When dating someone new, it’s common to focus on potential warning signs that might lead us down a pathway to relationship disaster. Often, we are warned by family, friends, and the media to keep our eyes peeled for any potential red flag that could alert us toward dating danger.
While it’s wise to be cautious while dating, it’s important to see the whole picture. We wouldn’t want to be so intent on catching an error that we miss out on all the good signals someone is showing us.
Relationship green flags are just that–signs that our partner shows excellent potential for a healthy, long-term relationship.
What does a ‘relationship green flag’ mean?
We’ve all heard of relationship red flags–potential warning signs that when noticed, can help us to avoid heartbreak, toxic partners, and dangerous situations.
But, what about green flags in a relationship?
Simply put, relationship green flags signify the potential for a happy, healthy, and long-term relationship.
Ignoring red flags can be detrimental to our relationship’s success, and the same goes for green flags.
Even if we’ve only been on one date, it’s important to take note of the good behaviors that our partner exhibits. Focusing on these green flags could help us find a partner that will lead to a happy, prosperous relationship.
Let’s discuss 10 green flags to watch out for when picking a partner.
#1. They showed up on time
We all run late from time to time, but being punctual to a date is more than good manners. Being on time shows that your partner is excited to see you, made it a priority in their day, and genuinely wants to spend time with you. Timeliness is a good indicator that they don’t view the date as an obligation, but as an exciting opportunity to get to know you.
If, for some unforeseen reason, they end up running a few minutes late, don’t worry. As long as they let you know by calling or sending a quick text message, it’s still a good sign. This shows that they value your time, and understand the importance of the occasion, even when mishaps happen.
#2. They make enough eye contact
They say that the eyes are like windows into the soul. If that’s true, then the best way to get to know someone is through looking into them. Strong eye contact is a great way to build a romantic connection with your date.
While too much eye contact can feel uncomfortable, the right amount signals that your date feels safe in your presence and is engaged in what you’re saying.
#3. They really listen to you
If you’re looking for a relationship to last long term, it’s important that your partner be a good listener. Being in a relationship means that at times, we have to express feelings that make us feel vulnerable. Active listening signals that it’s safe to speak up even when it’s difficult, allowing couples to resolve conflict, understand each other’s perspectives, and foster an even deeper level of emotional intimacy.
#4. They ask thoughtful questions
When they say they care, you know it’s not fake. They support it through actions. Plus, they follow up on matters that you shared, and they show up when you are not feeling your best. They want you to feel better, and they are active in making it happen.
Pay attention if your partner really puts in the effort to hear and understand you. If they ask thoughtful questions, make space for you in the conversation, and seek to get to know your inner world well, those are all big green flags.
#5. They have a good sense of humor
Humor is an often overlooked, yet critical aspect of a successful relationship. Partners who share a strong sense of humor in their relationship tend to feel more connected, satisfied and attracted to one another. Being able to laugh and joke with a date shows that you’re comfortable with each other and can have fun.
When it comes to maintaining a long-lasting relationship, laughter truly is the best medicine.
#6. They are open-minded
Being in a relationship is all about sacrifice. When someone means a lot to you, it’s important that both partners be willing to accommodate their individual needs for the good of their relationship and family.
While it might be hard to gauge this on a first date, there are still some clues that show whether or not someone is open-minded.
When speaking with your date, ask yourself:
- Do they tend to hold very strong stances in every subject, or do they express curiosity, and a desire to learn more?
- When we have a difference of opinion on something, do they seem interested in my perspective, or do they shut down the subject entirely?
- When planning for the date, do they work with my schedule or do we have to fit our time around theirs?
- If our plans were to change, would they be upset, or have a flexible attitude?
Answers to these questions can give insight into how open or closed-minded your date might be.
#7. They give their full attention
Life is full of distractions that can affect the longevity of a relationship if one or both partners aren’t fully attentive to each other. That’s why a huge green flag for the first few dates is when your partner is giving you their full undivided attention.
If you find that your date is constantly checking their phone, glancing out the window, or checking their watch, they are showing that their attention is elsewhere and not with you.
However, eye contact, active listening, and asking engaging questions are all signs that your partner is present in the moment with you.
While it might seem like common courtesy, it shows that they prioritize your feelings, thoughts, and the relationship they are building with you. Consider this a green flag.
#8. They have a positive attitude
When speaking with your date, do they tend to see the glass as half full or half empty? Do you smile and laugh when with them? Do you have so much fun that time seems to fly by?
Positive thoughts, positive thinking, or simply focusing on the positive are all very powerful tools within a relationship. Unfortunately, we will all face some sort of hardship in life. However, the support of a loving partner to by your side makes it bearable to endure those tough times. For that reason, dating someone with a positive attitude is so important. This is a green flag that’s necessary for a happy and joyous relationship.
#9. They’re polite and respectful
When someone acts in a polite and respectful manner, it generally means that they care about the feelings and well-being of others. This is especially true if they are kind to everyone–not just you. Whether it’s the waiter, their parents, or their neighbor across the street, take note of how they treat and talk about the people in their lives.
A person who is truly kind will still be caring and gentle in times of conflict, too. So, if your date is consistently polite and respectful to you now, that’s a green flag that they will have the same behavior in all circumstances.
#10. You feel at ease when you’re with them
The most important green flag is how you feel with your partner while you’re with them. Finding a partner that makes you feel relaxed, happy, and peaceful is important in long-term relationships. Feeling at ease with your partner means that they accept you for who you are, allowing you to just be yourself. That feeling of true acceptance builds intimacy, safety, and trust within a relationship.
If the vast majority of your time together feels positive, uplifting, and fun, then this is a green flag that they’re a good match for you.