Relationship Green Flags You Should Look For

Looking out for green flags while on a date

Most of us know what a red flag is, but for those that don’t, let us give you an example. Your partner sends you a voicemail, but you can’t figure out the intent behind their words, so you have to forward it to your friends to decode it. The fact that you even need to decode the message is a red flag.

Human connection is vital when it comes to our physical health. We look to find others who make us feel loved and secure. Who doesn’t want to feel understood and appreciated? Unfortunately, you can lack one or more of these basic human needs if you’re in a toxic situation.

That said, paying attention to your relationship green flags is just as important to help calm any doubt or anxiety.

What Exactly Is a Relationship Green Flag?

A green flag doesn’t mean that you’re having a wonderful day together or that your partner paid you a compliment.

Instead, green flags are signs that allow us to gain some insight into our long-term relationships with other people like coworkers, friends, and, especially, a potential new dating prospect.

So, what is a true green flag? How do you know what you should be on the lookout for regarding a relationship? We’ve got all the answers below, so let’s dive in.

Green Flag Definition

The definition of a red flag is a signal that tells us it may be time to cut off the relationship. However, green flags are positive signs that your relationship will thrive as it continues through the long haul.

Green flags display someone’s openness, values, character, and much more. When you know and understand the common red and green flags, you can be more confident that your relationship is headed in a positive direction. Then you can take steps to strengthen a new (or current) relationship.

Relationship Green Flag Examples

A “red flag” is typically identified by toxic traits such as narcissism, aggression, and sometimes manipulative behavior. For example, if you’re dating someone and they always attempt to make you feel guilty for going out with your friends, but they hang out all night with theirs, this is considered manipulative behavior and, therefore, a red flag.

On the other hand, green flags demonstrate healthy relationship behavior that provides more opportunities for deeper connections. Here are a few indicators of a positive, healthy relationship.

1). It’s Easy to Have Difficult Conversations Regarding Your Relationship

Most relationships communicate their feelings on some level, but a strong connection allows you to feel comfortable discussing your feelings on all subjects, including difficult ones.

No one is perfect. Every couple makes mistakes and will have disagreements. However, the difference between an unhealthy and healthy relationship is how they feel about having awkward and uneasy conversations.

You should feel open to discussing anything, including challenging subjects. This allows both people to search for solutions that may strengthen your bond.

Conversely, suppressing your thoughts and feelings builds distance between the two. As a result, emotions simmer, increasing anxiety and anger, which may create even more conflict.

2). It’s Easier to Discuss Your Emotions

Someone who feels at ease discussing their emotions in a relationship is a giant green flag. Even though you may initially experience discomfort, you can have challenging conversations with honesty, respect, and kindness, which helps maintain and even strengthen your bond.

When you’re vulnerable in your relationship, it typically indicates that your significant other is willing to strengthen their connection with you.

It also indicates that you’ve successfully formed a safe space for them (and you) to share your emotions. This is another definite green flag. (See next)

3). You Are Their Safe Space (And They’re Yours)

In a relationship, you should always have a safe place to share your feelings with your partner. Building self-acceptance helps you feel empowered to do this.

In addition, building self-acceptance gives us freedom from depending on our external environment to provide us with peace. In other words, you don’t need someone else to tell you you’re beautiful because you’ve already accepted that you are an extraordinary person, but in a confident rather than cocky manner.

A friend’s approval can empower and encourage you to express yourself without feeling judged, but you don’t need their acceptance to do so.

Being with people most important to us should make you feel at ease. There’s no point in spending time with those who make you feel awkward and like you can’t be your true self.

4). They Validate You and Your Emotions

While you don’t need their validation, it feels good to get it because they are important in your life (green flag). But on the other hand, someone who regularly invalidates your feelings and emotions causes great emotional exhaustion (red flag).

Again, you shouldn’t rely on your family and friends to be your primary and only source of validation, even if finding those who honor and understand your feelings is vital. Here are 3 ways your loved ones can validate your feelings:

  • Revitalize Your Energy: Find someone who can raise your energy level when you need it. For example, when you’re sad, they can offer sympathy. Also, look for people who match your level of energy. For instance, they’re excited right along with you when you’re joyful. If you ever feel overwhelmed and need a few moments alone, they’re the ones who will sit quietly and wait for you to recharge.
  • Normalize Your Feelings: Instead of challenging your feelings, they accept and validate them, reassuring you that your feelings are natural and everyone has them. Their appropriate response lets you know that your emotions are valid and reasonable.
  • Good Listeners: Your loved ones don’t just hear what you say. They actively listen to what you say and do so with eye contact, touch, verbal cues, and face toward you as you speak. They offer undivided attention and give suggestions to your situation when needed.

