Green Flags in Dating

I am sure, if you are a person who is dating, you have discussed some of those dating experiences with people in your life and either have heard from someone or wondered to yourself “oou that’s a red flag” based on some of those experiences.  Knowing what does not work for you in a relationship is super important in dating but it also has you looking at dating through the lens of fear and avoidance, things we want to move away from.  Research has found that humans are far more successful in reaching their desired goals or outcomes when they are moving towards something they prefer instead of away from something they do not like.  So, let’s talk about the flip side of that, the green flags of dating.  

Green flags are interactions or information that signify that the person you are dating is good for you.  Since dating is personal, based on your own personal preferences and desires, the below list is not an end all, be all list or a hard and fast rule about green flags.  Instead, it is a list to help you start considering and exploring what is it that you ARE looking for and desiring within your dating relationship to help lead you towards the relationship that is right for you.

These green flags come from behavioral traits we often see within supportive and understanding relationship dynamics which help support both individuals to grow and connect within the relationship.

  • Interest– do you even actually like this person?  What are your thoughts and feelings about this person?  How do you feel about yourself when you are around them?  Take some time to focus on your own experience of being with this person to help you get clarity if they are a person that is good for you.
  • Friendship– do you both genuinely enjoy each other and like to spend time around each other?  Are you kind to each other?  Is it easy to be around this person?  Does it feel good to be with them? Examples of this is the conversation flows, interactions feel natural, you feel like you can be yourself, there are frequent smiles and laughter, words are supportive, assumptions are generous. 
  • Takes an interest in what is important to you– do they show curiosity and interest in learning about you and what is important to you?  Do they make space for you within the relationship?  Do they show a desire to understand and listen to you?
  • Communication– are they contacting and engaging you at a pace that is comfortable for you?  Notice what it feels like for you when you get a call or text message from this person and does this feel good for you? 
  • Transparency and consistency– are they clear and consistent about their intentions for the relationship?  Do they tell you what they are looking for in a relationship and then you see their actions align with this?  Do their intentions for the relationship align with your desires for a relationship?
  • Respects your boundaries– do they hear and respect your “no?”  Are your privacy and space needs within the relationship considered?  Do they allow you both to be separate, whole people while in a relationship together?
  • Affection– when you share what kind of affection you enjoy within a relationship, such as physical contact or words of affirmation, do they try to engage you in that way? 
  • Takes responsibility for their own actions and needs– when they make a mistake or you voice that they have hurt your feelings, can they take ownership of that and apologize?  When they want or need something within the relationship, are they sharing that with you in a way that informs you so you can grow in knowing this person more?
  • Shared values– do you both want similar things in life?  Do you have similar life visions and meanings of success in life?  Do you share similar values in what you find important in life?
  • Compromise– are they willing to engage in compromise, listening to both sides of a risen issue and come to an acceptable outcome for both of you?  Do you feel like there is a balance of give and take within the relationship on both sides?   
  • Growth– do they challenge you in a way that helps you grow as a person?  Do they believe in you and encourage you towards your goals in life?  Do they do this in a way that feels empowering for you?


By: Malinda King, MA, LPCC
Photo by Tim Samuel from Pexels