Boyfriend is always late and I'm frustrated

Originally Published: February 19, 1999 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: October 24, 2008
Share this

Dear Alice,

My boyfriend is always late when we have something planned. Not just fifteen minutes or so, but an hour or more! I don't know why I even wait, but I really care about him. He doesn't realize how much it bothers me. My question is, how can I get him to become more punctual?

Dear Reader,

It's frustrating when you rush around trying to get somewhere on time, only to be kept waiting by someone else running late. Showing up on time shows respect for another person, for her or his time, and her or his schedule. Your boyfriend's chronic lateness could be due to a lack of time-management skills, or to a lack of consideration for your time and calendar.

Have you clearly and calmly communicated to him exactly how you feel when you are kept waiting? Perhaps if he knew how his tardiness affects you, he'd make more of an effort to be on time. Since you really care about him, an honest conversation about this dynamic could help develop some mutual understanding — he can tell you why it's so hard for him to be on time, you can let him know how much it affects you when he's always late. Perhaps together you could come up with some strategies about how to make plans so that the timing works for both of you. A tip: you might want to avoid having this conversation when he's just shown up late and you're already frustrated. Instead, try to talk when you're calm and otherwise generally feeling satisfied with your relationship.

Time management tips abound in the Go Ask Alice! Q&As below. Referring him to these or reading up on them yourself might offer some insight into strategizing for timeliness. Or, just asking him what you've asked here — how can I get you to be more punctual? — may get you the answers you need before your patience really runs out.

Alice

February 9, 2007

21184

Dear Reader,

Don't stress out about it, just tell him exactly how you feel, and he should understand. He shouldn't be mad if you tell him, and if he does get mad, then maybe he's not worth...

Dear Reader,

Don't stress out about it, just tell him exactly how you feel, and he should understand. He shouldn't be mad if you tell him, and if he does get mad, then maybe he's not worth the wait. Tell him that if he's not there within 15 minutes, then you're just going to leave, and you'll make another date with him another day. He'll realize not to be late after that. If he is still late, I would just find somebody else. I know it sounds harsh, but he doesn't need to be treating you that way.