Green flags in a relationship are vastly underrated. Fifteen minutes into a coffee date and we tend to convert our sole focus on spotting the red flags, by instinct. This is only fair because we want to protect our little hearts from the same disasters we have suffered before.
How about, for a change, this time you go with an open mind? Instead of fixating on ‘OMG! She takes three spoons of sugar!’, you embrace her witty humor. She has a cute smile, right? Plus she did the ‘check dance’ to split the bill. There you go, three green flags in talking stage, on the very first date. Calls for a second one, don’t you think?
So, what exactly are some great examples of green flags in a relationship to look forward to? We will try to give you a clear picture with the help of the thoughtful insights from psychologist Juhi Pandey (M.A Psychology) who specializes in dating, premarital, and breakup counseling.
What Are Green Flags In A Relationship
In simple words, green flags are the traits of the inherent goodness in your loved one. Suppose, one morning you skipped breakfast and left for the office in haste. Just when you are the worst amount of hungry and cranky, you receive a parcel from your favorite Chinese place with a small note, ‘Have your lunch before you start scolding everyone in the office.’
You are thinking, ‘Oh my god! How can someone care so deeply and be so considerate?’ That, right there is an excellent example of green flags in a relationship.
Basically, green flags in a person refer to the potential signs that give you the hall pass to safely enter a relationship for the long haul. Finding green flags in a guy or a gal suggests, you should think about investing your valuable time and emotional spirit in this amazing human being. It could be anything from their decent mannerism, to emotional maturity, to intelligence or that killer smile.
In our conversation with Juhi, she referred to an excellent analogy to explain the concept of green flags in a relationship. Juhi says, “Just like the color green is a symbol of nature, growth, and prosperity, similarly, the green flags in a person suggest they are allowing their partner to nurture themselves. They are helping their partner to grow as a person and accepting their individuality in a relationship.”
Related Reading: 12 Core Values In A Relationship For A Happy And Lasting Bond
13 Green Flags In A Relationship To Look Forward To
You know, the definition of green flags in a relationship is a variable factor. Every unique individual has their own version of green flags. In your story, regular communication or face-timing could be an indication of connecting with your partner on a deeper level. But if you talk to your next-door neighbor, they might consider it taxing and feel suffocated in a similar scenario.
Now that you are thinking about strictly inspecting the signs of green flags in a relationship with a man or a woman or a trans/nonbinary person, you should first set your version straight. Sit in silence and carefully ponder on your expectations and needs from a relationship. It will be easier to prepare that mental checklist once you are candid to yourself.
Certain examples of green flags in a relationship are very basic and an absolute necessity for a romantic affair. According to Juhi, “Three major green flags that you should look forward to in your partner are – the person respects you, they allow you to have your own life, and you have a healthy understanding about your roles in the relationship”
We have mindfully jotted down these 13 green flags in a relationship from a generic perspective for the benefit of every new-age couple:
Related Reading: Expectations In Relationships: The Right Way To Manage Them
1. They are sensitive about your emotional upheavals
Life itself is a roller-coaster ride. One day you get a promotion, the next minute death of a dear friend shatters you into pieces. Ever since pandemic blues hit us, we have all been plunged into the threat of anxiety and panic attacks to some extent.
When you are fighting yourself to get over the shivering and the jitters, you would need someone to hold your hand and calm you down. They can explain how your anxious brain is magnifying smaller issues into something terrible.
It’s important the person you are dating understands and empathizes with your struggle instead of mocking you. It is one of the green flags in a relationship that you just cannot ignore.
Juhi says, “Your partner has to be sensitive about your emotional turmoil because that is the essence of any healthy relationship. It also indicates that the person accepts you as who you are. He understands when there are ups, there will be downs. And both partners should be supporting each other through it all.”
2. You can enjoy the silence with them
You know awkward silence is a real thing, right? Even three-four people sitting at a dinner table can feel ‘Oh no! What to say next?’, let alone two people on a date. When you reach that state of contentment with someone, imagine how easily you two flow into each other’s vibe, how psychologically safe you feel with that lovely person.
