The idea of “right person, wrong time” refers to a connection with someone who seems perfect for you, but there are extenuating circumstances pulling you apart, leaving the potential unrealized. Despite the undeniable spark, there are external factors weighing the situation down with a sense of impossibility that can be difficult to overcome.
“Sometimes people who are wonderful partners for you (share your values, histories, interests, etc.) are also folx who are not going in the same direction in life,” therapist Dennis Nguyen, LCSW, (no relation to the author, by the way!) explains to mbg. For example, one or both people may be going through something challenging, experiencing a significant life transition, or simply aren’t currently interested in a relationship.
Since you aren’t able to see the relationship through, a “right person, wrong time” situation may leave you with a fear that you’re somehow missing out on this mythical soulmate connection—and make it easy to project fantasies onto them.
“You may feel like you have to do whatever it takes to make the connection work, even at your detriment, because it’s the ‘right person,'” says licensed mental health counselor Juliann King, LMHC.
When you’re faced with the possibility of love, you want to believe that you will surrender completely to the experience—but sometimes life happens. It’s painful when it doesn’t work out, but the reality is that the glittery, exciting feelings of liking someone happens fairly often in dating. The true magic is both people making the choice to commit to something together.