Ending a relationship is never easy. But when you have to put an end to a good relationship because of bad timing, it’s even worse. But it is possible to ease your way through the healing process.
Most of us have experienced some pretty devastating heartbreak in our lives at some stage. A lot of the time, it’s because you fought a lot, were bad for each other, your personalities clash or your ex was just a horrible person that treated you badly. Personally, I’ve gone through my fair share, but another category of breakups has presented itself as a whole different ball game – a new, more challenging personal hurdle. It really sucks when you have to put an end to a good relationship just because of bad timing.
What does bad timing mean?
Sometimes, we find ourselves entering relationships with people who blow our minds, but they’re moving abroad in the near future or they have just come out of a relationship or any number of reasons why continuing a relationship just isn’t on the cards. Often we have a good relationship with tons of chemistry that just has bad timing. It’s out of your control… well… depending on your perspective.
Some people believe that timing is everything in a relationship, other people see bad timing as just an excuse to end a good relationship. Others believe that the timing is never bad; that if the person is right for you, you make the timing work for you. Perhaps some of these perspectives ring true for you, from your unique perspective of your own good relationship with bad timing.
Why timing really is everything
Lauren Skirvin from Elite Daily believes that timing is everything in any relationship and that three out of every four relationships end because of bad timing.
“If you thought the chemistry was there and the attraction was at full tilt, you probably didn’t make that up,” she says. “If it doesn’t manifest into anything more and you are super confused by that, it’s probably because the timing was just bad.
“That guy who you had an amazing first date with who never called you again? Probably bad timing. That girl who seemed so interested at first but then ended things suddenly? Probably bad timing.
“It has little to do with you. He liked you, he really did, he just wasn’t ready. She liked you and tried to make it work, but she just couldn’t. He was emotionally unavailable. Her heart was with someone else.”
Skirvin discusses what she calls “searching for green lights” in relationships – the right reasons to get into a relationship with someone. Without these green lights, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. “If you want the best opportunity possible for a potential relationship, only proceed if the light is bright green,” she says.
“If you feel a lot of hesitation from a person, his or her light is set to yellow. If someone tells you no, even if it’s not necessarily a hard no, his or her light is red.”
So part of the trick is to come to terms with the fact that the timing was off, or is off, and that the relationship didn’t fail… it simply just didn’t work out.
Is bad timing just an excuse?
Another perspective on the whole “bad timing” thing is a bit more antagonistic, but perhaps someone reading this will need to hear it. Aya Tsintziras from Bolde believes that people who end relationships because of bad timing are using it as “an excuse and [it] has zero merit”.
Tsintziras hates the idea of bad timing because she believes that you’re hiding behind the excuse, that things change, that our lives are works in progress and it’s actually always a good time, if you’re really interested in being with someone.
“If you’re waiting for your life to magically become perfect so you can fall in love, you’ll be waiting forever and ever,” she says.” You’ll never be amazing at everything and life is always changing. Just because you just got fired or are making a major career shift or are moving doesn’t mean you shouldn’t accept the fact that you’ve met an amazing guy.” Then she urges us to acknowledge what could be a harder truth to stomach.
The truth about finding “the right time”
The timing is never right.
“It would be perfect,” We moan to our friends,” writes Thought Catalog‘s Heidi Priebe. “If only this were five years from now/eight years sooner/some indistinct time in the future where all our problems would take care of themselves.” Timing seems to be the invariable third party in all of our relationships. And yet we never stop to consider why we let timing play such a drastic role in our lives.
Pribe’s perspective is probably the best one to take home… but also the hardest pill to swallow. Her point is totally valid, if you think about it. If your good relationship is truly coming to an end because of bad timing, you may just not like each other enough to take a chance, to take a risk. That’s upsetting and hurtful, yes… but then it’s easier to accept that your relationship has run its course and reached a natural conclusion.
The whole reason you’re here is to find out what can be done to fix your broken heart. Getting rid of a toxic person in your life and ending a bad relationship is one thing… it can be rather traumatic, in fact. But ending a good relationship because of bad timing is a whole new brand of heartbreak. You bear no ill will to your partner… there’s no anger to motivate you to forget about them. It. Just. Wasn’t. Right. And that hurts. So here’s some advice from Jennice Vilhauer from Psychology Today on how to move on from a relationship.
Cut off contact. At least for a while… “Many people hang on to the idea of friendship with an ex as a way to keep the possibility of the relationship alive because the idea of completely letting go seems too overwhelming… being friends can’t happen in a genuine way until you have healed through most if not all of the pain, which takes time. Being your own best friend is what is most important during a difficult break-up… Protecting yourself with healthy boundaries is an essential part of good self-care. Politely let your ex know you need your space and would prefer not to be in contact for the time being.” [NOTE: Do not ghost them!]
Let go of the fantasy that you’ve constructed in your mind about your partner. Stop saying “if only x/y/z was different, we’d have been perfect together” and things to that effect.
Most people don’t want back the relationship they actually had,” Vilhauer explains. “What they mourn for is the relationship they thought they could have had if things had just been different. But the truth is, that relationship didn’t exist. Letting go of a dream can be painful.
“A good strategy for getting past these moments is to simply write down every painful thing you can remember happening during the relationship and read it over to yourself while making the effort to vividly recall those memories until the painful feelings subside.
“The point here isn’t to stay angry but to remember the full truth of why the relationship ended. Eventually, letting go of these events will be an important part of the forgiveness and healing process, but to let go of something you must first acknowledge and accept that it happened.”
Know it is okay to still love them. Love and/or developing strong, meaningful emotional connections is never wrong. You should never regret your feelings and you don’t have to erase your emotions and pretend the relationship never happened, while completely cutting someone that meant the world to you out of your life.
“Part of maturity, however, is recognizing that love by itself isn’t always enough to make a relationship work,” Vilhauer adds. “Many other factors and circumstances, such as timing, incompatible values, or the choices we make, play a significant role in whether a relationship can thrive.
“But moving on from a relationship that isn’t working isn’t always about ending the love you feel. Sometimes, the only way to let go is to love someone enough to want the best for him or her even if that means not being together.
“There are many forms of love, and it has the capacity to shift, evolve, and change over time. Let the romantic love you felt evolve into a different type of love that encompasses caring and compassion for a person who had an important place in your life. This will help facilitate the healing process.
Finally, love yourself. “Ultimately, moving on from a relationship that wasn’t working is about loving yourself. For some, this is the hardest part. Believing that you deserve to be in a loving relationship with someone who shares your values and treats you well requires that you view yourself in a positive light.
“In hindsight, you may feel that there are things you could have done differently, but it is impossible to know what different outcomes could have been. Blaming yourself in a self-reproaching way is a futile waste of energy that only brings about negative emotions and delays the healing process. Instead, choose to turn the pain into a gain. Every relationship, if we let it, can teach us something about ourselves and give us greater clarity about what we need to be happy.”
Dating in the 21st Century is always complicated and it totally sucks. Our lives move at such a fast pace that getting the timing right for your relationship, regardless of how electric the chemistry, is practically impossible. But, you can choose what to make of your experience, and rather than let it break your heart, see it as an opportunity to grow so that the relationship with the “right timing” that is yet to come is even better!