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.