We’re conditioned to look out for ‘red flags’ in a new relationship, which span broadly across a number of actions, from clinginess to gaslighting. When we spot a red flag in a budding romance, these can often ring alarm bells that make us pull back, put walls up, and question whether this is a person with who we want to continue spending time with.
Recognising red flags, while no one wants to spot them, can be a helpful tool when it comes to compatibility. When we spot a characteristic or trait in a potential lover that doesn’t appeal to us, we’re at least able to make informed decisions about how we want to progress with the relationship.
But just as we look out for the bad, we should also be looking out for the good — ‘green flags’, if you will.
“It’s important to look for the positives in a potential partner and find those common values and traits that can form a great foundation for a future relationship,” eharmony relationship expert, Sharon Draper, tells The Latch. “You don’t want to be constantly focusing on the negatives of a relationship.
“Green flags should be celebrated and are an important part of the beginning of a relationship or connection with a potential partner. Take green flags as positive signs to keep exploring that connection between the two of you and be open to where that may lead.”
Below, and with Draper’s help, we take a closer look at 5 common green flags and what they say about a potential partner.
They invite you to meet their friends
“They want to show you off! Meeting your potential partner’s circle of friends is a really important step to becoming a bigger part of their life and a solid start to growing your relationship.”
They follow through on plans
“They are reliable and dependable when it comes to seeing you and they don’t want to miss the opportunity. Spending time with you is enjoyable for them, and why wouldn’t it be?”
They always text you back
They’re not interested in playing games or ‘making you wait’. This is a person who is straight up with their intentions and is showing signs of dependability.
They’re asking the right questions
“They want to get to know you better and are intrigued to learn more. This is a great opportunity to find common ground with a potential partner and learn more about your compatibility for a future relationship.”
They tell you how they feel about you
If a red flag is never knowing where you stand with a person for the lack of honest and open communication, then this green flag is the opposite. A person who shares their feelings for you can go a long way to making you feel secure in the budding romance, which can feel somewhat unstable even at the best of times.
They talk about the future
“This is one of my favourite green flags. You want to make sure you’re aligned and working towards the same goals within your relationship. This isn’t talking about what you’re doing on Saturday; it’s about the future, whether that’s discussing travel plans, views around marriage and kids, or even inviting you to an upcoming important event (e.g., wedding or family birthday).”
When we find someone who displays these qualities, it’s quite common to feel a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ suspicion. But just because we’re used to looking out for red flags does not mean people aren’t out there waving green ones.
As Draper says: “Finding someone you gel with and feel good around is often exhilarating, so enjoy it.”