There’s no disputing relationships are built off of predictable things: love, trust, mutual attraction and more.
These are all undoubtedly some of the most important aspects of building and maintaining a prosperous bond with another person.
There is one thing that supersedes these things, though.
This is something I did not truly experience or understand until coming to college.
This frustrating aspect of life has ended many relationships before they even had a chance to begin.
This is something that is totally out of our control, but it can destroy us.
This damned little thing is called timing.
In high school, we never had to worry about the timing being wrong. We were all in the same place in life.
We were going through school and dreaming about the college days to come.
We were surrounded by the same handful of people for years, allowing bonds to grow solid and strong.
My entire group of friends had boyfriends and girlfriends, and it did nothing to take away from our fun.
After all, we maintained the same group of friends for four years.
We knew everybody there was to know and only occasionally met new people, so a significant other did nothing to hold us back.
In college, on the other hand, I have never experienced such poor timing in potential relationships.
Each person I meet is at a different point in life, and I am bombarded with new faces every time I step out of my door.
I experienced this firsthand earlier this year, and I learned a lot from some terribly inopportune timing.
In January 2015, I met a guy who was in the second semester of his senior year.
He said what almost every senior says as he or she ends the college days: “I want to make the most of it, and having a girlfriend is not the way to do that.”
There’s a multitude of ways to say this, and between my experiences and those of the people around me, I’ve heard them all.
Despite his initial adamancy against it, this man and I managed to foster a relationship that flourished beyond the poorness of timing.
We were a somewhat wild duo.
We attempted to make the best of his senior year in the only way we knew how: by going out as much as possible and doing everything there was to do before graduation came.
We didn’t hold back when it came to that, and especially when it came to our feelings for each other.
Our time was short, so we felt as much as we could before circumstances tore us apart.
I can say with full confidence that we loved each other immensely, in a way neither of us had ever experienced before.
It wasn’t easy to fall in love with someone who would be gone in a matter of months.
We constantly had his graduation date at the back of our minds, and as it approached on the horizon, things unraveled fast.
In a matter of weeks, I went from being hopelessly in love with someone to not recognizing his behavior at all.
This man, arguably the greatest love I’ve known so far, became a stranger in less than 30 days.
We definitely had our differences, but ultimately, our relationship fell apart because his time in college was concluding while mine was just beginning. (I had three more years left at this point.)
One week, he was telling me he loved me.
The next, he began to push me away harder than I thought possible.
There that pesky timing was again.
I suffered through a broken heart as I grappled with understanding that.
I always thought bad timing was just an excuse to avoid really hurting someone.
It was a way to lighten the blow of a breakup and, more importantly, something to blame it on.
But with this experience, I learned something vital to maturing and discovering who we are in life: Timing is everything.
In my only real college relationship so far, I had all the ingredients to make something great.
We had the attraction and trust, but more importantly, we had all the love in the world.
Yet, none of that was enough when the timing was wrong.
We were at such different places, and there was a disconnect somewhere.
It was a rift between us that was too big to get across.
Despite having what many would see as a perfect relationship, we fell apart disastrously because of this awful timing.
It took me a long time to stop blaming myself and come to the realization that in life, there are some things that are simply out of our control.
This one experience taught me how incredibly vital timing is, and it always will be when it comes to creating a relationship that works.
You can have someone you think is the love of your life standing in front of you, but without that essential timing, you have nothing.
Timing is something I still struggle with, as it is one of the more devastating aspects of being an adult.
Letting go of hopeless romanticism is a hard, but necessary part of life.
It's something I have gradually started to accept as time goes on.
Fortunately for us hopeless romantics, there is a bright side to unfortunate timing.
I’m a firm believer everything happens for a reason.
If my first college boyfriend was meant to be mine forever, we would have met at a time that would have allowed such a relationship to flourish.
If something is meant to be, it will find a way to work at a time that is best for both parties.
Love is patient, and I don’t mind waiting for the perfect time to create something beautiful.