5 Red Flags The Timing Of Your Relationship Isn't Right, So Take A Step Back
When it comes to relationships, timing is so important. Many people actually believe that finding "the one" is more about timing than mutual attraction, a strong connection, shared interests, or any other factors. When the timing of your relationship isn't right, it might be due to logistical reasons, like being in two different cities or in two different time zones. More likely, though, it is a result of emotional discrepancies between you and your would-be partner. Maybe one of you is very career-oriented, while the other is prioritizing their love life above all else. Or perhaps one of you wants to settle down and build a future, but the other isn't yet finished with their spontaneous, party-heavy lifestyle.
I spoke to two experts about other possible reasons why the timing might not be right for a relationship right now, either on your end or on your potential partner's. These subtle signs aren't necessarily dealbreakers, but you should think twice about moving forward with the relationship when you're in one or more of these situations
"Beginning a relationship whenever one or both partners are off-kilter is a recipe for disaster," relationship expert and bestselling author Susan Winter tells Elite Daily. Luckily, in most cases, all you need to find balance is a little more time. Here are five red flags to pay attention to in a new relationship, because they might mean the timing isn't quite right.
1. One or both of your careers are in flux.
"If a person is in flux with their career (i.e. they are transitioning jobs, possibly getting a promotion that will bring them to a different city, or starting a new business that will take 99 percent of their time and attention), this may be a red flag that the timing isn't fabulous to be in a relationship," Alessandra Conti, matchmaker at Matchmakers In The City, tells Elite Daily. She explains that when a person is in a place of instability within their career, it is very difficult for them to truly be able to focus on building a relationship.
"Before writing off a relationship because the timing is off, it is important to attempt to work through the issue and see if the other person is receptive to making changes on their end," Conti says. She suggests starting out by having an open and honest conversation, and trying to keep it less emotional and more matter-of-fact. Let the other person know what you need in a relationship, and explain some ways to make it happen and stay together. "If your partner is unwilling to meet you halfway, this is the sign that you need to excuse yourself before you get deeper into an unfulfilling relationship," she explains.
2. You're at different stages in life.
Age might just be a number, but a large age gap between partners might mean that you're not on the same page as far as your future together. "Every person has a general map of the way that they envision their lives playing out," says Conti. "Some people are more flexible when it comes to bending their imagined life map, but others have quite strict perimeters with how they want their futures to play out."
If you want to date around in your twenties and not invest a ton of time in any one relationship, then you probably shouldn't be with a person in their thirties who is looking for something serious with one person. You can also be the same age and be at two completely different stages in life. Having similar emotional maturity is just as important as being around the same age when you're looking for a partner.
Additionally, if one or both of you have just started something new that demands your total attention, like college, grad school, a job, or an internship, it can be difficult for you to begin a relationship at the same time. "In situations that necessitate clear focus, it's going to be difficult to make time for a partner," says Winter.
3. You'd have to be in a long-distance relationship.
If your career, school, or family situation means that you can't be in the same physical place when beginning a relationship, that obviously isn't ideal. You can make it work while doing long distance, but it requires effort on both of your parts.
"If a person is willing to work through a challenge in a relationship, it can be worked through — be it distance but being open to communicating with each other throughout the time apart, being incredibly busy with work but making a concerted effort to carve out time for your relationship, or feeling as though you are not yet ready for a serious relationship but opening yourself up if it is the right person," says Conti.
If your partner is unwilling to make an effort to regularly talk on the phone or via video chat, or fix any other pressing issues in your relationship, you can't work through them alone. "If one person is doing all of the leg work to make things work, and the other person is just riding the wave and hesitant to make any changes to make their partner happy, this is a major red flag that will only get worse with time," says Conti.
4. You recently went through a bad breakup.
If you've just had a difficult breakup, be careful about jumping into something new. More than likely, it isn't the right time for you to venture into another relationship. "You're on the rebound," says Winter. "You may be still processing what went wrong and licking your wounds."
If you do genuinely like the person, Winter suggests keeping in touch. You can remain friends while you work through your breakup, and if you both still want to pursue the relationship in a few months, then go for it. "Staying connected but not enmeshed in each other's lives offers you an opportunity to revisit the romance when the timing is right," she says.
5. You're struggling with your mental health.
It's important to note that issues that create bad timing for a couple are not only external, but also internal, according to Winter. She cites two more reasons that the timing might not be right for a relationship. First, if you or your partner have a mental health issue that's impacting the quality of day-to-day living, you probably shouldn't start a new relationship right now. Similarly, if you or your partner have just come out of rehab or treatment and need time to settle into a new lifestyle, immediately adding a romantic partner into your routine might not be ideal.
The timing of a relationship isn't always perfect. Sometimes you can work through the issues at hand, but not always. Once you've pinpointed the reason behind the poor timing, talk to your partner about possible solutions. If you can't agree on an acceptable compromise, consider revisiting this romance down the road.
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