You go on a rooftop – sit beside each other. Do nothing, say nothing. Just watch the stars and the blinking city lights in silence. Absolute bliss!
It’s a bit tricky to notice green flags in talking stage of the relationship. If you already have this level of comfort with the girl you are dating, boy you just know she is a keeper!
3. They understand when you say ‘no’
Just because you are in love with someone, you don’t have to say yes to everything they ask for. If you do, that will only compound your insecurities in the relationship. You are trying to make them happy by sacrificing your own needs, opinions, and choices.
Well, that isn’t healthy, is it? You are allowed to refuse a movie date proposal if you are tired after a long day. You can say no to sex when you don’t feel like it. And you will be able to voice your concerns only when the other person receives them in a sensible manner.
They might respond by throwing a tantrum, getting mad at you, or giving you the silent treatment. These reactions don’t add up to examples of green flags in a relationship.
Juhi mentions in this context, “Respecting your ‘no’ means your partner respects you as a person and an individual. It is a sign that you are being valued and appreciated in a relationship.”
4. They willingly share responsibilities
This is kind of an important one in your search for green flags in a relationship. Relationships are essentially a team venture. It’s unreasonable to expect one person to take charge of all the responsibilities – big or minor ones. I am not talking about just household chores.
Responsibility in relationships falls beyond that and it can appear in many forms. There are financial responsibilities, emotional endurance, commitment toward the future, and so forth.
You can make this out more once you start living with your partner. Do they voluntarily join you to take your mother to the dentist? Or, maybe you don’t have to remind them twice to get the groceries when you are busy doing the laundry. Mark this as a sign of love. It’s a clear green flag.
Related Reading: With Pleasure Comes Responsibility – Pointers For Sex After Divorce
5. One of the most attractive green flags in a guy or girl: They maintain eye contact
As insignificant as it may sound, eye contact attraction has a deeper influence on the fate of the relationship. Did you tick this off in your checklist of green flags in a guy or girl or a nonbinary person on the first date itself? If yes, then I believe you are in for a treat.
A person who can maintain steady eye contact is honest about their intentions. They are very much present in the conversation – both physically and mentally. Nothing in the world is distracting them from spending that moment with you in its entirety.
And do I have to say out loud that it is romantic as hell? Staring into each other’s eyes, hearing the wine glasses clink – oh, think about the chemistry in making!
6. Emotionally availability is their strong suit
One of the most crucial green flags in a relationship with a man or a woman or anyone at all? Their emotional availability. Men, especially, are not always vocal about their growing feelings for you. Expressing their emotions and inner turmoil doesn’t come that easy.
When you meet a person who is open to sharing their childhood trauma, you know it’s the real deal. The fact that they are vulnerable around you shows how much they trust you and value this relationship. Emotional consistency is a desirable green flag across genders.
Related Reading: 9 Examples Of Emotional Boundaries In Relationships
7. They see you in their future – near and far
We consider this a green flag in a relationship because it shows if your partner’s a commitment-phobe. A person who genuinely appreciates your presence in their life would never leave you out of their future plans.
Perhaps they would ask you to go to a wedding as a date which is nine months from now. Perhaps they would share their ideas of a dream house and ask you for suggestions. You will understand exactly where you are standing in this relationship, and be able to know if you are on the same page or not!
Juhi says, “Seeing your partner in the future – be it near future or five years from now – is a classic relationship green flag. That’s how you know you are in something real. Otherwise, it’s just a casual relationship which is not taking you anywhere.”
8. Green flag in a person? They prioritize you in their life
In our mind, we all know our top 5 priorities in life – could be our parents, our career, a passion, or maybe a special friend. We allot time for all of these depending on the scale of importance.
You would somehow manage time to rehearse for your passion for ballet, despite busy office hours. As they say, “It’s all about priorities.” The same thought holds good for relationships as well. As you top a person’s priority list, it should be visible in their actions. If you feel like he is keeping you as a backup and never gives you due importance, it’s better to walk away.
