When it comes to our careers, many people can agree that success occurs when preparation meets opportunity. One part of that you can control, and one part you cannot. You can take all the classes and get your portfolio in fighting shape and do all of the interview prep. That’s what you can control. You cannot control when you will meet just that perfect person to move your career ahead at an acquaintance’s New Year’s Eve party. You cannot control when the person who currently has the job you want walks out on her job, or whether or not anyone will tell you in time for you to swoop in. That’s all where opportunity comes into play. Missed opportunities sting, but you always have to remember that what’s yours will be yours. All of this is true for romantic relationships, too. A successful one will combine preparation (i.e. personal work) and opportunity (i.e. timing).
The problem is that so many people think that they can bypass the timing element of this – that somehow they will be the ones who make it work, when the timing is just trash. A very lucky handful of couples do make it work against all odds when the timing would have dictated otherwise. But, it’s not usually the best idea to make one’s plans in the hopes that they are the rare case. So, with the understanding that this isn’t always true, but it’s usually true, here are times it’s best not to get involved with somebody.
When they’re separated
Dating someone who is separated is complicated. The type of separation will heavily dictate how messy things will be, and whether or not this is even headed for divorce (we cover more on that here). But ultimately, the “easiest” separation you can hope to get mixed up in is one where all the love is gone. There are no feelings left. That person is “technically” emotionally available. The problem is that…just because someone is no longer in love with their spouse doesn’t mean that they have emotionally disconnected from the life they built with that spouse, or the broken dreams they’d had for that union. Marriage is about so much more than feeling in love. It’s a partnership. It’s the foundation for one’s life. Mourning that is a long process, and getting involved with someone who is currently doing that will likely lead to heartbreak for you as you’ll never feel like top priority.