We always hear about relationship red flags – the toxic traits that let you know that you’re significant other isn’t the one. But what about green flags? What kinds of traits and habits can let you know that you’re in a good relationship with a safe partner and a solid foundation? Everyone will have their own answers, built from lessons learned after different relationships, but here are our top twelve green flags that will make you fall in love with your partner all over again.
1. They Encourage Your Other Personal Relationships
One of the big green flags is how they react to your other personal relationships: family, friends, coworkers, etc. Obvious red flags are intense jealousy and possessiveness – so on the other side of the coin, a partner that supports and encourages relationships outside of your romantic one shows trust and confidence. A couple should be made of two individual people, with their own relationships and dreams, who come together and love each other – therefore, it’s important that you both foster outside relationships and supports each other’s friendships and familial connections.
2. They Speak Respectfully About Their Exes
We all know the story – your partner used to have a crazy ex that was just so toxic that now they can’t trust anyone. And while yes, sometimes they really may have had a crazy, toxic ex, talking about said ex in a dismissive, disrespectful manner is a huge red flag. If they talk about their ex like that, you can bet they’ll say the same thing about you if you ever break up. So in terms of green flags, someone who can bring up their exes in a civil, respectful way as a part of their history is the kind of person you want to spend your life with.
3. They Know How To Communicate Effectively
Communication. Is. Key. Good communication skills are one of my biggest green flags. Can your partner talk about their feelings? Can they resolve conflicts effectively? Can they talk to you about problems and issues they have in the relationship without putting you down? If the answer is yes to all of these questions, then your partner is an effective communicator. This doesn’t mean your relationship will be without problems – what it means is that you’ve found someone willing to work on these issues and resolve them in a way that is productive, helpful, and effective for the future of the relationships.
4. They Set Clear Boundaries And Respect Yours
You wouldn’t think boundaries are a good thing to have in a relationship, but there’s a key reason why this is on a list of green flags: you are two individual people. You have lived independent lives and, during that time, faced countless struggles and obstacles to get to where you are. There are going to be things you’ve recognized from your other relationships that you don’t want to see again or bend on, and that’s perfectly okay. Boundaries aren’t inherently unsurpassable walls. Rather, they’re ways of protecting yourself and your heart. They show that you give yourself and your needs value.
For example, maybe your S.O. tells you early in the relationship that they are not okay with lying and that if they can’t trust your words, they can’t continue the relationship. This is them establishing a boundary of trust and respect, with the assumption that the relationship is over should this boundary be crossed. This is perfectly reasonable and lets you know that they respect you, the relationship, and themselves enough to be clear and concise about their boundaries.
5. They Can Be Fun And Silly With You
One of my favorite green flags is finding someone that can make me laugh. I’m an inherently silly person and finding another person who matches that energy and doesn’t feel like they are above being silly with me is incredibly important. Someone whose humor matches yours and who doesn’t take themselves too seriously is someone you can realistically spend your life with without getting bored. So be silly and true to yourself, and find someone who can do the same.
6. They Share Compatible Relationship Goals
Do you want to get married? Do you want children? Do you want a relationship that lasts the summer or one that lasts (hopefully) forever? These are all important goals to consider when getting into a relationship, and finding someone whose goals match with or are compatible with yours is one of the necessary green flags for a healthy, functional relationship. You have to start off on the same page and, if that page changes down the road, the page has to say the same thing for both of you – otherwise you’re just asking for unnecessary, unresolvable conflict. All solid relationships are built on a shared set of goals that everyone involved is willing to work for.
7. They Make You Feel Seen and Heard
You should never be with someone who makes you feel unnoticed or invisible – that’s a miserable existence and not sustainable long term. Even worse, that can be a red flag for early signs of emotional or mental abuse. Therefore finding a partner who makes you feel seen and heard is incredibly important to a healthy relationship, and is, therefore, one of the most important green flags to any relationship. Be with someone who takes your opinions and thoughts into account and doesn’t just dismiss you. You deserve to be heard. You deserve to feel valid. Find someone who makes you feel that way.
8. They Celebrate Your Achievements
Babe, you are an amazing glowing star in a bright sky, and the things you accomplish deserve to be celebrated. Your partner celebrates with you and reminds you of how amazing you are when you do great things? Green flags, green flags everywhere. It doesn’t matter if your accomplishment is as big as being promoted to your dream job or as small as finally finishing the book you’ve been reading on and off for months – your accomplishments are important, and your partner should remind you of that.
9. They Support And Want To Share In Your Interests
One of my personal biggest green flags is: do they let me pick the music/movie/activity, and are they supportive, or do they complain the whole time? I know that sounds dumb, but hear me out: if your partner is unsupportive of your personal interests, they probably aren’t very supportive of your accomplishments or goals. Plus, you’re amazing and you have great taste in music/movies/activities – it’s not fair that you shouldn’t be allowed to get excited about those things. If they make fun of your music taste, you don’t need them
10. They’re Kind To Customer Service
While it’s important to look at how they act with their family and friends (and even their exes), one of the most telling green flags is looking at how they treat service industry workers. Whether it’s the waitresses at your favorite diner, the customer service line of their bank, or the J.C. Penney part-timer, how they treat the people helping them is incredibly telling about the kind of person they are. If they yell, get angry, or play the tipping game, you don’t need them.
11. They Remind You That You Are Enough
You are enough. You know you are enough and don’t need someone to tell you that. However, having someone who reminds you that you are important and you are enough will make you get all those warm and fuzzy feelings. Affirmations are always green flags, but especially if they come naturally and you don’t have to ask for them. You should never be with someone who makes you feel like you are less than, so someone who reminds you constantly about how amazing you are is a keeper.
12. They Remember The Little Things
Do they remember your takeout order? Do they know your favorite color, when your tests are, what sport you used to play when you were young? Do they tell you where you left your keys, or buy you your favorite ice cream when you’re on your period? These are all green flags and important questions because it means they were listening. Yes, it’s expected that they know your anniversary or your birthday. But it’s the little things they remember about you that really let you know that they’re paying attention to you.