We have all heard about the countless red flags in relationships; everything we should be aware of, that signals we're in an unhealthy relationship but rarely do we talk about the signs of a healthy relationship. Green flags in relationships are essentially the indicators of a healthy relationship, there is no magic number to how many green flags one should have in their relationship as every relationship is different. It's also important to note that while a relationship may have green flags, it's also important to be aware of your genuine feelings about the relationship and recognize if there are red flags or issues that are not being addressed. Relationships can be difficult but can also be fulfilling and healing. There are many factors that go into a successful and healthy relationship and it can be difficult to manage at some points but with the right person, it will make things easier. To summarize everything I've read & witnessed personally, your significant other is an integral part of your life and this person should be your safe space. I've included green flags to look for in your own relationships (this can also apply to friendships!).
Trust develops over time so as your relationship progresses you may feel more comfortable sharing about your past or having difficult conversations. Trust is a fundamental part of a relationship as it means that you can feel comfortable and secure to open up and go to them if you need them.
- Share similar values and goals
Sometimes there are compromises or discussions about what you want your future to look like together, but it's good if you share similar goals and ideas of what you want your future to look like, whether it is where you'd live, kids, marriage, etc! You don't have to have exactly the same values, but it is important that you're both accepting of one another's beliefs, and share similar values when it comes to exclusivity, spirituality, family, + many other things!
- Make you feel safe (physically and emotionally)
In a relationship, you should feel safe physically and emotionally. This includes respecting one's boundaries sexually. You should never feel like you're being coerced into anything that makes you uncomfortable. No one should be subject to manipulation or gaslighting, where you have to live up to unreasonable standards to be worthy of their love and they should never physically harm you. Your S.O. should be someone that you feel comfortable and safe around.
Both individuals should be accountable for their actions in a relationship and recognize the impact of their actions on their S.O. Going along with accountability, individuals should be able to recognize when they made a mistake and apologize. But these apologies don't entirely excuse one's actions. If your S.O. apologizes for hurting you in some way, they should hold themselves accountable to not make the same mistake again.
- They support you
While your S.O shouldn't try to change you, they should help you to become your best self. They should support your academic, career, or personal goals and celebrate your successes, big and small. Additionally, it's a green flag if they actively want to be part of your life; if they want to get to know you on a deeper level, and want to meet your friends and family.
The last thing you want is someone who is unsure of their feelings. If someone commits to you, you should both be on the same page about exclusivity and what you consider cheating.
Red flags and green flags both serve their purpose in recognizing potential issues and the sustainability of a relationship. Green flags serve as reminders that healthy love does exist. As Bianca Sparacino puts it best, "Fall in love with someone who is both your safe place and your biggest adventure."