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How to Spot Relationship ‘Green Flags’

There are so many potential relationship green flags and they often change from person to person, but here are a few key ones to watch out for. 

Relationship ‘red flags’ are behaviours or traits that cause concern. They might demonstrate you aren’t compatible with someone or suggest that things may get worse with time. It’s helpful to have these in your head when considering forming or continuing relationships, whether romantic or platonic. It shouldn’t all be about the negatives though! It’s also worth looking out for ‘green flags’ – signs that the relationship is built on strong foundations, that this person is worth your time and energy.

Communication

This is top of the list for a reason! There is no bigger green flag than someone communicating openly about how they feel and what they need. If someone can communicate calmly and clearly through ‘difficult’ conversations, then that is an excellent sign!

Respecting boundaries

If the person is chill about you needing space, or listens and behaves accordingly when you tell them something makes you uncomfortable, pay attention. Equally, if they are able to comfortably set boundaries and know when they need to be alone, rather than saying yes to everything until they burn themselves out, they might be a good person to see again. 

Fun

It seems obvious but it’s easy to forget – do you have fun together? Do you make each other laugh? The kind of laughter that makes you feel like you’ve just done an abs workout? Undignified, snorting, belly laughs? If so, keep them around.

'There is no bigger green flag than someone communicating openly about how they feel and what they need.'

Curiosity

This applies to a genuine interest in you and your life, but also in what makes you tick, and what you want from a relationship. It’s always promising when someone reacts to your struggles and needs with curiosity rather than frustration or defensiveness – it suggests a willingness to learn and change, skills that are the bedrock of all healthy relationships.  

Honesty and trust

Prioritising honesty to build trust is crucially important when forming a strong relationship with anyone. Make sure they have proved themselves trustworthy – it’s not enough for them to just say they are!

Long term relationships

A sign that someone is being honest in their behaviour and can be trusted is whether or not they have other long term relationships in their lives. If someone has friends they’ve stayed close to for years, there’s obviously a reason for that. If they’re excited to introduce you to these friends, that’s even better. 

Support

Do they encourage you in your goals? Do they give good advice, and space to talk about your feelings? Do you feel like you can grow with them? Are they showing a willingness to grow with you? If you’ve found someone who believes in you and wants to build you and your relationship up, that’s a huge green flag! 

This list is by no means definitive – there are so many more to add! As well as these general tips you should take time to think about green flags that matter to you specifically. Maybe it’s loving dogs, or being a vegan, or collecting hats. Whatever makes your heart skip, appreciating the positives in the early stages of a relationship helps you start as you mean to go on.  

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