timing and pace in loving relationships

Count Me In: Timing in Love *IS* Critical

Timing is Everything in Relationships

Let’s imagine you met the most beautiful girl in the world and she was kind of interested in seeing “how this might work out.” Of course, because she’s the most beautiful girl in the world she is “not looking for a relationship, in fact, not dating for the last year-and-a-half.” Well, you give it a shot, because of the “most beautiful girl” and everything.

But, she is right. She’s simply not ready for a relationship of any kind. She was speaking the truth when she said she was not dating, not ready to date, still recovering from her last relationship with a narcissist. Boom. Heck, maybe I’m another narcissist, and I wouldn’t be good for her anyway. But, the… Oh, never mind.

The ironic part of the story is how the end played out. [voyeuristic moment for ya] She has convinced herself the issue, whatever it was in her mind, could be addressed by another attempt at hot sex. I was already done. For me, the writing was on the walls of the bedroom. But I didn’t want to create an enemy. I didn’t want to hurt her with my catch and release, as I put her back in the stream. So, I delayed our “come over when you are done” with your work thing.

I was “working” on an unexpected work crisis. By 8:30 pm when I FaceTimed her, she was visibly disheveled. “I don’t think I can do this,” she said.


She was waiting for the counterpunch that didn’t come.

“I mean, it’s just not working out, there are too many things…”


And just like that, in 15-minutes she resolved the entire breakup. It was perfect. It was her idea.

If One Person Is Not Ready

I was ready. I was trying to contain her distress over the first few weeks. But as we continued to kiss and snuggle she continued to press us into the bedroom. And that’s where the wheels came off, so to speak. She was not ready to be that close. She said she really just wanted to f***.

“Um, that’s not really my thing,” I said, as things in the bedroom were skidding to a halt.

“We just don’t have the sexual chemistry I thought we had,” she quipped, as she held her face in her hands. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

“I’m okay,” I said, as I got out of bed and began to look for my socks.

She was not ready. She told me she was not ready. But the beauty and all… Okay, that’s no longer a good excuse. No matter how gorgeous someone is, if they are an emotional mess, it’s not worth it. Timing is very important.

Timing is Not Everything

Yes, timing can cause delays in the deep relationship-building I was looking for. In the previous example, no amount of “meta-awareness” was going to help us out of our mismatch. No amount of amazement and adoration of her stunning looks or naked body was going to get me through the emotional eruptions that continued to occur each time we disrobed. It was best to release her back into the flowing stream to get a bit more “healed” from her previous relationship trauma.

And sometimes, timing can just be a pacing issue. What if my partner has not had much “dating” experience. What if they’ve not had very many relationships in their lifetime. It could be a timing issue, or it could be an opportunity for me to slow down. If I’m not in a hurry, then I don’t have a time box around when things should happen.

And to be fair, everything about my life has changed since we met. My new job, my new house, my new girlfriend all happened in the course of a few months. And for me, I was really enjoying the rebuilding of my own private space. I had lost a house due to some unforeseen financial issues, and a vindictive ex-wife. (SEE: Fall of the House of Dad) So, my rebuilding was going on in haste, as I gained confidence in my new corporate job, and enjoyed most weeknights alone in my new modest house.

At this moment, in my timing, I don’t want to move things forward too fast. The timing for me is perfect for dating and learning to love again. Really love. Go deep with trust, with conscious connection, and absolutely enjoying our time together. There was no obligation. But there was willingness, energy, and motivation on both sides. For now, this is just what I need. My timing says things are perfect. Just go slow here in the middle phase. There’s no rush to evolve things from here. Things are good.

So, for me, it is about timing, but not IF we have a relationship, more about HOW we’re going to keep growing and enjoying the journey together.


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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