Whether it's white lies to your boo, being perpetually late, or ditching a hookup, being true to your word is hard for some people. Three writers into The Q learn to level up by doing what they say and saying what they mean.
I think my boyfriend tells me what he thinks I want to hear, then turns around and does whatever he wants.
He says he’ll pick up milk, then forgets. He says he’ll mail something, and it sits in his backseat for a week. He says he’ll be home at 7 p.m., then rolls in at midnight.
When I ask, he unloads about his schedule. I’m busy too, but when I say I’m going to do something, I do it. Isn’t reasonable to expect the same?
Have you ever noticed how everyone is busier than everyone else? It smacks of disregard for others.
Some perpetual promisers are worried about disappointing others and take on more than they can handle. Others are afraid of conflict, so they agree to everything. A few are actually as selfish as they appear and shut you up with no intention of following through.
I don’t have enough information to say which of these fits your boyfriend, but the upshot for you is the same: disappointment. If he’s worth it, sit him down and show him his pattern. Put it on him to fix it, and decide not to rely on him any more until he does.
I have this friend who’s always late. Always. I’ve begrudgingly grown used to it, but they recently kept a new acquaintance and I waiting nearly an hour for dinner. We were starving by the time they got there, and the guest left with a bad impression of both of us.
I’ve tried talking to them, but they’re full of excuses. How can I get through that thick skull that late isn’t cute?
You’ve come to the right place to commiserate, but only briefly. If your friend writes me wanting to change, I’ll give them an earful about respecting people’s time, and how grown adults are only as good as their word. But since you are the one writing, what I won’t do is help you try to fix their issues.
Occasional trouble scheduling is part of life, but acceptance of repeated behavior is on you. Stop being a doormat to their habitual tardiness.
You could figure out your friend’s patterns and work around them. If they’re perpetually 30, 45, 60 minutes late, factor it in, and tell them an earlier start time than everyone else. If they have to wait on you once in a while – and if your description is accurate, they won’t – all the better to get your message across.
Another option is to continue your plans without them. Warn them how it’s going to be, and stick to your word. When they show up late and you’re wrapping dinner, they may learn over time. They may not, but no one is left hungry but them.
I set up a Grindr hookup, then decided I wasn’t into it and never showed up. I never sent him a message about it, but I figure those are the breaks for hookups. What do you think?
Dear Fickle Pickle:
You don’t owe strangers on the internet an explanation, but you might owe yourself some good karma and personal integrity. Your call.
The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to [email protected]
Illustration by Brad Gibson
This article originally appeared in Q magazine. Pick it up around town, and read the full issue below: