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We hear it echoed within the songs we listen to, the movies we watch, and the advice our friends give us — timing is crucial when it comes to romantic relationships. Maybe you resonate with the title of this piece because you’ve been through what I’d argue to be the worst kind of love: falling for the right person at the wrong time. Of course, everyone likes to imagine that timing wont affect meeting the perfect person simply because fate will defy all obstacles. And maybe, if you’re incredibly lucky, you’re right. But unfortunately, it doesn’t pan out that way most of the time. A lot of times, this kind of love is reciprocal but transient.
The reasons can vary: Maybe someone got out of a toxic relationship and needed time to heal, maybe someone started a new job and didn’t have time to dedicate to a new partnership, or maybe someone was planning to move across the country when you met. Regardless of the reason, there’s already an expiration date. We’re left with that internal dialogue of, “If only I met this person back when ______,” or, “If only our paths crossed a year from now when ______.”
So, what’s next? What is one to do when we feel like the perfect person has appeared and yet something is keeping us from being with them?
Roughly five years ago, I met someone with whom things immediately felt at ease. The connection, although not instant, was a strong one. He had a cool job as a captain for private planes, an incredible heart for others, and an infectious sense of humor. To this day, I still have absolutely nothing bad to say about him other than it just didn’t work with us. It’s so rare as adults to find someone who really understands your mind and soul, but he did. With that said, I always had a gut feeling that he wasn’t the one. Logic wasn’t on my side since he was dubbed as “perfect for me” (my friends’ words). But, as the title suggests, the timing wasn’t right — I was about to move 2,000 miles across the country from Tennessee to California. I know, a poor excuse for not dating someone who literally flies planes for a living, but I knew that I needed this journey for myself and that I needed to be single for it. I’ve always held the belief that it’s bullshit to try and “find your other half” simply because I didn’t ever want to see myself as a “half” to begin with. I want to be a whole, independent, fully-functioning person who also finds another whole, regardless of how long they take to find. I want my future relationship’s total to be 200%, not a combination of two people at 50%.
When I met this guy, I wasn’t there. And that’s okay. Just like it wasn’t my job to compromise my personal growth to make things work, it wasn’t his job to wait on me. After a long time, we mutually agreed that a finite goodbye would be best for the both of us.
Maybe you’ve been in a similar boat of bad-timing, or possibly you’re even going through that right now. To you, I empathize. It’s a strange breed of heartbreak to say goodbye to someone with whom a relationship never had the chance to reach its full potential. As hard as ending this relationship was for me, I find solace in this one hard truth: The right person at the wrong time is still the wrong person.
It was not time that ended my relationship with the pilot. It was not the 2,000-mile space between us. It was me. I was the one who decided.
Although I don’t know who it is yet, I do believe that the right person will be timeless… because great love is timeless. When I meet my future partner, I want to see them for their heart, their mind, and their soul — not a physical manifestation of what my friends dub as “perfect for me.” When I find the right person, I won’t wonder if that moment makes for convenient timing. It just will be..