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What are green flags in a relationship?
A green flag is an indication that you feel safe and secure around a person and are ready to be in a relationship with them. It is also a sign of possible compatibility with them and wanting them to be your better half in the near future. Green Flags can also indicate to look out for more positive aspects of your partner rather than the negatives!
Everyone has their own wants, needs and must-haves for a partner. Therefore, green flags differ from person to person. What can be considered as a green flag in one person might not be the same for the other one. Thus, it is very crucial to be aware of your own wants and start identifying them in the person. As green flags are subjective in nature, here are some of them that can be applied to everyone :-
1) Validation :- An understanding partner would never neglect your emotions. They will consider your feelings and comfort before anything or anyone else. They will understand what you are going through and will never ignore your emotions. You both may have different opinions about lot of topics but that shall never enable them to be dismissive about yours. Both the parties should be able to convey their thoughts without being ignorant and respect the other's point of view.One should not make the other feel less worthy or make them question almost everything. If they do so, it is a green flag.
2) Listening :- You partner should ACTUALLY listen to you rather than just reacting or just listen for the sake of listening to you. They do not interrupt you whether you are talking about something important or something trivial. Instead, they let you finish, soak in your words, understand them and then locked with whatever they feel like saying or adding. Your partner should also not cut you off and start talking about themselves, leaving you feel unheard. If they do not interrupt or cut you off in the middle then this is also a green flag.
3) Boundaries :- Your partner should be able to respect your boundaries without saying much. A simple 'no' or even other boundaries like wanting solo time, freedom to express, freedom to wear, freedom to speak up for yourself, your spiritual boundaries, etc. should be accepted by them. If they keep pushing your boundaries again and again then it shows that they do not really care about your comfort. For example- If you realized you made some prior plans with your partner to hang out and explore a café but you just had a bad day at work and want that time to recharge and renergize yourself, then a simple 'No I do not want to go' should be enough. They should be able to understand and respect your boundaries without any explanation or a reason. If they do not do it now then they are more likely to continue to break them in the future as well. This means that they do not respect you as an individual who has their own needs, preferences and wants. Enforcing boundaries is easier said than done but with a calm and loving voice you might be able to attain it.
4) Respect :- Another vital thing is that your partner should be respectful towards you not just because you are their significant other or friend but because you are a human first. Your partner should be able to respect you, your family members and friends and vice versa. It is also important to mutually respect each other's time and space and the time that one wants to spend with their loved ones. If they do so then it is a green flag.
4) Encouragement :- When you are in a romantic relationship then it does not mean that it should be your sole focus. Your significant other cannot and should not be your everything. In the process of doing so, you might start being dependent, losing yourself and your very own individuality. This can very seriously detrimental to your own health and to the relationship that you have with yourself. Your partner should hype you up to have a life outside the relationship.
5) Supporter :- This may be small but it is a very significant thing. Your partner should be one of your biggest fan and motivate you to do better. If you win or lose something despite the feat being big or small then their reaction is worth observing. For example - You won in Among Us after several tries then your partner's reaction - happy, content, neutral or no reaction at all - speaks volume about the length and potential of your bond.
5) 100 : 100 :- This is something that is always underestimated or neglected. It is often said and passed on that each partner should be 50:50 involved in everything but doesn't that mean that each of you are only giving half of your potential? Doing it half heartedly? Instead one should give in their 100% to their bond. Be it respect, love, efforts, commitment, responsibilities, chores, etc. Everything should be divided equally and mutually so that the weight does not fall on one person only and they are responsible for keeping everything running and alive.
6) Self-aware :- If a person has full knowledge about themselves and know themselves in and out then that means they must have worked on themself in some or the other way to be able to achieve that. A self aware partner will recognize where and when they are wrong, acknowledge the deed and try and make and effort to mend it. They shall also be aware and responsible of their own emotions and never take them out on you or somebody else. A healthy emotional regulation is mandatory. Lashing out, ignoring a conflict, not doing the work that they are supposed to do in order to be a better version of themselves, etc. all indicate to a one thing and that it is a red flag.
7) Growth is the aim :- One should be with an individual that is willing to change and adapt themselves with changing times. It is always said that it is important to change with changing times and seasons. Basically, survival of the fittest. We all know that life is never stagnant. Our situations will change with changing times. So do our problems. And so should our approach towards them. If you are able to find a person that has growth as their goal then bingo! It can be good to have a partner who wants to grow with you in each and every aspect of their life. Someone who does not want to be at one place forever and wants to move on no matter what! As we all know : the show must go on!
8) Compromise :- It is true that none of you are going to be at the same page at all times about loads of things. Being with someone who is willing to compromise even for small things is a big thing. For example - there will be a clash of opinions even while ordering takeout. This may seem small but small things like these can create a big barrier in the future and lead to bigger conflicts. Your partner should be understanding enough and should know when, where and how to compromise for the smooth functioning of the bond that you both have created. This shows how far they are willing to go in order to sustain your relationship.
9) Future :- If you are looking for a long term relationship then you should discuss about your future with your partner. Get to know if you both have similar visions, goals for the future. This will help you to get to know about their future plans a lot better. And if they bring you up in their long term plans then this is a clear sign that they want you in their life for a long time. That they are not looking for anything casual with you and goofing around. They will be excited to build and foster a life with you. They want to have new experiences with them and wanting to be by your side in the better or the worst. It is important to have conversations about your future time to time so that to know you both agree on same things and if not try to navigate to meet in the middle.
10) Feed back :- Last but definitely not least is that you both give and take feedbacks in loving manner without any prejudice and pre conceived notions. Note if they are accepting it in kind, loving and judgement free manner or not. Enforcing these feedback from your partner can motivate you to work more efficiently towards your relationship which will eventually lead to growth and prove to be beneficial for both of you. If they do not become defensive or ignorant towards your feed backs then it is a very vivid green flag!
Let's conclude by saying that you should focus on positive aspects of your partner rather than the negatives. You need to look for these flags and have an eye to be able to recognize them.