We’ve all been there — dating new people or at the start of a new relationship, finding ourselves nit-picking all the possible red flags of this person. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been the worst about this! Picking apart everything and making things up in my head. “He literally was listening to classic rock, this will never work” lol.
Let’s face it, there are so many dating articles on the internet alerting us to “relationship red flags” and “negative traits to avoid in a partner” that it’s not unusual many of us have a raised awareness of things to look for or areas we may need to improve in our relationship. I mean, we see relationship memes over Instagram and social media in general. We can even go as far as to say that some of these articles and social media posts have subconsciously trained our minds into not looking at the positive signs, which are just as important to focus on as the toxic ones.
Recognizing red flags is definitely a must, but focusing on them too much promotes premature negativity that may be detrimental for the relationship long term. By focusing on green flags, or positive qualities and signs, you may end up realizing how much of a positive impact your relationship has on your life, and that may even encourage you to find ways to further grow as a couple! Instead of looking for red flags (now I’m not suggesting you ignore them…) let’s look for GREEN FLAGS instead!
I think the most important part of dating, or being in a relationship, is making sure that you are ready and open for one. When you’re in that place, I think you see the green flags more than the red.
Here are some definite green flags you should look for in a relationship:
-You Can Be Yourself
You don’t feel like you’re performing or acting in a way that is not authentic to your true self. You also feel like you can be honest and speak your mind without fear of judgment or ridicule. It’s important to start from a genuine understanding of one another; otherwise, you’ll be building your relationship upon lies, and that never ends well. You need to be open and honest about everything, including finances, stressors, and your likes/dislikes. You can only pretend you love the outdoors for so long before it catches up to you! You don’t want to end up on a romantic trip to Mount Everest since your partner thought you loved the great outdoors, lol.
-You Find Yourself Laughing & Smiling A Lot
You enjoy being around them. It’s really that simple. In the early stages of a relationship, feeling good in one another’s presence is a green flag. Do you feel joyful? Are you smiling more than you usually do? Are your friends noticing a positive change in your mood? Do they calm you down? Do they go out of their way to make you happy?
-You Feel Respected
Boundaries are important in any new relationship. Feeling respected in this process we call dating is crucial. You should feel like what you’re communicating is being heard. They are taking time to listen and understand your point of view, even if they don’t agree. Respecting your space, time, workload, and time away from one another is also very important. Your partner should respect your space when you’re with friends, on work trips, on vacations, or at work.
-You Want Similar Things in Life
It’s a big green flag if you share common values with your S.O. like kindness, trust, honesty, ambition, etc. Whatever is important to you should also be important to them as well. What are your work or financial goals? What are things you want to achieve short term and long term? Do they respect and share those values? I think having a teammate is very important in any relationship.
-In The Early Stages, Pay Attention To See If You Align
One of the top reasons young couples separate is because they didn’t have a shared vision of success. It’s a conversation you can have very early on. What does success mean to you? Do they agree? Where do you want to live or not live? Whose paying for what when you live together, etc. Those things can be relationship makers or breakers.
-You Feel Challenged…In A Good Way
This is about empowerment and teamwork. They believe in you and your dreams, and want to help you reach them. They too have a passion or a big dream, and you find yourself challenged by that as well. They want to help you to be a better person, encouraging you to follow your dreams, while also being open to your encouragement to becoming a better person themselves. You both work together on goals and crush them.
-They Support Your Interests While Having Their Own
It’s rare that you and your partner will have the exact same hobbies, exact same
interests, and exact same habits. While you and your partner may not love doing
the same thing all the time, you both respect each other’s interests and expect to spend
time apart feeding those interests. Not only that, but you both happily do so,
because you love seeing each other thrive and grow. For example, I’m not
a night person and like to go to bed early, so if my partner wants to go clubbing, they
can go with their friends and I need to encourage and respect that.
I hope these Green Flags have been helpful. Take notice of the good and focus on that, its time get coupled up this winter!