I, like many dating coaches, spend a lot of time talking and writing about that pesky relationship red flags. Those negative and undesirable qualities and/or behaviors that a potential partner displays, which should indicate to you that they are not a suitable partner for you. Red flags are simply warning signs that are there to protect you from entering into a relationship that will invariably end in your heartbreak.
Since red is the “warning” or “stop right now” color there is conversely “go” or “move forward” flag color that’s also just as important to your dating life. I’m talking about the dating green flags. These green flags are ways someone shows you that they’re a good person, a good partner, a good catch. To be clear, just because someone has a green flag it doesn’t mean you should instantly run into their arms, as you should think of these green flags as pieces of a puzzle that once you accumulate all the pieces the puzzle will be complete.
So here are my top dating 10 green flags to be aware of when dating:
If you are someone who’s looking to live a happy and healthy life that includes a long-term partner then it’s paramount that you find a partner who offers you the very best chance to do that. My first green flag gets waved when the person sitting across from you uses more positive words than negative ones and has a genuinely positive outlook on the world and life in general.
Many studies have shown that positive thinking is also good for the immune system, reduces overall anxiety, and increases positive emotions such as happiness. And since birds of a feather tend to flock together when you align yourself with someone who thinks positively both you and your relationship will reap the benefits.
Emotional availability begins and ends when someone is vulnerable and takes accountability for their actions. This means they admit their mistakes and don’t place blame where blame does not belong. A good barometer is to listen to what your date says about how they resolve conflict at work or with friends and family. Do they accept their role in these situations or is it always someone else fault?
Emotionally available people are also able to lean into their own discomfort and authentically reveal who they are, warts and all. If someone paints a picture of a life that looks good to be true it probably is. The goal here and the green in the flag comes from seeing someone who understands themselves in a way that allows you to understand them too.
Healthy Relationship Boundaries with Family and Friends
As mentioned in green flag in #2 make sure to pay attention to the relationships in your potential partner’s life. Do they have conflicts with their parents? Siblings? Is it their family’s issue or theirs? Exes? What do their relationships with others look like? Toxic? Healthy? ? Have the set strong boundaries with toxic friends or family?
Their relationships reveal tell-tale signs of the type of relationship you can expect from them. The more conflict and drama they have with others the more likely there will be with you too.
Here is a video on what a good relationship looks like, it might help you understand better boundaries.
A Clear Life Vision
Living in the present is a vital quality to have for any happy and healthy individual. In conjunction with that having a clear life vision and knowing what you want for your future and where you want to go in life is also super important. You want to date someone who isn’t stuck in the past and is living their life in a way that allows them to move forward every day.
The green flags here come in the form of active life vision actions like taking classes and/or reading up on anything that will improve one’s career or even when they just articulate a clear and realistic plan for where they see themselves in five years. Once you understand your potential partner’s life vision, then you can see if it aligns with your own, allowing you to move forward in the relationship.
An Active Listener
Far too many singles out there have failed to master the art of listening. Great communication is the key element to any healthy relationship so active, compassionate listening is a must. If your date sits across from you blabbing away about their life with little or no interest in your own, then you know what color the flag is.
Treats you Like a Priority
I recently had a client who asked me if it was ok that the guy she was dating said he couldn’t see her for weeks because he was studying. I asked, “what is he studying?” She said he was studying to be a lawyer so taking the bar exam. My follow-up question was, “Does he communicate with you in other ways, or is it just radio silence?”
She indicated they still talked and texted. Being treated like a priority doesn’t mean that your potential partner must drop everything and shower you with attention and affection, rather it means that you are made to feel like an important part of their life.
The bar exam is known to be a brutal, but crucial time in any aspiring lawyer’s life so their time must be spent focusing on that. Still, if there are interested in you like they said they were with my client, then they will show it.
They are Kind
I like to tell my clients that there’s a difference between when your date is being “nice” and when they are “kind”. Being nice is simply when someone is polite and treats you well. Being kind is when they care about you and show you they care. Numerous studies have shown that the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage is kindness. That’s right, it’s not sex or money, or passion, it’s kindness.
That’s because when someone is kind they do the little things to make their partner feel cared for, understood, and validated… aka feel loved. So look for those acts of kindness from a potential partner that tell you what’s in their heart and how they truly feel about you.
Actions Match their Words
Far too often singles get duped into giving their heart to someone based solely on the words that come out of a partner’s mouth. They say “talk is cheap” for a reason so please make sure that the person you’re dating backs up their words with actions.
For example, if they often say they will call you on this day and at this time and don’t, then the actions don’t match the words. If they say they will introduce you to their friends and then follow that up with the action of meeting their friends, the actions match the words.
Since actions and words need to be tested over time for the flag to be considered green make sure to keep track of actions/words correlation. When they match great when they don’t make sure to say something and then hold them accountable. If the behavior continues then you know what color flag you have.
They Respect your Boundaries
When I started dating my husband I told him that he was not going to come and pick me up at my apartment for a date until at least the 5th date. I reasoned that I wanted to make sure that I developed trust with him before I invited him to the place I felt safest in the world.
This was a dating boundary I not only constructed for my own personal safety but also as a way to see how he might react when it’s implemented. My husband did not like the boundary at all and even told me as much, but he also said he understood and respected it.
My ability to clearly articulate my boundary and his ability not to cross it was a key component to the development of our budding relationship and an eventual path to the alter. Make sure to communicate your boundaries early on in any relationship and that your partner respects them fully. When those happen together green flags all around.
They Meet all Your Non-negotiables
Non-negotiables are core values that every relationship must have or it will fail every time. Most people have about 10-15 of them and they can be things like “he treats me like a priority” or “he is family-oriented.” Think of these non-negotiables as individual lights in your very own relationship stoplight.
If one of the non-negotiables is met then that light turns green thus you can move forward. If a non-negotiable is not met then the light turns red and the relationship must end. They are just that powerful. To arm yourself with your non-negotiables feel free to schedule some time to speak with me at www.MeetWithAmie.com.