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17 Signs You've Met the Right Person at the Wrong Time

Are you wondering whether the man in your life is a good fit for a long-term relationship? 

Perhaps he’s a great guy who really likes you, but that’s not all it takes for you to be compatible for a longer period. 

Sometimes, it’s a case of meeting the right person at the wrong time. But how are you supposed to know when that happens?

Read on to discover if that’s the situation you’re in.

What Does “Right Person, Wrong Time” Mean? 

Right person, wrong time refers to a situation wherein you meet someone seemingly perfect for you but external circumstances are keeping you apart, never allowing you to see what you could be together. 

It’s difficult to say whether the “right person, wrong time" is a thing, even experts have conflicting views on this. On the one hand, you might meet someone who ticks all the boxes but due to circumstances (more on these below), the two of you just can’t make a relationship work right now. In this scenario, some may say they were never the right person to begin with then. 

On the other hand, people might argue that if the two of you are meant to be together, things will fall into place and everything will work out regardless of the “wrong time.” 

In my opinion, if you are meant to end up with someone, you will. The timing might be bad now but things could work out to bring you back together. 

Below are some of the signs to look out for that you’ve met the right person at the wrong time.

17 Signs You’re in a “Right Person, Wrong Time” Situation

1. Your future goals do not align

So you think that you have found the perfect person to spend the rest of your life with, and then you come to realize that both of your long-term goals don’t align. For example, you might want children and they couldn’t think of anything worse. Another example could be that you want to travel the world, and they will never leave their hometown. 

It doesn’t always have to be physical goals, but it could also just be the mindset of the person. If you are a real ‘go-getter’ and they would like to just stay in the same job and live in the same apartment for the rest of their life, you won't be compatible together.

Even though you feel like they are the right person for you, you can’t imagine changing your life plans to be with them. You will know if your aspirations don’t align if when you hear about their plans you wince at the idea of them. This shows you that you wouldn’t be able to cope with living your life as they do.

Things like this obviously keep people apart, because we will only let ourselves get into relationships with people we can genuinely imagine a future with.

2. One of you might have just come out of a long-term relationship 

This point can be from either side. If you have just come out of a long-term relationship, it can feel awful to know that you have just met someone that is perfect for you, but you can’t be with them, because you need to mourn the loss of your relationship and previous partner. 

However, rather than looking at this in a negative light, it is actually a really mature decision to not move on too quickly and allow yourself time to grieve. If you had decided to get straight into a new relationship, it could end badly if you had not actually fully moved on.

Similarly, if you are single, it might be difficult for you to know that your ‘right’ counterpart has just come out of a serious or long-term relationship. When people come out of long term or serious relationships, it can be very difficult and genuinely unhealthy to move on too quickly. 

So, if they are still not over it, it might hurt but you will need to accept the fact and allow them time to move on, however they see fit.

I’d recommend staying away from this person, since you don’t want to feel like their rebound as it could mess your emotions around too much.

3. You or this person is going to be leaving town soon

Once again, this can happen to either of you. It can be heartbreaking if you know that you and this person really click but they will be leaving town soon. Perhaps they are going traveling, they are moving to a different city or state, or their job has posted them to the other side of the world.

The same might apply to you. Maybe a few weeks before you met you signed a contract to go and work in London or something similar. It can be a kick in the teeth knowing that you have to go even though you just met the ideal person for you.

However, if this is the situation for you or him, you will both probably act in your own interest and follow through with what you had planned. This will especially be the case if you haven’t known each other for a long time.

4. There is a big work commitment right now for one of you

there is a big work commitment right now for one of you

It doesn’t really matter what the job is, if someone is more committed to their career than their relationships, then it will never work. 

Perhaps you have just scored the dream job you have always been looking for, doing something you love, and you won’t give the opportunity up for anything. You will be more focused on seizing the opportunity than getting into a serious relationship.

Similarly, maybe he is starting his own business. He will be more concerned with working late hours and going to meetings than focusing on a new relationship.

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So, if one of you has a big commitment to your work right now, your relationship is not going to flourish under the circumstances.

5. You both live too far away from each other

You might have met this person and have fallen for them, only to realize they live on the other side of the country, or even worse, in another country. Long-distance relationships can work, but it depends on how much effort you both put into it. 

If you have only just met, or are in the early stages of a relationship, it isn’t likely that either of you will be willing to get yourselves in a long-distance relationship.

Also, if you are craving a very close relationship and this person lives far away, then it won’t meet your needs or standards, therefore failing.

6. The age gap between the two of you is too big

You might have met someone that you think is right for you, but you haven’t been what they have been through. For example, they might be a lot older than you or vice versa. Age doesn’t usually matter too much, and the majority of the time it isn’t a problem if two people really love each other. 

Age doesn’t add up to maturity either, so even if you were dating someone a lot younger but they were very mature then it could be a great match.

