Does it feel like you met the right person at the wrong time?
This guy is seemingly a PERFECT match for you. He matches your love vision, you’re having so fun much getting to know him, and you can picture him in your future.
But there’s one catch.
Maybe he lives across the country from you, or he just got out of a serious relationship, or he’s in a phase where he wants to have fun and not commit to anyone.
You may be experiencing a case of meeting the right guy at the wrong time. This can be incredibly challenging to deal with because finding someone you genuinely connect and align with is hard enough. When you finally do find a man like this, you want nothing more than to make it work. Trust me; I get it.
But if a man comes along at the wrong time (for you or him), even if he ticks all your boxes and is literally the man of your dreams on paper, it’s unlikely to work out.
Because the belief that you’ve met someone at the wrong time suggests that you’re not in the headspace to commit to someone fully. It doesn’t matter how amazing you think they are or how much you wish you had met them five years earlier or later. What matters is right now, you are not ready for them.
Can you really meet the right person (the love of your life) at the wrong time?
You’ve probably experienced your fair share of dates and relationships that haven’t worked out as you imagined they would. So when you finally do meet someone who seems like a great match, you desperately want to make things work. Because who knows when the next amazing man is going to walk into your life, right?
Even if you know there are some significant obstacles or challenges to overcome, and the odds are against you, you may become fixated on putting all your energy into doing it. One or both of you may know deep down that it’s not going to work out, so you’ve overcompensated for that feeling in an attempt to prove to yourself that it CAN, and it WILL work. After all, no one wants to look back in a year and worry that they gave up too quickly or potentially missed out on the love of their life.
But in doing so, you ignore obvious clues and signs that the relationship is perhaps not suitable for either of you. Maybe you’ve got a lot of inner work to do when it comes to loving yourself and recognizing your value. Or perhaps he has some work to do in figuring out what he truly wants in a relationship and how that fits into the rest of his life.
Is it the right timing but the wrong person?
This leads me to the harsh truth that you may not want to hear right now. But I owe it to you, to be honest.
If you’ve met the right person at the “wrong” time, chances are good they are not the right person at all. You’re just blind-sighted right now and unable to see it.
Because timing is everything. It doesn’t matter if this guy ticks all your boxes and you want to be with him. If he’s not ready for that right now or has other priorities, then you are heading in opposite directions from the start.
Timing is really just another word for being on the same page or in the same headspace. This is key for a relationship to grow and thrive.
“Right time, wrong person” often becomes an excuse that people use when a relationship isn’t working out, even though it’s more likely because it’s the wrong person. But when it does work out, they’ll tell themselves it was a case of “right timing,” although it’s usually because it was the right person.
In my experience, this is most often the case. But of course, there are always exceptions to every rule.
The science of timing
Benjamin W. Hadden and Christopher R. Agnew researched timing and commitment in relationships.
In their study, single people were assessed on their readiness for commitment and how it affects how a relationship forms. They wanted to prove that if a person were genuinely interested in forming and sustaining a relationship, they would take intentional actions toward achieving that. They discovered that the “timing” of a relationship is based on people’s willingness to commit, which determines how ready they are for a long-term relationship.
This commitment level not only matters in the initial phase of the relationship but also affects how strong the relationship is in the future.
In a nutshell, if a person is ready for a relationship, then the timing is right for them to find a relationship.
Here are 11 signs you met the right person at the wrong time
Is it genuinely a case of the right person at the wrong time?
I can’t give you an answer because I don’t know you and I don’t know the circumstances. However, here are some signs (whether it’s wrong timing or the wrong person) that your relationship is destined to destruct.
1. One or both of you are rebounding
Have you just gotten out of a serious relationship, or has he?
I’m talking about a fresh breakup that happened just weeks or a few months ago. And if either of you recently got divorced or you sadly became widowed, the time you need to heal fully can be up to a year or even more.
It doesn’t really matter how your previous relationship ended. What matters is how much time you’ve taken to breathe, reflect, and rebuild yourself. Unfortunately, I see too many women (and men) jumping back into relationships too soon. Usually, it’s because you feel lonely, you miss the bond you had with that person, and maybe you’re avoiding dealing with your emotions.
Although the aftermath of a breakup is painful, you have to let yourself feel that pain and go through all the stages of a breakup if you want to come out the other side ready to date again.
You may have genuinely met an amazing man who you do think is perfect for you. But if one or both of you are rebounding, you cannot show up fully in the relationship. And the mature thing to do is, to be honest with yourself (and them). Give yourself time and permission to grieve what you’ve lost. If they are rebounding, think about whether you like them enough to wait a few months for them to be ready for a new relationship.
Signs he is rebounding:
- He mentions his ex frequently (including the first date), even if it’s to say “I’m definitely over my ex” (SPOILER ALERT: he’s not!).
