It was 7:30 on a Friday night and I was halfway through my second gin and tonic at a trendy restaurant downtown. The waitress came by the table at least 15 times to flash me her judgmental eyes, either eager to turn over the table or questioning whether or not my date was imaginary. My boyfriend was 30 minutes late and counting, so it was time to cut him loose.
1. HE WAS JEOPARDIZING MY PUNCTUAL REPUTATION.I’m pretty proud of my punctuality. On a normal day, I’m 15 minutes early to everything and my friends admire that (except for the chronically late ones, of course). Somehow, every time I went out with my boyfriend, we were so freaking late—more than the acceptable 10-minute time window. I would be dressed and ready to go, tapping my toes impatiently as he did God knows what to his hair for 30 minutes. Shouldn’t I be the one spending too much time in the bathroom?
2. IT PROVED THAT HE DIDN’T RESPECT MY TIME.I’m a busy girl with a balancing act of work commitments and hobbies whose life does not revolve around her boyfriend. When he showed up 15 to 30 minutes late to meet me on multiple occasions, I was deeply offended. Did he feel that his schedule was more important than mine?
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4. HE WAS COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS TO HIS THOUGHTLESSNESS.I’m not sure how this is even possible with a wristwatch and phone in hand, but he always acted as if he arrived right on time. I have never heard an apology for his tardiness. He would rush to the table, kiss me on the cheek and pick up the menu. Clearly, we didn’t share the same third grade teacher who would flip over my desk for being five minutes late to class. The nightmares of her cranky face still haunt me. Hopefully, he will have visions of my disapproving stares for the rest of his tardy life.
5. IT SHOWED A LACK OF RESPECT FOR THE RESTAURANT.As someone who has spent countless nights in restaurants, waiting tables to pay off student loans, he was the type of person we would complain about in the kitchen. We would never spit in his food (that’s nothing short of evil) but we would definitely call him names and serve weak drinks. In the 30 minutes that he failed to arrive on time, the server could have crammed in another table and make an extra 30 bucks. Not only has he ruined my night, the server is now pissed off, as well.
6. IF HE CAN’T KEEP THIS PROMISE, WHAT OTHER PROMISES WILL HE BREAK?I know this sounds dramatic, but hear me out. Setting a time for a date is like a contract. You aren’t signing on a dotted line, but you’re making a verbal commitment to be at X place at X time. So, when you’re breaking the rules of the contract time and time again, it is super clear to me that your promises are as concrete as a Slinky climbing down the Exorcist stairs.
7. I GET THAT NO ONE IS PERFECT BUT CHRONICALLY LATE IS NOT CUTE.Things happen. You hit potholes, the subway stops running, a clown parade runs through the neighborhood and you get engulfed in balloons shaped like animals. I get it. The occasional lateness is OK, but there’s absolutely no excuse for chronic lateness.
8. HE WAS LATE BUT HAD A COFFEE IN HAND.COME ON. Not only did he know that he would be late, but he made an additional stop to make himself extra late at my expense. I’m fairly certain that if I was on fire, he would stop to rearrange the furniture with the bucket in hand on the way back from the sink.
9. FASHIONABLY LATE IS NOT A THING, SO LET’S REMOVE THAT PHRASE FROM OUR VOCABULARY.When he claimed to be “fashionably late” he was also assuming that the party started when he arrived, which is the most arrogant thing I’ve ever heard. The only acceptable time to be late is for a dinner party. It allows the host a little buffer to run frantically around the house lighting candles and hiding any sign of clutter.
10. OPPOSITES ATTRACT, BUT THE CHRONICALLY EARLY AND CHRONICALLY LATE ARE NOT A MATCH.It didn’t take long for me to realize that there was no way in hell that this was going to work. I’m not a mathematician, but I know this math to be true: If I’m always 15 minutes early and he’s consistently 30 minutes late, that leaves me waiting around for 45 minutes. That’s 45 minutes for me to reconsider my choice to keep you in my life. SEE YA!