The difficulty occurs when the two people want different things in life at that moment in time. A younger person might want to have a more laid-back relationship whereas someone older might want something more serious that will withstand time. 

It can also happen that you might fall for someone who has more life experience than you – they might have children and have already been married and divorced.

The only thing you want in the world might be to have children and to get married, but this person doesn’t. You might think how much of a shame it was that you didn’t meet them before all of that. It can feel really unfair if the person seems perfect apart from their age and their expectations of a relationship.

7. They might simply not want a relationship now

What can really suck is if the person you like and think is your ideal match simply does not want to be in a relationship with anyone. This is probably because they have been hurt in the past and they don’t quite trust anyone with their heart again. Not right now anyway.

You might be ready to jump into a relationship with them, and they might like you too, but they will decline your offer telling you it is simply “the wrong time” for them. This can be heartbreaking, but you can’t change their mind on what they want in the present moment. You need to respect their decisions.

8. They might already have someone

You could have an amazing spark with someone who is already taken. They might also be giving you the eyes. You might have even spoken about it together. However, he has told you that he is going to stay in the relationship that he has now. 

You are not going to cheat, of course, but it feels unfair that you have met someone who is so good for you. You could be questioning why you didn’t meet this person before they got snapped up by someone else.

There really is nothing you can do in this situation; their relationship status is stopping you from being together.

9. One of you is going through a very challenging time

If one of you is suffering from physical illness or poor mental health, it might seem impossible to give time and energy to anybody else. And, if you genuinely care about the person you probably don’t want to drag them down into your troubles, regardless of how prepared they are to help. 

There are many factors that may constitute a “challenging time” and take away from a relationship, including: 

  • Financial troubles
  • Family members suffering from poor health 
  • Work-related stress

10. The relationship effort is one-sided

If you feel the effort in your relationship is one-sided, it might be a “right person, wrong time” situation. A healthy relationship requires mutual effort and shared relationship goals in order to function optimally. 

If one of you is too busy to text back, organize date nights, or check in with your partner, it’s a sign that you’re probably not in the right space to give the relationship the time and energy it deserves

If this truly is the right person at the wrong time, perhaps you’ll find a healthy compromise, or, alternatively, perhaps things will work out once you have more time/emotional capacity available. 

11. One of you is emotionally unavailable 

There are a variety of reasons why someone might be emotionally unavailable, including a traumatic childhood, unhealthy romantic relationships in the past, mental health conditions, as well as current circumstances and priorities. Until a person does the work required to deal with past/present issues and trauma, it might be difficult to be emotionally available to someone else. 

Being emotionally available means you’re able to be vulnerable with your partner and share your deepest feelings. It also means you’re able to hold space for them to do the same. Without being able to do this a relationship will only progress as far as the person allows before things start to feel stuck.

12. You have a gut feeling something’s off 

you have a gut feeling something's off

Sometimes you meet someone who seems to be the right person on paper but your gut just tells you something is off. Being in a relationship like this might make you feel extremely conflicted because your head is saying one thing while your heart is saying something else. My advice would be to trust your gut. If the connection/vibe doesn’t seem absolutely right, listen. 

Perhaps it’s a “right person, wrong time” scenario. 

13. One of you is not ready to do the internal work required

Being in a serious relationship with someone may push you out of your comfort zone. It may cause you to face, and deal with, unhealed and unprocessed trauma and fear. 

Naturally, this process can be quite uncomfortable, albeit essential for a healthy relationship to emerge. Unfortunately, many people are unwilling to do the internal work needed to function in a partnership. If this is the case, it’s the wrong time to be in a committed relationship. Some soul-searching might be required first.

14. There is a lot of external pressure

Oftentimes serious external pressures can be crippling for a new relationship. Things like children from a previous relationship, job loss, or caring for a sick parent are likely to take priority over a new relationship. However, if this person truly is the right person for you, as and when these external pressures ease up, things might work out between the two of you.

15. You have different lifestyle goals

Lifestyle factors play a bigger role in relationships than people give credit for. Things like where you both want to live, spending/saving habits, physical activity and healthy eating habits, religious beliefs, life goals, and family values are just a few factors that need to be considered before entering a committed relationship

Perhaps he lives on a farm and you want a place in the city. Maybe you want a couple of kids and he wants none. Perhaps going to church every Sunday is important to him and you don’t see the point. Whatever it is, these factors can cause the demise of a relationship. And perhaps it isn’t even a case of the “right person, wrong time” here, maybe they’re just the wrong person for you.

16. One of you wants children and the other doesn’t

This is a massive, deeply personal factor that needs to be taken into consideration before entering an exclusive relationship with someone. If you are on different pages about having kids it can, and almost certainly will, be the end of the relationship.

17. You’re not the best version of yourself

If you’re in a place in your life where you aren’t feeling like the best version of yourself, mentally, physically, and emotionally, you won’t be able to give another person what they deserve, regardless of whether they’re the right person. 

