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Sex + Relationships

Green Means Go: 10 Green Flags to Look Out for When Dating

We’ve all heard of red flags to look out for when you begin talking to someone new. Things like telling you how to dress, placing blame on you for things that are not your fault, giving you the silent treatment, etc. are all signs that you should reevaluate your situationship. But, there are many good things, let’s call them green flags, that can help reassure you that you’re entering a healthy relationship. Let’s take a deeper look at a few traits that serve as green light. 

You Can be Yourself Around Them 

Being nervous on a first date is completely natural and expected. Whether this means you tread lightly, think carefully about what you say or perhaps share less than you typically do, that’s understandable. But, that should begin to wear off once you start seeing someone seriously. One of the biggest green flags in relationships is being able to be unfiltered with your significant other and not having to overthink what you’re saying 24/7. This shows that you don’t have to put on a mask in front of the other person.

You Feel Free to Maintain an Independent Life Outside of Them

Independence is key when it comes to feeling secure while getting into any romantic relationship. If your partner encourages you to have your own hobbies, hangout with your friends without them and ditches the guilt trip if you’re too busy to see them 24/7, those are signs you’ll be able to stay independent in your relationship.

They Encourage You to Grow

If your significant other sees you blossoming for the better as an individual and says something like, “That’s not you,” or, “I don’t want you to change,” that’s a red flag. Your partner should always encourage you to grow into a better person, whatever that means for you. This could be shown as working on your health, spirituality, or just trying something new. If you’re getting active support in doing those things, that’s a green flag. Growing apart can sometimes be inevitable, but your partner should always have your best interests at heart even if it means you don’t end up together in the end.

They Make an Effort To Get to Know Your Friends

Your inner circle tends to know you the best, which means your partner should prioritize creating relationships with those people. This doesn’t mean they have to become best friends with everyone in your life, but keeping healthy relationships with your friends is important. Who you choose to surround yourself with is a reflection of yourself, and it’s reassuring to see a potential significant other meshing well with those close to you. This also can be a sign that you’ll be able to avoid any unwarranted drama between your friends and your partner. 

They’re Kind to Strangers 

If your significant other is kind and respectful to those they pass in the street, customer service workers, neighbors, etc. that’s a green flag. This shows they value kindness and understand how to respect others. In addition, it can show that the person you’re with doesn’t have a superiority complex over others.  

They Don’t Talk Down on Their Ex

This one can be hard, given every relationship is different. But, if your significant other can speak highly of their previous partners that shows they respect relationships and people, even if it ended poorly. Sharing relationship trauma openly and honestly is healthy, but putting down an ex for a superficial reason only shows immaturity and disrespect.

They’ve Taken Time to get to Know Themselves 

Everyone is growing at this age and learning what they believe in and what they don’t. One significant green flag in relationships is when someone not only knows themselves enough to know what they believe in, but also knows how to share that with you. This shows they are introspective and have taken the time to get to know themselves on a deeper level, which will cross over into the process of them getting to know you. 

They Know How to Disagree in a Mature Manner 

Naturally many of us have some non-negotiables when it comes to things our partner advocates for and rejects within society. This is normal and a healthy boundary to have. But, your partner should also know how to disagree with you in a kind and respectful way. If you say something and your partner responds with, “I don’t know if I agree but I see where you’re coming from,” or, “I don’t really understand what you mean by that, can you try explaining it in a different way?” That’s a green flag. This shows they know how to handle disagreements peacefully and they truly want to know what you believe before conjuring up a response. This also serves as a sign that your partner is open-minded to learning other perspectives which is always a plus. 

They Practice Self-Care 

Being able to take care of your own well-being is a sign of emotional maturity. Whether this means having good hygiene, exercising regularly, eating healthy, meditating, or simply checking in with their emotions, it’s all green flags. Your partner should be able to take care of themselves if they are going to be in a relationship with you. Of course you should be there to support your partner when they need it, but the job of taking care of their basic needs does not need to fall on you. 

They Maintain Long Term Friendships 

This one is underrated. If your partner has friendships from childhood or even a few years running, it shows they know how to maintain a relationship on some level. Getting to know their long-term friends and how the relationship is between them can offer some insights into how they treat others who are close to them. 

Situationships can feel like a weird middle ground. Not knowing if someone is the right person to begin dating seriously is a journey, but looking out for reassurance in green flags can help you reflect on how you see your potential significant other. 

Current Vice President and Campus Correspondent for the Cal Poly chapter of Her Campus. Hannah is a third year Journalism student with a concentration in Public Relations at Cal Poly. Hannah is working toward a career writing for an online publication focusing on health and wellness. In her free time Hannah listens to podcasts, walks on the beach, reads self-help books, shops clean skincare and tries new plant-based recipes. On this page you'll find the articles she has written about lifestyle, health, wellness, fashion, current events and more.
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