Tanja Heffner/Unsplash
Kenya Foy
July 20, 2017 9:57 am

One of life’s greatest conundrums is meeting the right person at the wrong time. Nothing sucks worse than making the acquaintance of a person who would be *so* incredibly perfect for you, except it’s just not a good time for you — or them.

The concept of meeting the right person at the wrong time is a topic of much debate. For instance, some people believe this wonderful human being who stole your heart isn’t actually right at all and that you’ve basically fallen for the wrong person.

On the other hand, there are plenty of right-person-wrong-time optimists who remain hopeful in spite of circumstances — like immaturity, emotional unavailability, or geographic distance — that prevent people from getting together when they meet. These enthusiasts believe wholeheartedly that perfectly healthy relationships can form even if you meet the would-be partner of your dreams right before you move away for a job or days after you’ve gone through a bad breakup.

Honestly, there’s no *right* way to handle the dilemma of meeting the right one at the wrong time. But despite what your emotions tell you, you still have options.

1Befriend them.

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This option is definitely easier said than done, especially if you’ve already created a full-fledged fantasy of how blissful life would be with Ms. or Mr. Not Right Now. But putting them in the friend zone keeps the communication open and could make it easier to revisit the topic of taking the relationship to another level if and when timing is no longer an issue.

The worst thing that could happen is one or both of you loses romantic interest, but that may be better than getting involved in a relationship that you know will lead to disaster.

2Be honest.

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If you’re really digging this person, please feel free to exercise the option of complete transparency. Let them know that you think they are a wonderful person, but unfortunately, [insert timing dilemma here] prevents you from giving them the time and attention they deserve. (Ugh, why must adulting be so hard?)

3Completely cut contact.

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Exhibit 1,000,001 that adulting is Mother Nature’s idea of a cruel joke: This option requires you to let your mind fill in the blanks when your heart comes up with zero resolutions that don’t involve going full-steam ahead with romance. Cutting off contact is difficult, but it may be in your best interest to avoid getting involved in a situation that will likely fall short of your expectations.

4Date them anyway.

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Seriously, why the hell not?! It’s just a date, not marriage (even if you’ve already planned the wedding in your head). Life is too short to let a little distance and other random logistics (mostly stuff that doesn’t paint this person as a complete train wreck) get in the way of what could actually be a convening of soulmates.

As with any new person you’ve just begun dating, proceed with caution, maintain open communication and be upfront and realistic about your expectations.

5Do nothing.

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The urge to act on this instinct can be overwhelming, but it might serve you well to simply do nothing. In the meantime, things could change in your favor or perhaps something could take place to let you know that not jumping into a serious thing with this so-called right person was actually the best decision for all parties.

6Explore other options.

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In short, if the timing is simply all wrong for things to blossom between you and your ideal partner, move on — whether that means staying single and continuing to work on being the most fabulous version of yourself, or giving it a go with someone else who’s capable of giving you what you need in a relationship in the here and now.

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