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Woman Called Out For Lying To Habitually Late Boyfriend So He’d Get To Family Event On Time

Frustrated woman gesturing to her watch
Teeramet Thanomkiat/EyeEm/Getty Images

We’ve all known at least one person in our life, whether it was us or someone else, who always managed to be late, often by a noticeable margin.

And we can all agree on how frustrating it is, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor thatgirl829 was tired of her boyfriend always being an hour or more late for events with friends and family, so she came up with a solution to help him be closer to on time.

But when he felt disrespected by her idea, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she had been disrespectful of her partner.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for lying to my boyfriend about when an event starts?”

The OP was frustrated by her boyfriend always running behind.

“So this didn’t happen recently, but it was brought up last night, and my boyfriend seemed to get really mad about it, so I figured I would bring it to the group to see if I’m the a**hole or not.”

“My boyfriend has terrible time management skills and is late for everything.”

“I absolutely hate it because I am the kind of person who believes if you’re not ten minutes early, you’re late.”

“For example, we were invited to a family lunch a few years ago. Everyone was meeting at a restaurant at 11:00 AM. We live ten minutes from said restaurant and my boyfriend waited until 10:55 before getting in the shower or attempting to get ready.”

“We were an hour late meeting the family, who was already well into the meal when we arrived.”

The OP attempted to do something to help with her boyfriend’s perpetual lateness.

“A few months went by and another family gathering invite was sent out, with a ‘start time’ of 1:00 PM.”

“Knowing that he is terrible at getting ready and leaving on time, I told my boyfriend that the event started at Noon, not 1:00.”

“And just as I figured, just before noon, my boyfriend started to get ready. We show up at 1:00, him thinking we’re now an hour late, only to find out that everyone else is just getting there too.”

The OP’s boyfriend was furious with her for lying to him.

“So last night we got to discussing things, and it got brought up how I had lied about what time the event started.”

“I know it’s a s**tty thing to lie and he pointed out, if I can lie about something like that, who’s to say what else I could be lying about?”

“I told him he was right to feel like that, but reminded him that I don’t have locks on my phone and he knows the passwords and pin numbers to all my accounts, so he’s more than welcome to check and see if I’m ‘hiding something.'”

“I explained that I only did it because he has terrible time management skills and can’t seem to be anywhere on time. In my opinion, being repeatedly late to things is rude and it’s a terrible skill to be teaching his children.”

The OP felt conflicted after the conversation.

“He doesn’t have any kind of problems with his family, so there is no reason that he would want to limit his time with them, and it’s not like these gatherings are boring/unfun events (the one I lied about the start time for was actually a family paintball game, which we love to play).”

“I’ve learned my lesson and don’t plan on doing it again in the future, but I just have to know if I’m the a**hole for lying to try and get him to be on time for something that is important to me.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

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

Some pointed out the boyfriend was being disrespectful of other people’s time.

“NTA. He’s being extremely rude and inconsiderate of your time, and everyone else’s.”

“In the future, I would recommend leaving without him. Tell him: ‘It starts at 1 PM, I’m leaving the house at 12:45 PM (or whenever), and I would love it if you were ready and came with me. But if you’re not ready, I am going on my own and will see you there.'”

“A few instances where he has to take a taxi while you’ve left in the car and he might start to improve his behavior.” – hellopanic

“Maybe some people can’t fathom the exact time to start getting ready, but I refuse to believe any adult without mental deficiencies can’t see that you can’t start getting ready FIVE MINUTES before you’re supposed to be there.”

“If people aren’t capable of getting ready to an exact minute, but are five to 15 minutes late, I can sort of understand it, but if you’re starting to get ready five minutes before you’re supposed to be there, it’s not because you can’t manage your time, it’s because you don’t care.” – velsor

“My aunt and uncle are otherwise great people but they always do this and we joke that we should start to lie to them about the start time the way the OP did. This is some kind of habit of my aunt’s side of the family that my uncle and my cousins now that they are adults just started to copy.” – Chinoiserie91

“If he does get to work on time, then he should be able to get to other events on time. If that’s the case, it shows that he just doesn’t care.” – Cassopeia88

Others agreed and pointed out it was something the boyfriend needed to work on.

