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Woman Called Out For Leaving Lunch Date After Her Habitually Late Friend Didn’t Show For 30 Minutes

JGI / Jamie Grill / Getty Images

People have different views on what it means to be “on time.” For some, if you’re anything less than fifteen minutes early, you’re late, while others see the start time as merely a suggestion.

But when Redditor danceofthefireys idea of being on time clashes with a friend, she leaves, causing a disagreement. Now she’s asking the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit if she was wrong.

The original poster (OP) asked:

“AITA for leaving a lunch date before my friend got there, without notifying them?”

This is what happened:

“I (32F [female]) had a catch up lunch organised with a friend (32M [male]). This friend is always late to everything.”

“Being late is fine, however in this day and age of mobile phones I have strong feelings that one should try to notify a person if they are running significantly late to a date/meeting.”

“I got the cafe at 12pm which was the arranged time. I sat at a table by myself, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the busy Cafe.”

“At 12.30pm, my friend had not arrived, I’d received no text, so I simply left and went home. At no point did I try to text or ring him to see where he was/how far away he was.”

“The thing is, I knew he hadn’t forgotten our lunch date and that he was just being his usual late self.”

“But I was sick of it.”

“At 12.38, so nearly 40 minutes after our arranged time, I got a message from him saying, ‘I’m here, where are you?’.”

“I replied with, ‘I assumed you weren’t coming so I went home’. I then refused to drive back to the cafe to have the lunch.”

“I know communication works both ways, but AITA?”

“My husband thinks I should’ve just rang him, given that I know his tendency to be late.”

On the AITA subReddit, people are judged for how they react in a given situation. Were they wrong? Were they right? The opinions of internet strangers will decide.

OP was judged with the following acronyms.

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

With the understanding she waited for 40 minutes with no acknowledgement from her friend he was on his way, the board voted OP was NTA.

Maybe OP’s friend should learn to leave earlier.

“NTA! Perhaps now he’ll learn to not be so flippant with your time.”

“This kind of behaviour is infuriating. A text is not difficult to send” – donkeyinamansuit

“It drives me mad” – danceofthefireys (OP)

“NTA. Your friend is rude and clearly values their time more than your own. You shouldn’t have to chase them up and accommodate them as if they were a child.”

“You’ve laid down a boundary now.”

“Keep doing the same until this friend realised that your time is valuable, and that’s it’s common courtesy to 1) show up on time for plans and 2) let someone know if you’re unavoidably delayed- and this means genuinely unexpected delays, eg a flat tyre, a medical issue, etc.” – Sleepy_felines


“40 minutes isn’t just late. Late is 15mins MAX.”

“People who are consistently late to things and don’t bother letting people know they’re going to be late are just disrespectful.”

“They expect everyone else to just adjust around them and do all the communication for them.” – janewilson90

Other comments talked about the lack of respect from OP’s friend, but also from OP herself.

“You are NTA. But (assuming you want to maintain a relationship with someone who so clearly disrespects you and your time) you’re going to have do do this consistently from now on.”

“The day you waver and wait past whatever time you think is reasonable to wait, any progress you’ve made will be lost.”

“Hold the line. Or, hang out with this person a lot less. They do not respect you. If they did, they’d show up.”

“If they have some kind of disability that makes meeting you on time harder, they are still an adult with theoretical self-knowledge and technology exists that can enable them. But they have to decide it’s worth their effort. And right now it’s apparently not.” – merramac

“ESH. Constantly being late is inconsiderate, and leaving after half an hour of waiting is totally reasonable.”

“Imo you lost the moral high ground when you didn’t send a text to let him know you were leaving.” – scarletteapot

Lastly, a group got into the discussion of why some people are perpetually late.

“NTA. As someone who is shitty and late for everything- your friend is in the wrong. At the VERY LEAST he should have contacted you.” – peanutbutter_vibez

“May I ask: why are you late for everything? Do you even feel bad about it? When you say EVERYTHING, do you regularly miss trains and flights? Miss half the movie, concert, theater, etc?” – WinnieCerise

“Not who you’re asking but I’m also someone who struggles to be on time to everything, even things that matter to me.”

“Yes I’ve missed flights, doctors appointments, gotten in trouble at work, etc. Although it’s generally like 15 minutes late, not 30+ minutes.”

“In my case I have pretty severe ADHD and time blindness. I have no concept of how fast time passes. If you asked me to tell you when five minutes has passed, I would have to set a timer or count the whole time to get anywhere close.”

“I regularly underestimate how long things will take for me, because I don’t know how long they normally take. I’m also very easily distracted.”

“I’ve put a massive amount of effort into being on time for things, and getting medicated has helped a lot. It was never that I didn’t care about people’s time, I often wasted my own time and money as well.”

“But I know it’s disrespectful and that’s why I’ve worked so hard at it but it’s a stupid amount of effort for something that is probably pretty easy for most people.” – maddypip

The biggest counters to OP being NTA was she left without saying anything.

But that being said, OP’s friend could have at the very least tried to message her to let her know he was running late too.

This may have been an issue of disrespecting someone’s time, but it’s also a lack of communication.

Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.