9 Signs You Are In A ‘Right Person Wrong Time’ Situation

Suffering and Healing | | , Copywriter & Sports journalist
Updated On: April 17, 2024
Right person wrong time relationship

A relationship thrives when you find someone you’re compatible with. The chemistry is palpable, the spark undeniable. You think you could go the distance, but life has other plans. As if finding ‘the one’ wasn’t difficult enough, it’s entirely possible that you meet the person of your dreams at a time in your or their lives when a relationship simply cannot blossom. Yes, you’ve found yourself in a ‘right person, wrong time’ situation.

No, we don’t mean to depress you, but it could be that the ‘perfect’ relationship you have going on, periodically exposes its cracks. It’s a heartbreaking thought, to know that the person you’re with might be the right one but it’s totally the wrong time. You’ve found your match, the perfect partner. You both share so many common interests and are so similar, everything should be going smoothly.

But for some reason, it just isn’t. And, you find yourself wondering – is it possible to find the person you are destined to be with at an unfortunate turn of your life? What’s your best recourse in such a situation? To try and make it work or to let them go for good? Let’s find out.

Can You Really Meet The Right Person At The Wrong Time?

As much as we’d love to tell you that a ‘right person wrong time’ scenario never happens, unfortunately, it’s all too common. You might have been through it, or could be going through it right now. Situations and circumstances beyond your control could be sending the relationship into a downward spiral.

We’ve seen such instances play out in the movies all the time. An adorable couple is hit with disaster as one of them has just been offered a lucrative job in another city. Somehow though, their relationship always pulls through. But these success stories may well be limited to reel life since love in movies works differently than in real life.

You’re likely not going to get a reunion in the rain, where you both run toward each other for the final hug and kiss scene (which is also unsafe, please don’t run in the rain), while orchestral music plays in the background. In real life, you’ll be cursing your luck trying to figure out why you ended up meeting the right person at the wrong time.

Falling in love with an amazing person at a difficult time can happen to anyone. The most heartbreaking thing is that this isn’t anyone’s fault, really. You know you’re with someone who gets you completely, but the timing just doesn’t allow for a successful future. So, is it a real thing that you met someone you think is perfect for you but you want different things at the moment? Definitely. Could you be in one such situation right now? Read on to find out.

Related Reading: When You Meet The Right Person You Know It – 11 Things That Happen

9 Signs You Are In A Right Person Wrong Time Situation

There are many factors that might stand in your way and ruin your chances of having a happy relationship with a person who fits into life like a missing piece of a puzzle. The person you like could be emotionally unavailable, or in pursuit of bagging a dream job, or it may just be your gut feeling telling you, “This time it won’t work. If only I met this person five years ago/down the line”. What to do when you finally meet the right person but now the wrong person is you? Well, the first order of business is to identify that that is, in fact, the case. Here are 9 signs that can offer you clarity on that front:

1. They’re not looking for a relationship

You feel you’re perfect for each other and you are in love with them for sure. You make each other laugh and…what you felt during that first kiss was unlike anything you’ve felt before. Your personality matches and the sexual tension is at its peak. But your little love bubble turns out to be a house of cards when they tell you they’re not looking for a relationship.

Just like that, it all comes tumbling down. As hard as it may be, you have no choice but to respect their decision. You can’t force anyone to love you, a lesson you learned that one time a dog completely ignored your attempts to pet him. Whatever decision they’ve made, they must’ve done so after a lot of consideration.

Infographic on right person wrong time relationship
Are you in a relationship with the right person at the wrong time? Find out

2. Your future goals don’t meet

One of the biggest signs of meeting the right person at the wrong time is that your future goals are completely different. Where they see themselves 10 years down the line is substantially different from your vision for the future. In this situation, you might be tempted to think that yours could be one of the right person wrong time success stories.

Maybe they will drop their plan of being a painter and get a job. Sure, maybe they will. But it’s a huge risk to stick around to find out if their goals will ever change and whether they will choose to make a relationship work at the cost of their personal growth. Remember the last time your favorite restaurant was closed? You didn’t wait for it to open, you just ate somewhere else.

3. They’re too involved with someone else

Maybe they’re not over their ex, maybe they’ve fallen for someone else and can’t see anything beyond that. This can be especially annoying because you’re aware of the connection between you two but your relationship may already be over. Perhaps they don’t feel what you feel and are not ready to give up on the other love interest.

