People can make mistakes regardless of age, but sometimes you can't help but think that you should've known better. Recently, members of the BuzzFeed Community shared the mistakes they'd made in their 30s and beyond that they couldn't believe ever happened, and they're eye-opening. Here are some responses that prove we're all still figuring life out and learning along the way:
1."Well into my late 30s, I was tanning without sunscreen, partying, and gambling all the time. Doing so left me with premature aging and no money — I was broke and renting in my 50s. With all the money I'd wasted, I could have owned three houses."
2."Starting an affair with an ex-girlfriend. We rationalized it by telling each other that it was 'unfinished business,' but it really wasn't. It was deceitful behavior, which both of our spouses eventually found out about. It cracked the mirror of my marriage and ended hers. My wife has never really forgiven me, and I don't blame her."
3."Getting romantically involved with a coworker. I've made that regrettable decision twice during my working days, and boy, did they both suck big time. From my experience, having no choice but to see someone who you'd broken up with is like slow torture. For many people, including myself, this is a lesson you tend to learn the hard way."
4."At 29-years-old, I married a guy with kids. I'd known that he eventually wanted full custody of them, and it happened six weeks after our wedding. The thing is, he traveled to Europe for business several times a year. The kids and I did great together, but with their biological mother being MIA and their dad being gone all the time, I was basically a glorified nanny. Just as soon as his kids were old enough to stay home alone, that man divorced me. I warn young women to recognize their value — please don't do the thankless job of raising other people's children and waste years serving unworthy men. Oh, and the ultimate slap in the face? My step-kids quit speaking to me as soon as the divorce was final."
5."It was my fourth marriage. I fell in love with a much younger Chinese woman. I spent half my life savings to buy her family a home in China. However, after a few years, she tired of me and returned to China. The home is in her name, so there was no split with the divorce."
—Roger, 69, US
6."I took my chance to have children for granted. By my mid-30s, I was almost out of eggs, so I spent almost $100k to have a baby. I am now 40 with a toddler. It's exhausting, but I have zero regrets."
7."Not working on myself before getting into a relationship. I was a teen mom with two kids by 21. I got married at 24 to the first real guy I dated because I thought no one else would want to be with a single mom. I settled. After nine years, we divorced. I then jumped from relationship to relationship, and I felt like there was something wrong with me for always choosing someone who didn't treat me right. It wasn't until I sat down and started working on myself did I realize that I needed to heal in order to really see what I wanted in a partner. After that, I ended up finding my true soulmate. He's everything I never thought I'd find."
—Shawna, 37, Dallas
8."Purchasing a timeshare. It's like taking out a loan and never being able to pay it off. At the time, it seemed like a good idea because I thought it'd 'force' me to take more vacations. The worst part is, though I'm unable to use it, I'm still paying for it. No matter what is promised, just say NO!"
9."I fell for a married man who'd kept telling me that he was going to leave his wife. Every year, he'd say he was leaving his wife for me. He refused to break up with me, and at that point, we'd been dating for 10 years. I called the police on him and got a restraining order. I should have dumped him six months after discovering he was married. Oh, and he's still married to his wife."
10."Being greedy and in a hurry to make money. When I was in my 30s, I made and lost a $30k investment in another country. Since it was so far away, I didn't really have much control over it. In my 40s, I made an even bigger investment mistake and lost $40k. I was impulsive and greedy and didn't learn from my mistake the first time. That said, never be in a hurry to make money, and if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Making money that stays takes time and patience. Now, I'm in my 50s and back to living paycheck-to-paycheck, trying to provide for my kids. I won't be able to retire soon and will be working a lot longer than I'd originally intended."
11."Having a kid was the biggest mistake I've ever made. If I could go back 34 years, I would slap the shit out of myself for even thinking about it."
12."Getting sorta involved with a coworker who was young enough to be my son. Everything about him told me that he'd be no good for me, but that didn't stop me. I used to sneer at women who got involved with unsuitable men and thought they were stupid or weak for letting those guys hurt them. Now, I know what it's like to be that weak-willed woman. I allowed that guy to hurt me. Why? Because he was nice-looking and tall, and because the idea of a young guy liking me was flatting for, like, five minutes. It made me feel like a sexy cougar. And now here I am, having had to switch jobs because I could no longer bear working with him. I spent evenings sitting on the carpet and crying because that guy made me realize just how lonely I was. I made that mistake this year. It seems that being nearly half a century old brings no wisdom."
13."I regret not being more involved in finances. I just nodded in agreement during our meetings with our financial advisor. Then, two years ago, my husband died. At 58, I have no idea what the investment statements mean. We have a school-age child. I've had to figure out a budget and make lots of stressful financial decisions."
14."NEVER LEND MONEY! At 67, I lent $9,500 to a so-called friend of 30 years. He was someone I trusted, and there was even a notarized promissory note, too. Well, the guy died a month before I was supposed to get repaid, and it turned out that he'd transferred ownership of his house to his brother two months before passing away. Because of that, there were no other assets to go after. People tell me, 'He didn't know he was going to die.' If that was the case, then why did he transfer the house to his brother? The promissory note isn't worth the paper it's written on. NEVER lend money to anyone, no matter how long you've known them or how much you trust them!"
15."At 38, I couldn't believe that I hadn't trusted my intuition. A few years ago, the man I thought I'd spend the rest of my life with up and left me to return to a toxic relationship with his ex. Fast-forward a couple of years, he called me out of the blue. I knew better, but I'd convinced myself that 'everyone deserves a second chance,' so I gave him one. I knew something wasn't right; I could literally feel it. Two years into the relationship, he cowardly left me again...for the SAME toxic relationship that he'd left me for the first time. Lesson learned — don't ignore your intuition because there's a reason why you have it."
16.Lastly: "Letting other people's kids live in my home. They were basically young adults that their own parents couldn't handle. The teens cost me tons of time and money, and their parents were not friendly with me after that. Not only did it destroy my friendship with their parents, but the teens are grown now and don't keep in touch. In fact, they actually seem rather resentful and are simply not part of my life anymore. I put myself and my family through stressful years, and all I'm left with is regret and a frequently overdrawn bank account. In hindsight, I realize that their parents should have worked out their problems with their kids instead of just sending them to my house. Moral of the story is never to let a non-relative stay in your home unless they're paying rent and have a concrete move-out date. This sort of thing can happen to anyone who is trying to 'help,' and trust me, you will lose their friendship. There are other ways to help."
Well, it looks like I will not be lending anyone large sums of money any time soon. What's a mistake you genuinely couldn't believe you made because you should've known better? Let me know down below in the comments, or you can submit anonymously using this form!
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.