"Green Flags" For Relationships


With Valentines Day coming up this Friday, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at some of the signs you might want to look for to help determine if you and your special someone are a good fit. These things should be taken seriously, because any connection that we maintain with people in our lives have influence on us. 

We know of a lot of things to look out for, but what exactly should we be looking for? The following green flags definitely don’t solve all the problems of how to take this conflicting advice, but they do provide a pretty clear framework of what kind of people you should aim to add to your life. 

1. You are not confused about their feelings for you

In my life, I’ve found that typically, mixed signals mean that someone doesn’t actually care that much. 

Think about how you act toward people you genuinely care about and value. You respect their feelings, you treat them with care, and you make time for them. You know their worth and don’t want to lose them, so you act accordingly. But when someone seems interested one minute, and not the next, it’s likely they aren’t thinking of you with the same consideration. 

2. They cheer for you 

Jealous friends or jealous partners are bad things. 

You deserve to be around people who cheer you on, especially in romantic relationships. If a partner isn’t happy for you and your achievements, they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing — loving you for who you are and adding to your growth. 

3. “Clean baseboards”

This was an analogy I learned a long time ago. The idea is that there are two kinds of people: one that maintains a clean home, and one that only cleans for appearances, like when they have people coming over. The person who maintains a clean home pays attention to the details and doesn’t forget things like cleaning their baseboards. If you go over to someone’s home and their baseboards are dirty, you can tell that they may not put as much effort into the maintenance of their home than they let on. 

4. They have a clear sense of self 

A healthy individual is somebody who has their own boundaries — they don’t let people walk all over them. They could struggle with self-love, but they respect themselves and have a certain level of confidence. This also means they are able to have their own beliefs that don’t become influenced by people — like you, possibly — that disagree with them. 

5. Positive and constructive communication

It is a great sign when you feel comfortable opening up to somebody about your feelings, and communicate honestly about what you need from them. You should be able to bring up things that bother you without it becoming a fight. They should be able to do the same, and you should be able to work together through issues. 

6. You feel good 

A good quote from Michelle Obama is “Good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt.” And it really is that simple. It’s not realistic to think that every single relationship you have will always be harmonious, perfect, and without taking work at times. But when you’re done spending time with somebody, you should feel uplifted. You shouldn’t feel like you have to walk on eggshells. 

7. Your life doesn’t drastically change because of them

This is a less obvious, but extremely important green flag. 

When a new, healthy relationship comes into your life, you keep hanging out with the same people. You do not self-isolate. You continue the same hobbies and routines. You maintain your same core beliefs and values. You will still want time to be alone to do things you want to do. You do not become all-consumed with your new friend or partner. 

Of course, to make time for someone important, things do have to give sometimes — you only have 24 hours in the day. It’s not unheard of for somebody to spend less time with their friends once they get into a relationship. But if your life takes a complete 180, and you completely change, this is an indication that you and this person are not a natural match.

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