Acting as a good Samaritan can come with its own host of issues. Sometimes things will fall by the wayside while you’re helping a person in need.
Hopefully, if that meant inconveniencing someone else in your life, they forgive you and understand the act of altruism was pretty important. But other times, you get a situation like Redditor Key_Medium9048 found themselves in.
The original poster (OP) had taken time to help a stranger after his shift at work, making him late to come home. Now his girlfriend is upset with him.
So he asks the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit:
“AITA for prioritizing a random guy over my girlfriend?”
Here’s what happened:
“So I (27M [male]) work at a bar, and yesterday after the bar closed a guy came up to me, (lets call him Jason) he looked young, like only just old enough to get it. And he loudly asked me when we were leaving (not obnoxiously loud but still loud enough so others heard him).”
“I didn’t know Jason and asked what he meant, he said ‘Jessica said you would give me a ride home’. I don’t know a Jessica. He then takes out his phone and says ‘look, she texted me’ he held up his phone and pressed the power button and the dead battery screen showed up.”
“[I] looked back at him and he looked desperate and terrified, I then saw this man staring directly at Jason. It then clicked that Jason was scared and needed an out.”
“I pretended to check my phone and acted like I just saw the text from ‘Jessica’ and walked him outside, the man followed, so I walked him to my car and quietly told him I would drive him to the gas station that was 3 mins away.”
“We got into my car and drove off and luckily the guy didn’t follow. I let Jason use my charger to charge his phone and drove him to the gas station, he called his roommate to come get him and I waited with him until his ride arrived.”
“Once Jason had left with his roommate, I started to drive home. Due to a mix of road works and helping Jason, I got home about 20 mins later than I should have.”
“When I got back my girlfriend (25F [female]) was giving me the cold shoulder. an hour after I got back she finally talked to me, she was upset that I was late and didn’t call her.”
“(She had a friend that worked nights and she got jumped, mugged and died, she worries about me, so we agreed that I would always call her if I was going to be late, I normally do but just forgot)”
“When I explained what happened she was upset that I prioritized a stranger over her and that I should have cared about her more and remembered. Now I know I’m not TA for helping Jason, but I really worried my gf and a simple phone call wouldn’t have been that hard.”
“I’ve never forgotten before but I’ve never been in that situation before. so AITA?”
It’s a pretty understandable situation from OP’s perspective, and his GF is understandably worried. So who is wrong, if anyone in this scenario?
To find out, commenters on the AITA board judge OP with one of the following comments:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
OP was trying to help someone out of a bad spot, and the situation was tense. It’s understandable why he forgot to call.
It was judged that OP was NTA.
“NTA and giving you the cold shoulder for an hour isn’t a way to treat you…..she could’ve just asked that next time you try to remember to text her. You did a good thing.” – loc_nessmonster0
“I was gonna say N A H, but then I read what happened after you explained. NTA, you were being a good person and she’s mad that you got distracted protecting someone from potential assault?”
“I hate using this term; since I feel like we’ve watered down its meaning to the point of basically nothing; but freaking yikes dude.” – Fireneji
“It probably would have be nice if you had sent a text – but honestly 20 minutes isn’t that late depending on where you are. Traffic can easily add 20 mins to my commute home (and actually that’s on the short side, 30-40 mins isn’t uncommon).”
“But the silent treatment is never acceptable treatment. It is often used as a tactic/form of abuse.”
“It might not be a red flag in this relationship as she didn’t stay silent for long, but she should have used her words and said next time can you send me a text that you’ll be later than usual.”
“NTA and thank you for helping Jason out.” – trilliumsummer
A number of comments were highly critical of the GF’s reaction, with some people suggesting that OP break up with her. OP updated to say that wasn’t going to happen, but that didn’t stem the tide of comments.
People really didn’t like how OP’s GF reacted.
“Yeah, I’m a bit confused. He was only 20 minutes late, even after driving and waiting for the stranger.”
“Then she didn’t call him while being worried. Then he got home and rather than ask what happened/is he ok, she ignored him?”
“If I was worried about someone’s safety and calling them didn’t cross my mind, when they came through the door I’d have a million questions to make sure they were fine.”
“The concern sounds less about him and more about her having someone around to protect herself in case of a late night attack.” – Safe-Calligrapher
“She’s pissed at you because you prevented someone from falling to the same/a similar fate as her late friend?” – your_average_plebian
“THIS. Why is this not at the top!”
“I have a deep set fear of someone being hurt whilst walking alone due to personal trauma relating to this – but I would NEVER be pissed at my SO for preventing this happening to someone else, even if it meant 20 minutes of worrying on my part.”
“The second id heard he had potentially saved someone from an awful situation I would praise him to no ends!” – nightmareb4halloween
However, other commenters were more understanding of the GF’s reaction. Losing someone close to you is traumatizing, and people don’t always respond so cleanly to it.
They didn’t think OP was wrong, but they didn’t think the GF was TA either.
“NAH. You are a good person for acknowledging that males are also at risk of sexual assault and helping to possibly prevent one.”
“I am sorry for the loss of your friend. You didn’t say how long ago their death was, so from the available info, it is might be a really short period of time since their death. I can understand your GF being freaked.”
“Maybe just throw her a text in the future. I can see how a phone call might have blown the whole Jessica story.” – Alecto53558
“ – ‘I am sorry for the loss of your friend. You didn’t say how long ago their death was, so from the available info, it is might be a really short period of time since their death’ – ”
“It’s actually been a while, but this friend was like a sister to my gf and was actually on way to meet my gf after her shift when it happened. my gf has gotten better, but the whole thing greatly affected her.”
“ – ‘sexual assault’ – ”
“I couldn’t mention this due to the post rules, but this exactly Jason’s concern, the guy had apparently been making him uncomfortable and had said some things and was touching him (like putting his arm around his shoulders and his hand on his leg)” – Key_Medium9048
“Thank you. I feel like all the people painting the GF as the AH are forgetting that she has trauma from her friend passing away. That trauma doesn’t magically disappear because ‘enough’ time has passed (also, who are they to decide that ‘enough’ time has passed????).”
“Also, I’m sure it felt like a punishment to OP, but the “cold shoulder” might also just be GF taking time to deal with her emotions before talking to OP again, especially if she doesn’t think she can talk to him without getting emotional.” – saucynoodlelover
Obviously, OP will try his best to notify his GF of things that might make him late in the future. But for now, it sounds like she needs some time to process that he didn’t intend to hurt her, and there was a good reason for what he did.
It’s great that OP could recognize the dangerous situation for the stranger and took the time to help. If only more people were willing to help the strangers around them.