We spend a lot of time trying to catch red flags so that we don’t get hurt or know when to leave a relationship. However, do we know how to point out what the green flags look like? Green flags are positive indicators that identify a healthy and successful bond.
Shahzeen Shivdasani, relationship expert and author of the book Love, Lust, and Lemons helps one to identify what green flags should you be noticing:
Open communication: For any relationship to work, effective communication is key! How well do the two of you communicate your wants and needs? How do you handle conflict? In every situation, if you are both willing to communicate openly and honestly with each other, then this a definitely a green flag and a quality that will help you both deepen your bond
Trustworthy and dependable: Trust is another key component. A lot of people find it extremely hard to trust someone completely. It can be baggage that stems from experiences where they got their heart broken. For a relationship to thrive, both parties have to be able to trust each other and be reliable. This will strengthen your connection and create an environment that feels secure and safe.
Emotional support: Another important green flag to pay attention to is how well the two of you support each other. During tough times, do you feel heard and understood? Do you feel they give you empathy and compassion? Do they celebrate your successes? In a well-functioning relationship, you should always feel supported. This lets you know that you and your partner can handle life's many challenges.
Shared values and goals: In a thriving relationship you will notice that the couple sees eye to eye. Of course, there will be things they don’t agree on. However, how they view life and what they want from a partnership should align. When core values are the same it points towards a strong foundation that can grow in harmony. This helps with understanding one another more easily and also being able to compromise where needed.
Gratitude: Couples that take the time to compliment one another for doing something for them, big or small, cultivate positivity. If they demonstrate kindness and appreciation, then that is a green flag. Gratitude boosts an emotional connection and maintains a sense of mutual respect and love.
Personal space: Do they give you your space to grow? A really important green flag is also having a life outside of your relationship. It could be work, hobbies, or catching up with an old friend one on one. In a healthy bond, you let your partner have their space when required. Balancing your autonomy as well as your relationship, will ensure that both parties feel fulfilled.
Adaptability: All relationships have their challenges. Partners who are open to change and can adapt demonstrate the qualities of a lifelong partner. How did they approach unexpected challenges? Are they willing to be flexible? Are they willing to address issues with you straight on and find a solution? Relationships thrive when couples can work through the hard times together when change might be required.
Just remember, relationships should make you feel safe and loved. If you are not experiencing any of the above green flags then this may not be the relationship for you. Stay attentive so you can identify these positive signs as they indicate that a bond is strong and can flourish.
After all, there's a reason even traffic lights allow you to move forward at that colour.