In this article we are going to talk about some important relationship green flags you should look out for.
Single people everywhere are looking for red flags in relationships.
We’re out there weaving and dodging them, our eyes ever watchful for signs that a new potential partner could be a disaster waiting to happen.
After all, most of us have endured enough personal disasters and disappointments for one lifetime.
In fact, we become so attuned to red flags that everything begins to look like one. We might even forget to look for the relationship green flags that let us know a potential partner just might be a really good fit.
We’re too busy dissecting words and tones of voice, mannerisms and texts, to look for something as positive as green flags.
Red Flags vs Green Ones: A Quick Review
Red flags in relationships are all the signs that someone isn’t a good fit for us.
While you might think of the classic examples of showing emotional unavailability, financial instability, or cheater tendencies, sometimes red flags are just markers of incompatibility.
The night owl might not be a good fit for the early bird, or polarity in values could ruffle some feathers over time.
Someone who is 420-friendly might not want to partner someone who is going to look at that choice with judgment.
A relationship green flag is a sign that the person has a quality you’re looking for in a partner. These are the good signs — the clues that the person you’re getting to know might just be a great fit.
Here are 17 relationship green flags you won’t want to miss.
17 Relationship Green Flags
Here are 17 signs you’re in a healthy relationship.
Why listen to me? I’m Crystal Jackson and I was a master’s level licensed therapist. I worked with couples and individuals and specialized in trauma recovery and empowerment. I now write content about relationships, self-improvement, and psychology. My work has been featured in large publications such as Elite Daily, Your Tango, Positively Positive, and Mamamia.
1. They Are Self-Aware and Growth Focused
There are a lot of good qualities you might be looking out for when dating. One of the biggest relationship green flags is when a person is both self-aware and growth focused.
I’ve combined these qualities for one good reason: there are a lot of people who are self-aware but fail to address their problematic behaviors.
Someone who is self-aware and growth-focused knows they aren’t perfect but are also capable of working on it. This is a great sign for relationships.
It means that they’ll be able to admit when they’re wrong and might actually be willing to work on problems in the relationship — and let’s face it: some problems are inevitable.
2. They Can Be Vulnerable
Another relationship green flag you want to watch out for is the ability to be vulnerable. Don’t overlook this one.
Someone who can open up to you is a person who is ready for a relationship — or at least more so than someone who is guarded and unwilling to ever let their walls down.
Vulnerability is hard. It’s hard to admit you like someone and risk rejection. If someone is letting you know that they’re unequivocally interested, they’re giving you the ability to hurt them.
It’s a big deal — and a really good sign as long as they aren’t oversharing and pushing your boundaries.
3. They Have Boundaries and Respect Yours
Healthy boundaries are, of course, one of the most important relationship green flags you’ll want to be on the lookout for. A person with healthy boundaries is more likely to respect yours.
They know themselves well enough to know what they want and where they draw the lines in relationships.
Someone with healthy boundaries isn’t codependent. They will speak up when they don’t like something but will do so respectfully.
They’ll expect you to do the same.
They won’t hang around and be treated with disrespect, and they also won’t engage in a relationship that isn’t what they truly want.
It might be uncomfortable for a person without healthy boundaries, but these are all really great signs that this person could be a strong partner.
Recommended read: The Ultimate Guide to Healthy and Strong Relationship Boundaries
4. They Communicate Openly
Someone who communicates openly is waving a big green flag in your direction. Never underestimate the value of good communication. It’s so important in any kind of relationship.
This person doesn’t keep you guessing if they like you.
They don’t engage in passive-aggressive strategies when they can just tell you how they feel.
They use their words to let you know they like you, to let you know when something isn’t working for them, or whatever else they need to say.
It’s invaluable to have a partner who can just say what’s on their mind without expecting you to guess what’s going on with them.
5. Their Actions Align with Their Words
A major green flag you might see is when someone’s actions align with their words.
They do what they say they’re going to do; they live a life in line with their values.
They don’t say one thing and do another or vice versa.
