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Dating Dating & Love Relationships

Look For These 10 Green Flags To Find Out If They’re a Keeper

He’s a 7 but all his flags are green.

You’ve heard of red flags. You know, the things that *should* send you running for the hills but that your friend Becky is somehow blind to? Don’t get us wrong – they’re important. But, we as a society don’t talk enough about the good things to look out for in a new relationship – aka the green flags.

Look, we’re glass-half-full kinda people. And while we’d be the first to tell you to ask for the check pronto as soon as he starts talking about how no one will ever measure up to his mom, we’re also eager to throw the dog a bone. Or, in this case, give credit where it’s due.

Green Flags - a green flag

What are Green Flags?

Green means go. So a green flag is a sign that the person you’re seeing is indeed a cool person worthy of your time. Basically, they are life-long partner material.

While a red flag signifies that you probably need to take a sec and re-evaluate if this relationship is healthy and right for you, a green flag is just the opposite. These are the traits you should seek out in a partner.

Here’s the thing: a person could have a bunch of green flags, and one bright red one that cancels them all out. Ever met a sociopath, for example? So we’re not saying that if someone you meet displays the green flags in the list below, you should ignore their negative qualities.

All that’s to say: take everything as one part of a whole picture. And if, when you mush together all of their flags, it turns brown and murky, it’s possible that the good doesn’t outweigh the bad. But, this might just encourage you to give someone a chance even if they are an only child (yup, that’s a red flag of ours).

Green Flags - happy couple

10 Green Flags and Good Signs in a New Relationship

The list below is not an exhaustive one, but if your potential partner is displaying these green flags, it could be a sign that they’re emotionally mature enough for a healthy, long-term relationship.

1. They know how to communicate their feelings.

Good communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. Many times, we don’t learn about our partner’s communication style until we’re embroiled in our first argument. While fighting fair is important, it’s also crucial that they are an active listener and conversationalist the other 95 percent of the time.

This might look like:

  • They actually tell you what they want to eat instead of saying “it’s up to you” and then making a sour face at whatever you suggest.
  • When you disagree, they are willing to hear you out respectfully…even when the debate is as heated as dogs versus cats.
  • They ask you follow-up questions when you’re sharing something important to you (i.e. your opinions on the new Bachelorettes).

Green Flags - conversation

2. They are unconditionally kind.

Ever dated someone who was relentless with their teasing, to the point where it felt rooted in some truth? Joking around is one thing, but bullying, putting someone down, or negging is another thing entirely.  Kindness is a huge green flag. And a huge turn-on.

This might look like:

  • They’re the one who says “all right guys, let’s move on” at the dinner table when they can tell the butt of the joke is looking hurt or embarrassed.
  • You never have to worry about them being mean or impatient to wait staff at a hotel or restaurant.
  • They laugh it off when you spill your coffee on their shirt or shatter their wine glass by mistake so you don’t feel worse about it. *swoon*

Green Flags - happy couple

3. You know how they feel about you.

There’s nothing worse than being unsure if you’re on the same page as your new beau. It’s a green flag when they don’t leave you guessing. You know they’re crazy about you because they tell you, and furthermore, they show you.

This might look like:

  • They compliment you and tell you often the things they love about you (in a genuine, not creepy way).
  • You feel confident and like yourself when you’re with them.
  • When you’re out together, their attention stays on you – not the hot girl turning heads at the bar.

Green Flags - happy couple

4. They’re supportive of your other relationships.

One of the biggest red flags is a possessive partner who wants you all to themselves. The opposite of this is a secure person who knows that you had friends and family bonds before they came into your life, and they don’t feel threatened by them.

This might look like:

  • They encourage you to hit the bar with your out-of-town friend when you’re on the fence, because you never get to see her.
  • You don’t get anxious about bringing them around new people, because you know they’ll socialize and won’t pout about sharing your attention for a night.
  • They make an effort to get to know your family and spend time with them whenever possible.

Green Flags - double date

5. They remember your birthday.

And your favorite cocktail, and your anniversary, and the anniversary of the day your goldfish died…you get the picture. If they pay attention to the little things and make an effort to remember them, it’s a huge green flag of a caring, attentive partner (who will also remember what you like in bed…hubba hubba).

This might look like:

  • They grab your favorite coffee while they’re out without asking.
  • You can tell they bought your birthday present in advance (not the day before in a panic) because it’s thoughtful and just what you wanted.

Green Flags - couple eating

6. They have strong values.

Morals and character are hard to replicate. If your partner is a stand-up human with convictions about what’s right and wrong, you’re staring down a massive green flag. Proceed with abundance.

This might look like:

  • They say they’ll be there at eight, and they show up at eight. Every. Time.
  • When you ask them for a favor like picking up milk on the way home, they do it without complaint. Acts of service for the win.
  • They return the wad of cash to the poor soul who dropped it on the train, rather than pocketing it.

Green Flags - laughing couple

7. You’re comfortable around them.

In a long-term relationship, not every day is going to look like a scene out of a rom-com. Being content to be around each other, even if you’re just sitting in silence on the couch, is a great sign of the long-term viability of your partnership.

This might look like:

  • You are able to enjoy the music on a long car ride…not feel that you have to keep up conversation to avoid awkwardness.
  • When they’re around, you’re a total goofball.
  • You don’t worry about mood swings or walk on eggshells in their presence.

Green Flags - goofy couple

8. You don’t feel rushed.

Moving at a comfortable pace – and not feeling like you’re letting them down – is a green flag. You shouldn’t feel pressured to have sex, meet their family, introduce them to your friends, or make it “official” before you’re ready.

This might look like:

  • They suggest joining you and your mom for dinner, and when you respectfully decline, they gracefully bow out.
  • One “no” is more than enough to get your point across.
  • They might be a little bummed out when you say you’re not ready to commit yet, but they understand and don’t push it.

Green Flags - laughing couple

9. They have a growth mindset.

A growth mindset is the perspective that you can change as a person, improve your abilities, and learn new things. In comparison, someone with a fixed mindset thinks their skills and intelligence are immovable – that even with effort, they can’t change them.

In a partner, a growth mindset demonstrates they’ll be willing to work with you, try new things, and improve.

This might look like:

  • You ask them to take a cooking class with you, and they’re excited about the opportunity to learn something.
  • They’re optimistic about the future and their ability to achieve their goals.
  • They don’t give up on trying to snowboard after the first failure (and the first dozen wipe-outs).

Green Flags - gardening

10. You feel respected.

Plain and simple. The biggest green flag of them all is that you feel good around them, because they respect you. Aretha Franklin was onto something.

This might look like:

  • They cheer for you when you get a promotion at work, and tell you they’re proud of your career.
  • You give each other time to pursue your individual passions – he wants to go on a Saturday morning hike and you want to spend it writing your novel? No problem!
  • They build up your interests, rather than shooting them down as stupid or pointless.

Green Flags - laughing couple

By Laura Davis

Laura was born at the beach in New Jersey, but she'd be the first to tell you her childhood was nothing like Jersey Shore. Sadly. When she's not writing, you can find her reading on her beloved Kindle, listening to true crime podcasts, or looking up adoptable cats.

Outside of her 9-5 as a writer, Laura is the owner of Looks by Laura, an online thrifted clothing boutique. She's the co-founder of Adultescence, a podcast and lifestyle website about navigating that challenging space between adolescence and adulthood. And she makes a mean eggplant parm.

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