Here it goes:

There are people who are literally terrified of failing at anything, and relationships are just one piece of the puzzle. They give their all to whatever they pursue, and can’t face that their efforts might not bear out in something as important as a love relationship.

I have checked a few online dictionaries and each of them says that bear out means to support or confirm something or someone, besides, it is a transitive phrasal verb, but there, it seems, it was used as an intransitive phrasal verb.

  • bear out=to result in something, often used in the passive and past tense: to be borne out [by scientific study, for example]
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 17:17
  • Good question, Dmytro.
    – TimR
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


The quoted text is from an Aug 15, 2017 article by Randi Gunther Ph.D., on the "Psychology Today" website, entitled "10 Reasons Some People Just Can't Let Go of an Ex - The sorrow of unrequited love." It might have been good if you had stated that. The phrasal verb "bear out" is here used in a non-standard way, and I suspect that the writer intended another phrasal verb, namely "bear fruit", but overlooked the error when publishing the text on the site.

Bear out: "to support the truth of something, or to support someone's statement or claim:"

The facts don’t bear out your fears. The evidence so far simply does not bear him out.


Bear fruit: "If something that someone does bears fruit, it produces successful results:

Eventually her efforts bore fruit and she got the job she wanted."


  • +1. I think the author wanted to say pan out but that didn't seem fitting for a love relationship, which isn't like panning for gold.
    – TimR
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 18:37
  • Pan out is a little casual for the original context, and also a bit regional N. American. Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 18:42
  • The author is from California. Last time I checked, it was part of N. America, though it may not always be.
    – TimR
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 18:46
  • This site, unless I miss my guess, is about standard English rather than American English. Also, efforts bear fruit, while a process or plan pans out (ends, concludes). Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 19:10
  • 1
    You miss your guess. There is no "standard English". There are only standard Englishes.
    – TimR
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 21:11

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