This shows that they are dependable and have some personal integrity. It’s a big deal. While you still want to keep an eye out for red flags, you don’t need to overlook the green ones.
Clarity in words and actions is powerful in relationships, and it can let you know just where you stand if you’re paying attention.
6. You Feel Safe to Be Yourself Around Them
When you’re around them, you are completely yourself. You don’t have to hide who you are or pretend to be anything you’re not. You can just relax and let your guard down.
Feeling safe enough to be yourself around someone is a huge green flag. You don’t feel like you have to pretend to be someone else to get them to like you.
You feel comfortable that they’ll like you for you, which is necessary for any healthy relationship.
7. They Have Compatible Values
Another green flag you’ll want to observe is compatible values.
While the old-school rule of thumb was to avoid politics and religion when getting to know someone, these days, you might realize how important it is to figure out if your values align before you get attached.
Being able to navigate these topics respectfully is important, but it’s equally important to figure out if your values are compatible for a relationship.
While sometimes differences can work in relationships, that doesn’t really apply to value systems.
If you see signs that someone who you’re getting to know shares your values, this is a green flag. It means that this person could have true partner potential.
Recommended read: How Soon Is Too Soon to Propose: 10 Things to Keep in Mind
8. They Want the Future You Do
More than values, you need to look to see if this person wants the same kind of future you do.
Sharing a vision of the future is an enormous green flag. If you want to live in a city high-rise and he wants life on the farm, your relationship isn’t likely to last.
You need to have a compatible idea of your future to be able to build one together.
For instance, someone who doesn’t want children has no business partnering someone who does — and the reverse is true as well.
Someone who hates dogs shouldn’t pair up with an enthusiastic dog owner. If you don’t think you could handle being a step-parent, you shouldn’t date someone with kids.
You want to look for someone who wants what you do, and when you find this, file it away as yet another green flag to continue getting to know them.
9. They Invest in the Relationship
You’re not doing all the texting. He texts you, too. There’s an equivalent investment in the relationship even if you’re just starting to get to know each other.
The investment in the relationship is a green flag. It shows that they are making the time and effort to know you.
Relationships don’t just happen by magic and wishes. They take effort. They take intention. Someone who isn’t investing in you isn’t that interested in getting to know you.
While that might be natural when the connection is new, over time, it’s a green flag to see their effort grow with the relationship
10. You Have Healthy Space and Togetherness with Them
One major green flag is that you have both healthy space and a healthy sense of togetherness with them. You don’t feel smothered, and neither do they.
That healthy balance between being together and having time to cultivate your own interests is powerful.
It’s a relationship green flag that’s an absolute must for any healthy connection.
It’s not normal to spend all your time with someone and never let them have time to themselves. And it’s not normal to have a relationship with someone you rarely see or talk to on a regular basis.
When you’re building a relationship, you want to make sure you have some balance with time together and apart and that you talk about what feels right for both of you.
11. Your Family and Friends Love Them
You already know that your friends and family hating who you’re with is a big old red flag you might not want to see, but did you ever think the fact that they love the one you’re with is a green flag?
Don’t take it for granted! A healthy support system wants to see you happy.
If the people you love really adore the person you’re dating, put a check in the green flag column.
This will also make your life easier if you choose to partner with them.
It’ll be more fun to have your partner around your people if they all get along, and there won’t be a strain or sense of walking on eggshells.
The people you love should absolutely love and support your relationships, or there’s a good chance that they’re seeing something you’re refusing to see.
12. They Support Your Dreams
Does the one you’re dating support your dreams and cheer on your successes? It’s not just a big deal, it’s one of the biggest green flags in a relationship.
Someone you share your life with should enthusiastically support you.
After all, relationships shouldn’t be a competition.
They should be your biggest cheerleader, and you should be theirs.
This is green flag territory. Their support means they want you to be happy and get everything your heart desires.
This is such a positive sign when it comes to dating.
Someone who is happy to be on the sidelines cheering you on can be a powerful partner who shows up for you in the good times and the bad ones.
