Green Flags are a sign that someone is likely to approach relationships in a more healthy and mature way - meaning better prospects for long term success.
Red means 'Danger'
You match on a dating, but how do you know your new date's a keeper? It’s important to be open-minded when you start dating someone. Sure, you might hate the way they fold their clothes, the fact that they snore, or leave dirty dishes on the sink - but these things aren’t exactly deal breakers that are likely to cause emotional harm.
Real dating red flags tend to be a little more complex than habits you could pass off as behavioural quirks. A red flag can be defined as something your partner does that indicates a lack of respect, integrity or interest towards the relationship - and those are little warning signs that a potential partner should be avoided at all costs.
Fifty shades of beige...
There are also dating beige flags: meaning that a person shows signs that they are simply too boring to date. Beige flags can be spotted within a profile that contains meaningless platitudes, and thus minimising their appeal and failing to stand out in an already crowded dating space.
Generic dating app profiles can make you wonder how original and fun this person really is, but in truth, everyone wants to be with someone who is unique in some way.
Perhaps they list their main life interest as something as nondescript as 'Nice meals out', 'spending time with friends' - or claim to spend their weekends watching mundane documentaries on Netflix. [YAWN!]
Green is for 'Go!'
But we rarely hear about the green flags – even though they're exactly what we should be looking out for at the start of a relationship.
A green flag is a behaviour or personal quality that indicates the person you're with is more likely to approach relationships in healthy, mature, and generally desirable ways in the future.
So, let's take a look at some of the early signs that you're with someone who will probably make for a great partner in the longer term.
1. They're engaged in the relationship
Your partner should want to see you, make plans, and text you back consistently. these are sure signs that they have an active in you and in nurturing the relationship.
They're not afraid to make it clear they like you. Being engaged is particularly vital to new relationships, but it continues to matter even for couples who've been together for years. Attendance is critical component in a serious relationship - you need to show up in some capacity every day, and this is the first sign of commitment.
Relationships will always require active effort and equal give-and-take from both parties. And fortunately, that's a quality you can actually identify quite early on in a relationship.
2. They're clear about what they want
It's absolutely vital that each party is on the same trajectory when it comes to dating. If you're looking for 'the one', but your partner just for a casual hookup, the point is that this person is clear about it.
Showing that they care about what you want from the relationship is also a green flag. Your partner should not be afraid to have frank discussions about where the relationship is (or isn't) going. A caring, mature partner doesn't play games or keep you guessing.
3. They talk openly - and listen well
Being able to share emotions and have good conversations is another green flag in a potential romantic partner. A healthy relationship requires two people who can both recognise their own emotions, and are then able to share those emotions and needs with one other. A person who can tap into and talk about their emotions with ease is demonstrating important relational skills.
So, pay attention if your partner really puts in effort to hear and understand you. If they ask thoughtful questions, make space for you in the conversation, and seek to get to know your inner world well - as these are all good signs that they care.
A date who shows the ability to listen well early on is not only showing that they're going to take the time to understand you deeply; they're also showing that they'll be able to hear you out in moments of conflict and really try to understand your side of the story.
4. They make you feel safe
In a relationship that has the potential for true longevity, you feel like you can just be yourself around this person, without worrying too much about trying to impress them - or walking on eggshells not to upset them.
You can be honest and speak your mind. Feeling at ease with someone is always a green flag - it's an internal, biological signal that you feel safe with this person. That good 'gut' feeling is usually right!
5. They have consistency
It's also a green flag when the person you're interested in dating is stable. So, you can trust that they'll be consistent in how they treat you and how they approach various situations in life.
Volatility and unpredictability, on the other hand, are red flags: if don't know how your partner will generally behave from moment to moment, you'll struggle to feel safe in your relationship. Roller-coaster romances might make for engaging movies, but in real life, comfort and balance are needed for healthy, long term love love to flourish.
6. They have a sense of self-awareness
If a person demonstrates overall self-awareness, including being aware of their emotions, behaviors, hopes, dreams, fears, and patterns, as well as how their actions may affect others - that's also a big green flag.
Someone with self-awareness 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 arise. Self-awareness also means they'll be able to recognise and admit when they're the one contributing to the issues, and want to become better for the sake of the relationship.
7. You just feel good around them!
At the end of the day, relationships should make you feel good! What sets happy couples apart from unhappy couples is that happy couples have the ability to have fun, and allow you to be the best possible version of yourself.
Life should be better when your partner is around. So, if you genuinely look forward to seeing one another, generally enjoy one another's company, and the vast majority of your time together feels positive and pleasurable - that's a good sign for the relationship overall.
So, knowing what to be wary of in relationships can be important in helping us avoid harmful situations, and we'd do well do avoid the obvious bores. But's just as important for us to be able to recognise what a healthy relationship looks like, too.
That way, we can start to move toward people who display those healthy qualities from the get-go and be more likely to find ourselves in the kind of relationships that actually feel healthy, positive and sustainable.
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