Can the “Right Person, Wrong Time” Turn into a Success Story? 

If there are extenuating circumstances that are keeping the two of you apart, but he/she truly is the right person for you then in time, things might work out. 

If once the external stressors have diminished to a point where a relationship between the two of you is possible, and both of you still have the desire to be together it might be well worth your while seeing what’ll happen. Unfortunately, though, time might kill this desire. If it does you’ll know they weren’t the right person to begin with. 

How to Deal with a “Right Person, Wrong Time” Situation?

You could strive to make it work

If you are really in love with someone, nothing should stop you, not even the fact that it seems you have both met each other at the wrong time.

Whether it be the long distance that is in the way of you both or the fact that the age gap seems too big. If you are truly in love with this person and you don’t think anyone will ever compare, tell them and try to make it work.

However, before you do this it might be a good idea to ask yourself some serious questions. These questions should be:

  • Do you think the relationship would succeed if you went through with it?
  • Do you think that no one else would ever suffice?
  • Is it worth the risk?

Now that you have thought about these questions and hopefully answered them, it is time to go and speak to that special someone. If you are determined to make it work, speak to them and see what they think. Do they want to take a leap of faith with you?

It’s important to say that if the fact that they are with someone is what is standing between you, do not strive to make it work. You do not want to cheat, encourage someone to cheat or destroy a relationship. If there are smaller issues like long distance or work commitments, then you can try to make it work.

Stop seeing them completely

If after reading this article you have realized that you have met the right person at the wrong time and you are not willing to take a risk and do anything about it, it might be a good idea to stop seeing them completely.

If you are never going to be in a relationship with them, then what is the point of sticking around? You are better to stop seeing them completely. If they are a friend or they are present in your life a lot of the time, it might be a good idea to speak to them and explain why you can’t keep seeing them around.

This is one hundred percent the best advice to give you if what is stopping you from being together is the fact that they are in a relationship with someone else. Also, if the issue is that you know your relationship expectations are not the same and will never be the same, this is the best advice too.

Start to see them anyway

start to see them anyway

This bit of advice only applies to the issue of work commitments, the fact they will be leaving town soon or the fact that your long-term goals do not align. The question you can ask yourself here is, “Is it better to be hurt but have loved than to have never loved at all?”

If you really want to start dating this person, and they really want to start seeing you too, then you can always do it. However, it is important that before you start to get intimate with each other or form an emotional attachment to them, you discuss the fact that this is just a short-term thing and neither of you can say that it will last.

As long as you are both on the same page then there shouldn’t be any confusion going forward. However, you do need to be aware that your feelings will probably (definitely) get hurt. I will use a personal anecdote to explain this. 

I started to date a man who I knew was leaving for the other side of the world in the upcoming months. We fell more and more for each other, and then when he went to leave, it broke my heart. This is a classic example of “right person, wrong time” and what happens when you continue to see each other anyway. 

I don’t regret the relationship, and I’m sure that if you are really into this person then you won’t either. However, it does hurt.

Have one night of pure passion together

Once again, this does not apply if the issue is that he is with someone else.

If you both know that you can’t be together because it is the wrong timing, but you still want each other, you could always decide to have one night of passion together. You could really overdo it, go on a beautiful date and then have a super sexually charged night of passion together. 

This is obviously not going to fix anything going forward, but it might help that you have both had each other and enjoyed that together.

Move on and move forward

If timing is stopping you from being with someone then that is probably the world’s way of telling you that you shouldn’t be together for some reason. Stop your contact with them and move forward with your life. You can either move forward and continue to be a single badass, or you can start searching for love elsewhere.

Someone out there is the right person for you, and you will meet them at the right time, no doubt about it. You deserve a love that doesn’t hold you back or make you change yourself or your situation in life. So, stop fantasizing about what you could never have with this person, and start opening your eyes to what you could have with other people.


Is my partner the right person at the wrong time?

While it could be a “right person, wrong time” situation, it could in fact just be the wrong person for you, period. Walking away from a situation that isn’t working won’t ruin your chance of finding true love. In fact, walking away from something that’s not right might open the door for a new person who’s exactly right for you. Stay true to yourself and listen to your gut.

How do you know when the relationship is right?

When a relationship is right you’ll feel a strong desire to do whatever is necessary to be in each other’s lives, regardless of circumstances. Some other obvious signs that you’ve met the right person include:

You’ll have good communication.
You’ll both be in a place where you want to be committed to each other.
You’ll be yourself around each other.
You’ll have fun together and enjoy spending time with each other.
There’ll be a strong attraction.


I really hope that this article will help you if you are trying to decide whether you have met the right person at the wrong time or not. It can be really hard finding out that this is the case but don’t get too down about it. People come and go in all of our lives, all the time. One will stay forever.

Did this article help you at all? If it did and you liked what you read, please let us know in the comments. We would love to hear from you.

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