We’re all familiar with the term “red flags” when it comes to relationships. The little (or huge) warning signs that we’d prefer to ignore so we can just keep things going with someone whom we know deep down isn’t good for us. And while it’s doubtlessly important to keep an eye out for such things, we shouldn’t dwell on them all the time. Let’s look at something a little happier today. Like, say, green flags:
This post in r/AskReddit garnered over 10,000 responses. Here are some of the highlights:
1. Love is unhurried.
You don’t feel like you’re competing for their time. You’re just loved. Even when they are busy, you don’t have to worry.
People think you need to spend all your time with someone. You don’t. But the feeling of being loved removes any jealousy or insecurities.
You just know it’s good
2. You can be you.
When you like the person that you become when you’re with them.
Everyone projects a different version of themselves around different people and if you don’t like who you become when you’re with someone, it’s probably not going to be the healthiest relationship.
Your SO should bring out the best in you.
3. Burdens are cut in half.
If it’s a chore you both hate, you do it together.
My late husband and I both HATED folding laundry, but it had to be done. So we always did it together. Made the chore less of a pain.
4. You can love through anger.
No matter how angry you are at one another. You will still go out of your way or they go out of their way to help.
I’ll be wicked p**sed, but I’ll angrily make my wife her favorite dinner even though I don’t want to eat. No matter how angry we are at one another (usually only last a short period of time) we will never sabotage or try to teach them a lesson. Many times, it ends up being both apologizing to one another.
Arguing and getting angry is just part of a relationship and unavoidable. It is how you deal with it that’s sets it apart from a healthy relationship versus a bad one.
5. Surprise each other.
Came home from working a 12 hour shift one night to a full dinner with my favorite dessert.
Never had a girlfriend just decide to cook me a full meal for me to come home to like that.
6. Forgiveness is key.
Able to forgive mistakes.
Early in our relationship I accidentally backed my car into my Fiance’s car while coming out of the driveway. I definitely did damage. I immediately started freaking out and crying and he just calmly got out of his car, came up to mine and asked if I was okay.
He got me to calm down and said it was fine it was just an accident. He never made me feel bad about it. He called it our little bump to my friends to minimize my embarrassment.
We laugh about it to this day.
7. Don’t be a tease.
My ex would tease me a lot and would tease me in front of his family. He would say things like “Oh she changed her outfit 3 times because she thought you guys would judge her.” Or “She didn’t really want to come over but I convinced her.” He would be laughing and joking but these things would be the truth!
When I was going to meet my current boyfriend’s family I was really nervous! In the car I said “Please don’t tell them how nervous I am, it’s so embarrassing!” He looked at me in shock and said “I’m on YOUR side! Why would I tell them that?” And it was like a freaking lightbulb! Love this guy 🙂
8. Nobody’s perfect.
When your SO takes criticism from you seriously without immediately trying to turn it back on you.
If the converse is also true, you two stand a great chance of going the distance.
9. Have a good thing to say.
10. Remember the best medicine.
And also: I’ve been with my partner for 40 years (this month!) and I still smile when I see him across a room.
He still makes me laugh and my heart soars when I think of him.
11. Love is in the details.
Listening to you and remembering the things you’ve said.
Back when me and my boyfriend started dating, he’d sometimes bring up things that I’ve said before (ex: my favorite foods, candies, etc.).
Made me super happy and could tell he genuinely cared.
12. Talk to each other.
They communicate if they will be delayed and how long they will be.
Talk things through BEFORE it becomes a screaming match. Not after.
Asks about boundaries/traumas and doesn’t judge you for them, but instead respects them.
13. Stay in touch.
Calling/texting just to see how you’re doing, even if they don’t need anything.
14. Take it point by point.
• genuine interest in each other’s hobbies (don’t have to do them, but at least support it)
• strong communication
• you feel like you’re hanging out with your best friend…except you wanna smash.
15. The ultimate test of character:
Putting the shopping cart back
16. What should we look for?
Willingness to forgive you when you make a mistake/speak in anger/etc rather than hold a grudge or try to punish you. (Doesn’t mean they won’t be still be upset of course.)