- It doesn’t feel like he’s fully present with you when you’re together. You’re getting half of him.
- Your relationship is almost entirely physical, and you only spend time together in the bedroom.
- He’s hot and cold with you.
- He has told you he has just come out of a serious relationship.
2. Right time, wrong person: You’re in a bad place
You cannot be in a loving, healthy, happy relationship if you are not happy with yourself.
So, if you know you’re not in a great place right now, mentally or physically, you might end up subconsciously sabotaging the relationship because you don’t believe you deserve love. Or, you might be pushing an amazing man away because you don’t want him to see the real you.
This can leave you feeling like you’ve genuinely met the right person at the wrong time. He’s incredible, but your head and heart are all over the place.
The truth is, you don’t need me to tell you what to do here. If you’re honest with yourself, you already know.
Step #1 of the Little Love Steps methodology is to build your sexy confidence before you even think about dating someone.
To do this, you have to tap into your feminine energy and start recognizing your value. That means working on building your self-esteem, your self-confidence, and your self-love. Because when you love yourself, you won’t settle for less than you deserve, and you will know how to position yourself as a high-value woman to attract a high-value man.
If you’re in a bad place right, practicing forgiveness and self-love will help you build yourself back up and get into the right mindset to date again.
3. You’re afraid
Are you a woman who has spent most or all of her life single? Or are you used to dating a certain kind of man, and you know now that is where you’ve been going wrong, and you need to look for someone different?
If either of these rings true for you (or him), it’s normal to be experiencing anxiety or fear. You might be telling yourself that this man you’ve just met is the right person at the wrong time. But in reality, you’re uncomfortable with the new situation you’ve found yourself in.
Maybe this new guy is challenging you in ways you’ve never experienced in the past. Perhaps the prospect of dating again after a really long time makes you deeply uncomfortable.
But here’s the deal: feeling uncomfortable is a GREAT thing.
It means you are stepping out of your comfort zone, which is essential if you want to grow. And if everything you’ve been doing in your dating life hasn’t been working for you up to now, it’s vital that you shake things up and do something different.
Because you can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect to have different results.
So ask yourself, is this man a great match for me, and do I like him enough to want to pursue this?
If the answer is yes, then it’s probably not the timing, rather your own fear getting in the way.
If you need some help moving through this, why not try working with a dating coach?
4. You have great chemistry, not compatibility
Chemistry and compatibility are two very different things.
Chemistry is being physically attracted to someone and maybe having a great sexual relationship with them. Compatibility is when you both want similar things, are on the same page, and are committed to building a future together.
The reason why so many women end up liking a man who isn’t right for them comes down to chemistry. He gives you those butterflies in your belly. He lights your fire. And he turns you on.
When a man makes you feel this way, it can leave you oblivious to all other parts of the relationship. You’re so focused on those positive feelings that you ignore everything else he is doing or saying, and you brush off fundamental cracks in the foundation.
MAJOR signs you’re not compatible would be if one of you is looking for something serious and the other is not, or one of you is about to move continents, or you clash on lifestyle choices like marriage and kids.
So, if the chemistry is there but you know in your heart you’re not compatible, it may feel like you’ve met the right person at the wrong time.
5. You enjoy spending your free time differently
It’s not realistic to have the exact same interests and hobbies as the person you’re dating. To be honest, that can make a relationship a little boring and one-dimensional. However, there is such a thing as being too different.
For example, does he want to go out every weekend to bars and drink, while you prefer cozy movie nights in? Or does he choose to spend the majority of his free time hanging out with friends while you want to spend more time together as a couple? Is he an adrenaline junkie who loves nothing more than skydiving, ski jumping, and surfing while you find yourself constantly worrying about his safety when he’s off doing what he loves best?
These are all examples of extreme differences in how you both enjoy spending your time. It can potentially be a red flag—particularly if neither of you is willing to compromise and meet halfway.
If these differences are already starting to create conflict in your relationship and you’re struggling to resolve them, it’s likely you aren’t a great match for each other right now.
6. You have BIG arguments in the honeymoon phase
Conflict is expected in a healthy relationship, but there are a couple of things to be mindful of:
- How often conflict happens
- What the conflict is about
- How you deal with conflict as individuals and a team.
If you’ve only just met and you’re arguing a lot already, this is generally a sign that you aren’t compatible. For example, maybe you get irritated with each other easily, or small things end up escalating into massive arguments, and you just can’t seem to get on the same page.
Either you haven’t figured out how to communicate successfully with each other, in which case there is still hope if you are both willing to learn and do better. Or, you’re not ready or bothered enough to change the way you act, which may feel like a case of the right person, wrong time. And this could be true, or it could be that you are both completely wrong for each other.
Family therapist Nicole Richardson suggests that if you have a big argument within the first five dates, this should be viewed as a red flag. Because the reality is, relationships only become more challenging as they evolve and you dive into deeper levels of commitment.
