A lot of movies have been made based on stories of two people who were drawn to each other, but didn’t take the “leap” because it wasn’t the right time. I always thought that “not the right time” was just an excuse, and I had theories to prove it. I often thought that if two people were greatly drawn to each other, they’ll both find a way to make it happen. So, I rationalized that people who don’t end up together, just lacked “intensity” on either party or both. — agree?
But as they said, time will unfold knowledge you wouldn’t understand when you’re younger. And true enough, here I am. Writing why I now understand the fact that some people “don’t get there” plainly because it wasn’t the right time.
When I was 22, just about done getting my stuff together after a 4-year relationship, I had all these ideals on what to avoid, and what my next relationship should be like. (I was young and crazy like that) I was so adamant on pursuing these “ideals”, and for some reason, I met someone who passed that crazy checklist.
He was 27 then, five years my senior. I knew him through my friends, and had a secret crush on him. Amazingly, he felt the same about me. Soon enough, we went for it. The whole thing was so ideal. Most of the time, I’d tell him what we should be doing as a couple, and he’d find it great too. We went to church service, hung out with friends, drank like crazy, ate like crazy, we had outdoor activities, we stayed in on weekends to watch movies. It was all great. To date, I remember it being the most ideal relationship I had.
Things came to an end when he decided to go back to college for his second course. I was starting my career as a junior recruiter, and I had big dreams of going up the ladder. (fresh graduate high) The thing was, he wasn’t good at multi-tasking. At that time, there was a lot of pressure from his family for him to get his stuff together (going back to school at 27 instead of making a career wasn’t a piece of cake). He met new friends at school, which came in handy, since he needed to blow off steam from his family. And you know how crazy issues here and there affect relationships. So we called it quits.
Very few people knew that I was devastated about it.
I focused my strength on that career ladder, and was successful. But deep inside, it crushed me to have lost my most ideal relationship to his issues. A broken heart is one of the best fuels to success.
7 months after we broke up, we accidentally crossed paths. It was a random drunk night with my friends, and when he saw me, he just nabbed me for the rest of the night. I almost didn’t think twice about leaving my friends that night because I really wanted to see it in his eyes. I remember wanting him to utter the words of regret I longed to hear… And I did. We hung out two more times, and the spark was still undeniable. The thing was… at that time, I wasn’t single anymore. And it didn’t feel right. I moved forward with a lot of “what ifs”.
Eventually, he graduated and went abroad for work.
4 years have passed since those encounters.
And last week, I found out that he was back. I’ll be honest. I was excited to meet him. I couldn’t help but think: “what if now’s finally the right time?” And just like clockwork, he called me up and wanted to meet. I met up with him, and we spent the night catching up. It was crazy. We laughed so hard, and I had a blast with him. Of course the night didn’t end without us talking about “us”. I heard words of regret, words of fun memories, and a lot of explanation on “what happened to us” back then. The message was clear. The pet name also emerged, which made it even clearer. Everything was rainbows and butterflies except for one conversation.
Me: “What’s a 30-year old guy like you looking for now?”
Him: “I want to settle down. You know.”
Him: “How about you? what are you looking for?”
Me: “All my friends are tired of dating already, and want to settle down. But I think I’m not looking to settle down yet.”
Even though I knew it would send the rainbows and butterflies away, I just couldn’t lie about my present state. I’m just not looking to settle down at this point, and I had to say it.
He looks a lot older now, and lost some hair, but it didn’t seem to matter. I was still so happy to be around him. I still have feelings for him. I still want to hang out with him. I still think about him when I’m alone. But for some reason, I just think it’s not the right time for us. At least not yet.
My learning from this is too obvious. “The right time” exists. And even though it’s a bad ending for a romantic comedy, it’s the real thing. I grew up with a highly rational mind, always disproving romantic quotes and sayings with my logic.
I guess that’s the thing. This “arena”, is logic-proof. You can’t win here with logic and rationality, even though you’re some hotshot COO or CEO in a big four firm.
That’s what makes it so fascinating. Let’s see where it takes us 🙂