“My mom is the same as the OP’s boyfriend, and it drove me to be early to everything. That and the fact that for years I didn’t drive and had to bus everywhere and busses here run every 30 minutes or every hour, so I always had to plan to miss at least one bus and still be on time.”

“I’m now perpetually early by around 30 minutes and use that time to just hang out in my car and mentally prepare myself for whatever activity it is I’m doing that day.” – darium4

“I’m someone who has poor time management skills when it comes to getting ready for and leaving for events.”

“For whatever reason, I just can’t seem to judge how long it’s going to take me to get ready, and if I’m going to a new place or a place I don’t frequently go, I don’t always have the best judgment for how long travel will take.”

“But I’m aware of this problem and it’s something I’m working on.”

“So, like, for getting ready, I might think it’ll take me 15 minutes to get ready, so I would start getting ready 15 minutes before leave time, browsing Reddit up until I have to get ready. Instead, if I think it’s going to take me 15 minutes to get ready, I start getting ready an hour before I have to leave, and just browse Reddit after I’m done getting ready until it’s time to leave.”

“Or, for travel time, I’ll look up the travel time the day before, and add five minutes to it if it’s a less than 20-minute drive and ten minutes to it if it’s a more than 20-minute drive. And when I’m getting ready, I’ll set an alarm for five minutes before I have to leave, so I don’t lose track of time.”

“I still don’t budget my time to be early to social events, as I feel it’s rude to show up at someone’s house before they’re expecting you, and I get anxious about waiting for people when I’m out in public.”

“I feel as though it’s acceptable to be up to 10 minutes late to a social gathering, depending on the activity, without being an a**hole. But if I’m going to fall into that window, I still let people know I’m running late.”

“Being an hour late to something, presumably without letting anyone know, is a whole different matter. That’s just crazy to me.”

“That’s not poor time management. That’s blatant disrespect for other people and their time. Especially when this seems to be a pattern and he seems to be doing nothing about it.” – BATMANS_MOM

“My SO (significant other) used to run so f**king late (he still does, but used to too) to everything. I could not figure out how he managed it, it was that bad.”

“Then one day when we had to be somewhere together, I said, ‘We have to be there by 1:30, so we should leave here by 1:00.'”

“He looked at me, shocked, and said, ‘That’s what I need to do, start figuring out what time I need to leave by!’ like it was my own brilliant invention.”

“I was like …you’re 32 and a doctor… how have you been getting through life all this time??” – glittercosmonaut

“This is my friend to a T and it’s infuriating.”

“She says, ‘It takes me ten minutes to get there.’ No sweetie, it never has, and it sure as h**l won’t be that quick at 5:30 PM on a weekday in a metro area.”

“‘I’m almost ready,’ as she’s jumping in the shower when I arrive at her place to drive to the thing together. Cue a 40-minute wait.”

“‘I just have to put my shoes on,’ as she starts throwing a load in the dryer, cleaning up some dishes in the sink, looking for her purse, looking for her keys…”

“Luckily it’s because she’s clueless rather than selfish, but I’m still left banging my head against the wall. No amount of explaining why it’s so d**n disrespectful has changed her behavior. It’s like, I love you, but Jesus f**king Ch**t.” – winodinotime

The subReddit was overwhelmed, thinking about how disrespectful the OP’s boyfriend had been of everyone’s time over the years, including the OP’s.

Fortunately, it’s something the boyfriend could theoretically work on if he so chose, and since the OP had even tried to “trick him” into better behavior, perhaps it was something she would help him work on, too.

Not all poor behaviors are dealbreakers, but that doesn’t make them any less disrespectful.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit