They ask you to message when you get home safe
Although ultimately only asking for a couple of seconds out of your day, this is a great sign early in a relationship. It shows that they care about your safety, and could also be looking for the next opportunity to talk to you as soon as possible.
They ask about how your day went
This is the type of behavior healthy couples will do far into their lives together, so it’s very promising to see it start early. Showing an interest in a partner’s day and letting them vent about their frustrations is a chance to demonstrate that they can listen, and offer reassurance.
They understand when you have to reschedule something
Nobody likes jilting on a date, but life is unpredictable, and inevitably, you’re going to have to take a rain check sometime. A huge green flag is when they respond with understanding and good spirits, which lets you know that they truly enjoy spending time with you and don’t mind when or where it happens.
They send the occasional double text
The idea that you should condense everything you want to say into one message is silly, but a lot of people buy into superstition. Somebody confident in themselves and your shared connection won’t feel desperate or clingy sending the odd double text to catch your eye. They trust that they can feel out the vibes and message as much as is comfortable.
They give you frequent and varied compliments
Everybody knows that compliments can be the weapon of some truly cunning devils, but it’s pretty easy to tell when somebody is being genuine with you. A partner complimenting your features simply means that they like those features. But, when they praise you for the many different physical and mental characteristics that make you yourself… that’s when you know they really like you.
You would feel comfortable telling them anything
This encompasses everything from small talk to the big, emotionally resonant conversations you share. Relationships need to be safe and comfortable, which can often rely on a gut feeling within you that realizes you’ve reached that point. When those scary conversations emerge and you find you don’t fear the confrontation, that’s when it’s easy being green.
They understand and respect your boundaries
You don’t need to have spent much time with them for this one, it should be one of the green flags you notice you start the dating dance. Somebody willing to compromise and consider your feelings before they start testing boundaries is likely to have your best interests in mind.
You match each other’s effort
An important green flag to show you’re on the right track in a relationship is when the two of you are putting as much effort into the relationship as the other. You are both making time to show your partner that they are loved and cared for in a variety of ways. You could also share the idea of a future goal to work towards.
You make each other laugh. A lot.
A shared sense of humor might not necessarily mean that you are destined to stay together, but it does mean that you will be able to resolve problems more effectively. Humor and laughter are deeply ingrained biological and social operations, so compatibility here really does help keep your communication healthy and positive.
You’re physically compatible
Similar to laughter, physical intimacy is a core part of the human experience. Due to it’s somewhat understandable popularity, it has been extensively researched for its benefits. This compatibility is going to help develop your bond on a more intimate level and give you opportunities to experiment and grow together.
You’re both comfortable with silence
Relationships are essentially a conversation you keep going for as long as you remain together. A strong sign you two are compatible is how you handle the valleys of this conversation. Silence doesn’t have to be awkward, in fact, it shouldn’t be at all! Being able to enjoy each other’s company while doing independent tasks is a sign you both share an emotional maturity.
They commit the small stuff to memory early on
Names, faces and dates are easy to let wash over you during conversation, but these are all important things you will want to remember about a partner you expect to be with for a while. So them knowing your mom’s maiden name and the street you grew up on is either a green flag, or they’re trying to steal your identity.
You share life goals
Some couples are so compatible, they can spend their lives together while moving in completely separate life directions. This is rare, however, and more often a sense of a separate future can break people apart. You don’t have to agree 100% on everything, but sharing an outline of career ambitions or personal milestones gives you something to work for.
You get along with each other’s friends and family
It’s one thing to hit it off with one person, but your relationship is likely to struggle if you strike tension with those closest to your partner. Meeting family and friends can be daunting, but they’re not adversaries, they’re the people that your partner loves enough to introduce you to! A good friendship between partners and their extended network is a huge green flag.
You can imagine a future together
There’s no guarantee that your plans will hold or come together in the way you imagine, but if you and your partner can talk honestly about your future together, that is a sign of good communication and planning. You don’t need to have named your future children and three dogs, but knowing that your interests align is going to keep you working together.
You share morals and beliefs
Political differences can drive a wedge between couples, but arguing about tax policy is unlikely to be the final straw. What is much more important to agree on, is your foundational, unwavering values. The things you hold true and unwavering in your heart are difficult to compromise on, so not sharing these with your partner could lead to much bigger disagreements.
You enjoy stepping outside your comfort zone
Going into a relationship, you’re unlikely to share absolutely everything in common with the other person, so at some point, you’re going to have to try something new. This is easier for some than others, and it’s natural to be anxious about change, but you should both feel invested in growing for the sake of the other and enjoy the challenge of new experiences.
