Nowadays, a lot of us are quick to call out red flags in a relationship (do read our article on what red flags you should look for in dating), be it ours or someone else’s. On the other hand, green flags tend to receive much less attention.
A red flag in dating indicates a problematic relationship or partner. A green flag indicates that the person you are with will be able to approach relationships in healthy, mature, and desirable ways in the future. These terms are derived from the notion that green is good to go and red means to stop and watch out. Red flags indicate that there are problems; green flags mean you can proceed.
While it is important to know what to beware of in a relationship, It’s equally important to understand what healthy relationships are like. This will allow us to identify healthy relationships and help us to make a move toward people who display those qualities.
Let’s now talk about the “green flags” in relationships, i.e., signs that you are with someone who will make a great partner.
They are a good listener.
If your partner is really interested in you, they will pay attention to everything you say. These are big green flags if your partner asks thoughtful questions, makes space for you in the discussion, and seeks to understand your inner world. Active listening is a necessity in a relationship.
Unintentionally hurting each other is a natural part of relationships. Listening and truly understanding your partner’s point of view is crucial to resolving conflict. A date who can listen to you well from the beginning shows that they are willing to spend the time to get to know you and will also be able to help you in times of conflict.
They are comfortable sharing their feelings.
A potential romantic partner should be able to get deep and emotional. A healthy relationship requires both the individuals to recognize their own emotions, where they stem from, and what they need in a given moment, and for them to be then able to share those emotions and needs with each other. It is important to have the ability to tap into emotions and communicate them with ease.
They are self-aware.
It’s also a green flag that a person is more self-aware than others. This includes being aware of their emotions and their patterns. A person who introspects and tries to be a better version of themselves is a green flag in itself. Trying to understand themselves better is more likely to be intentional about how they behave in relationships and more likely to be able to identify issues in the relationship as they come up. They’ll also be able to recognize and admit when they are responsible for the problems.
They are compassionate.
Empathy is the ability to relate to and understand another person’s emotions. It can also be used to share their feelings. Good partners can understand and relate to their emotions as well as yours. You might feel sad if they are sad; however, they will know why you’re feeling low and show compassion. They can identify a person’s emotional response to a situation and act accordingly to prevent harm.
They are engaged in the relationship.
They plan, send you texts back regularly, and generally take an active interest in your relationship and nurture it. They don’t hesitate to show that they love you.
Being engaged is particularly vital to new relationships, but it continues to matter even for couples who’ve been together for years.
For a relationship to work, both partners must be active and willing to give back, and you can learn this quality early in a relationship.
The pace of the relationship is comfortable.
A healthy relationship moves at a comfortable pace for both partners. It allows each person to think, process, and have fun while developing feelings for one another. A new partner who is open to letting you have your say and allowing you to take your time is a good sign. There is no pressure to increase the intensity of the relationship or force you to do so.
They are willing to be vulnerable.
They are open to sharing their feelings about you and being affectionate and caring about others, rather than keeping their cards close to their chests.
This type of vulnerability is necessary for intimacy to flourish. People must be willing to take risks and give up their feelings of fear in order to have a relationship with someone they love.
They know what they want.
One should be clear about what they want, no matter if it’s a casual or a serious relationship.
It’s a red flag, however, if the person you are seeing keeps you in the dark regarding their intentions for the relationship. A caring, mature partner doesn’t play games.
They care about you and your well-being and will make every effort to treat and respect you well. They care about your feelings and make every effort to be kind, but this kindness isn’t selective; they are kind to you even during conflicts.
They also treat others with respect.
They extend the same care and consideration to everyone in their lives, including their mom, friends, and exes. Once you’re more settled in your relationship, how they treat other people in their life is an indicator of how they will treat you. While no one person is perfect, it is important to surround yourself with someone who is consistent in treating others right.
They are stable.
If the person you are interested in dating is stable, it’s a sign that they’re trustworthy. This means you can be confident that your partner will behave consistently in their treatment of you and their approach to different situations.
Unpredictability and volatility, on the contrary, are red flags. If you don’t know how your partner will behave from one moment to another, it’ll be difficult to feel secure in your relationship. While roller-coaster romance is great for movies, healthy love requires balance and comfort.
They are easy to be around.
It’s easy to be you around this person and not worry about impressing them or worrying about how to make them happy. You are able to be open and honest with your opinions. A feeling of ease with someone signifies that you are comfortable with them, which is a key building block for trust.
They are active in making improvements.
No one person is indeed perfect in relationships. Therefore, romantic partners must be able to recognize their weaknesses and areas of growth.
It’s a green flag when someone can take feedback without getting defensive, take responsibility for their actions and issues, and then actually take steps toward change. Values and words should translate into actions.
They accommodate your needs.
Even an all-around great person still needs to take time to learn what it means to be a great partner to you, specifically. They take the time to understand what it is you need from the relationship, and they put forth their best effort to deliver and accommodate you. Likewise, they can recognize when they’re not able to give you what you need fully, and they can communicate their boundaries and limits without making you feel “needy,” dramatic, or unreasonable.
Both of you have your lives.
A healthy relationship doesn’t require partners to be close to each other every second. In fact, they should encourage independence and value individuality.
It’s a good sign if your partner supports your personal growth, hobbies, and friendships. They allow you to enjoy the rest of your life while encouraging you to pursue your interests and goals.
It’s also a positive sign if your partner has strong, lasting relationships, hobbies, or goals unrelated to you. This makes them less dependent on you and your relationship for their happiness, which is a good thing. It’s too much responsibility to assume that someone else’s feelings are your responsibility.
They make you feel good.
Relationships should be enjoyable at the end of each day.
What sets happy couples apart from unhappy couples is that happy couples generally have a ratio of five positive interactions for every one negative interaction.
If you and your partner enjoy each other’s company and bring out the best, and if the majority of your time together feels positive, it is a good sign for your relationship.