When it comes to dating and relationship advice, there is so much information out there on the RED FLAGS to watch out for in men. Although I do agree that they are important and they should never be ignored, there is a lot to be said about noticing what’s right about them and the relationship. I believe we get more of what we focus on. (I have noticed when I focus on what I consider Bruce’s flaws, the more obvious they become. And, when I focus on the many loving, admirable attributes he has, I experience more of those.)
So, how do you apply this to choosing someone to date and share your life with? Well, while you pay attention to the negatives, why not focus on the positives? Look for what I call, the GREEN FLAGS.
Below are 5 Green Flags to watch for while getting to know someone.
You can genuinely be yourself, relax and have a good time.
You laugh and smile a lot. Conversation easily flows between you. You feel like you can be honest and speak your mind without fear of judgment or ridicule. If your partner brings out the parts of you that you are most proud of and keeps your head out of the darkness, that’s a major green flag.
He can apologize.
He takes responsibility for mistakes or something he did or said that hurts you. (This goes for you too.) He shows empathy and a good sense of himself. He can take responsibility for his life, his feelings, and the consequences of his decisions without blaming others.
You have similar outlooks and want similar things in life.
Things like your values and ways of handling money, playtime, and children are similar. Your vision for your future feels supported. Did you know that a major factor in divorce is differing outlooks on life and different goals? These differences don’t automatically become deal breakers, but they most likely will be the difference between a fun and easy relationship and one that takes work.
You have healthy disagreements.
Everyone knows that disagreements are a part of any lasting relationship but being able to have them without severing your emotional connection is a major green flag. You shouldn’t be worried your entire relationship is going to end every time you have a disagreement with your partner. If you are able to continue getting along in the immediate wake of an argument because it’s a signal that the relationship is more important to both of you than the ways in which you might differ.
And, probably the most important of all….
You feel heard, respected, and safe.
You don’t have to defend your boundaries around time, space and touch. They listen to what you say and take an interest. They have your back and don’t share things that embarrass you. If you do something odd or different than the group and your partner defends you, rather than ganging up with the others to make you feel self-conscious, that’s a great sign that they respect you. Many people have known exes that tried to embarrass them in front of others, even if it was in a half-hearted, joking manner.
While this list is not all there is to watch for, it’s a great start. If you can be yourself, have fun, have a healthy argument, share your life, apologize when needed and feel safe and respected, you have a good chance of being in a long-lasting loving relationship.