You talk about them all the time
Annoying your friends with how happy you are in your relationship is a faux pas, but at least it’s one of the more understandable ones. If the two of you take every possible opportunity to sing the praises of the other or tell funny anecdotes, you might be irritating but there’s a lot of potential there.
They don’t get jealous easily
Jealousy is a part of being human, so it’s unfair to expect absolutely no sense of jealousy from your partner. That being said, you are both independent beings and should be allowed to spend time with friends without the other feeling agitated. Communication is key in managing negative emotions, so open discussion of them is also a green flag.
They aren’t afraid of apologizing
Apologies require self-reflection and humility, two things humans don’t like feeling very much. You and your partner should never be afraid to admit fault, it can bring conflicts to a resolution much quicker. Remember that genuine apologies are about acknowledging harm, not trying to deflect with excuses.
You share everything
There are limits here, of course. Hoodies are one thing, toothbrushes are another. This applies to everything from possessions and space, to your thoughts and feelings. A strong sense of security is required for a relationship, and part of that comes from knowing you always have somebody you can turn to for help, without fear of judgment.
You surprise each other
Gifts are a wonderful part of love. Not the main part, just the buttercream frosting on top. The actual gift itself isn’t that important, it’s more about the fact you take time out of your day and make an effort for them. It shows that you listen to the wants and interests of the other, and think about their well-being even when you aren’t with them.
They are always happy to see you
Regardless of whether it’s a first date, bumping into each other while out, or popping over because you were in the neighborhood, you should always feel welcome to be around them. While personal time is important, you shouldn’t feel rushed away or like your presence is inconvenient; that would be a huge red flag.
They don’t mind being spontaneous
A planned dinner date is wonderful, but it says a lot about how comfortable someone is around you when they’re willing to do something wild on short notice. It could be a trip or a hike, or even ordering something from a menu with no pictures that neither of you can pronounce. These kinds of impromptu dates demonstrate the trust and shared excitement between you.
No time together is ever ‘wasted’
Spending time together should be both the act and the reward of the relationship, especially when things go wrong. Plans fall through, cars break down in the rain, basically, life always finds a way to twist the knife. It can be tough, but it shows strength as a couple to take these unforeseen setbacks with good spirits, and not take frustrations out on each other.
They’re an active listener
Listening involves more than just smiling and nodding along with the occasional ‘mhm’ here and there to prove you’re still alive. Active listening requires a lot of focus and thought, like mentally cataloging parts of the conversation to circle back to and finding the key details to address in your response. It’s hard, so when somebody makes that effort, you know it’s a good sign.
You lose track of time with them
Time does fly when you’re having fun. A relationship where dates flash by or a glass of wine on the couch turns into two empty bottles while you talk about life shows some wonderful compatibility and comfort. You might also find you start missing them more, as time without them drags.
You aren’t ‘yes men’ for each other
Being able to get along without friction is good, but you’re both complete, individual people, and at some point, you’re going to disagree on something. That’s the beauty of relationships, you have someone to offer a different perspective without judgment or shame, which is why it’s so important that you can both put your foot down when you have to.
They aren’t bitter about ex-partners
A classic red flag is when someone belittles their ex-partners. They might be doing it to offer you a sense of security, to convince you they are out of the picture. In reality, it comes across as petty and one-sided. They don’t have to be best friends with their exes, but talking about them like people and not vindictive monsters is definitely a green flag.
They treat strangers with respect
They should obviously be treating you with respect, if they’re not, you’re looking for green flags in a forest of pure red. But how your partner treats strangers, like waiters, event staff, or just people that pass by, says a lot about them. They get the green flag scout badge if they are patient, empathetic, and understanding with everyone they interact with.
They aren’t afraid to show a nurturing side
Some men struggle with emotional traits that are considered to be feminine-coded. This is despite the fact they probably do have a nurturing side! They just haven’t realized it yet because it hasn’t made them melt like the Wicked Witch of the West. Caring for plants, animals or your partner requires a nurturing mindset, so being aware of that is a positive sign.
They know how to be independent
While many don’t mind being the voice of reason around the house, it’s important for personal development to have experience in independent living. Knowing how to cook, do laundry, iron, and clean are all essential life skills, and in a relationship mean you can do your part to help your partner. A willingness to learn these is also a green flag.
They always keep you updated
A strong relationship is built on communication, and your partner should feel just as comfortable keeping you up-to-date with their life as you are. If they let you know they’re feeling down, running a little bit late, or just fancy a little time alone, this shows they keep you in mind and want you on the same mental page as them.
They treat you consistently well
People tend to naturally adapt their behavior to fit the group and this changes depending on the context of the group itself. In relationships, a partner who treats you poorly around certain groups is a red flag as it shows a lack of confidence in their social standing. They should treat you consistently with respect and affection, without fearing how others see it.
