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Forget Red Flags. What About Green Flags in Relationships?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I think most people know what a “red flag” is when talking about relationships. According to verywellmind.com, the term “red flag” signifies a reason to stop. In the context of a relationship, it is a sign that the person probably can’t have a healthy relationship. Proceeding toward a relationship together would be emotionally dangerous for you.

I’ve seen identifying red flags as a trend on social media lately, especially on Instagram and TikTok. While I think it is important to be aware of potential dangers in a relationship, it is equally important to notice the green flags when something feels right. If you enter a healthy relationship, there should be little to no red flags, but instead, bountiful green flags. 

The right person will make you feel loved, secure, and cherished. Let’s dive into common green flags that should reinforce the knowledge that a person is your match. I’ve gathered these from being in my own relationship with my boyfriend and through friends and family’s experiences.

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1. they’re the first to text you to see if you made it to your destination safely.

My boyfriend and I unknowingly developed a system of checking in on each other’s safety when we are traveling apart. It just happened naturally because we both care about the other’s wellbeing. We’ll send texts like, “Please text me when you’re home safely” and, “Tell me when your flight lands safely.” When your partner does this, it is a good sign they have pure intentions and want to ensure you are okay. It should never be in a controlling way, but rather, in a way that is genuine.

2. they take genuine interest in your life.

This a huge one. If something is very important to you, and your partner does not seem to care about it or make an effort, this is a red flag. A good partner will naturally want to know about what’s happening in your life and the people in it. What’s important to you will become important to them simply because they care for you. For example, your partner may ask you how your class is going or if you had fun at the movies with your friends. They will check in on you to let you know they care.

3. they always offer support and encouragement, and never belittle you.

This is incredibly important. A good partner should never belittle you or put you down to make you feel stupid or inferior. Now, this is different from constructive criticism. There is a difference between the two. If a partner is concerned about something or a decision you made, they will tell you about their concerns with kindness and love. Your partner should be your biggest cheerleader in life and make every effort to support you in your aspirations and goals. When other people are putting you down and thinking your dreams are unrealistic, your partner should be your rock through constant encouragement. Your partner should want you to be happy in life.

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4. they make an effort to Learn about your hobbies and do activities you like.

This correlates to #2. If your partner takes interest in the activities and hobbies you enjoy, this is a good sign. This means they want to learn to appreciate what you enjoy and join in alongside you. Even if it’s not their thing, they should at least support you in your passion for it. For example, my boyfriend is on the fencing team, and for those who know me, you could infer that I know next to nothing about fencing. However, I know it brings him joy and new friendships in his life, so I ask him to explain it to me so I can better understand. The way his face lights up when he talks about it is so worth it.

5. they are excited to meet your family and friends.

I feel like this is an obvious green flag, but it can often go unnoticed. Your partner should have excitement for meeting the people in your life that mean the most to you. If they become protective and don’t want you to be around certain people, this is not good. It is a green flag if they easily blend in with your friends and family and try to get to know them deeper. It always feels nice when you have your loved ones’ approval when meeting a new significant other. Your partner should ask how they are doing and genuinely care about those people.

6. they respect your life outside of the relationship.

This a very significant one because your partner should recognize that your life does not revolve around your relationship. Yes, your relationship should be a large part of your life, but you have outside things going on. They should respect that you need time apart to spend either by yourself or with friends and family. It’s okay to have a night hanging out with your best girl friends or roommates, for example. Your partner should not receive 100% of your attention. You have other responsibilities.

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7. they value the boundaries you set for yourself in a relationship setting.

In my past relationship, my boyfriend did not respect my boundaries. Yes, we were young and in high school, however, that taught me the importance of respecting your partner’s boundaries. These do not just have to be physical. They can be emotional, intellectual, or time specific. The key to your partner valuing your boundaries is communication! In order for them to value them, they need to know what your boundaries are in the first place. Tell them and be specific as to why that boundary is important to you. It is a green flag if they take what you have to say to heart and not push you to do things that aren’t comfortable.

8. you have a sense of safety and comfort whenever you’re around them.

This is not a tangible green flag; it’s more of something you can just sense when you are around this person. Whenever I am around my boyfriend, I feel a sense of security and comfort because I know he is one of the people in my life that cares about my wellbeing the most. I know he is on my side and has my back no matter what life throws at us. If you get this warm feeling around your partner, it’s a definite green flag.

9. they check in on how your day is going.

This is a little green flag to let you know they are thinking of you and care. If you don’t hear from your partner all day (besides if you know they are having a busy day), it doesn’t seem like they genuinely care for your feelings. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but a quick FaceTime call, handwritten note, or short text lets you know they’re thinking of you.

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10. you can openly share your feelings to them without judgment.

Communicating feelings in a relationship is one of the key ways of creating a healthy and open environment. You should not be afraid to open up to your partner if you feel a certain way or want to bring up an issue. If you’re able to have honest conversations with them, this is a green flag. They should not cast judgment or be quick to defend. They should be quiet while you say what you need to, and then respond openly in return. Communication is key when knowing if you’re on the same page or not.

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Those are my top 10 green flags to look for in your relationship. No relationship is perfect, so there will be issues that pop up that you and your partner will need to resolve. This should not overshadow the positives though. Green flags are equally important, and I know in my relationship, they’re what keep me falling deeper in love with my boyfriend. Sure, both of us mess up here and there, but it’s what we continually do right that matters.

HCXO,

Rachel

References:

Gould, W. R. (2021, November 9). 10 red flags in relationships. Verywell Mind. Retrieved January 24, 2022, from https://www.verywellmind.com/10-red-flags-in-relationships-5194592.

Rachel Ritchey

Millersville '22

Rachel Ritchey is a senior public relations major at Millersville University. Rachel is involved in Her Campus Millersville (social media director), the All Campus Musical Organization, PRSSA, and Navigators. She is passionate about type 1 diabetes awareness, social media management, music, mental health, and self-care. ♡
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