11 Experiences That Will Show You Who Your Partner Really Is

Your partner might be fantastic when the times are good and the champagne is flowing, but what are they really like when you hit a bend in the road? What are they like when they drop their guard? Here are 11 times when you need to keep an eye out for their behavior because it’ll tell you loads about them.

  1. When they’re around their friends Meeting the friends is always a big deal, but not just because you hope to make a great impression. You should also be sussing out how your partner behaves around their best buddies. Do they become a total a-hole? Do they get into bar brawls and get totally drunk out of their mind? Or, are they the same sweetheart that they always are around you?
  2. When you face an obstacle Life throws lemons at you, sometimes a whole bunch of them simultaneously. That’s when you need your support system around you. Does your partner come to your side instantly and help you get through the difficult times, or do they make the situation all about them and their needs?
  3. When you lose your mind in front of them You can’t be smiling and happy all the time—you’re not a robot. How they react to your crying sessions or fits of rage on a particularly bad day can tell you if they’re worth having at your side. They’re a keeper if they’re there to listen to you and know that the best thing to do when you’re feeling so emotional is just to be there. They’re not a keeper if they bolt from the room and are quick to call you crazy.
  4. When you call them five times in one hour You’re not clingy—you really need to get a hold of them because of something super-important but they’re nowhere to be found. Later, how do they react to your missed calls and texts? Do they get annoyed or do they apologize, thinking something really urgent must have happened? Or, do they act like nothing happened and not even ask you about it? Much like getting angry with you, that’s a red flag.
  5. When the vacation turns into a nightmare In spite of all your holiday planning, sometimes vacations can end up being total nightmares where everything goes wrong. How does your partner handle getting stuck on the side of the highway with a flat, flight delays, or bad weather that means you can’t do all the fun holiday activities you had planned? They shouldn’t be adding to the drama.
  6. When you bump into their ex at the mall You’re shopping with your S.O. when their ex appears in the veggie aisle, beaming at them. Here’s an opportunity to see what your partner is like. Do they introduce you as their girlfriend or do they get all weird and quiet? Do they try to dodge their ex by pulling you into a different aisle or do they treat them kindly? You want to feel respected in the situation and like your partner isn’t being weird because of an ulterior motive, like still harboring feelings.
  7. When you don’t want to see them for a while Hey, you need a day or two to do you! Does your partner understand that? If not, and they act like a toddler who isn’t getting their way when you say you’ve got to take a rain-check on your date so you can have some “me” time, they’re obviously the kind of person who always wants things done according to their rules. They should know that some space in a relationship is gold and strengthens your bond.
  8. When you stop playing hard to get They were chasing you hard when you were playing hard to get, but now that they’ve got you in a relationship, what’s their behavior like? They shouldn’t become lazy or take you for granted. If they do that, it’s not a good omen for things to come.
  9. When you’re sick in bed with the flu on a big night out It’s their band’s big gig or their bro’s wedding but you’re sick as a dog. You just want your bed and a Ryan Gosling movie to keep you company. How your partner reacts says a lot. Although they might not always be able to get out of planned commitments, they should be supporting you and checking in to see how you’re doing with lots of TLC thrown in. Of course, best case scenario is if they cancel whatever they had on to be next to you.
  10. When you get a job opportunity that means living somewhere else LDRs totally suck and they can be difficult to keep going, but your partner should see beyond his discomfort to what you need. THey should support your goals and agree to be there for you no matter how much physical distance there will be between you. Otherwise, they’re really not in it for the long haul.
  11. When you tell them you don’t want to do something They might be super-charming when you’re keen to do the same hobbies they do on the weekend, but what happens when you flip the script and say “no” for a change? Do they lose their marbles or become nasty? Or do they just not take “no” for an answer? Ugh, you don’t need that kind of pressure.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.