Now you’ll try to get them to fall out of love as you’ve seen in the movies. But unlike in the movies, it won’t work here. (Don’t drop hints about how evil their crush is, they’ll catch on and hate you instead!) Also, avoid drunk texts like, “You don’t know how lucky you are,” to the person your Mr./Ms. perfect is dating.

4. Their first love is their career

Falling in love with the right person at the wrong time hurts more when they blatantly pick their career over you. You two might have even started dating before you realized that your partner has no time for anything outside of their career. Being married to one’s work has a way of taking a toll on one’s most intimate connections.

They’re most definitely ambitious and desperately want to achieve their career goals. As a result, you always come second. You also know they’ll abandon that date you had planned for a work emergency without hesitation. You’ve got to ask yourself if you can stick around on the sidelines till your partner has achieved their goals. Who knows when that’ll happen? 

Related Reading: 20 Signs He Is Not Into You – Don’t Waste Your Time!

5. One of you has to leave

Aaah! The classic ‘right time wrong person’ examples you’ve seen on-screen all the time. But if meeting the right person at the wrong time always works out for them, you can pull it off too, right? Wishful thinking can get the better of us, but it’s important to give yourself a reality check. 

A long-distance relationship is hard to maintain. If one of you has to leave town for a job or for whatever reason, it’ll be a roadblock in your love life. It might seem like a challenge you can take on, but 6 months into it, things will start getting rough. Don’t do that to yourself.

6. Some soul-searching is in order

Be it self-esteem issues, not knowing what they want, or sexual preferences, one of you could have some work to do with yourself before you’re ready for a relationship. It’s hard to maintain a relationship when you don’t know what you want. If you believe you’re not the best version of yourself yet, chances are you won’t be ready to settle down just yet.

There’s still a bit of finding yourself left to be done. And no, a solo trip to a secluded place won’t have all the answers you’re looking for. You might be convincing yourself, “Leaving the potential of this emotional connection unrealized won’t be a wise decision”, when you’re the one who needs to find yourself.

Maybe you won’t even realize that you let a perfectly good partner slip by till you meet a potential new one. If that does happen, try not to kick yourself too hard and tell yourself that it would have ended up worse had you forced yourself into it. Ever tried making mismatched Tupperware lid and box fit? Doesn’t fit too well, does it?

7. The scary beast called ‘commitment’

When you meet the right person at the wrong time, one of the reasons could be that one of you is probably out of a major relationship and not ready for the next one just yet. You, or the person you’re with, may just be too scared of commitment. If they never talk about the future with you, feel like they’re too young to settle down, or don’t like to use labels, it might be because they’re struck with the fear of commitment.

The soul-searching, being involved with someone else, not wanting a relationship…all stem from not wanting to be tied down. This could be a bullet dodged since not wanting to commit can be perceived as a sign of immaturity. Maybe you can be the next Taylor Swift and write a few ‘right person wrong time’ songs.

More on dating tips

8. The rebound relationship

Moving on is hard; something most of us are already aware of. While trying to move on, some people find that the best strategy is to immediately jump into another relationship. It is an attempt to avoid everything a person feels after a breakup, which they should be working through.

It all seems great until you notice them struggling to shake off the ghost of their ex. Rebound relationships often don’t last since your partner may be seeking a distraction, not love. You’re not going to stick around to be someone’s distraction, are you?

Related Reading: How To Stop Liking Someone Who Is Taken – 12 Tips To Let Them Go

9. You both live far away

If the person you like lives over 4 hours away…is it even worth it? Sure it’d be nice to imagine yourself driving down there to surprise them, but that’s just so impractical. If you two do manage to start a relationship, it may feel like you’re limiting rather than liberating each other. In an exclusive relationship where you can’t touch the other partner, things go south real quick. The video calls can only do so much.

No, we’re not saying that a relationship is impossible to sustain just because you live a few hours away from each other. But in scenarios where you two don’t plan on eventually living closer or even with each other, the whole dynamic can be in jeopardy. If a “let’s cross that bridge when we get to it” attitude flows in your relationship when discussing plans of being closer together, the bridge may never even appear on the horizon.

So, you now have the answer to the question, “Is right person wrong time a real thing?”, and you know if you’re currently in one or not. Stop the alarm bells and don’t lose your cool, it isn’t destined to be a complete disaster. Just like everything else in life, you can salvage this situation (or at the very least do some damage control). Spoilers: it may entail figuring out how to move on without closure.

