While you may be familiar with common red flags of relationships that can be toxic to you and your partner, you might not know what you should be looking for in relationships.
With so much attention on relationship red flags, we’re all hyper-aware of the dangerous aspects of intimate relationships, but can we recognize when a relationship is actually beneficial for us? Where are the green flags?
If you find someone you like and might want to have a relationship with, then you should be sure that he or she raises relationship green flags higher than the red flags. Better yet, find someone without red flags altogether and fill your home and partnership with the color of growth, healing, and balance.
You can have a lasting connection with someone. It is possible, and these signs that tell you a relationship is going well can help you determine if you’re pursuing a healthy relationship or not.
1. You feel better when you’re with them and fine when you’re not.
Your partner smiles when he or she sees you enter a room or focuses on you and your words when you’re talking, and you feel important and special. It’s the little things sometimes, but your confidence spikes whenever you see your partner (and vice versa). Maybe your partner makes a bad day seem less bad or a rainy day more entertaining. However, you know that you can survive without your S.O., and you like it like that.
2. You can easily talk about big issues.
This is one of the biggest green flags out there. If you feel comfortable discussing your concerns, fears, and issues with your partner, then you probably have a solid relationship. Being able to openly talk about wanting kids, your fear of long-term commitment, or how you both see the relationship progressing, for example, is a sign that you are mature and are prepared for the struggles that life will likely throw at you in the future.
3. You argue, but you always work it out.
Arguing is expected, but it becomes a problem when you have no resolution to the arguments. If you and your partner can behave like adults and work out serious disagreements with level-heads, minimal screaming, and no physical altercations, then you’re on your way to a beautiful marriage (if that’s what you want, of course).
4. You feel loved and appreciated.
Your significant other should show you how much he or she loves you — not just tell you. Well, you should say the occasional “I love you,” if you feel so inclined, but actions really do speak louder than words. There should be no doubt in your mind that your partner loves you and wants you around. Though, it’s OK to have your off-days with some doubt as long as they’re rare. After all, you’re only human.
5. You share the same values in life.
You must want the same things out of life. For instance, you should both want to get married or want children someday. If your partner has a differing core value than you, you should consider how important your values are to you.
Sacrificing one of your values can end in disaster and cause a relationship to turn toxic. Ensure you and your partner share the same core values before pursuing a more serious relationship.
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Meaghan Summers is a freelance editor for Sourcebooks, independent consultant for Fiverr, and associate editor for Defense Security Cooperation University. Her writing covers mental health, pop culture, and relationship topics.