We often hear about red flags (negative signs) in a relationship and the things we must absolutely avoid, but we don’t talk so much about the GREEN flags in a relationship and how to tell if we’re in a healthy one.
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Green flags are positive examples of a healthy relationship or things to look for before getting into a relationship. Being aware of green flags can help you identify the qualities necessary to help your relationship flourish throughout the dating stage and during the relationship. Being aware can also help you target areas for improvement within the relationship.
Examples of green flags include good communication, active listening and understanding. Being in a relationship with several green flags will contribute to your happiness and optimise your mental well-being.
The list below are things to look out for during a relationship, however can also be applied during the dating stage.
1. Good communication
Let’s be honest, sometimes it can take some time until both individuals understand the best way to communicate with one another. Having good communication or someone willing to learn how to communicate properly is a green flag. Being able to converse and have fulfilling conversations is necessary for relationship development. Establish transparency and honesty with your partner and create a safe, non-judgemental space for communication to flourish.Good communication helps towards resolving issues within the relationship and fostering healthy conflict resolution.
2. Active listening
This ties in with good communication. We all want to know that we’re being listened to, and actively listening to someone is different to just “hearing” what someone says. By genuinely listening rather than just listening to give a response, you are fully comprehending what is being said to you. Having the comfortability to be vulnerable and truly express yourself to your partner is vital. Do you open up and share things with each other?
3. Attraction and chemistry
Being attracted to eachother is an important aspect. The relationship shouldn’t be based solely on attraction, however it does contribute.
4. Working well together
Connecting and working well as a team can help a couple overcome trials that may arise. I read a post talking about how when conflict arises, it should be you and your partner against the problem rather than both of you against eachother. When you feel as if you’re against one another, it is easy for the ‘blame game’ to creep in whereas, working as a team you can use your strengths to uplift eachother. Is your partner a positive addition within your life or are they draining you?
5. Us and we
During the dating phase, someone who refers to the both of you in terms of future plans shows they are hopeful for relationship progression. Such terminology can help reduce you questioning feelings. It is a good indicator if they show or reaffirm your feelings through action and words. An emotionally available person (someone open to creating emotional bonds within relationships) will be more likely to be vulnerable and transparent with their feelings.
6. Healthy relationships
A person that has other healthy relationships and support systems around is a big green flag. Also, being able to get along with the friends and family of your partner for some people, is an important aspect because if a partner doesn’t get along with someone important in your life, it may lead to issues later on.
Do your values align? What are your views on family, friends, marriage, religion, money? Having similar beliefs and values are important in a committed relationship as they contribute towards the foundation of that relationship. People with significantly different values may discover conflicts arising as the relationship progresses, especially if such values cannot be compromised. In some cases, it is definitely possible to have differing beliefs on a matter, however you should be respectful of them.
Having comfortable silences whilst enjoying eachother’s company is a green flag as you are comfortable enough to be with one another without the forceful need to talk, instead you are embracing eachother’s presence. An example is chilling with your significant other but your focus isn’t on eachother.
9. Honours boundaries
How do you respond to eachother when one person says “no”? Do you respect and accept the decision? Boundaries within relationships help you avoid crossing a line that can make the other person uncomfortable. Mutual respect ensures you honour the boundaries and will uphold a certain standard within the relationship. How do you set boundaries in your personal life? How do you align when things get difficult?
Remember, as important as it is to identify red flags.. It is just as necessary to identify positive aspects of a person. None of us are perfect and sometimes we get too caught up on the negative aspects, overlooking the good. Of course, when dating or in a relationship we must use discretion and wisdom in situations and analyse it for what it is.
For some more green flags, check out these links:
- Words by Fiona Williams
InsideOut UK Team