8 Early Signs Your Partner Won't Fight For The Relationship When It Gets Tough
by Kristine Fellizar
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In every relationship, ups and downs are inevitable. If you want your relationship to last, both you and your partner need to work as a team in order to navigate the rough patches together. One partner can't be doing all the work while the other sits back and hopes things will magically get better. So how can you tell early on if your partner is going to fight for your relationship when things get tough? According to experts, there are signs you can look out for.

"In a relationship that’s not strong, when the going gets tough, the tough often go running," Julie Spira, CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert tells Bustle. "But every relationship goes through bumps in the road, especially after the honeymoon stage wanes." Even though you're more likely to see your partner in a very good light during the early stages, little things they do here and there can indicate what kind of partner they may be to you in the future.

As therapist Julie Williamson, LPC, tells Bustle, there are many reasons as to why some people bail when the going gets tough. For instances, it could mean that they lack that "positive coping, communication, and conflict resolution skills necessary to endure difficult circumstances," she says. Basically, if your partner exhibits any of the signs, don't think it's because of you — they may have some personal issues they need to work on.

Here are some early signs your partner may not fight for your relationship when the going gets tough, according to experts.


Your Partner Isn't As Empathetic As You Would Like

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Life happens. You can have a great, high-paying job one day and get laid off the next. According to Spira, if your partner is willing to listen to you and be empathetic to your change in circumstances (whatever it may be), then you have a keeper. "That's a sign of someone who’s not selfish and thinks about your needs over theirs," she says. "But when someone quickly bails when your life becomes less than perfect, they’re doing you a favor." This is especially important to look out for in the early stages. If they can't be there for you early on, how can you expect them to be there for you when things get tough?


Difficult Emotions Makes Them Feel Uneasy

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It's important to look at how your partner deals with difficult emotions, Williamson says. Do they have healthy coping skills they use during difficult times? How have they dealt with difficult emotions coming from other relationships (i.e. friends, family, work, exes, etc)? If your partner gets weird when you start to talk about your feelings early on or brushes it aside in an effort to ignore it, she says that's a sign they may not fight for your relationship later on.


Their Parents Dealt With Conflict In Unhealthy Ways

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While your partner will not emulate their parents perfectly, it's something to take into consideration. "We often adopt our parent's way of dealing with conflict, or sometimes, we may decide we want to be nothing like our parents, and deal with conflict the opposite way that they did," Williamson says. If you find out that that your partner's parents dealt with conflicts in a negative way, she says it's OK to ask how that has influenced their conflict resolution skills. If they don't indicate that they're working on it or have any role models they look to for healthy examples, that may be a red flag.


It Takes A Huge Effort For Them To Make Plans With You

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"Aside from certain exceptions (for example children, dependent family members, or work emergencies), when you are in a relationship with someone, it is expected that your relationship will be a priority," Lori Bizzoco, Executive editor and founder of, tells Bustle. If your partner has trouble making the effort to make you feel like a priority early on, they may not fight for your relationship later.


They're Very Lax On Other Important Aspects Of Their Life

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Having a "go with the flow" attitude isn't necessarily a bad thing. But when it comes to important things like work, their health, or their relationship with their family, your partner should show more care and effort. As Bizzoco says this lack of effort in other aspects of their life can actually signal laziness. "When people are unwilling to put in any effort towards their own affairs, it’s unlikely that they would put any effort towards anything else, much less a relationship."


They're Secretive

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Open and honest communication is key in a long-lasting relationship. As we all know, healthy relationships require trust from both parties. "Without it, trouble will almost always be lurking around the corner," Bizzoco says. "If your partner is keeping things from you now, when the going gets tough, don’t be alarmed if [they surprise] you with information that you weren’t privy to and walks out."


They're Kind Of Immature

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Someone can show their immaturity in a number of different ways. For instance, they may be the type to always have the last word. They may act funny when you want to have a serious discussion or they'll make you feel like you two are competitors instead of teammates. "Being with a partner who is childish can cause a lot of grievances, especially when situations arise, and you are expecting that person to make mature decisions," Bizzoco says. "When in a relationship like this, you can expect that partner to want to end things over something little because they cannot handle the maturity of being in an adult relationship."


They Don't Make You Feel Like They'd Fight For The Relationship

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Your partner doesn't even have to do or say anything specific. You just may feel like something is off. If you have a feeling that they'll bail on you when the going gets tough, Williamson says you need to listen to that. "Trust your gut," she says. If it's telling you that your partner isn't the type to fight for your relationship, you may need to have a discussion about it with them.

So, if your partner is showing any of these signs early on, what should you do? As Bizzoco says, you first need to evaluate the situation to make sure there aren't other factors involved that are causing them to act a certain way. After all, you wouldn't want to end a relationship over a misunderstanding or lack of communication.

"However, if this behavior is constant and you have determined that this is just the type of person your partner is, the best thing to do is consider ending the relationship while you still can," she says. "The last thing you want is to continue investing in a relationship that isn’t going anywhere."

It's a given that any relationship you enter into will have its ups and downs. If you want a relationship that lasts, you need to choose a partner that's willing to work through the trouble spots with you. Being aware of the qualities that make a good partner early on can help you weed out the bad ones.