There are a lot of moments that shape your relationship and can show you who your partner really is. If you want to know whether or not your partner is truly ride or die, pay close attention to when these defining instances happen. As experts say, some key relationship moments can help you determine whether your partner is in it for the long haul or not.
As certified relationship coach Rosalind Sedacca, tells Bustle, even the most seemingly insignificant moment can show you how committed your partner really is. "When you're with a partner who's ride or die, you know you're in good hands," she says. That's because a ride or die partner isn't afraid to show their commitment to you, whether you're out having fun together with friends or arguing about money.
"Partners in the ride or die mode are essential because life throws curves at us all the time," she says. "We can't always be the perfect partner we'd like to be. So it's important to have a partner who loves us for who we are — dirt, damage and all!"
It's not always easy to tell if your partner is going to stick around long-tern. So here are some moments that can help you determine how truly committed your partner is, according to experts.
When It's Your Birthday And They Put In The Effort To Make It Special
Birthdays may not matter for some people. But if celebrating yours is important and you've directly expressed it, a ride or die partner will not only remember your birthday every year but will be there to celebrate with you. "It’s the one day of the year that’s devoted to celebrating you," Holly Zink, relationship expert for Grapevine, tells Bustle. "If they can’t make the time to do something special for you, they may not be the person for you."
When You Have A Death In The Family And They Are There For You
Having a death in the family is a sad moment that no one ever wants to experience. In tough moments like these, pay attention to what your partner does. As Zink says, "Your partner should be by your side to support you in any way they can." If you need a shoulder to cry on or you need help making arrangements, someone who is devoted to you will be there with you through the darkest times.
When They Try To Make You Feel Comfortable While Meeting Their Family
If your partner invites you to a big family gathering because they want you to meet the important people in their life, you're already off to a really good start. But if they go the extra mile to make sure you are completely comfortable, they're definitely a keeper. "This shows that your partner is a 'ride or die' because they care enough to orient you with other people in their lives who are also their 'ride or die,'" North Carolina-based psychotherapist, Connie Omari, LPC, tells Bustle. "By placing you within a category of people with whom they are already committed to, they are essentially inviting you to join the crowd."
When You Notice That Your Partner Starts Using "We" Instead Of "Me"
This may not be a big event like a holiday gathering or a birthday, but this subtle moment of realization can really solidify how your partner sees your relationship. According to Omari, when your partner uses words like "we" and "us" instead of "I" and "me" while talking about their goals for the future, they are mentally planning for a life that includes you.
When They Sincerely Apologize For Something They Did Wrong
Sometimes it's hard to suck up your pride and admit that you're wrong. As Omari says, it's difficult to say "I'm sorry" because it's "an experience that comes at their own expense," and it makes them more vulnerable. But if your partner is truly ride or die, they'll be able to do so without any sort of prompting from you. "This shows they care more about their relationship with you than they do about protecting their own self-image and ego," she says.
When They Take Care Of You When You're Sick
We're all going to get sick at some point, so you should be able to say that your partner is going to be there for you during those moments, especially if you're thinking of a lifelong commitment. "Being a caregiver is not an easy task," Amica Graber, relationship expert with TruthFinder, tells Bustle. "If someone is willing to do it for you, they're going to be there for you no matter what." A partner who is seriously committed will show up with soup when you're feeling sick or be your "rock" when a chronic illness flares up. If you're dealing with a mental illness, Graber says, being able to share your struggles with your partner in a judgment-free setting is also another huge sign that someone is truly ride or die.
When They Celebrate Your Successes With You
Most people naturally assume that a loyal partner will be there for you during the bad times. But if your partner is truly ride or die, Graber says, they'll also be there for you during your successes without feeling insecure about themselves, threatened, or jealous.
When They Keep Plans With You Even If Something "More Fun" Comes Along
When someone isn't ride or die material, you'll know by their flaky and noncommittal attitude. As therapist Sarah Tottle tells Bustle, "If you're trying to plan events but your partner is vague and noncommittal, that may mean they lack the interest to see the relationship through." For some, it's easy to flake out on a date night with their partner when their friends invite them to a cool last minute thing. A ride or die partner won't do that. They have enough respect for you and your time to make plans and actually follow through with them.
