Chronically late boyfriend … what should she do?

Three days ago I was having a conversation with a friend who was fuming over her boyfriend’s constant tardiness. She asked me what did I think of his behavior. I told her it was disrespectful. She said I should write in my blog what women should do when their boyfriends are constantly late for everything.

I told her that it was a great idea but it was not a gender specific problem. I explained that men and women are equally guilty of the same affliction. There are lots of ways to show people disrespect; but one very typical disrespectful behavior is to be chronically late.

I’m not talking about when something goes wrong and is out of your control. I know we have excuses, after all, stuff happens. I’m talking about a pattern of behavior. Being chronically late not only messes up plans for everybody else, but it hurts feelings. I believe, more often than not, that chronic lateness is a passive-aggressive behavior (from what I learned in shrink school).

That means the individual who is chronically late is telegraphing in secret code, “I’m more important than you, you can’t tell me what to do, you’re not in control of me and I’ll be there when I’m ready.” Instead of saying all of that directly, the behavior says it. Meanwhile the conversation is, “Oh, I tried to make it. I’m sorry.”

The meaning behind the behavior is the aggression and the attempt to seem “accidental” is the passive part. Hence we have passive-aggressive behavior. To be fair, it is also true that many people just pile up too much into a day to properly handle all their responsibilities. Then they find themselves always up to their ears with too many obligations to fulfill.

Now that people can text, email and call from their cell phones, according to some research of late, chronically late people are feeling less and less and less and less upset about making others wait because “at least I’m letting them know my progress. I’m letting them know what’s going on. I’m saying I’m sorry.”

They think that absolves them of any guilt but none of that changes the frustration, the disappointment and the hurt in the minds and hearts of the people left waiting, waiting and waiting.

Friendships/relationships have been lost over this misbehavior and rightfully so because relationships/friendships are supposed to be reciprocal in interests, thoughtfulness, compassion and respect; but when it is consistently lopsided, it doesn’t work after a while.

Rules, expectations and consequences have to be considered. It’s one thing to be disrespected by someone and it’s quite another to allow it to happen again and again and again. This just gives the late offender more permission to continue the behavior. Let me be clear that I am not talking about unavoidable circumstances. I’m talking about patterns of behavior and being constantly disrespected that way. It should not be allowed. WE should not allow anyone to disrespect us constantly in this manner.

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