How long do you wait for someone before you leave?

Situation: I had a date tonight with someone I know very casually. We were supposed to meet at a restaurant at 5pm, and I waited until 5:15 and then left. My feeling was, this is a first date. He told me he was off today and HE set the time and place. If he couldn’t make it on time, he could have left a message or something for me at the restaurant.

I spoke to a guy friend, and he said I should have given the guy at least 5-10 more minutes. I say, for a first date with a relative stranger, your ass better be on time or I’m not bothering with you (esp. considering I wasn’t terrifically interested in this guy anyway). So, in your opinion, was I too hasty, or what?

Let me add that, if he were my boyfriend, or a good friend, I definitely would have waited longer. I just felt kind of stupid, sitting there by myself, waiting for this guy I hardly know. After 15 minutes, I knew I was going to be ticked off and would be inclined to give him shit about his lateness, so I figured leaving would be the least stressful option.

Wait at least 22 minutes.

I’m a 20 minute person. That space of time affords me the option to:

a) be a little late and apologize upon arrival

b) call the party waiting for me and apologize

c) request that you comply with the Chimpmunk Liberation Front demands, otherwise I’ll end up stuffed into a bus station locker in Baltimore.

That was supposed to be Chipmunk-dammit.

I nearly always carry something to read so am more patient than most. If the person I’m waiting for is 10 minutes late I’d order something maybe a coffee or drink an entree if hungry. If the latecomer arrives and wants to eat, they can catch up. If they don’t arrive I can eat on or go. If they arrive and they are boring I can read my book.

I went with my twin to meet one of her internet dates. We were late. He had waited 15 minutes before telling himself (told me all of this much later) that since we were late he’d give us an extra five minutes to make it. We did, barely. Turns out, she didn’t really like him, but he and I did have a bit of a spark.

We’ll celebrate our first year anniversary this April.

I’m glad he waited.

I have my own Time machine™ and Remote Control of the Fates™ (RCF), so I have no problems waiting till they show up, inputting the time into my Time Machine™ and then using my RCF™ to reset things so I can get some work done while I’m waiting. If I run late, I just Time Machine™ back.

15 to 20 minutes is long enough. It’s incredibly difficult to be completely unable to get a message through somehow. If I’m running late, I call.

I guess I still give people the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone has a cellular phone, and the poor schmuck could’ve been sitting stuck between exits on the freeway because of an accident. I typically give someone a half-hour if we’re meeting for dinner or something like that which isn’t especially time sensitive.

But you were supposed to meet at 5 and the time stamp on your post was 8:40 and I’m presuming that the guy hadn’t made some attempt to contact you, so you were probably right to leave when you did.

Unless of course he was stuck somewhere and couldn’t call, got there, found that you’d left and was so terribly embarrassed since this was a first date and all that he couldn’t muster the courage to call you. You say that you know him casually – does he strike you as a shy or really sensitive kind of guy?

I agree with what you did. I would wait longer for a good friend, but not for a first date.

And what if the person you’re waiting for is struck by a car as they are running to meet you? And say they are paralysed and determined not to let you know until they can walk again? How long should you wait then?

At least until the remake!

In this case, I’d say 23 minutes. No more.


Oh no. If he wasn’t there AT five waiting for YOU then the relationship will be one where he will take advantage of you at every turn. This kind of behavior is very indicative of future performance.
If he has no time management skills and you are one to be (rightly so) impatient after fifteen minutes then “Buh-Bye”.

I was that guy. I know better now. Be on time.

I’m a 20 - 30 minute person myself. I’ll wait that long, but the excuse for being that late better be something like, “I got stuck in traffic” or something tangible. Not, “Oh, I got a phone call and we talked for a really long time.” (One of my friends did this to me all the time. She’d be HOURS late, and her excuses were flimsy or nonexistant. She knew I had no car and wasn’t going anywhere, so she took her sweet time.) Thankfully those days have been over for a LONG time.

I hasten to add, though, that I have lateness problems myself, so I feel obliged to be forgiving with other latecomers. However, I tend to think that in a situation like the one in the OP, (meeting someone I didn’t know really well) I’d be on time. Or no more than 15 minutes late. Or at least I’d call! That’s why God invented cell phones!

A first date, he set the time and place and he was off that day? Hell, he should have been early!

15 minutes was enough time to wait. And if the assumption tlw made above about him not calling to apologize is right, your instincts were totally on the mark. If he calls at some point with an amazing excuse (hospitalization might do it), I might reconsider, but not otherwise.

I used to be very anal about people being on time. People who would never steal money from me would steal bits and pieces of my life away from me that I could never get back. As I age, I have mellowed.

The amount of time I wait is dependant the person upon which I am waiting and how entertaining the place is at which I wait. However, 20 minutes seems reasonable, especially for someone who is chronically late.

He doesn’t have my phone #, so he couldn’t call with an apology. He COULD have called the restaurant and left a message for me if he knew he wasn’t going to make it on time. And like I said, first date, he’s off, he set the time and place… so I think 15 minutes is long enough. It’s kind of embarrassing to sit at a bar and wait for someone, and I waited as long as I could, until I got pretty ticked off and just left. I walked a block to my car, then swung by the place again, and no sign of him.

His loss. No chance of me making a second date with him, no matter what his excuse was. I don’t have time for this kind of nonsense.

Wow. You must really get hungry. Didn’t your mom ever teach you to chew?

I’d say 15 to 20 minutes is a good time to wait. I’m not the impatient sort, so I wouldn’t mind waiting around a bit longer. Still, if I ever ended up running late, I would certainly use whatever means are available to contact you to inform you of this fact. I would certainly contact you afterwards to either apologize profusely or ask if there was a miscommunication (if I was somewhat unsure as to whose fault it was that we missed each other).

Chimpmunk was pretty darn funny. Is fair use acceptable?

You might consider giving advance warning to any future dates of your lateness intolerance.

Leaving the scene after waiting fifteen minutes is fair, but not giving him a second chance is entirely something else. If I were interested in dating someone who would kill any possible relationship were I fifteen minutes late, even if attributable to forces beyond my control (this possibility has not yet been ruled out), well, I would want to know that up front and then I probably would say “no thanks” and spare us all some needless headaches.

I’m not saying that being fifteen minutes late is acceptable but I would not want to be in a relationship with someone who could not forgive fifteen minutes of lateness, especially if it were caused by a flat tire or so.

I probably would move on, though, if it became a pattern.