally, my head was a mess while I was dating her. I regret not being honest with her, or treating her as well as I should have. I’m not saying she didn’t have her own faults, but I acknowledge my own.

I saw her several years later, after breaking up, as we both shared a mutual friend. We had both matured more and I apologized to her and we became friends again for a little while before I moved out of the country.” – Mike

“I’ve always been a “go-getter” when it comes to romance. If I see an opportunity, I take it, more often than not. The only opportunity I can think of that I “missed” was a little fellow named Colton who worked at a tiny cafe called Morsels. In my junior year of high school, I used to enjoy going into the shop on rainy weekends and reading a book in one of the armchairs. Curly brown hair, dark brown eyes, freckles on his nose, with dimples on his cheeks when he smiled, which was often….Colton was a good kid. Really friendly, easy to talk to. He was good at taking orders for food and drinks. I remember, on Valentine’s Day, he came to see me on his lunch break with a present he’d baked himself. I wasn’t dating anyone at the time. As I recall, the chocolate lava cake molded like a heart was sweet, but the little kiss he gave me was sweeter. I only saw him there for about two years, and then he moved on. I haven’t been to Morsels in years, nor thought about Colton again, until now. Now, I wonder what might have happened if we had carried our relationship beyond that little kiss on a cold, rainy Valentine’s Day.” – Page Scrawler

“I’ve always been the opposite of a “go-getter.” I’ve rarely gone after who I liked. For some background only, I was assaulted in eighth grade by someone I thought was a friend. Then I had a girlfriend and that was an absolute train wreck that ended with me being in a “catatonic” state for about 2 years. That being said, there was this boy, Jake. The first time I saw him, I liked him. We had gym class together, that’s when we officially met. He would hover around me, especially after I broke my wrist ice skating. Thing is, we spoke maybe ten words. He tried one day, and *sigh* I walked away. I got scared, and that was that. It was then one year of stolen glances in the hall. He was all I could think about.

I really think it would have worked out.

I would tell myself just to go for it. In two years time, you’ll never see, yet alone talk to, the vast majority of those shitheads in that school anyways.

It’s been 6 years since then, and I’m still hung up on it. And I live about 700 miles away.” – Sol24

“I’ve got a few regrets. Sure.

I think that I’ve always been a hopeless romantic at heart, even when I was too young to know what that meant. So my feelings have always run very deep for the people I care abut and the ones that I love. But when I was discovering those feelings for the very first time, I was also dealing with a lot of other issues that kept me afraid of really pursuing some of the boys or girls that I had the biggest crushes on at the time. I’d like to think that I would have had a lot more courage if I didn’t have so much chaos going on in my head…but, such is life. You know?

When I write my stories, a lot of that past angst and doubt and self consciousness resurfaces in a major, and I just remember feeling that way. I’m often baffled by readers who say, “It’s been a whole week already! Why doesn’t he just ask him out on a date and get it over with?” WHAT??? Hahaha! Was my experience really that different from everybody else’s? The very notion of asking a girl out, and CERTAINLY if it came to asking out another boy…was the most terrifying idea in the WORLD to me at the time! WTF? Not only could I have my heart shredded and my dreams smashed to pieces, but then I’d have to continue to see that person every single day for the next few years. And I’m not even going to mention the threat of having my broken heart paraded around the halls of the entire school, which…when you’re a teenager, might as well be the whole world. Reputation is everything. As if I didn’t have enough to deal with.

So yeah, there are some regrets that I have about not taking a few chances on a couple of people that I think would have said yes. There was actually one girl that I remember from the 4th grade even, Jennifer, that I followed all the way home on the last day of school, because I didn’t know how I was going to go an entire Summer without her. LOL! Because…kid logic. Now that I think about it, that’s pretty creepy, hehehe, but I was just trying to get up the nerve to talk to her, and maybe trade phone numbers or something. But I walked behind her the whole way, and she was with a couple of her friends, and she got to her house and went inside and I just…kept walking. She used to smile at me on the playground all the time though, and I was so sweet on her, but I chickened out. Oh, and there was that one girl, Karen, that I actually joined the soccer team for. Just to be close to her. (We had a co-ed soccer team. I think this was about 6th grade)

There was a boy, Gabe, the I think was the first boy that I really fell hard for. I was about 10 or 11 years old, and I liked boys before, but this time it was like…”I know what this is. And I do NOT just want to be his friend.” And I actually started talking to him a lot more, and we’d hang out at his house or at mine. No parents at home. But…again, I chickened out. Years later, he did come out of the closet and said that he was gay when we were in our 20’s or something, but I often think back and wonder what if? You know?

Another one that I really wish I had spoken up and taken my chances with was Ed. Now Ed was actually one of the reasons that the Shack Out Back site exists today. Hehehe! It’s true! We were both 22/23 years old, but he had a babyface that made him look 16, tops. And we were both working at the same place, and we just hit it off right away. Everything about him was so perfect, and we would often hang out until sunrise at his house and just talk and laugh and have a good time. I was convinced that I was head over heels in love with him at one point, and kept looking for signs and signals and trying not to write it all off as wishful thinking. And we would have these little ‘moments’ sometimes. Where I almost felt like, “This is it! Tell him! Do it now!” But I never did.

But something tells me that Ed and I would have probably gotten together if one of us had just said something. And I wish it was me who spoke up first.

So yes, I have had quite a number of people that ‘got away’ from me growing up, and I’ve gotten a bit more brave since then. But I’m not really worried about it. I’m happy with my life the way it is now, and any one of those situations could have taken me down a completely different path. One that would be unrecognizable to the path I’m on today. So I’ll deal with what I’ve got now and be proud of the journey that brought me here.

That’s all there is to it.” – Comicality

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If you guys want to add your two cents to any one of the ‘Q & A’ sessions for future issues of Imagine Magazine, we’d LOVE to hear your input and your personal stories on the forum! Feel free to attach your screen name, or do so anonymously! Drop by “The Shack Out Back” forum on the 1st and 15th of every month for a brand new topic of conversation! We look forward to hearing more from you! 🙂


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