Which one is most important?

I used to think it was mostly willingness that was more important in keeping relationships healthy and alive. Lately I’ve had a change of heart and believe timing is crucial.

Most people attribute “bad timing” to a failed romantic relationship. They blame the divorce that’s not yet complete. Maybe it was that you worked long hours and didn’t have enough energy left in your reserves to spend nights together.

For a long time, I thought everything could be overcome with will and a strong sense of personal agency. I believed in hard work and great desire over all other factors. I thought if I had enough strength, I could single handedly make a relationship better.

Was I ever wrong!

When a long distance friend didn’t keep in touch at my stringent pace, I took it personally and tried even harder by calling and texting frequently. When a quasi boyfriend didn’t fully commit, I thought talking more and cooking vegan, gluten-free quinoa and kale bowls would do the trick. When another boyfriend was in between relationships (with me and someone else), instead of leaving, like any sane person should do, I talked it out and we got clearer. I really came to understand him, while also losing a lot of myself.

In these cases, I was pushing the wind. I actively tried to change timing with my own will. I thought love alone was enough.

Unfortunately, I believed I had more power than humanly possible. It was my perfectionism kicking in. I thought, in order to be lovable, I had to do everything without error or mistake. If I couldn’t do it all perfectly, I should not try. I made myself sick with stress and learned difficult lessons.

  1. Willingness for a relationship must be shared. It is not your (or my) sole responsibility to carry all attributes and aspects of a relationship. In fact, that’s impossible. You see, many of us are pretty adaptable, and compromising is second nature. I’ve had a terrible habit of compromising myself out of the scene.
  2. Timing matters. Being ready and willing is important. If someone is about to move, has recently gotten out of a long relationship, or seems like too many factors are in flux, ask if they’re ready.
  3. Communicate about your needs, and listen closely to theirs. Pay attention to someone’s actions as much as their words. Often, people tell you they’re not ready, but  their behavior shows you something else. Ask! I’ve fallen for this too many times. Be mindful that actions and words are aligned. Similarly, reflect on whether you’re demonstrating what your words say.
  4. Know yourself. Is there something that is holding you back? Is it family, work, previous pain, a sense that you’ll be ready when… If so, maybe your own timing is off. Be honest with yourself and reflect on what you really want.
  5. Remember love. When you and your partner or friend truly love each other, you will find a way. If you don’t have a way, the love may still be real, but the relationship may not be able to support your needs. Love wins.

Here are some other articles that might speak to you: Is It Good For You?The Process of Success, What does it feel like?.

For help with timingwillingness, and relationship questions, please contact me. I am a Life Coach and I love working through topical matters like this.


10 thoughts on “Timing

  1. Thank you really great post about timing and willingness. Much like yourself I’ve learnt that I alone can’t improve the overall communication (or any other topic) if the other person isn’t on the same level.
    It’s interesting that you read actions the way you do. I was having a conversation with a friend recently. The guy she was dating told her what his expectations were, she saw his actions as aligning with her. Turns out his actions said one thing, but he was going by what he had told her. So I’d say to be careful when looking at that. You may put more weight on your actions, but the other person in their word. In that type of situation I go by the Platinum rule when trying to interpret it. “Do unto others as they would like done to them”
    If you’re going to interpret someone’s actions or behavior, you have to use their decoder to understand, not yours; you’d be seeing it through your eyes not theirs.
    Something to think about


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