Here’s a situation we’ve seen a lot, that we deal with in the book in detail: one business partner disappearing. Often, it’s just too hard and scary to deal with emotionally challenging situations so too often, people who are young and inexperienced, or old and in pain, run rather than confront.

We have a bunch of strategies for dealing with this, but one interesting aspect is: the early warning detection system. What are some signs that a partner is likely to run away from a difficult situation with his partner, rather than confront it with you?

Here are a few signs that we’ve seen:

  • He’s young. This is much more a behavior associated in immaturity than with responsible adults. This obviously doesn’t imply most or even many young people do this; rather, the converse: just if that it is done, it is most likely someone young.
  • This usually happens slowly, not immediately. So he withdraws from communication piecemeal. Longer times before he responds to emails? More unanswered phone calls? Those are big red flags!
  • Is he in a difficult situation, either due to some tense conversations, or for personal reasons? These are often the triggers to just vanishing.