This Is Why We Should All Be Taking Life Advice from Betty White

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

When sage love advice comes from none other than Betty White herself, you know we need to listen up.

In a recent interview on Oprah: Where Are They Now? Oprah Winfrey asked the 93-year-old icon if she had any major life regrets. The Golden Girls star, whose acting career has spanned 76 years, was only remorseful about one thing: not taking a chance on love sooner when she knew it was right.

"[I regret] that I spent a whole year, wasted a whole year, that Allen and I could have had together saying no, I wouldn't marry him," White told Winfrey. "Saying, no, I won't leave California. No, I won't move to New York. I wasted a whole year we could have had together." 

"But we made it," White added. "We finally did."

White is referring to when she spent an entire year turning down her future husband's numerous proposals. In 1963, she finally married Allen Ludden, but their nearly two-decade-long partnership was cut short when Ludden passed away from stomach cancer in 1981, as the Huffington Post reported.

There's nothing White could have done about her husband's illness. But getting over the logical part of her brain, which fixated on practicalities and logistics when a life-altering love was staring her in the face — that's something White in her wisdom recognizes she could have changed.

Our biggest regrets: White is speaking a common truth. A 2011 survey asked 370 adults in the United States what their top regret was. "The most common regret involved romance, with nearly one in five respondents telling a story of a missed love connection," the New York Times reported.

Women were most likely to dwell on missed opportunities for love, with 44% having a relationship regret. And as we all know, often those regrets come when we prioritize career over our personal lives and, in the case of White, day-to-day practicalities over passionate romance. 

It's a classic conundrum — "Do I follow my brain, or my heart?" — and White has a good perspective. Sometimes when your brain is saying no, it's not because the choice is wrong. Perhaps it's just fear or nervousness getting in the way. 

And 52 years later, you may be wondering why you didn't take that leap.

h/t Huffington Post

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Kate Hakala

Kate is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Mic. A former editor of Nerve, her writing has also appeared in the The New York Times, Playboy, Refinery29, Salon, and The Daily Dot. On most days she is thinking of Louis C.K.

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