Is it Possible to Meet the Right Person at the Wrong Time?

Is it true that you sometimes meet people who'd be perfect for you but only at another time in your life? Has anyone ever pushed you away saying it wasn't the right time for both of you? In this article, we're going to talk about meeting the perfect person, but at the wrong time.
Is it Possible to Meet the Right Person at the Wrong Time?
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 03 April, 2023

Is it true that you can meet the right person at the wrong time? Are there times in your life when, due to various circumstances, you have to let go of a supposed ‘soul mate’?

As a matter of fact, many have found themselves in this kind of emotional situation. They might find that, just when they’ve settled into family life, someone new appears who completely changes their ideas about what they might really want. Or, they’ve just ended a traumatic relationship and aren’t yet ready to embark on a new one no matter how promising the new person appears to be.

Maybe they’ve moved to another country for work reasons and someone turns up out of the blue with whom they just ‘click’. However, due to professional issues, the relationship (supposedly) isn’t viable.

These types of situations may be familiar to you. Those in which you end up saying ‘right person, wrong time’ but was that this really the case, or was there, perhaps, a good dose of fear behind it?  Let’s find out.

Usually, if the perfect person shows up at the wrong time, they weren’t really the perfect person.

Couple walking thinking about what it means to meet the right person at the wrong time
If you find someone you truly love, you must fight for that relationship.

Right person, wrong time: cliché or reality?

The writer André Gidé said that human beings can’t discover new oceans unless they have the courage to lose sight of the shore. The same thing happens with love. You’ll never have a full, satisfying and happy relationship if you’re not daring enough. This often means having to take risks and make compromises.

In fact, sometimes, even after starting a relationship in a simple, magical, and spontaneous way with someone, there comes a time when, in order to maintain that commitment, you have to leave something behind. You must adapt to multiple circumstances to keep the relationship you believe in afloat, that love you desire so much and that’s so worthwhile.

So what’s true about the classic idea that sometimes we can meet the right person at the wrong time? Many people certainly believe this idea. They believe it because they’ve experienced it. Indeed, letting that special person get away eventually becomes a wound for them. They regret what they’ve lost, and long for what could’ve been but never was.

There are many clichés and false myths surrounding relationships. Assuming that the ideal person can emerge at the most inopportune moment is one example.

The right people are timeless

Most of the time (if not all), the love of your life appears at the least expected moment. Sometimes, they appear when you’re in a committed relationship. Or, they may turn up when you’re busy with other plans, like a new job. They may even appear when you’re suffering heartbreak.

Life has a certain order that, for us, as humans, is chaos. Even if we understand some of its mechanisms, the kind of complete understanding that would allow us to accurately predict the future eludes us. However, it’s your responsibility to know how to act in the face of every event that comes your way.

If the right person really arrives, no moment will be the wrong one, because both of you will make that love possible. True loves are timeless. It doesn’t matter how they’re wrapped up, how they arrive, and under what circumstances, in the end, the couple will face every difficulty to make possible what, for others, might be impossible.

If you give more value to the wrong moment, they weren’t right for you

If someone tells you that you came into their life at the wrong time, be cautious. If they close the door on you saying that they’re tied to another or have different plans and have no space for you in their complicated life, move on. Turn the page, as your priorities are different.

That’s because, when you meet the right person, time doesn’t exist and your entrance into their life will change everything. Nobody lets go of what they really love and, if the affection is deep enough, there are no wrong moments. Your old priorities become blurred and you create new ones in which you come first. The rest you merely accommodate, organize, or leave behind.

Separated couple in the field representing what it is like to meet the right person at the wrong time
Be brave. Don’t let love go out of fear or indecision.

Don’t let regret eat away about what could’ve been

Maybe the right person did come along at the wrong time. After all, there are times when you don’t feel emotionally or mentally prepared to deal with certain situations. It might be because you were really young and you didn’t know how to deal with your parents who opposed your relationship.

Or, perhaps you’d just got out of a stormy relationship. The kind that left deep splinters in your heart. If someone special emerged in the middle of that kind of healing process, maybe you just weren’t ready. You were shackled by fear and indecision. In these cases, a new psychological fracture probably appeared, that of regret.

Massey University (New Zealand) conducted a study that claimed that regret for inaction is the most common of all. It’s the emotional discomfort that grips us when we don’t act and when we don’t respond to a circumstance that requires a courageous response. At these times, we’re not prepared to be resolute, determined, and daring.

However, love often requires courage and effort. No one can ever know 100 percent if a relationship will work out. Nevertheless, it’s better to have tried, than to take a step back and forever regret what you didn’t do. 


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Impett, Emily & Gable, Shelly & Peplau, Letitia. (2005). Giving Up and Giving In: The Costs and Benefits of Daily Sacrifice in Intimate Relationships. Journal of personality and social psychology. 89. 327-44. 10.1037/0022-3514.89.3.327.
  • Towers A, Williams MN, Hill SR, Philipp MC, Flett R. What Makes for the Most Intense Regrets? Comparing the Effects of Several Theoretical Predictors of Regret Intensity. Front Psychol. 2016 Dec 15;7:1941. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01941. PMID: 28018275; PMCID: PMC5156700.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.