Let’s look for a few green flags in a relationship with a man. Are they curtailing a couple of other appointments just to spend more time with you? They must reach you first to consult before making any big decision, no? Keep adding. As this list grows, your relationship grows stronger than ever.
Related Reading: 20 Tips To Be A Better Boyfriend And Make Her Your World
9. A prime green flag in a relationship: Undivided attention
Have you been on a date where the person sitting next to you is lost on their phone the whole time? They received ten phone calls and ordered mocktails even though you clearly wanted cold coffee. Isn’t that a big turn-off?
So what are the green flags in talking stage of the relationship? Your partner is eager to know you better. They won’t miss a chance to have a coffee and a chat with you. They would laugh at your silly jokes and not just give out a pity laugh. Just kidding!
When a person is 100% into you, you will know they are listening and your opinions are valued, be it mindless chatter or a solid standpoint on a matter.
10. You love the physical intimacy (Not just sex!)
You heard me right. Sex is indeed a deal-breaker element that might make a difference in how close you feel to a person. But the sweet, innocent physical intimacy has its own charm. Sleeping together could also mean you cuddled and got lost in beautiful dreams. Does it always have to be sex?
Scene 1: You two are sharing a cab in the rain. They pull you closer and put their arms around you. The radio’s playing What a wonderful world.
Scene 2: You are making coffee in the kitchen. They come in to get a bottle, give you a little peck on the cheek and leave. No drama, just a fleeting moment of affection!
Scene 3: Whenever you cross the road, their hands instinctively clasp yours.
Picture yourself in these scenarios, see how warm you feel inside your heart. Folks, that’s the kind. Look for these green flags in a relationship with a man, woman, or a nonbinary person.
Related Reading: The Dynamics And Importance Of Sex In A Relationship
11. They are open to problem-solving
Let me tell you, there are two kinds of people in a relationship. One who asks you to sit and have a productive conversation to find a solution to the problem at hand. The other one will get defensive right away and shift the entire blame on you.
Now you decide which one appears to be more sustainable in the long run. Do you want to go through a never-ending game of breakup and patch-ups? Or do you crave stability to handle the relationship like two mature adults? The choice is yours!
Juhi mentions in this regard, “A problem-solving attitude is an absolutely essential green flag in a relationship. It helps immensely in conflict resolution if and when there is any. If both the partners have clear communication and a proper state of mind, any problem can be sorted out. This is a big sign of a healthy relationship.”
12. They are confident in their own skin
Your partner being confident about their expectations, capabilities, and most importantly knowing themselves very well is a major green flag in a relationship. The fact that they are clear about their intentions ensures there won’t be any sudden pitfall or ugly arguments between you two.
You don’t have to worry about them getting over-possessive at any point in time. This person will honestly trust you because they have full faith in your motives. They know they can handle any minor or major setback in the relationship without losing their shit.
You will get a taste of their maturity as they take accountability for their actions. Tell me, if not this, then what’s a green flag?
Related Reading: Is Your Jealous Boyfriend Being Possessive And Controlling?
13. They make the ordinary extra-special
You know after the honeymoon phase is over, all we are left with is the monotony of our same old days. But if this person is the one for you, you will see even the utterly uneventful days brighten up for their mere presence in it. They make you laugh and make you feel like you rule the whole world!
The boring lectures in college don’t seem so tedious with them sitting beside you. You don’t always need fancy dates or expensive gifts to impress each other. Just their very company soothes your heart. And with that ends our checklist of the essential green flags in a relationship.
But, we don’t intend to stop you here. You carry on with your own list. Put on the admirable qualities your loved one keeps presenting. Let me leave you with a little food for thought. Every human being is an embodiment of both green and red flags. You won’t find a mate without any one of these. But it’s not wise to get so swept away by the green flags in a relationship, that you miss the reds. We hope you find that fine balance somewhere on the road. Cheers!