Does a Relationship’s Timing Determine its success?

Many of us find ourselves meeting potential partners and feeling that the relationship is unable to work out due to “timing“. For whatever reason, often one person isn’t quite at the right “stage“, isn’t “looking for anything serious, right now” or simply, the timing “isn’t right“.

Do we use the excuse of bad timing to cover up our unwillingness to commit (i.e. He’s Just Not That into You) or can meeting someone when the timing isn’t right prevent us from finding the ‘love of our lives?

If you are meant to be with a person, will it happen?

In my experience, sometimes timing is everything…

One (or both) of you are unavailable…

There are many moments in life where you feel unavailable for a new relationship – perhaps you’ve just come out of a break up or separation or perhaps you are even in a relationship with someone else, when you meet the person who feels like they could be ‘the one’. This is really tricky.

For many couples, it can be after years of being friends, and often being in other relationships, before they finally reach a place where they are both single and ‘available’ to each other.

If you meet someone when you are in a relationship, be aware that part of the attraction to them may be the ‘unavailability’ factor. Statistics suggest 50 per cent of those in a relationship have feelings for other people, and that it’s possible to hold feelings for more than one person at a time. Before deciding whether to act on your ‘crush’, focus on the relationship you are currently in. If it wasn’t for the newfound feelings, would you be happy in your relationship, or were you looking for an excuse to get out?

If you are happy in your relationship, relax – your attraction to someone else is normal. Put your romantic, flirty energy into the relationship you are committed to. Perhaps this ‘new’ person is giving you something you’ve been missing from your current relationship – making you feel desired and attractive, or if you haven’t been feeling sexually satisfied in your current relationship, this might be a wake-up call to that.

If you are not happy and satisfied with your relationship, and you’re willing to risk your current relationship, it’s probably your subconscious telling you it’s time to break up. Unless you’re desperately unhappy, and this really is the wake-up call to that reality, don’t rush into anything, or let this new person cloud your judgment of your current relationship. If it’s meant to be, with that someone else, it’ll happen, and it doesn’t have to happen right now.

Whatever you do, be very careful, and mindful of the feelings of your current partner.

Age – Does Age Matter in Relationships?

By the time we reach adulthood, is age just a number, or can it really determine a relationship’s success?

The most important things in a relationship though are finding common interests, sexual chemistry and agreeing on the big issues, age definitely doesn’t have to be a barrier to love. For some couples, age and the stage of life you’re each at might make it seem impossible to have a relationship though – i.e. if one person has already had children and doesn’t want more, or one is ready to get married and the other is years off even considering ‘settling down’.

Sometimes age does matter – and the challenges may be too great if you’re not looking for the same things in life at the same time. If this is the case, ask yourself about the relative importance of either settling down, or being with that person, and weigh the alternatives. Which is most important to you? Can you see yourselves rekindling a relationship in the future, if the timing isn’t right, right now?

When Blair and I met, it wasn’t just my age, but my stage of life that probably would have made it impossible to have a relationship. Thankfully, two years, a couple of relationships and an O.E. later, we found each other again. The older you get, the less age matters. It’s been ten years since we found each other the second time, so I’m pretty confident the timing is right now.

Sudden Hardships – Dating while dealing with Grief and Loss

Most of us will encounter sudden hardships in our lives which will influence our decision-making and judgment calls – both immediately, and for the near future. Depending on the stage you are at in your relationship, experiencing a serious or sudden hardship may make or break it.


If you meet someone new while you are struggling to get over something big, you may find yourself emotionally unavailable, or, you may find yourself staying with a partner for comfort in a time of need, even if the relationship doesn’t feel quite right.

Grief, for example, requires a huge amount of mental energy, which leaves very little for a new relationship.

When our Mum died a few years ago, my sister didn’t feel as though she had the emotional energy to put into her relationship, and ended up breaking the poor guy’s heart. Three years later, she got in touch on Facebook, and they’ve been happily together since then. The timing wasn’t right, due to circumstances completely out of either of their control, but there was obviously still a connection between the two of them worth pursuing, when the timing improved.

Travel and Long Distance Relationships

As Kiwis, most of us want to get out and see the world at some stage of our lives, and many of us even live overseas for a period of time, which can have a huge influence on a relationship, depending on the other person’s priorities, or whether they’re open to doing long distance.

As the wife of a pilot, and friend of many pilots’ wives, I can tell you first-hand, that long distance does not have to be detrimental to a relationship, even at the beginning of it. Blair and I spent our first year ‘together’ actually apart (Christchurch-Tauranga), and many of our friends have spent months or years in long-distance relationships, whether within New Zealand, or internationally, as one pursues job opportunities elsewhere.

Of course, overseas travel also goes hand in hand with meeting prospective partners overseas, so what if you meet someone while they, or you, are travelling? Physical proximity, especially at the beginning of the relationship, is paramount to many, and without that foundation, sometimes long-distance just is too hard for people, depending on what their goals and priorities are right now.

Emotional Stability and Willingness for a Relationship

Whether you’ve been single for a long period of time, and are set in your ways, or your head just isn’t in the right place for a relationship, the timing may not be right and you don’t feel like giving it 100%.

You may also have been in a relationship where you feel as though the other person hasn’t given you his/her all (i.e. that guy who you had an amazing first date with who never called you again… or worst still, texted a few times and then ghosted you a week later).

If you feel any hesitation from someone, or you’re feeling hesitant to get into a relationship with someone – even though the chemistry and attraction aren’t right, blame timing, and don’t continue to pursue it. If it’s right, they won’t be too ‘busy’ to see you, and you won’t find any excuse not to see them, or develop feelings for them. My flatmate recently had a connection with a guy which lasted months and months, as she ignored all the signs that he wasn’t really willing for a relationship. Ultimately, it ended, and she ended up disappointed.

If the timing isn’t right, in this case, it’s just not going to happen. It’s the most crushing thing to accept, but if someone isn’t willing to have a relationship, not because of age, location, travel, emotional heartbreak or another real reason, it’s not worth pursuing.

It may have happened to you, and you can’t help the way you feel. If you meet someone amazing, but you know you aren’t where you need to be in order to have a relationship with them, it’s equally crushing hard.

Someone who is self-aware and respectful will let you know straight up. Others will just keep dragging along until you give up or finally take the hint. Trying to force matters or pressure people into relationships does not work – and ultimatums about commitment are not the answer (even if effective in the short-term).

Don’t assume they’re not changing because they don’t care about your feelings, just accept that their timing isn’t right. You might discover that the person changes his or her mind and comes back to you in the future.

The Good News – Often, It Just Takes Time

To realise that a relationship won’t work due to timing, for whatever reason, can be the hardest thing to accept. BUT, I’m a firm believer in fate – the planets have a way of aligning themselves in the end: Blair and I found each other again after two years, my sister after three years, and other friends have found their soul-mate in someone who was just a friend for a long, long time prior.

If either of you finds yourself making timing an excuse for not having a relationship at one time, it probably isn’t meant to be, at least right now. In the long-run though (and not just in rom-coms), love conquers all, and if it’s meant to be, it will be.

In Hebrew, a word I particularly love is ‘beshert‘ which means your pre-destined soul-mate. Of course, noone can know whether this actually exists, but if you believe in it and put your faith in fate working out for you in future, it can be easier to accept the present.

I’d love to hear what you think though, is timing everything in a relationship?