13 Major Signs You’ve Met The Right Person At The Wrong Time

Meeting the right person should feel like an epiphany.

You definitely felt something like that when you and your new love first met.

The chemistry between you is undeniable — the kind rom-coms are made of.

You can’t deny the attraction or your growing interest. 

But the more time you spend around this person (amazing as they are), the more you wonder if maybe this is the wrong time for you to meet. 

But how could there be a wrong time to meet the right person? 

We’re glad you asked. You might want to sit down for this. 

What Does Right Person, Wrong Time Mean?

It can mean a world of hurt and longing.

Because when you encounter someone and the connection is instant, but you're not in a position to be with them, it feels tragic.

In the simplest terms, it means you've met the love of your life, but you can't be together. You may never be together, or you may have many hurdles and life changes to endure before you can.

Either way, it feels like you've been cheated. Like you've just been shown the door to happiness, but it's bolted and you have no key.

Can You Meet the Love of Your Life at the Wrong Time? 

Meeting the right person at the wrong time is more common than you might think (not that that makes it any easier). There’s a reason “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out) is a thing. When we meet someone who seems ideal for us, we want to make it work. 

Otherwise, if we let go of it, we’re plagued by the fear that we gave up too quickly. 

When we see obstacles to a potentially rewarding relationship, we want to overcome them.

But sometimes, in trying so hard to do that, we face-plant right into the hard reality that this person — and this relationship — isn’t right for us after all. 

13 Signs You're in a Right Person Wrong Time Relationship 

In “bad timing relationships,” one or both of you know it just isn’t going to work, mainly because of what’s going on with each of you and where you are in your personal development. No one should feel rushed into a relationship they’re not ready for. 

But how do you know when you’re dealing with a “right person, wrong time” situation? If it sounds possible, chances are, one of the following reasons will resonate with you. 

1. Your long-term goals clash. 

You see most (if not all) of the qualities you want to see in a partner.

But you catch yourself wincing (or wilting inside) whenever you hear them talk about their long-term plans. You don’t want the same things, and it’s painfully obvious whenever you talk about the future. 

You want to see the world, but this person would rather stay in the same town and work on home-improvement projects. Neither are bad ideas. But right now, you don’t want to feel tied down to one place.  

2. One of you is leaving town soon. 

One of you is getting ready to leave town — maybe for a dream job, maybe just to travel for a bit — and changing that plan to stick around for the other is something one or both of you would likely regret down the road. 

Neither of you should put yourself in the position where you might be tempted to say, “I gave up my dream job to be here for you, and… that was a mistake.” 

3. One of you is “the rebound.” 

 couple in bed pillow fight right person wrong time

Either you’re on the rebound from a long-term relationship — or you’re the rebound. No matter how the previous relationship ended, it’s too soon to jump into another commitment

Chances are, your primary purpose in the relationship is either to ease the pain of their breakup or to distract yourself from your own breakup drama. One or both of you are looking more for comfort than commitment. 

4. One of you is more committed to their career than to this relationship. 

Maybe one of you is starting your own business or taking on a project that requires a considerable time investment. 

You don’t want anyone telling you you have to dedicate so many hours a week to a relationship when you just don’t feel that being part of a couple is in your best interest right now. 

woman riding on man's back laughing right person wrong time

Or maybe you’re the one who wants to spend more time with someone who’s been pulling away to focus more on their career. Either way, you wonder if there will ever be a “right time” for this relationship to work. 

5. You live too far apart. 

Distance can make the heart grow fonder, but long-distance relationships are hard. There’s no sugar-coating that. When you can never (or rarely ever) touch and spend time close to each other, it’s extra challenging to keep the relationship strong. 

You both have things going on in your respective spheres of influence. You both have goals that might not work well with your long-distance relationship.  

At some point, one or both of you might decide freeing each other from your exclusive relationship is the best way to ensure you both get to become the people you want to be. 

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6. The age gap is too big. 

It becomes an issue when you each want different things for your particular stage of life. One of you might want to take it slow, while the other might be in a hurry to get married (to start a family or enjoy retirement).

It can also become a problem if the older of the two has children who see you as the “younger model” that has replaced their biological mother or father. If they’re determined to sabotage your relationship, they might succeed. 