When They Stick Up For You In Public
Loyalty is one of the most important qualities in a relationship. "When you see your partner being loyal to you, you'll know that they're always going to be there for you," Graber says. According to her, loyalty can take many forms. For instance, they may refuse to go to a store where the sales associate was rude to you or they'll defend you against a joke someone made at your expense. Loyalty shows that someone is fully invested in your relationship, Graber says. If your partner is ride or die, you'll never have to question their loyalty to you.
When You Notice They're Working On Some Of Their Habits That Bother You
When you spend a ton of time with someone, you're going to start noticing little things they do that may irritate you. If your partner doesn't notice what your major pet peeves are and tries to work on them, therapist Katie Leikam, LCSW, tells Bustle, this could be a sign that they don't value you as much as much you need to them to. If you tell them a habit of theirs is annoying and they won't stop or they keep doing it to annoy you even more, this doesn't bode well for a long-term partnership. A ride or die partner will pay attention, listen to your concerns, and will do their best to change the habit that irritates you. Keep in mind, this isn't about wanting to change your partner completely. It's about tweaking little behaviors like remembering to put the toilet seat down or washing their dishes right after they eat.
When You Plan A Major Event Together And It Makes Your Relationship Stronger
"If you can make it through the wedding planning process together and still want to get married, you have found your ride or die," Jen Henderson, owner and lead wedding planner of A Fresh Event, tells Bustle. Planning big events like a wedding require a lot of conversations you wouldn't normally have. According to Henderson, you'll have to have a real talk about money, you'll have to figure out ways to make both of your families happy, and you'll have to deal with all the stress of things that will inevitably go wrong. "A lot of true colors surface in times like these," she says. "Though it's a very happy and enjoyable time in life, it's certainly one that I would classify as ride or die."
When They Comfort You After You've Had A Bad Day At Work
"A lack of empathy is a red flag that is so red it ought to be on fire," psychotherapist Laura F. Dabney, MD, tells Bustle. If your partner doesn't offer you any sort of emotional support when you're having a rough day but expects it from you, they are definitely not your ride or die. "Happy, lasting relationships are built on a foundation of intimacy," Dr. Dabney says. "This requires an ongoing give and take by both individuals. Relationships that are built on anything less are just headed for heartache."
When They Choose Their Words Carefully During Fights
If you're looking to be with your partner long-term, they better have some good conflict resolution skills. A ride or die partner knows not to shut down and leave when things need to be discussed. They'll listen to you during fights and they won't say things in the heat of the moment that will make the situation worse. "Couples who keep their bearings and remember, 'I’m angry, but this is someone I really love,' can walk through conflict more carefully and thoughtfully," board certified psychiatrist, Dr. Melissa Deuter, tells Bustle. More often than not, their fights tend to get resolved much quicker.
When They Feel Completely Comfortable Doing "Awkward" Things Around You That They Wouldn't Do Around Anyone Else
When you're with someone who's going to be there for you forever, there's a level of comfort between the two of you that you can't get with anyone else. As Omari says, "If they are willing to do things around you that would be considered 'embarrassing' in front of someone with whom they don’t consider a close connection, they're your ride or die." Examples of this include using the bathroom with the doors open or passing gas during intimate moments. If your partner can do these "gross" things around you behind closed doors, they're very comfortable being themselves around you.
When They Make You Feel Seen And Heard By Actually Listening To You
A partner who is ride or die will spend time getting to know you. They're happy to just spend a few moments each day talking to you. "There's always more to learn about another person, no matter how long you've been together," therapist Christie Sears Thompson, MA, tells Bustle. When you stay curious about each other and spend time each day asking each other deeper questions, you're building a strong emotional connection that will help your relationship last.
There are so many moments that make up a relationship, both big and small. These are just a few of them that can help you know that your partner is really in it with you for the long haul.