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Awkward! My Friend Is Always Late

Thanks to a reader with an issue (sorry, reader!), we have an awkward scenario for you that she needs you to weigh in on.

"I reconnected with a friend I haven't seen in years. It's been wonderful to catch up, we have so much to talk about and I want us to keep hanging out. The only problem is, she almost always keeps me waiting. It wasn't so bad at the beginning, but the past few times we've met for dinner or drinks, I've sat around for almost 30 minutes! She texts me to tell me she'll be late, but why not just show up on time? I don't want this to be a pattern with us, but I'm not really sure how or if I should say something. "

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Join The Conversation
kulikuli kulikuli 7 years
I was one who posted earlier that i'm one of the people consistantly late about 5-15 minutes. To all the people who commented to get a watch, guess what i have one and a cell phone, that's completely different than an internal clock. The problem is my clock says i have 15 minutes from the time i get home to the time i have to leave. i try and change and walk my dog and get i everything i need but before i know it its been 23 minutes as i run out the door and hit constant red lights. the clock doesn't magically make everything in my life run smoother. If i have to leave right then but i have no pants or shoes on what choice do u think im going to make. its not about disrespecting anyone else, some people just honestly have a problem managing their time. For me i think it stems from family. My family is always 30 min to a few hours late to everything. If they are meeting for breakfast we finally all meet up in the afternoon lol. I have a big arab family from California, when you are trying to coordinate at least 50 ppl from different cities to meet up one city for an event, with different traffic on different highways its ridiculous to have everyone there at the same time. So i think my 5 minute lateness is an improvement on my family, because i try my hardest to be there for my friends.
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
it is annoying but there are things you can do to cope with it too. With one friend, i tell her that the plans are for a half hour earlier than they really are. Or if it's just her and I, if we agree on 6p, I won't show up until 6:30p. Also, I will call the person and remind them! if we're meeting at 6p, I'll call at 5p and say, "are we still on? It's only an hour away, are you on schedule?"
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
I have a friend like that too. It's annoying. Makes me feel like she thinks that her time is more valuable. She will either cancl 5 minutes before we are supposed to meet, or she will text ten minutes after and say she is going to be late. There really is no excuse. If lunch is a rushed time for you, and you can't be on time, then don't make lunch plans - make dinner plans or weekend plans...
JCP0240 JCP0240 7 years
I am always on time for thing (usually 5-15 minutes early) no matter what it is. I really don't understand how people are consistently late, it drives me crazy. Especially those that say they understand they are always late and hate it, clearly you aren't giving yourself enough time. And as much as you hate it, the person that is waiting for you hates it 100 more times.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I'm one of those late people. Usually I try to do as much as I can the night before, but things don't always turn out how you need them to. There sure are ways to avoid being late, I give myself two hours to get somewhere (more if it's early morn or I'm catching public transport), one hour to get ready and one hour to travel. Usually two hours is more than enough, so I don't think I have any excuse to be late.
Sarana Sarana 7 years
I had a friend like this too, mostly it was about 10-15 minutes but I think this is not acceptable. I can't believe some people come an hour late! Do you still wait for them? For the people saying they can't help it, yes you can. Get a watch and follow it. I don't want to get up in de morning either but I do. I hate people that are always late, I always make sure I'm on time which often means I'm early so the wait is even longer.
MissSophia MissSophia 7 years
Argh, this is my biggest pet hate. All my friends know how much I hate it. I've told tthem all that if they know theyre going to be late, contact me before I get to the destination to let me know. Otherwise, I won't wait more than 10mins tops. After a few times of friends arriving late and finding that I've already left, they get the hint.
nicklover nicklover 7 years
I know people who are like this. And it's not that they don't try to be there on time it's just they never can. They'll be late to their own funeral!
jazzytummy jazzytummy 7 years
It is beyond rude to be chronically late. I personally think these people just want to make the "grand entrance" and it's attention seeking behavior. "Oh, GREAT, we have been waiting for so and so, thank God she's here now and the world can starting revolving again!" I also have issues with the BS "I don't have an internal clock" comments. What a pile of crap. Get an external one and use it like everyone else. If I had a friend that was always more than 15 minutes late, I would text her after 15 and tell her I was leaving, see ya later. Once in awhile tardiness, traffic, whatever, ok. Chronic lateness says "it's all about me and my time, which is way more important than yours".
