Wifeys & Gentlemen,
If you listened to this week’s podcast episode, today’s blog should be no surprise. One of the topics Mr.B and I discussed was the fact that we don’t always focus on the “green flags” in dating and relationships. Of course, red flags are super important and it can be really helpful to know what to avoid and figure out what you don’t want in a partner. But, ask yourself this, do you know what you DO want?
Do you know what relationship qualities would make you want to be closer to someone or take that next step?
How do you know if your partner is even “relationship material”?
As with most things, the answers will look different for everyone. However, I do believe there are some universal green flags that we all can (& probably should) look for in a long term partner.
My Top 10 Universal Green Flags:
They aren’t afraid to make future plans with you
It doesn’t have to be intense or monumental, but look for signs that tell you this person is interested in sticking around. Maybe they ask you to be their plus one at a future event or want to make plans for the holidays? Be warned, this gesture is never a guarantee that your relationship will last that long, but it’s nice to know that your potential partner can see you with them in the future. Please know that there is a difference between this subtle green flag and someone who is too clingy or trying to move too fast. If what they say freaks you out or makes you uncomfortable, slow down and evaluate.
You can be yourself with them, even your worst self
Someone once told me that she knew her boyfriend was a keeper when she could be a mood-swinging monster around him. During her menstrual cycle, she mentioned that she could be extremely unpredictable; going from angry to sad to downright volatile in a matter of minutes. Instead of lashing out at her, he does his best to help her feel safe and accepted. This is one, very specific example, but I think you get the idea. Many of us find happiness with someone we can be authentic with. It is safe to be who we are and feel however we need to in the moment.
They don’t use your flaws and fears against you
No one is perfect. We all have traumas to heal from and toxic traits to work to through. In my opinion, a partner who can know those things about you and not use them against you is one worth investing in. Find a partner who knows how to fight fairly in an argument and avoids using your insecurities as a means of hurting on manipulating you.
You don’t often feel worried, jealous, or uncertain
This is trust, plain and simple. If you’re dating someone and you never feel like you have to guess where you stand with them, this is a very good sign! We all feel unsure of ourselves sometimes, but that insecurity shouldn’t be reinforced by a potential partner. We all deserve stability (if we want it) and shouldn’t have to worry about a wandering eye.
People genuinely like them
It might be wrong of me to generalize, but I have found that people who are well-liked by others tend to be caring in romantic relationships. Popularity is nice and all, but take notice of the way other people speak about your potential partner. Do they have funny stories, great memories, and genuine compliments? Does your partner socialize well with neighbors, coworkers, and everyday strangers? What kind of body language do people have when interacting with them?
It isn’t a fool proof system, but I stand by it! 😉
They can laugh with you and at themselves
My husband is a serious man, but he does not take himself too seriously. He can laugh at his mistakes. We can look back on stupid fights or dumb little marriage hiccups and poke fun at each other for the way we acted. He can make me feel better when I do something silly or absent minded. We don’t keep score or go tit for tat.
Don’t misunderstand, I have known PLENTY of great couples who don’t always find the humor in their struggles, but it is important to know how to cope when things don’t go as planned. Can this person “shake it off” and move forward when you make a mistake or do something hurtful? Can they forgive themselves and let go when they do the same to you?
Being heard is so important. Many of us struggle with feeling heard and understood. Having a partner who can hold space for you to feel heard is invaluable when sustaining a long term relationship. Again, no one is perfect and it is not your partner’s job to make you happy or to complete you in some way. Still, a partner should listen. You should feel safe and comfortable to express your thoughts and feelings whenever needed. This is give and take and can sometimes be tough to “get right”, but are they willing? Are they trying?
They have respect for others as well as themselves
I feel like this is kind of a “gimme” but someone who gives respect and commands respect from others is usually a person you can rely on. They care about people and treat them the way they expect to be treated. They [usually] do the right thing and make the honorable choice, even when no one else is watching. They uplift and uphold you when you need it most. They hold themselves accountable and say what they mean. They create and respect boundaries.
They consider your needs
When a new love interest starts considering you before making big decisions, this is a huge green flag! Obviously, it is unrealistic to expect that your partner will be able to accommodate your needs every single time, but when you notice that they try, it’s a sign to keep going. Considering each other when making moves and taking leaps means you’re beginning to work as a team.
I am not someone who likes to admit when she is wrong, but I know how important it is to apologize when I’ve taken things too far or disrespected a boundary. If you’re dating someone new and they are able to sincerely apologize if and when they make a mistake, it’s a definite plus!
What else can we add to this list? Are there any other universal green flags? What about some unique or unexpected flags that ended up meaning a lot to you? Share with me in the comments! I love a good, green-flag-love-story ;-).
Also, I am planning on posting a new VIDEO this Sunday! Please make sure you’re subscribed to the blog so you don’t miss it! I’m trying to make sure I post at least 2 videos a month (for now) and I would looooooove to get your feedback!
Until next time,
Carry on wifeys & gents!
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