Love is an unpredictable and complex emotion that can leave us longing for what could have been. We often meet someone who we feel a deep connection with, only to have the timing be all wrong. These “right person wrong time” feelings have inspired some of the most heart-wrenching songs in music history.

From the lyrics to the melody, the pain and longing are perfectly captured. These love ballads showcase the beauty and tragedy of love and remind us that sometimes, love just isn’t enough.


“All Too Well” – Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well” is a poignant ballad that builds an intricate web of emotions around a love that was ill-fated by bad timing. The lyrics describe memories of a past relationship that was too intense to forget, even though it ended poorly.

Swift’s storytelling ability is on full display as she crafts vivid images of the good times and the bad, capturing the listener’s attention with her evocative phrasing. In this song, she masterfully evokes the disorienting, all-consuming nature of a love that should have worked but didn’t.

“Back to December” – Taylor Swift

The second song on the list is a powerful track that explores the idea of missing out on love due to bad timing. The artist poignantly reflects on past mistakes, expressing regret for letting the right person slip away.

Through heartfelt lyrics and emotive vocals, the song captures the raw emotion and heartbreak that can come from a relationship that isn’t meant to be. It’s a relatable and touching track that many listeners will connect with.

“Say You Love Me” – Jessie Ware

“Say You Love Me” by Jessie Ware is a heart-wrenching indie pop ballad that truly captures the emotions of falling in love with someone at the wrong time. Ware’s soulful vocals are accentuated by a subdued piano instrumental, creating a melancholic and introspective atmosphere that’s perfect for reflecting on past relationships.

Whether you’re moving on from a recent heartbreak or reminiscing on an old flame, this song will surely tug at your heartstrings and leave you feeling pensive.

“I’m Not the Only One” – Sam Smith

Sam Smith’s “I’m Not the Only One” has become a staple anthem for those who find themselves in relationships that are perfect on paper but fall short of happiness. The song’s lyrics describe a trust issue, with one person being unfaithful to their partner, causing heartache and pain for both parties.

It’s a bittersweet reminder that sometimes, despite finding the right person, timing is everything. Smith’s soulful vocals paired with the melancholic melody of the song perfectly embody the emotional turbulence of a love that just wasn’t meant to be.

“Gravity” – Sara Bareilles

“Gravity” by Sara Bareilles is a melodic masterpiece about the pain of realizing that the timing just isn’t right for a relationship, no matter how strong the feelings may be. The song captures the conflicting emotions of wanting to hold on tight while simultaneously knowing deep down that it’s time to let go.

The poignant lyrics and stripped-down piano accompaniment convey the raw emotion of trying to reconcile what the heart wants with what the head knows is best. “Gravity” is a moving representation of the challenge of loving someone at the wrong time.

“Someone Like You” – Adele

This wistful ballad depicts the regret and sadness that often follows the end of a relationship that never quite had the right timing. Adele’s haunting and soulful voice conveys the pain and longing of letting go of someone who just wasn’t meant to be in your life at that specific moment.

The lyrics evoke a sense of bittersweet nostalgia, wonderment, and a longing for what could have been, making it a powerful anthem for anyone who has experienced the pain of loving someone at the wrong time.

“Stay” – Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko

This sonorous melody is a mournful plea for a love that was ultimately doomed to fail. Rihanna’s vocals embody heartbreak and longing as she sings about the devastating realization that the person she thought was her everything may never be the one who stays. A melancholic yet beautiful lament for the complexities of love and timing.

“The One That Got Away” – Katy Perry

The pulsating synths and melodramatic lyrics of Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away” evoke a potent sense of yearning and regret. The track explores the idea of losing out on love due to the wrong timing, with the narrator lamenting a relationship that was full of potential but ultimately fell apart.

Perry’s soaring vocals and emotive delivery lend a weightiness to the song’s themes, making it a standout addition to any “right person, wrong time” playlist.

“Lover” – Taylor Swift

“Lover” by Taylor Swift is a poignant ballad that explores the emotional complexities of a past relationship. The song depicts a love that has come at the wrong time, with the right person. It’s a tender and melancholic reflection on what could have been, with lyrics that capture the feelings of longing and regret that arise when we realize that our timing is off.

Swift’s masterful storytelling and evocative imagery make this track a standout in her discography and a fitting addition to any playlist dedicated to the theme of ‘right person, wrong time’.

“I Will Remember You” – Sarah McLachlan

One particularly poignant song on our Right Person Wrong Time playlist is the soulful “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. With its powerful piano balladry and emotive vocal delivery, it captures the pain of realizing that you’ve lost the one you love because of poor timing.

Keys’ lyrics examine the harsh realities of relationships and the delicate balance between love and timing. It’s a gut-wrenching exploration of the agonizing truth that sometimes, no matter how deeply we care for someone, circumstances simply conspire against us.

“Un-break My Heart” – Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton’s “Un-break My Heart” encapsulates the pain that arises when one must say goodbye to a person they love, but the timing just doesn’t fit. Her voice is both emotionally charged and heart-wrenchingly vulnerable as she sings about how hard it is to let go of someone who was the “right person” at the “wrong time.”

The song’s powerful melody and lyrics evoke feelings of love, loss, and nostalgia, making it a must-listen for anyone grappling with the difficult realities of timing in relationships.

“Back at One” – Brian McKnight

The soulful ballad by Brian McKnight, “Back at One,” wistfully paints a picture of a love that was meant to be, but hampered by the wrong timing. The lyrics convey the heartache of looking back on a relationship with regret, yet still holding onto the hope that maybe, just maybe, things could work out in the future.

McKnight’s smooth vocals and the song’s gentle melody make it a bittersweet reminder of the “what if” scenarios that haunt many of us when we reflect on past romances.

“When You’re Gone” – Avril Lavigne

“When You’re Gone” by Avril Lavigne is a heart-wrenching ballad that captures the bittersweet feeling of a love that couldn’t survive beyond a fleeting moment in time. Lavigne’s soulful vocals coupled with the raw, emotional lyrics create an achingly beautiful melody that tugs on the heartstrings.

The song speaks to the experience of finding the perfect person at the wrong moment in life, and the ongoing struggle of holding onto the memories long after they’ve gone.