In the age of the Internet, we get hyper-exposed to red flag behaviour in potential partners, and this can include gaslighting, co-dependence, and disrespecting boundaries. However, we are less aware of the more positive “green flags” that could signal a healthy relationship. Apart from asking important questions during your first meeting, here are some of the signs you may want to look out for in your potential partner.
- They give you “me” time and set boundaries.
Red flag: They’re overdependent or clingy.
Being in a relationship is great —you have someone to rely on, have fun with, and go through tough times together with, but when is time spent (virtually or physically) “too much”? Boundaries between “me” and “we” time may be blurred as your relationship progresses in time, but it’s essential to take time off to indulge in your hobbies or even binge-watch your favourite Netflix series alone.
- They’re nice to everyone else
Red flag: They’re only nice to you.
To a select group, the idea of having a partner be nice to only you sounds appealing. However, having great manners and genuine kindness towards everyone (be it their parents, classmates, or even to their waiter) truly shows their character. They don’t necessarily have to be volunteering at every local organisation. Look out for the small things too, such as pushing in chairs as they leave the table, or picking up stray trash on the floor when no one is around. Another key thing you may want to look out for is their relationships with others in their life. Are their friends in and out of their life in the blink of an eye? This may indicate frequent friction between them and other people, whereas having long-standing friendships could signal loyalty and consistency.
- Your friends like them
Red flag: Your friends feel uncomfortable with them around.
We often dismiss this one, because we may feel that only people involved in the relationship should be given a say. However, when we’re caught up in the freshness of a new relationship, our friends (especially mutual ones) may have a more objective perspective on if our partner is truly good for us or not.
- You feel comfortable around them
Red flag: You’re anxious to impress them.
Feeling nervous upon the first few meetings is completely normal. After all, first impressions are undeniably important and you never know when you’ll be meeting “the one.” However, if this feeling of anxiousness persists each and every time you meet, it may be something to look out for! As time goes on, you should start to feel safe and more comfortable with them, delving into deeper topics with ease.
- Your values and visions align
Red flag: You disagree on your visions for the future.
When considering a potentially serious relationship, values and things you want to achieve in each of your lives are important to consider. What does individual success and success in a relationship look like to you and your partner respectively? Are political views important to you both and do they match? Are you able to put your differences aside or will they clash over time?
- You seldom worry about their intentions
Red flag: You’re always unsure of where you stand with them.
Trust is vital in any relationship, and if you’re still feeling in the dark about where the relationship is headed even after some time, this may be a potential red flag. An honest and reliable partner should not be giving you mixed signals or even a reason to worry or distrust them.
- They listen and remember the small things about you
Red flag: They talk about themselves too much.
While the process of getting to know each other can involve a lot of back and forth, take note of the ratio between them talking about themselves and finding out more about you. Remembering tiny details such as your favourite genre of music, car model, or park to visit is a definite sign that they truly care about you.
Original article idea by Giselle Lim, Her Campus Nanyang Tech.