Like that famous song said, you found the right love at the wrong time. Here’s why timing in love is more important than most people think.
It’s true that everything happens for a reason. When good things happen, we say things like “it’s our time,” and when bad things happen, we write it off as not being our time. But the one thing the good and bad have in common is timing. And in relationships, timing is everything.
Our relationships operate on its own clock, with its own hours, and we all have to go through each hour at least once in our life for our relationship clock to set the right time. But, as you may already be asking, how can you know if the timing is right when it’s different for everyone?
How to know if the timing is right in your dating life
There’s no alarm clock for relationships that tell you when you should be going through a milestone, readying yourself for a breakup, or venturing out to mingle with other singles. All you can rely on are the following indicators.
#1 Readiness. Just because you think you are ready, doesn’t mean you are. Emotions have a sly way of making you think you’re ready for something you really want. For instance, you may be seeing a ton of your friends getting married and having kids, and since you want the same things, you think you’re ready for those things too.
If you often feel like that, take a step back, and ask yourself if you’re truly ready. Are you mentally prepared for the responsibility? Are you financially capable of taking a huge leap? Are you emotionally ready to deal with the problems that might come up? Are you absolutely, adamantly, undeniably sure that you can handle it right now? [Read: 16 signs you’re not ready for a serious relationship]
#2 Maturity. Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Think about your first ever significant other, and try to see the difference between them and the type of people you’re most likely to date now. Pretty big difference, right?
As we mature, our wants and needs change, whether in life in general or in relationships. Our maturity level has a lot to do with what we’re capable of doing in a relationship, and this, in turn, can help us determine if we’re in the right relationship at the right time. With that said, it can be pretty frustrating when you meet someone with potential but doesn’t have the maturity to handle the type of relationship you’re after.
#3 Life goals. Another tick that makes your relationship clock tock is the timing of your life goals. If you’ve set goals for yourself that you want to achieve and reach before settling down, it’s important to be aware of that, and remember how important they are to you.
You have to put yourself first when it comes to true love. No matter how much you love someone, if they’re keeping you from reaching your lifelong goal, your relationship will only end up with resentment and regret. It’s important to be with someone who understands what you want in life and allows you to strive for it. [Read: 8 daily reminders to help keep you moving forward]
#4 Experience. All the experiences you have in all the relationships in your life help shape you into the person that you are. These experiences also help you realize what is important to you and help you figure out what kind of person you want to be with in the long run.
If you’ve never experienced the bad things when it comes to relationships, then how would you be able to know when the good things happen? You probably wouldn’t. We all have those moments when we look back at different people we’ve dated, and think about how one ex was actually a great choice for settling down… Too bad you hadn’t had enough experience to know any better.
#5 Circumstances. Our circumstances define us in some way, but just because you might have a negative experience, doesn’t mean you should let that one event define you. So if you’ve never actually thought about dating because you’ve always had to work and provide for yourself, or maybe take care of your family, or had a lot more downs in life than ups, it’s okay to put relationships and dating on the back burner.
Only when you are finally ready to date and put yourself out there will you start figuring out what you want when it comes to relationships. If your timing hasn’t happened yet, and it hasn’t been your time because of all the lemons life has thrown at you, it’s okay, and you’re certainly not alone.
#6 Love vs. infatuation. Figuring out the difference between love and infatuation is extremely important when it comes to relationships, and it is also influenced by timing. When you’re young, it’s easy to confuse love with infatuation because it’s so easy to mistake loving someone with loving the idea of being in love or loving the idea of being loved by someone.
Only time will help you realize that what you once thought was love is actually just lust or infatuation or an intense need to be validated by someone. It’s a tough lesson to learn, but it’s one that we all need to learn at some point. [Read: Limerence, love and infatuation – the real difference]
#7 Careers. This one’s a little pragmatic, but we must all admit that our careers also play a part in our dating life as well. It takes time to cultivate a career and step up the rungs of the career ladder. When you’re at that point when you’re just starting out and figuring out where your career path is headed, balancing a relationship on the side can turn out to be problematic.
This isn’t a matter of choosing between your career or a significant other. However, there are times when you have to put your dating life on hold because your career prospects are starting to open up, and it would be risky to try and split your time and energy between your job and a significant other. [Read: Love or Career? How to make the right choice]
#8 Health issues. Sometimes, our bodies aren’t as cooperative as we want it to be. There are some health issues that get in the way of our daily routines, and in some cases, it can get in the way of a relationship, too. Just imagine meeting someone whom you can see yourself marrying, and then realizing that they’re just not ready to take on the responsibility of taking care of a sick partner.
If you had gotten sick when you’ve been together for a while, you might have a shot. But if you got sick when you’re still at the early stages of dating, well, let’s just say that not everyone has the same amount of resolve as Stephen Hawking’s wife.
You can say that time is on your side or time is working against you. But in the end, you have to acknowledge that the passage of time and timing has a lot of bearing on how your relationships pan out.