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I had a really awesome friend that was always late. ALWAYS late. I talked to her about it a few times, but it really didn't affect things. I'm not very patient with people who are late, because i make SURE i'm on time, always. There are several ways to keep track of time, and the easiest is the cell phone. Cell alarms are usually easy to use, and you can set and reset it in a snap. Just do it. It's annoying and embarressing depending on the situation you're late for. I get ready ahead of time, and leave with a large margin of time set out so i'm never late. That being said, the friend never could stop being late, but i enjoyed her friendship and personality and the fun we had enough to just allow for it. If we had a table reserved for 4, I told her to be there at 3... and she was on time, lol. It stunk, but I don't really want to plan around peoples lateness and sit around for 2 hours waiting.
facecandyblog facecandyblog 7 years
my bff is on the 1-2 hours late train. it drives me nuts! i mean, she's a school teacher, so she gets to work on time (barely but still on time) but it's like if it's not work, she's always 1-2 hours late. i've tried to help her by trying to figure out what takes her so long (she shaves her legs from bottom to top, blow dries her hair and puts body lotion on her entire body). In the last 2 years she's been on time to exactly 2 events: my wedding (which she was in) and our other friend's wedding. I'm just used to telling her to be places 1-2 hours before I need her there.
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 7 years
For all those people who say "oh, it's just me, my internal clock is off" get a watch! use your mobile phone. These are things you can manage. Otherwise, you just don't care about your time, or anyone else's time
kulikuli kulikuli 7 years
i have this problem too, and not because i dont respect my friends, i just have a bad internal clock. I'm never an hour or two late though, more like 5- 20 min late with everything i do. I'm consistantly 5-10 min late at work everyday too, i also leave about 30 min late and everything is just thrown off on time when it come to me. I try, but it always seems to happen.
SLH04 SLH04 7 years
I am this friend. I have problem with being on time. And I KNOW its a problem! But I never mean to disrespect anyone! I have a great friend who always tell me to be somewhere one hour before her but I do realize this is an issue and if I had to wait on someone I would be mad too. I guess I am really indecisive before leaving my house but I do know this is an issue I need to work on.
WritingLikeCrazy WritingLikeCrazy 7 years
My best friend is beyond late. We all just assume she'll be at least an hour, perhaps even two, later than she says she will be. Too often, we're right. She's not being selfish, she just doesn't have an internal clock. It seems unfair for the rest of us to plan around this fault in her character, but we have. Fortunately, once she arrives, she's such a loving, supportive friend, it's well worth the wait!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I have a friend like this too and it's one of my major pet peeves. I totally agree with Bella's approach. You shouldn't have to wait around for someone who doesn't respect your time.
ali321 ali321 7 years
Once in awhile is okay, but I know what it's like to have someone in your life that's alwaaays late. Just start showing up later yourself. Or let her know when you have plans that you have something to do afterwards and you don't want things to be rushed so if she thinks she can't make it on time then you should reschedule. I also agree with mix tape. I've tried that one myself. lol. Tell her an earlier time. You could ask if somethings going on, but some people are just like this and always will be. I don't know what else to say.
tarabara1229 tarabara1229 7 years
Bella, I think that's a great way to handle the situation. I definitely wouldn't be opposed to saying something like that to my friends. My problem is my bf's mom, who is consistently 30-60+ minutes late to family events. And even then she'll arrive with curlers still in her hair! There's not much any of us can say to her, unfortunately, so we mostly put up with it or tell her the event is scheduled 30 minutes before it actually starts.
Beauty Beauty 7 years
I have a friend who is always late. Finally I said, "Look, X, I love you but the next time you're late, I'm not waiting past 10 minutes. Even if you text." And I kept to my word — one time and now we never have this problem anymore. I think it's best to be direct about this sort of thing.
obamamama obamamama 7 years
This is a clear sign of disrepect toward you. She selfish and self-absorbed and other people's feelings don't matter. She's the center of the universe. I HAD a friend who was always late (up to 2 hours in a few cases!!), and it really drove everyone nuts. Clearly, she doesn't hold you in high regard or she would be polite and have some manners. Be straight up and respectful toward her when you let her know her behavior is unacceptable.
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