I’ve written about red flags in relationships before – the signs of an unhealthy relationship.
But today let’s look at the converse and talk about the good side of relationships – the green flags; the things that say, “Move forward; this is healthy”.
If you’re looking for a healthy relationship, make sure you not only see these things in the other person, but that you are working on them yourself.
If you’re married, you can’t make your spouse develop any of these things, but you can work on becoming a better partner yourself and pray that you will influence your spouse.
These are the positive indicators for a relationship that you want to see:
Put simply, this means that both of you give to the relationship. If one person is doing all the work to keep the relationship alive and healthy, then you don’t have reciprocity.
The person does what they say they will do, consistently. Their life reflects an honesty and transparency that makes them trustworthy.
Your person is able to express themselves clearly and honestly without accusing or breaking you down. They understand their needs and feelings, and communicate them in a healthy way.
The other person is not dependent on you for their happiness. They enjoy their own company, and are content. This does not mean they can’t long for, and enjoy, relationship, but they have reached a point where they are not searching for happiness in someone else.
A healthy person has a good understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. They know more or less what they want in life and what their limitations are. They enjoy working on themselves and actively work on personal growth and healing. (Read Developing Yourself)
They acknowledge their mistakes, are aware of their faults, and apologise when they have hurt you. They do not get defensive or blame others for their mistakes.
They ask lots of questions about you and are genuinely interested in what you think and feel. They are not self-absorbed.
Instead of jealously trying to keep you to themselves, they encourage you to spend time with friends and family and enjoy spending time in your circle.
They have healthy boundaries for themselves and do not try to violate yours, even if they don’t agree with them. They don’t mock your boundaries.
They do not pretend to be something they are not. They don’t change when their company changes. They are true to themselves and encourage you to be too. (Read Being True to Yourself here)
They do not avoid conflict or pretend the disagreement didn’t happen. They initiate difficult conversations and stay engaged.
They respect and value you as a person, listen to your thoughts and feelings, and express appreciation for who you are.
This list is great, but don’t make the mistake of expecting perfection. However, while there’s no perfect human, you do want to see these traits to some degree. And if they are not present, you at least want to see a willingness in the other person to grow in these areas.
If you see these things in your relationship, you’re onto a good thing!
How many of these green flags does your relationship have? Could you add any to the list?