13. They Make You Laugh and Bring You Joy
Bringing you angst and tears is an obvious red flag.
Yet, laughter and joy is a big green one that you might take for granted if you’re not paying attention.
Dating doesn’t have to be drama-filled and torturous. It shouldn’t be if it’s healthy. If they make you laugh and add joy to your life, they’re probably a keeper.
While relationships can’t survive on laughter alone, it’s a promising start. Notice how you feel when you’re with them. Notice how you feel after you’ve spent time in their company.
Decide if it feels like joy. If it does, appreciate it and count it in their pros column if you’re trying to decide if it’s a good fit.
14. They Take the Relationship at a Pace You Find Comfortable
Another powerful green flag is that the person you’re dating takes the relationship at a pace you find comfortable.
They aren’t rushing you to update your relationship status.
They aren’t crawling along at an anxiety-provoking snail’s pace either. They’re letting things evolve organically while keeping you in the loop about how they feel.
The pace feels good, it’s not too fast or too slow.
It doesn’t feel uncertain. It just feels good.
How good it feels puts it firmly in the green flag category.
15. They Know How to Fight Fair
Someone who avoids fights isn’t waving a green flag for you to notice.
Avoidance isn’t a good thing. Someone who can fight fair might be carrying a green flag you’re too annoyed to see.
Look, fights can’t be avoided no matter how conflict-resistant you feel. Someone who can disagree or even argue with you respectfully is potentially a good partner.
A person who fights fair is kind no matter what.
They don’t call names, belittle you, treat you like you’re dumb, or raise their voice.
And they can talk out a disagreement without being inappropriate — even when it’s uncomfortable.
You don’t have to enjoy the fight to understand that the fact that they can fight fair is actually a healthy and desirable quality.
Recommended read: Healthy Relationships: 5 Powerful Habits of Truly Happy Couples
16. They Don’t Expect You to Be Perfect
Let’s be clear: someone who puts you on a pedestal is carrying a red flag. Someone who doesn’t expect or want you to be perfect has a green flag for the relationship.
They have realistic expectations. They know that no one is perfect and certainly won’t hold you to a standard that’s impossible to achieve.
Don’t take this for granted. There are so many people in the world who will be disappointed the first time you mess up and not want to see you anymore.
There are the people who will shame you for being a messy person some days and not entirely having your shit together at every moment.
Then, there are the people who keep caring about you and showing up for you even when you’re not at your best.
These people are the ones you can build a healthy life with; these are the people capable of loving you through good times and bad.
17. They Listen to You and Validate Your Feelings
Is there anything sexier than a person who can listen — truly listen — to you?
Someone who is paying attention to what you have to say and validates your feelings is showing a huge green flag.
Listening isn’t the only quality that matters, and it may not even be the single most important quality, but it’s important.
Do they remember the little details? Do they hear you out and not dismiss what you’re going through? And most importantly, do they show an interest in what’s going on with you on any given day?
You might take it for granted, but not every potential partner is willing or capable of listening well. Add it to your green flag list because it matters.
Recommended read: How Soon Is Too Soon to Move In Together? Here’s the Truth
Green Flags, Relationships, and You
Notice what you focus on when you’re dating. If you’re solely focused on red flags, you’ll more than likely see more of them. If you start looking for green flags, the same is likely to be true.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s important to note red flags as they come up. Just don’t be so attuned to them that you can’t even see when someone might be a good fit for your life.
If you’re going to play capture the flag while dating, hopefully you’re out there trying to collect the good ones.
They make you laugh, they listen. They might disagree with you, but they’re respectful about it. You share values and compatible plans for the future.
There’s balance in the relationship, and you can both be yourself. The green flags of relationships become relationship goals. They form a strong foundation to build a life together.
Red flags give you healthy boundaries. You know what you don’t want. You’re firm about ruling out the things you’ve designated as red flags.
Now, you can focus on the green flags that let you know someone is worth getting to know better.
Take your time. Collect the green flags with an eye out for any red ones in the mix. People aren’t perfect, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find someone who is absolutely perfect for you.