You don’t want a relationship that alienates your partner from their kids. 

7. They’re already involved with someone else. 

This new person might look like everything you’ve ever wanted, but they’re currently in a relationship (or marriage) with someone else. 

couple laying down kissing right person wrong time

And even if you think you’d be better for them (you understand them better, or you appreciate them more), they’re in no hurry to break up with their partner. 

Best to give them space and let them figure out for themselves whom they want to be with.

8. They’re just not interested in a committed relationship right now. 

You know you’re interested in dating them, but they’re sending clear (or clear enough) signals they’d rather not be in a committed relationship right now. 

Maybe you keep trying to subtly show them how great you could be together. But either they haven’t noticed, or they don’t want to encourage you. 

Either way, it’s best to give them the space they clearly want. Maybe after a while, they’ll realize what they gave up and go looking for you. Or maybe not. 

9. You want different lifestyles. 

This person is like no one you’ve ever met, but they want to live in a small town “starter home” while you want to stay in your big city apartment. Neither one of you is likely to budge. You love your apartment. And they have a dog. 

Or maybe they’re cautious with money while you’re quick to pull out the plastic when you see something you like (because Y.O.L.O). And even if you think, “This person could be really good for me,” you’re also aware they see things in you they’d like to change. 

And you know it’s just a matter of time before things get messy. 

10. You struggle with co-dependency. 

You don’t know yourself or love yourself enough to be ready for a committed relationship with anyone. You need to feel complete and lovable as you are without being in a relationship with someone who “needs” you. 

You see this person struggling with addiction and believe you’re the only one who will stick by them no matter what — and you need to be that person for them, whatever the cost to yourself or anyone else. 

At some point, you realize you’re holding each other back. 

11. You’re not the best version of yourself. 

It just feels too perfect. They feel too perfect. And you feel yourself pulling away because you know something is off.  And that something is you. 

You’re not in a good place, and you’re hiding something from them. If you’re holding onto something and would rather ghost this person than let them see that part of you, you’re both better off breaking up, so you can work on yourself. 

You can’t be happy with them if you’re not happy with the person you are. 

11 Signs You've Met The Right Person But The Wrong Time

12. One of you is struggling with an illness or mental health crisis.

If one of you is suffering from physical or mental illness, it's hard to be present in a relationship — even if it's with the perfect person. You (or they) don't have the bandwidth to give the other person what they deserve. And you care too much about them to drag them down or ask them to be your caretaker.

The upside of this situation is that finding the right person during this difficult time can inspire you to get better — if getting better is possible. If the love of your life is willing to wait, you may be together down the road.

13. One of you wants children; the other doesn't.

Can the love of your life differ from you on such a critical desire? If you are soulmates, wouldn't they feel just as you do? Not necessarily.

Many an otherwise ideal relationship has ended due to differences about having kids. For these folks, it is a dealbreaker, even if the idea of breaking up is excruciating. And a caring partner wouldn't try to force the situation either way. The responsibility and commitment of having children is too great.

Right Person Wrong Time Advice 

Meeting the right person at the wrong time is invariably painful. You want to find a way to make it work, but sometimes you just can’t. 

It could be it’s just not the right time for a relationship — for you or them. More often than not, though, the problem goes deeper than that.” Depending on your unique circumstances, one of the following solutions can help minimize the mess:

  • Have an honest heart-to-heart conversation about what you both want. 
  • Give the relationship a few weeks’ trial to see what happens. 
  • Leave for a while (go on a trip) to see the impact of distance on your relationship.
  • Have a brief fling, just to have some fun together, and then move on. 

With that last one, you’ll want to make sure you’re both on the same page. Bad things happen when one of you is thinking, “Let’s just have some fun,” and the other is thinking, “This could be the one.” 

Is your person the right person at the wrong time?

The most important thing to recognize here is that, in many cases, it’s not a right-person-wrong-time situation; it’s just the wrong person. 

So, if you walk away, you’re not missing out on your last chance at happiness. 

If this is the right person, you’ll both know you’ve got something worth working for. And you’ll hang on — even from a distance and across years of separation. 

For now, take your circumstances into account, and do what’s best for both of you in the present. And trust that everything will work out to your benefit.