The Mystery of Timing in Relationships

black-background-chance-close-up-1111597“What do you think it is that makes us different?” The Match asks me. We’ve just finished devouring giant slices of cake — lemon for him, coconut for me — at an Italian coffee place in the city, the second stop on a recent summer weeknight date. When I’d shown up earlier that evening to meet him, he’d opened my car door and ushered me into an Uber XL headed for a secret destination. He’d picked his outfit based on what he’d seen me wearing in a selfie I sent that afternoon, and he looked irresistibly good. Hell, we both looked good.

After arriving at a newly renovated midtown hotel, we walked hand-in-hand through the stunning lobby, climbing stairways and exploring the many lounges. “I could live here,” I declared. The Match smiled and played along: “Yeah, it might be expensive, but we should just move in. Us and our five kids.” He stopped and grinned at me, “It’s wild to say that…’our five kids’…but I like it.” If I didn’t already love this man, that might have been what I needed to push me over the edge. As it was, I just squeezed his hand and leaned against him for a moment, looking down at the lobby below. How did I find my way here? Is it possible to hold onto this forever?

After we’d explored to our hearts’ content, we walked down to the central lounge and found seats at the end of the bar. We talked and laughed and danced in our seats to the nostalgia-inducing remixes playing in the background. The warm summer air eventually called us outdoors, and we walked the breezy city blocks, lured to the café by the promise of indulgent desserts. Now back to his question…

I knew what he was asking — he wanted to know my thoughts on why we were in a relationship, why we were talking about forever, why we were in love, when we’d both connected with so many other people.

I took a moment to consider the question, then answered simply, “Timing, I think.” His pensive expression melted into a smile, and he agreed. “I don’t doubt that we’ve both been with some pretty amazing people,” I added, “but for various reasons, those relationships didn’t work. And I can’t help but be grateful. Because now here we are.” I raised my glass of water: “Here’s to good timing.”

His question was a good one, though. My friend recently asked me something along the same lines. I’d answered her differently, citing honestly, vulnerability, mutual trust, communication, and openness to a relationship. While all those things are true, I’ve had connections that met nearly all of those criteria before, yet none of those men became my boyfriend. My explanation to my friend wasn’t wrong, but it failed to account for timing. The Match and I both know what we want and what we don’t want, and we’re both ready to jump in when we find it. “It” just happened to be one another. Had we met 6 or 12 months earlier, I’m not sure that things would have turned out the same way. In fact, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have. All signs point to timing as the key factor here.

So there you go — love is a crapshoot, friends. May the odds be ever in your favor.

 

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