Right Person, Wrong Time: The Myth vs. the Reality

A couple who think it's the right person, wrong time, sitting at the beach talking about their relationship.

How often have we heard of a relationship’s demise being due to bad timing? We meet the person of our dreams, and then they take off across the country for a job opportunity. We form a strong connection with someone, but they’re already taken. We have a promising relationship, but it ends quickly because the other person can’t commit right now.

After these sorts of ending we think to ourselves, “If only we had met two years later or sooner, or probably any other time in history but now. We would’ve made it work.”

But wait a minute… If two people are meant for each other, doesn’t that mean timing doesn’t matter? Doesn’t true love prevail over any given time or circumstances? If two people are truly right for each other, are we really going to blame an amount of time, essentially a calendar, for standing in their way?

There are many legitimate reasons for a relationship to not work out. But maybe bad timing isn’t one of them.

Let’s consider a few things about the myth of the “right person, wrong time” to find out what’s really going on with theses relationships.

Emotional Availability
Certain circumstances can make someone less emotionally available in a committed relationship. For example, a death in the family, losing a job, or going through a divorce demands a lot of time and emotional bandwidth from someone, which doesn’t leave a lot of space for someone new.  However, if you’re waiting for everything to fall magically into place in your life so that you can give yourself permission to fall in love, you could be waiting forever.

The truth is, life is filled with ebbs and flows. You just never know when life will hit you with a crisis. That doesn’t mean you should stop yourself from falling for someone. In fact, sometimes that person walks into your life to help you get to the other side of whatever it is you’re dealing with. It’s up to you to decide whether you’ll throw caution to the wind and accept love, or hide from it.

If you believe you don’t have what it takes to maintain a relationship, call a spade a spade and blame your emotional unavailability but don’t blame timing.

Fear
If you’re used to being single or dating a certain type of person, you might use timing as an excuse for a relationship not working out. You might say to yourself that you gave it your best shot, you enjoyed yourself, but “the timing wasn’t right.” When in reality the issue of timing is hiding the real cause for things not working out.

Could it be that you were being asked to grow in more expansive ways than you’re used to? Were you uncomfortable because you were being challenged by your new partner, and you stubbornly refused to give in? It’s important to pay attention to when and why the timing excuse is being used. For example, are you using it when things become too intimate? If so, then you might ask yourself if it’s your fear of intimacy that’s driving away the relationship rather than timing.

The Wrong Person
If you meet the right person, it’s always the right time. Period. So if you’re blaming timing, then chances are you’ve just met the wrong person for you. The right person makes you want to throw away your stubborn plans in order to make new ones so you can build a new life together. You don’t hesitate moving forward when you meet the right person because you know whether you want to be with them or not.

Distance doesn’t matter because you trust your partnership will sustain any number of miles because it’s the right one. That’s not to say someone has to move mountains for someone else—that’s a big ask. The idea of love conquering all is a major stress to put upon any relationship.

However, when you’re with the right person, there’s a certain knowingness that all is well. You’ll just make it work. That’s not to say there won’t be difficulties, but you have the love and respect you need to navigate through them, be it a new job, a move, or any other life transition. Basically, time doesn’t exist when you’re with the right person. You’ll be with them no matter what.

Bad timing is usually a cover for emotional unavailability, fear, and incompatibility because it really means one of you, or both of you, is choosing not to invest your time in the relationship. When we say “right person, wrong time,” what we really mean is that we’re the wrong person for them.

The right person is always on time. With the right person, you have all the time in the world.

Brianne Hogan

Freelance Writer

Brianne is a Canadian freelance writer who’s been writing about dating and relationships longer than any of her relationships. She applies a “do what I say, not do what I do” approach to her articles, and believes you can find Your Person mostly when you aren’t looking. So enjoy your life, and eat lots of cheese (at least that’s her motto). Her byline’s been featured on Thrillist, The Huffington Post, HelloGiggles, Elle Canada, Flare, Awesomeness TV, among others.

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