They follow through on promises
If they say they’re going to do something, either for you or for themselves, it gets done. That’s the kind of mentality and drive that keeps relationships alive and healthy. Not everything will pan out exactly as planned but the act of trying, and the effort they put into it, is what matters here. Don’t accept promises made out of desperation, these are about saving face, not improving.
They’re aware of their weaknesses
Relationships should never be viewed as transactional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t audit yourself to get a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses. A partner who is conscious of their problems and works, or wants you to work with them, to improve is emotionally aware and worthy of a green flag.
They have their own social life
You don’t have to be social butterflies, collecting friends like bits of pollen stuck to your wings. Having roughly equivalent social lives going into the relationship will mean you both understand the need to continue interacting with other people. A partner who gets your social needs won’t feel minimized or neglected by your friendships.
They support your passions
No matter how bizarre or silly, a partner should always encourage you to pursue your passions. Even if they don’t quite understand the healing power of rose quartz or how clever it was that you used a flat nine sharp 11 chord, they should be enthusiastic that at least you care about it. A little light teasing is fine, but otherwise, they better be your biggest fan.
They stay curious about you
A good partner will recognize that there is always more to learn about somebody. When it’s somebody they love, that recognition becomes a thirst as they drink deep from the well of your life. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first date, or renewing your vows after 25 years together, you should both be eager to learn more about each other.
They make you feel strong and confident
One of the best indications your relationship is going strong is how they make you feel about yourself. A strong partner will help you overcome insecurities, develop yourself personally and professionally, and wake up each day ready to take on the world with them at your side. Maybe don’t actually aim for world domination, though, stick to pizza and movie nights.
They don’t complain about your comfort shows
Streaming has changed the world, in that it’s made it harder than ever to decide what to watch with dinner. Everybody has a comfort show thanks to streaming, something they will put on repeat just for background noise during the day, or settle into bed at night with. If they don’t tear up when Michael leaves The Office, that’s 12 red flags.
They get along with animals
Plenty of awful people love animals, so consider this with other entries in mind in case you marry a serial killer just because they had a pug. That aside, showing love and affection to a living creature and putting in the effort required to nurture and nourish them is a sign of a good sense of responsibility. At the very least.
They don’t mind smelling like you
If they don’t mind carrying your scent around with them all day after an extended hug wrestle wearing your jumper, they’re a keeper. It suggests they don’t mind people sniffing out their romantic connections, and also that they find some sense of comfort from your aroma. Bonus green flag points if he doesn’t tell you that you stink.
They let you keep things in their place
Spare pajamas and a toothbrush are the usual suspects, but them letting you put anything in their space is a good sign. Home is where the heart is, and even if you fiercely despise your current place, you wouldn’t want another person’s stuff cluttering up the place unless you really liked them. It’s also the first step to a slow and steady takeover.
They introduce you appropriately
If this happens before a clear label has been defined, then how they introduce you to friends will say a lot about how they see the relationship. Are you a ‘friend’ or more of a ‘partner’? Could be the dreaded ‘buddy’. If you get introduced to people after you two have established your boundaries, their respecting those of others is a green flag.
They let you live your own life
Even life-long partners understand the need to be complete, rounded people as individuals outside of your relationship. You shouldn’t be expected to put your life and development on hold for the sake of a partner. Ultimately, your decisions are your own and they should work with you to make them, regardless of the outcome.
They don’t hold your mistakes against you
There isn’t really a healthy way to hold anything against a partner in a relationship. If something so insurmountable happens that you can never see yourself truly forgiving them, the only positive outcome is to end the relationship. Unresolved grudges will come out in your behavior, creating a toxic environment neither of you will benefit from.
You share a playlist
One great sign of compatibility is a similar music taste. It won’t help you resolve any serious issues, except knocking a few hours of the best Christmas song debate, but it can help you get a better sense of who they are. Our music tastes can reflect or moods, our values, and what awkward life stages we went through.
They take no for an answer
A partner can’t be expected to predict your reaction to everything, and some people are naturally a bit more insistent, bordering on stubborn. For smaller things, any tension from miscommunication can be resolved. But when a firm no isn’t enough for somebody, it’s clear they do not respect your autonomy enough to let you make decisions.
They don’t mind embarrassing themselves with you
Humility is one of the greenest flags there is. Not everybody has to love a laugh at their expense, but they should understand the difference between laughing at and laughing with. Nobody is going to care enough to complain about you two doing awful karaoke, and there’s nothing wrong with dancing like David Byrne if your partner likes it.