People say timing is everything. We have all heard that love is about finding the right person at the right time. Sometimes the person is perfect but the timing is wrong. Maybe this is the most hurtful “failure” of romantic relationships because it can leave us feeling empty, frustrated and confused. Why did life put them on my way if it wasn’t the right time? Why are they dating if they aren’t ready? Wait a minute, am I ready? Human beings are complex. We all carry different sets of baggage. We all have our fears and insecurities. Dating involves at least two people with their respective baggage, fears and insecurities meeting at a certain point in time and deciding to continue their journey together. In my experience, most of the people I have dated clearly weren’t the right person and that’s the reason why it didn’t work out. But in very few occasions, I believe I had met the right person, but at the wrong time.
I met a guy a few weeks ago. We had incredible chemistry. It was like magic. One of those things that very rarely happen. When we saw each other it was like an explosion. I felt like I had known him for months, if not years. I felt like he was the one I had been waiting for. But I was anxious, and possibly scared -actually I was probably terrified-. He was reading me so well. We seemed so perfect for each other. Unreal. Overwhelming. And at that point, boom, self-sabotaging starts.
I have a the greatest ability of sabotaging relationships. I have the amazing skills of destroying relationships before they are even built. I have done it with my close friends, my family, and of course, my potential partners. People I truly connect with. It’s like I want to show them the worst side of me almost as a test and if they pass it I can then show vulnerability, love and care. I become intimidating and argumentative. As a defence mechanism it can work, and it’s probably understandable given my history; but it can also scare people off and more importantly, prevent me from forming meaningful relationships with people that are worth it. This was one of the latter. This guy and I were getting on like a house on fire. And I fucked it up. Or at least I thought I did.
Understanding myself: learning and growth
For some strange reason, when I look up to someone, when I admire them and consider them good I automatically feel less. I feel diminished. I feel worthless. Deep inside I consider I don’t deserve someone good to be with me. I feel I don’t deserve to be with them. And therefore I attack. I attack to bring them down, and to push them away with whatever mechanisms I have. With men, this activity is even more notable because of my past of toxic relationships. I carry a lot of anger and resentment towards men. I don’t trust them. And so I attack them even more fiercely. Of course, the more I like them and the better I consider them, the more I push them away.
I have done the above for years, but I do it much less nowadays so when I had this relapse I felt guilty and I was ready to beat myself up. Then I realised the long way I had come. I am certainly not perfect. We all have flaws, troubles and in many cases mental health issues. Although I don’t aim to be perfect, I am a big advocate of self-improvement, learning and growth. I think it’s my responsibility to be better, each day. But the journey of self-improvement and growth is a bumpy one. And we can only aim for our partner to be able to share it with us. There will be relapses in that journey and if they aren’t able to stand by our side on those, then they surely aren’t the right partner for us. Or they aren’t ready at that moment in time.
There is hope: self-love
It now seems clear to me that I wasn’t ready. And being very honest, probably neither was he. I wasn’t ready to trust. I am not ready to trust. I am not ready to give myself to a relationship again. I am not ready to be loved. And possibly I am not ready to love either. I am not over the pain that someone else – or several someones- have caused. I still have anger and resentment within me. The cuts aren’t healed. And I need to release all that pain before I can trust and love again. So even if we say it was the wrong time, what we probably mean is that we weren’t in the right state of mind. Or we weren’t ready. There may be a need for further growth and learning -as individuals outside of a relationship-. There is a need for further development before continuing the journey together.
In just over a week, I will be embracing the most spiritual and personal journey I could ever think of. I will be starting a journey of self-love and self-discovery. Until then, I need to practice compassion. This is nothing but another opportunity to learn and grow. After all, as Heidi Priebe wrote, “the people we meet at the wrong time are actually just the wrong people.”