Five Green Flags to Look for in Your Relationships
By Danielle Kam
For most of us, being in a healthy and respectful relationship is non-negotiable, but it can be hard to know if you’re in one from the get-go. That’s where green flags, or the signs that indicate positive traits about your new connection, can be helpful. Identifying green flags can not only give you a better idea of who the person is at their core, but also show whether the relationship has the potential to be long-term. Ahead, five green flags you should be looking out for.
They incorporate you into their life
When your partner takes actions like including you in their plans and introducing you to loved ones, it shows how important and significant you are in their life. “It means they’re excited about you and are forward thinking about the relationship,” says therapist Leah Aguirre. Of course, you should only meet their friends and family when you feel comfortable doing so. (If you feel like things are moving too fast, always speak up.) But when you’re introduced to the people who are important to your new partner, “it indicates the commitment and effort they’re willing to make to build a life with someone,” says Aguirre.
They respect your boundaries
Recognizing and respecting boundaries is required for a functional and healthy partnership. “When someone respects your boundaries and treats them as a non-negotiable, they’re showing appreciation for you and your relationship,” says therapist Elizabeth Marks. For example, you might need some time to decompress after work. If they, without question, give you the space to relax and unwind, this means that they’ve heard you and are being considerate of your desires. It’s also a sign that they’re specifically focused on you, have paid attention to your needs, and want you to be happy.
They pay attention to the little things
Maybe they show up to your apartment with your favorite hard-to-find candy or the cooking utensil you said would make your life easier weeks ago. “This demonstrates that they’re attentive and invested in you and the relationship,” says Aguirre. But this doesn’t only extend to material things. This could be asking you about a situation at work you briefly mentioned or noticing that you look stressed or worried. This really shows that they’re attuned to your feelings and needs and want to be supportive and involved in your life.
They’re good at communicating
There’s nothing better than someone who lets you know what’s on their mind. You’ll know you’re with this type of person if you feel clarity about the relationship, not confusion, says dating coach Benjamin Daly. When someone can effectively communicate how they feel, it shows that they’re not afraid to be open and honest about their intentions with you. Expressing thoughts and feelings openly is a sign of dedication, adds Marks. But, she warns, make sure their words are backed with actions, like actually buying tickets to the concert that they said they wanted to take you to. Otherwise, this green flag could slowly creep into the pink flag or even red flag territory.
They’re kind to everyone
Kindness isn’t a skill that can easily be taught. Being with someone who shows kindness to everyone—even people who they don’t know or people who can’t benefit them—shows that this is an innate behavior, says Marks. It also speaks to their character in general and shows that they’re considerate of other people’s needs and feelings. Aguirre agrees and adds that it also can indicate that this person values respect. Their respectful nature will translate to every aspect of your relationship, making your partnership one full of thoughtfulness, generosity, and compassion.
Green flags are paramount when it comes to a healthy partnership, and noticing them as you learn more about your significant other is further affirmation that you’re on the right track in your relationship.