Staying in touch and on good terms with friends, family, and coworkers can be challenging enough at times, but love is definitely the hardest kind of relationship to navigate. There are so many different factors in play that make two people compatible, and one thing that is completely out of our control is timing. You two could be perfect together in every way, and it could be nothing more than bad timing that ultimately keeps you apart. Here’s how meeting someone at the wrong time can ruin what could otherwise be a really good thing.

You’re not ready for a commitment.

A serious relationship has to be something both people want and are willing to work for. If you’re still loving the single life and not quite ready to settle down with one person, trying to force a relationship will never work.

You’re busy climbing the career ladder.

When you’re just starting out in your professional life, it’s not unusual to put all your energy into that and have nothing left over for a relationship. Establishing yourself career-wise has to be a priority, and you figure you can always start dating more seriously once you have the time to really commit to it.

You’re newly single.

You don’t get to choose when you meet someone who could be great for you, but if you’ve only recently decided to dip your baby toe back into the dating pool, chances are you won’t be too eager to jump into a new relationship just yet.

You’re already in a relationship.

There’s always that one acquaintance that you think you’d hit it off with, but you’re just never single at the same time. Despite the connection you think you feel, it never seems like it’s meant to be. If you’re with someone else, or he is, there’s nothing more to be said. Cheating is never an option, whatever side of the fence you’re on.

Long distance isn’t really an option.

Even if things seem to be going really great, the looming reality of a long distance relationship always tends to put a damper on things. Sometimes an opportunity on the other side of the country (or world) is too good to pass up, and a long distance relationship just isn’t in your plan right now.

Family obligations are getting in the way.

Having a family member who is sick – or just dealing with general family-related drama – has a way of being all-consuming. The stress can often leave you with little desire to put energy into a relationship. It won’t always be this way, but it’s important to prioritize in the present.

You’re still not over your ex.

Even if it wasn’t a recent break up, if you haven’t taken the time to mourn an old relationship, it could be hard to move on and focus on a new one. No one wants to be compared to someone’s ex all the time, so it’s best to keep your distance, no matter how hard it may be.

There are kids involved.

Dating when you have kids can get pretty complicated when it comes not only to making time to date, but also constantly wondering if what you’re doing is in the child’s best interest. Parents have to make their kids their number one priority, and especially when they’re young, it’s hard to spend time on a relationship without feeling guilty.

You’re too young to settle down.

High school sweethearts may have a great relationship, but the reality is, people change a lot as they grow up. You might have thought at one point you were meant to be forever, but chances are one or both of you is going to start wondering what else is out there at some point.

Someone else could get hurt if you got together.

Maybe you and your best friend’s brother have always had a connection that you’d love to explore, but you want to make sure you don’t damage your friendship over it. Finding the right time to pursue a relationship that’s controversial in other people’s minds can sometimes be just as difficult as maintaining the relationship itself.

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