I love my life. I’m doing work I’m passionate about. I have a supportive
family, wonderful friends, and compelling career options. Things were going so well that I didn’t spend much time worrying about relationships. I assumed that the right guy would come along at the right time. Or would he? Six months ago, I met the perfect man. He’s charming, handsome, well-read, and successful. Despite the long distance, our relationship developed swimmingly, as we discovered we were both “dog people”, had spent significant time in random graduate programs before returning to the sciences, and even enjoy reading aloud passages from the same novel. Just as I was beginning to see this man as marriage material, my wonderful life got in the way and took me abroad, where continuing the relationship was no longer an option. We vowed to stay friends and have stayed in touch, but I can feel we’re drifting apart. A classic case of right guy, wrong time? Do I shrug and say, “Eh, what will be will be?” Or do I jump off the tracks and risk losing my perfect life for the perfect mate?
It’s A Wonderful Life
Dear Wonderful Life,
You hit the nail on the head — right person, right time. It really can’t be any other way. Although this sounds like a tautological cop out for a self-anointed relationship advisor, I believe that when you’re ready, you’ll do the right thing. Mr. Right isn’t good enough, what you’re looking for is Mr. Right Enough who will make you feel that it’s worthwhile to do the things you’re not willing to do now (such as a compromise on your dream job location or taking on the inconveniences of a long distance relationship for the reward of being with him). What’s troubling you now is not so much the loss of a great potential life mate but the idea of it. Your life has gone so well that you’ve never second guessed your decisions. Now you wonder if you’re doing the wrong thing by pursuing your independent aspirations. You’re not. Your feelings are shared by your guy as you both agreed a long distance relationship is a bad idea. Neither one of you feels compelled enough to make sacrifices for the sake of staying together, nor even to ask the other to do so. Why tip the equilibrium now (where you’re both happily single and on good terms) out of fear for “missing out”? Aren’t you already living a happy life? It’s not so bad to stay in touch, even if you’re drifting, and see if the right time comes along for you two again in some other place. Meanwhile, keep living the wonderful life!