Time to reevaluate relationship with tardy pal

"Whenever you declare what you need from someone else, you hand them control of the situation — unless you also have a consequence in mind of their not coming through."

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June 5, 2020 - 2:05 PM

Hi, Carolyn: I’ve made one really great friend in my new city, but he has been, without fail, late to everything we’ve ever planned. Sometimes, I wait an hour and politely ask, “What’s your ETA?” and he replies with “Sorry, I’m just going to do my hair and 15 other things and I’ll be on my way!”

Carolyn Hax

Recently, we were at his apartment and I got hungry, so I said, “I’m going to go to the store, I’ll be back in five.” I would have been, except he wanted to join. First, he had to change his contact lenses and fix his hair, and then he started telling me this story about his mom that I didn’t pay much attention to because I was annoyed. About 10 more things and 25 minutes later, we finally left his place. At the store, he spent about 30 minutes trying to decide on a snack.

I’m trying to be respectful of his idiosyncrasies, but I’m a very structured person and need him to try to follow a schedule.

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