5). They’re Ok with Apologizing

Apologizing isn’t always easy, but it is vital to maintaining a healthy relationship. Pay attention to how your significant other apologizes. Do they deflect and put the blame back onto you or someone else, or do they own their mistakes? Can they listen to constructive criticism without becoming defensive?

If your partner shrugs off responsibility and refuses to take accountability for their actions, it indicates their ego takes precedence over the person they hurt..

In addition, if someone denies their actions to control the narrative, it may mean they’re an emotional vampire. Here are samples of fake apologies a person uses to shift the blame:

  • It wasn’t my intent to make you feel bad
  • I feel bad that you’re upset about what happened
  • I was attempting to impress my family and friends. That’s why I said it like that

When your significant other reflects and doesn’t DE-flect, they take ownership of their actions. Doing so demonstrates they have mutual respect and value your security, comfort, and safety. Here are a few examples:

  • I’m sorry I hurt you, and I wish I could take it all back
  • I understand my words hurt you. For that, I’m sorry because it wasn’t my intention
  • I wish I had considered your feelings before I took action
  • I regret not thinking through my actions beforehand

6). They Look Forward to a Future with You

Someone interested in creating a future with you will be comfortable making plans because they see you in their life long-term. So, if they’re expressing their desire for the relationship to last, it’s a green flag.

However, if someone dodges the question, where do you see us in the future? You may have a red flag on your hands. Avoiding discussing the future with you can mean they don’t care about or appreciate you and likely don’t plan on sticking around for long.

Signs That They Are the One

When you first meet someone, it’s easy to tell if they’re someone you’d be interested in dating. But then, as the relationship continues, you have a more challenging time figuring out if they’re the one you’d like to spend a lifetime with.

If you’re wondering if your partner is marriage material, we’re here to help. Here is a listing of surefire signs that they’re the one for you.

You’re Friends First

Can you be friends with your partner before you begin dating? Absolutely! When you are friends before dating, it has so many benefits.

First, it helps build a strong foundation from which you can begin a more intimate relationship. This will come in handy, especially those times you need a friend in your corner.

You Feel Good About Who You Are Around Them

Who wants to be around someone if you can’t your true self? It’s exhausting when you are always trying to impress someone. You want to show your future partner everything about you; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Otherwise, they may never know who you really are.

Unfortunately, we can sometimes be afraid of showing everything too fast, and who says you have to? So instead, take your time and allow things to unfold smoothly.

They’re Not Afraid to Say, “I’m Sorry”

This can be one of the most difficult traits to find in a partner because admitting fault isn’t always easy. You may have argued, but it’s a good sign if they can apologize for their part in it.

It’s even better if you can do the same. When someone says, “I’m sorry,” it shows they’re being self-reflective. It also demonstrates a level of respect because they care about your feelings and how they hurt you.

They Support Your Dreams

You want to find someone who supports your hopes and dreams as much as you do theirs. You want them to be your biggest cheerleader who roots for you no matter what, even if they have to make a few sacrifices to do so.

They’re Kind

While this may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised at what some people put up with. So don’t take it for granted if you find a genuinely sweet person.

Kindness is a wonderful quality to have in a significant other. It is one of the most appreciated characteristics because when you have tough times, their kindness will help guide you through.

You Have No Secrets

They tell you everything. There are no secrets between you because they’re open and honest with their feelings. If they had a bad day, you’re the first one they call. If they had a great day, you’re the first they want to tell. They have no walls with you, making them a great spouse-to-be.

They Love Spending Time with You

While they don’t have to be with you all day, every day, when you are together, it’s more about quality than quantity. Your person loves and cares for you, so they’ll want to move mountains to be with you. If they can’t be with you right then and there, they’ll plan to see you as soon as possible.

Again, you don’t have to be with them all day, but those times when you aren’t together (at work), they take a moment to send a quick “thinking about you text” to let you know how much you mean to them. If they take time out of their busy day to call you to say, “Hey!” they’re definitely the one.

They Make You Laugh

Ding! Ding! Ding! This is a big one! Having a sense of humor in your relationship is important because life is sobering enough. So you want someone who can make you laugh when tough times pop up because they will. In addition, sometimes it’s fun to laugh at yourselves, so you don’t take things too seriously.

They Compromise

They’re a keeper if they’re willing to comprise. You don’t want someone who feels they should make all the decisions, big or small. However, you don’t want that pressure either. So find a partner willing to make decisions with you instead of for you.

They are willing to meet you halfway when you have different opinions because they’re flexible and understand that making joint decisions is essential.

