It's inevitable that you will have been told -- probably more than once -- that timing is everything.
Whether it's an end to a relationship that wasn't working or the exact time you met "the one," you can always guarantee that someone somewhere will put it down to timing.
Had you been together a couple of months later, you may have lived happily ever after. If you had caught the train two minutes later, fate might have stopped you and your SO being together.
It seems a fairly simply concept, except it's not. It's far from simple. It's something that messes with your head, makes you second-guess everything and it's almost impossible to know if the timing is right or completely wrong.
The assumption is that Mr. Right will come along at the exact right moment and you will never look back. Or, that you will love someone whole heartedly, but deep down know that it's just not the time for the two of you.
In reality, knowing if the timing is perfect or a disaster waiting to happen is anything but straightforward.
I met my boyfriend in a way that could either be described as the world's worst timing or the best.
I wanted a relationship for some time, or at least I thought I did. I felt that the timing was right and that it would complement my life perfectly.
But, as you would expect in a 21-year old's life, a couple of months later my situation was completely different.
I was living in multiple locations and about to move two hours away from my current one. I didn't have time to get to know someone, and every relationship I could find myself in would be long-distance. Not ideal.
Deep down I knew this, but I still couldn't help want a relationship, no matter how impractical it would be. I guess you could say that without even realizing, I was looking for it.
It wasn't until I was a few months away from the big move (and had taken a spontaneous trip to Croatia that gave me a whole new outlook) that I finally came to terms with the fact that a relationship was the last thing I wanted and needed.
I distinctively remember saying, "a relationship would be the worst possible thing in my life; I hope I don't meet someone I really like." Obviously, I would meet someone the second I landed back from my trip, with the three-month countdown until I was due to move in place.
At first, it seems obvious that the timing was completely off. Or, the optimist may say that it always happens when you least expect it, or you only get something when you stop looking for it. Either way, I was whole-heartedly against the idea of a relationship.
But, feelings are hard to ignore, no matter what the timing is. Six months later, we have found ourselves in an impractical long-distance relationship.
In hindsight, the timing should have told me straight away to walk away. I knew it wasn't what I wanted and the irony of him entering my life at that moment shouldn't have been enough to keep us together. But, despite what timing might suggest, it was.
I knew what we had was real because I didn't really want it. It wasn't a convenience in my life; it was there because I couldn't live without it. The timing of everything in my life would suggest otherwise, and yet for some reason beyond explanation, it just worked.
Often, we get so fixated on the movie-style love, which is what tells us those three little words engrained on our brain: timing is everything.
But sometimes, it's not.
Our perception of the right time can be wrong, bad timing can be defied and for that reason alone, a relationship can never be solely based on timing.
Sometimes you can beat the odds, and when you do, timing becomes irrelevant, no matter how "right" or "wrong" it might be.