Is timing really everything when you meet someone? How about during a relationship? Does timing determine the success or failure of a relationship? The simple truth is yes and no.
We are driven by many different things in life at any given time. Our wants, needs and desires continue to evolve throughout life. We are influenced by our upbringing, our family, our friends, our strengths and weaknesses and the sum of our experiences. As life progresses, we tend to create an internal “script” as to how we would like our life to proceed and where we want to be in the future. This may or may not be conscious script, expectations of others can also weigh heavily on us. None-the-less we are greatly influenced by our need to fulfill our internal goals in a way we can live with on our own terms. Let’s say that you meet “the one” in your early 20s, but your script focus is on finishing school or finding a career before you enter a serious relationship. In this example, one or both of you are likely to have problems with mismatched desires and needs. Many people who meet early in life face the challenges inherent in life at that age: discovering who you really are, how to find an interesting career (or make a good living), having fun with friends and experiencing the world. It is common for people to want to be settled in these areas before seeking a committed relationship.
Or, let’s say you meet someone either already in a relationship or who has just exited a relationship. You both may be, under any other set of circumstances, perfect for each other, but under these circumstances, it is very unlikely you will be able to begin a relationship without significant hurdles or pain simply because the one you met is literally not ready to begin a relationship with you no matter how perfect the potential. This is a very common scenario. Many people meet, quite literally, at imperfect timing (meaning at a time that does not support the elements that help a relationship succeed for both partners).
At any given time, we face choices in our life decisions that we feel compelled to respond to given our greatest drive or desire. It is important to note the greatest human drive is that of avoiding pain (perceived or real). Second to pain is the pursuit of pleasure. At times, these common human drivers can lead us to decisions we later regret. It is important to carefully consider what matters most to you–your true desires as well as goals in life–rather than simply avoiding what you fear could be difficult or cause temporary discomfort, but could result in much happiness if you are ready to receive it. If we trust ourselves, when we discover someone who is undeniable in our heart and mind, yet not perfectly in line with our original life script, we can reevaluate and possibly take a leap of faith to re-write our script (or edit it slightly).
So how do we avoid making the wrong decision when considering our timing in a relationship? Do we live our ideals or do we take a safe path to meet others expectations? Are we true to our needs or to the needs of others? The answer is as individual as the person making the decision.
There are so many reasons people choose to pursue or not pursue a relationship. Some make a commitment because they feel “its time” for a relationship or marriage, or that “time is running out” due to the pressure of wanting to start a family or due to age and availability of a suitable partner. All of these are matters of timing. However, if the same two people met under different circumstances or at a time that were advantageous to meet the needs of both parties, they would make different decisions and could be quite happy together. So yes, timing can be everything.
It is important to note that both good and bad decisions can be made based upon timing. At a young age we may not be experienced enough or self-aware enough to make a well-considered decision and therefore it may be beneficial to wait or move on. At other times in life, a couple may be entirely compatible and beneficial to each other, but under prevailing circumstance they do not take action due to either their fears or due the expectations and approval of others. Sadly circumstances such as these can lead to significant regret. Many times there are ways to overcome obstacles and act on our true heart’s desire and find great happiness and fulfillment regardless of timing.
Do some people use the excuse of “bad timing” as a means to let someone down “easy”? Of course. People most often loath confrontation and this discomfort can lead to relying on unfortunate, lame excuses. But most often, when all else seems right but significant differences in life goals arise or former commitments persist, you can be certain it is an issue of timing. Fortunately, when timing is the only circumstance keeping two people apart, they often find their way back to each other with a very happy outcome once their real or perceived concerns are met.
Tell us about your experiences with timing–good and bad–in our comments section. We would love to hear your story.