Things Are Complicated

The notable theme here is that life is complicated, so your relationship should be a place to take you away from all the messiness, and the right person does that for you. With them, life will feel better, and you couldn’t (and wouldn’t) want to imagine yourself without them by your side.

Conversation Flows Easily

When you’re with someone for a long time, you may feel like you know everything about them. But, initially, your conversations may be awkward because you’re just getting to know them.

However, as you get to know each other over time, you realize you have so much in common, so the conversation starts flowing naturally. Eventually, you’ll be able to talk about everything with ease.

You Have a Good Time Together

You may not be together all the time, but when you are, you don’t want to argue. Instead, you want someone who helps you let loose and embrace your inner kid every once in a while.

Healthy relationships are ones where you can relax and have fun together. You can have just as good a time on a Tuesday night supermarket run as you can at the amusement park.

They Take Note

It’s refreshing to have someone who pays attention to you and remembers the little things that matter. Of course, they know your birthday and holidays, but they also know the first anniversary of your promotion and the day you first met. It’s those tiny details that count the most.

You Love Them for Who They Are and Not What They Can Do for You

Remember the saying, “It’s what’s on the inside that matters”? That statement is spot on. If you find yourself attracted to a person because of their looks, that’s no bueno. However, it’s a good sign if you appreciate how they act and carry themselves instead of focusing on their physical appearance.

What’s even more important is that you share the same core values. When you do, you can grow together and navigate your way through life’s tougher times.

7). They Make You Want to Be Better

No one is perfect. We all have some room to learn and grow. It’s a good friend that will push you to be the absolute best version of yourself. They’ll be the ones to challenge you to help you attain your goals. Life can become challenging sometimes, but they’ll help you focus so you can keep moving forward. They motivate you, just as you do for them.

8). They Share the Same Values

One good sign of a long-term commitment is if you share the same core values with family, friends, and significant others. At the start of a relationship, watch for whether your priorities align. They don’t have to be exactly the same, but they should share a similar vision that supports mutual understanding. Here are some common core values to pay attention to.

  • Are they truthful? Do they give you a sense of honesty?
  • Are they kind to you and others? Are they emotionally generous?
  • What are their plans for the future? Do they have any ambitions or goals?
  • What are their religious or spiritual beliefs?
  • Are they into politics, or can they take it or leave it?
  • What is their take on friendship and family?

Initially, as you begin to get to know one another, you should discuss these topics to gain insight into their values. What is important to them, and do these values align with yours? Are there basic differences that you just can’t seem to get past?

9). The Offer Constant Communication

One red flag is if your partner rarely communicates with you. In all personal relationships, good communication skills are vital. For example, do you and your loved ones check in regularly regarding your feelings and emotions? When issues arise, are you willing to discuss them?

Good communication doesn’t need to be constant. You can send texts back and forth daily, but that doesn’t indicate good contact.

It doesn’t matter if you speak to your friends every few days or weeks, but when you talk, you should be willing to be open and honest with each other. When you are OK with having constructive discussions, it indicates a higher level of respect, which means the relationship will last longer.

10). They Pay Attention to the Small Details

Once in a while grandiose gestures are great, but daily demonstrations of gratitude, appreciation, compliments, and generosity are more important to most people.

The everyday gestures from those we love and care about don’t just make us feel important and appreciated. Those smaller acts make us feel more connected to ourselves and our self-worth.

Our mental health increases, and we have a stronger feeling of purpose. In general, we have an improved outlook on everything in our life.

11). They Get You No Matter What

As previously stated, communication is vital to a healthy, long-lasting relationship. However, sometimes you may find it difficult to express your emotions. Instead, you’d rather hide underneath the covers for a few days and wallow in self-pity.

Your inner circle gets that and will let you know they are there when you’re ready to talk, but they won’t force you. So it’s a green flag when they’re by your side to support you no matter what you’re going through because they know you’d do the same.

Red Flag vs. Green Flag

Red flags can play an important role in helping to build a stronger bond with your loved ones. However, while we all have room to grow, there comes a time when exhibiting more red than green flags can cause someone to terminate a relationship.

What are your red flags? We all have them, so begin by asking yourself: What are some toxic traits I exhibit? Here are a few red flags that may have dire consequences for your relationship:

  • Narcissism
  • Lacking anger management skills
  • Low self-esteem
  • Controlling behavior
  • Co-dependency
  • Unwillingness to ask for help
  • Mistrust

Does your partner exhibit any of these signs? Be sure to pay close attention. Additionally, your behaviors might test the relationship, but if you’re willing to admit to and work on them, you are already ahead of the game. Eventually, that red flag can turn into a green one.

If you feel like you have any of the aforementioned red flags and would like to work on them, consider seeking advice from a licensed therapist or coach so you can begin rebuilding your relationship.

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