Willingness to admit fault and take responsibility when they make a mistake/speak in anger/etc and work on their own negative behaviors. Related: taking you seriously when something upsets you even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal from their perspective.
Not losing their temper when things don’t go their way. Example: do you want to be with someone who blows up when the car breaks down on a road trip and makes everyone else miserable or the person who calmly calls the repair service and tries to make the best of it?
Not making personal attacks during arguments. Focusing more on how they are feeling and fixing the problem at hand, and then reconciling afterward, rather than lashing out with a list of perceived character flaws. Example: “I feel disrespected when…” rather than “You’re such a disrespectful [expletive of choice]!”
Genuine care for you and others; a lack of self-centeredness. Being open to hear the perspectives of others, even when they don’t agree. An understanding that they are not the center of the universe, they are not always right, and there is always something to learn.
In short: emotional maturity.
17. Watch for reduced noise perception.
The ability to co exist in very companionable silence.
18. Ask your doctor if your health is more important than a car’s.
It’s a pretty convoluted story, but I was dating a guy, had to drive his car to get him from a situation, and wrecked his car due to mechanical failure, and called my mama to come get me so we could go get him.
“Rescued” him. Then had to tell him I’d wrecked his car.
His first question: “Are you okay?”
My mom overheard. “That one’s a keeper.”
19. Look out for irritability-resistant cooperation.
I remember the time I was pissed at my SO and then she accidentally spilled some sauce on her lap and I angrily helped her clean it up with my hanky
– [user deleted]
20. Do you need dietary assistance?
When you’re on a road trip and your partner feeds you fries and helps you drink your soda or whatever.
I think that’s such a nice simple gesture of kindness.
21. Note any increased mobility.
Genuine support in your life goals, even if that means you two will have to go long distance for a while or will have to have conflicting work schedule or it will make your relationship harder in some way. If they love you and want you to be happy, they will be genuinely interested in what you want to do and will try to support you to do that in whatever way they can. They won’t hold you back in anyway.
This is something me and my SO have been facing something similar to this recently, he’s just graduated and is looking for a job. As much as I want him to stay close by so we don’t have to do long distance for any more time than we have to (I’m going home for the summer). But if he gets a job the other side of the country I won’t stop him and as long as I’m around I’ll help him pack up.
22. Quick recovery periods are frequent.
Being able to emotionally connect even after an argument
23. Close examination of common experiences may be necessary.
Telling the little details about your day. There’s something really precious about that, and you feel in-tune with the other person.
24. Note any increased memory function.
Your partner does things for you without asking and remembers little details. For example I like eating with a fruit fork (the smaller version of the dinner fork) I actually googled that since our family calls them the little forks lol.
Anyway, my partner remembers this and will grab it for me when we’re dishing up food. Another good one is they make you feel appreciated.
25. Watch what you eat.
They respect your food issues, whether preferences, allergies, etc.
Bonus Points: They defend you to their blood relatives.
26. Note a strong appetite for thing-doing.
If she shows equal interest in hanging out with you. If it feels like you’re dragging them into going on a date, they’re really not into you, no matter what they may say.
Besides, let’s be honest. Wouldn’t you rather date someone who is as excited and interested in seeing you and you are in seeing them?
27. Empathetic response may be above normal parameters.
You want your partner to be happy and not the other way around. Oftentimes people want to be in a relationship to solely make themselves happy
28. Take note of reading comprehension.
You recommend them a book or movie and they actually take the time to check it out.
29. There may be a general reduction in stress.
It feels “easy”.
Effortless. Unforced. Natural.
This is a good sign of a real connection. Compromise feels like second nature. You both breath thoughtfulness and consideration towards each other.
You figure things out, together. You see each other, respect each other, and appreciate each other.
30. In summary:
I feel like there’s a lot of detailed examples that largely boil down to two things: empathy and emotional maturity.
We should remember to recognize and celebrate the good in our lives and the good in each other. It’s what makes this whole crazy thing worthwhile!
What are some other things you would add to this list?
Tell us in the comments.