7. You don’t share long-term goals
Everything about this guy matches the love vision you’ve created for yourself (check out my Little Love Steps if you want to know more about that), apart from one thing: his long-term goals.
Wherever the subject of the future crops up, it’s clear that you don’t want the same things.
Perhaps he wants to live in a big city, and you want to live in a country cottage in the middle of luscious green rolling hills. Maybe you want to get married and have kids, but he’s already been there and done that and isn’t interested in doing it again. Or perhaps he’s keen to travel the world and explore, but you’re very much a home-bird.
It may feel like you’ve met the right person at the wrong time, but it could just be that you aren’t a match. When it comes to BIG lifestyle choices like this, it’s not fair for either person to compromise, which means that it’s likely you’re just not right for each other.
8. Distance is an issue
Did you already live far apart from each other when you met? Or is one of you leaving town soon for a while, or for good?
Both scenarios are tricky because relationships are challenging enough when everything is in your favor. Throw in a long distance, and things can become even more complicated.
You may find yourself wishing, if only we had met five years earlier before he moved, or five years later when he was done traveling and more ready to settle down in one place.
Usually, it will feel like you met the right person at the wrong time if you’re unable to make the distance work and figure out a future plan for you to be together finally. Of course, it’s not fair to ask someone to give up their dream job or stop them from having an incredible experience their soul seeks. But if you both like each other enough and want to make it work, there is usually a way forward.
9. You have other priorities that are more important
Did one of you just get a BIG promotion at work, or quit your job to start a new business, or does one of you have a sick family member to take care of?
There will usually be more than one priority for us at any point in our lives. This is all part of learning to balance multiple things. But for a relationship to thrive, it does require constant time and energy.
So, if it feels like one or both of you cannot invest that right now (for whatever reason), then it could be a case of the right person at the wrong time.
However, it’s important to know that other priorities like this will almost always exist. When whatever’s going on right now calms down, something else will inevitably take its place. So you need to ask yourself, is this really the wrong time, or am I just making excuses because I know this isn’t the right match for me?
10. You’re going through a major life change
Significant life changes include things like starting school, graduating college, changing careers, breakups, a death, getting divorced, etc. These are changes that can profoundly affect us and require a lot of energy and focus to adjust. During these times, many people will feel like they just don’t have the capacity to deal with a new relationship at the same time.
Nick Glozier conducted a study of 14,000 people in Australia across the span of 16 years. He measured their wellbeing and happiness as they went through common life events like job changes, health issues, and financial ups and downs. He found that, on average, the most difficult transitions are experiencing a death of a loved one, getting divorced, and a major financial loss. People can take three to four years to emotionally recover from these events. His findings also showed that moving on too quickly can have significant consequences.
So if you or the man you’re seeing are going through a major life change, you might think you’ve met the right person at the wrong time. You think he’s fantastic, but your heart just isn’t ready to welcome him in yet.
11. He’s not looking for anything serious
You are sure you like this man and want things to progress with him. However, he is sending mixed or clear messages that he is not ready for a commitment right now.
Either this is because he’s fresh out of a breakup and not ready to move on yet, or it’s because he has not met the right woman yet who makes him want to commit.
Signs he is not looking for anything serious:
- He has specifically said, “I’m not looking for anything serious.”
- He talks about his ex a lot.
- Things go too fast in your relationship, and you end up intensely kissing or sleeping together on the first date.
- He texts you late at night wanting to meet up.
- You always go out of your way to see him, never the other way around.
- He’s selfish and self-centered.
Regardless of the reason for this, if it’s clear he isn’t looking for the same things you are, it’s time to say NEXT!
So, you met the right person at the wrong time. What do you do now?
You could try and make it work if you believe it’s worth it and that timing really is the issue at play.
However, if reading this article has made you realize that perhaps this is not the right person for you, here’s what to do:
- Appreciate the good times you’ve had together.
- Let yourself be annoyed/frustrated/upset.
- Find the strength and courage to walk away (cut all contact).
- Don’t take this as a sign that you need to change who you are.
- Focus on yourself right now (this will help you regain a sense of control).
- Move on to the next guy when you’re ready (this is Little Love Step #3).
Conclusion: Usually, the right person at the wrong time is the wrong person!
I know this may not be what you came here wanting to hear, but I would be doing a disservice to you if I sugar-coated the truth.
In the majority of cases I’ve seen (in the thousands of men and women I’ve coached), it’s usually not a case of the right person, wrong time, but simply the wrong person.
If you’ve genuinely met the right man, it will be the right time because both of you will go out of your way to make it work. The right person will make you want to compromise, make new plans together and move forward. You will know that you want to be with them, and this will trump everything else.
Have you ever dated a guy who felt like the right person at the wrong time?
I’d love to hear what happened. Tell me all in the comments below.
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