If He Can’t Meet You on Time, It’s Time to Move On

Ask Demetria: If your boyfriend is constantly standing you up, he might be giving you a hint about where your relationship stands.

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Dear Demetria:

My boyfriend is constantly forgetting we have plans. I will wait hours for him to show up, and he doesn't. When I call, he says he totally forgot and got caught up in something else, usually hanging with his BFF. This happens every two to three weeks. Am I overreacting to be upset by this? —Anonymous

There are two likely reasons why your boyfriend keeps forgetting about you or, perhaps, pretends to. Neither one bodes well for you.

One: He means well enough, but you are far down on his list of priorities, way after his BFF, whom he allegedly spends all his time with and is clearly at the top of the heap. You are so far down, and he's so into his BFF that he's not even making you an afterthought; he's totally erasing you.

Two: The other possible reason is that standing you up repeatedly-—and once was bad enough—is his passive-aggressive way of breaking up with you. But you're not taking the hint. Some guys don't want to be "the bad guy" and in a misguided attempt to avoid drama, they behave poorly, hoping that their mate will get fed up and end things for them. It's very immature, and unfortunately, very common.

Whatever the catalyst behind your partner's repeated bad behavior, it's clear that he just isn't that into you. But you know who he is into? His BFF. Because that's who he remembers to see. (And it's entirely possible that he's lying about who he is with.) Whoever he's with has him so caught up he's forgetting about or ignoring his plans with you, and you are not overreacting to be upset about it. (I imagine he said you were making a big deal out of nothing?) In fact, you're not reacting enough.

You can't force him to like you, any more than you can force him to remember you, but you can stop this poor treatment by removing yourself from the situation—literally.

The first time he stood you up should have been the last. Instead of sitting there alone for hours and blowing up his phone, you should have left after 20 minutes, tops. The second time it happened, you should have realized what was going on: that you weren't a priority to him.

I don't know exactly how many times you've put up with being stood up, but you've shown him with your behavior—waiting for hours, remaining in the relationship—that it's entirely OK to treat you this way. And it isn't.

Since this has happened repeatedly, I'm convinced the relationship is pretty much over. He has a pattern of disrespecting you, and you have a pattern of allowing disrespect. It's hard to get that back on track. But if you want to give your man one last try, tell him that what he's been doing is unacceptable, and you're not putting up with it anymore. Say that if it happens again, you're done. And then you actually have to go—and find someone who respects you and your time.

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