How Do You Deal With The Right Person Wrong Time Situation?

“There have been plenty of right person wrong time success stories, right? I’ll just wait!” We wish you could, but this isn’t a Disney movie. It may be tempting to stay on the hook or keep them on the hook for that one day when the ‘timing’ becomes right, but things rarely pan out the way we plan them to (when was the last time you spent a Sunday the way you wanted to?).

It’s a tough pill to swallow and even harder to figure out what to do about it. So how exactly do you deal with a situation when you finally meet the right person but now the wrong person is you or vice versa? We have a couple of ideas.

1. Accept that yours is a ‘right person, wrong time’ story, and move on

If you’re still asking yourself if this predicament of a real connection at a wrong turn is even possible, you might be in denial. When it’s the wrong time, it’s the wrong time. It’s as simple as that. Some problems can’t be overlooked and trying to force a relationship will eventually end badly for both you and the other person.

This might probably be the best advice anyone can give you, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to graciously accept it. When your best friend tells you to let this one go, this bitter truth may not appeal to you so much. But you know the best thing you can do for yourself is to let go of this relationship and move on. Just like jogging that extra mile, it seems impossible but you know it’s good for you.

Maybe even consider the no-contact rule, it’ll do you some good. And when it all gets too much, put on some movies about right person, wrong time. You’ll be throwing your pizza slices at your TV screen, laughing at how unrealistic these things are. PS: We get that you’re going through a lot, but please don’t disrespect pizza.

Related Reading: Leaving A Relationship – How Do You Know It’s Time?

2. The best advice for the ‘right person, wrong time’ situation: Do not change yourself

The worst thing you can do is think that this is somehow all your fault and that you need to change to keep the relationship alive. That’s like trying to keep a fire burning by only adding kerosene oil and no wood. It may burn brighter, but the flame’s going to go out that much quicker.

You should stay true to yourself and not change yourself – we bet any relationship coach would offer you the same suggestion. Don’t give up on other opportunities life brings your way to force the relationship to stay alive. Sooner or later, you’ll experience true love with the right person. At the right time.

when you meet the right person at the wrong time
Moving on will be a liberating and healing experience

3. Consider that they might be the wrong person after all

Are they the right person, or are you just infatuated and not in love? If you’re the type who falls in love easily, that just might be the case (if you’re Pisces, this is definitely the case). It’s easy to misunderstand the intensity or true meaning behind the emotions you feel, especially at the beginning of a romance.

Maybe, if things aren’t working out, they aren’t the right person for you. All the right person wrong time stories usually look past this very real possibility, which is why they end up in smoke. Have these tough conversations with yourself before you decide what your next step should be.

4. Something we don’t recommend: Do it anyway

We know you’ve been thinking about this the whole time anyway. The temptation is too strong, you think you’d hate yourself if you didn’t try. There’s a big chance you’ll be better off if you don’t go ahead with it. But at the end of the day, you’re in charge of your life. If it fails to be anything fruitful, at least it’ll be a good learning experience for you. Everybody needs a humbling experience. If it does go how we think it will, you might need some tips to move on quickly.

Key Pointers

  • You know you have met the right one at the wrong time when they are not ready to commit or looking for any relationship
  • Your future goals don’t align and they are already married to their career
  • It’s just a rebound relationship for any one of you
  • You still need to go through some self-introspection to finally land on a healthy relationship
  • It turns out to be a long-distance relationship

“Dear right person wrong time, may our paths cross again!” is perhaps the only thought that will aid your aching heart right now. Or, you could lean into it, listen to some songs that resonate with your current emotional state, and have yourself a good crying session. It’s tough, but what defines you is how quickly you get up after you’re knocked down.

The article was originally published in 2021 and has been updated in 2022.


1. Can timing be wrong for a relationship?

Yes, the timing can definitely be wrong for a relationship. Say, for example, you two feel like the perfect couple and the chemistry is palpable. But if one of you isn’t ready for a commitment or if either of you still has a lot of figuring out left to do, it’s possible the timing is completely wrong.

2. What does right person wrong time mean?

“Right person, wrong time” means that you’ve found yourself someone you can see yourself with, in a romantic context, but the timing of the situation doesn’t allow for a relationship to blossom. Perhaps you’re not over an ex, or they live halfway across the world. Perhaps you’re not ready for a commitment, or they’re figuring out their romantic orientation.

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