The ‘green flags’ that suggest you are on to a relationship winner

We have been conditioned to watch for red flags in a potential love interest. But these green flags can improve your chances of romantic success too.

Dating can be a rollercoaster, so it is natural you might be on the alert for any major negatives – or red flags – in a future partner.

But in recent times, the idea of “green flags” – positive signs that indicate compatibility and mutual respect – is getting more attention.

What is a relationship green flag?

Relationship coach Beck Thompson says people often look for no-nos, but you should also note the good signs in a budding romance.

“It’s important to look out for things that could be positive and things that could work in the relationship,” Beck says.

“When I talk to clients, it’s a lot about making sure their values and goals are aligned.

“So they’re on the same page, they’re kind of headed in the same direction and they believe the same things in life.”

She says just like red flags, the green versions can be very individual.

For example, a love of dogs might be a green flag for one person, while someone else might really value a partner who is outdoorsy.

Some green flags, such as respect and good communication, should apply across the board, Beck says.

Green flags to watch for

As part of her work, divorce coach Cheryl Duffy helps clients find the courage to date again.

She says the person you’re dating might be showing signs of green flags, if they:

  • Are at the same level of readiness for a relationship as you – and aren’t just looking for a casual fling.
  • Support you in achieving your passions and dreams.
  • Are happy to try an activity just because they know it makes you happy.
  • Will go out of their way to care for you if you are sick.
  • Not only treat you well, but other people they are not trying to impress, such as waiters.
  • Get the tick of approval from friends and family, who can see they make you happy.

How to identify the green flags you’re looking for

Cheryl suggests pinpointing 12 qualities you’re looking for in a partner – but not the superficial variety.

“They’re really key things about their characteristics – their personality, being trustworthy, honest, hardworking, could be romantic, sense of humour,” she says.

From there, she suggests rating how important each of these qualities are, and what the lowest acceptable rating is.

That way you can see which of these is most important to you.

Not sure what you’re looking for? Beck suggests taking some time to think about this before you start dating.

“Then you are aware of what you’re looking for, rather than just going into dating blindly, which so many of us do.”

How to spot green flags in online dating

If you are dating online, Beck says you can build your profile in a way that helps weed out unsuitable people before you even start chatting.

“If you are honest about who you are on your profile without thinking what it should look like – just be yourself – I think that’s an automatic filter,” she says.

As you get to know someone better, Beck recommends keeping your eye out for green (and red) flags that pop up along the way.

“The more dates you have or the more conversations you have, you just get clearer and clearer about that stuff, rather than just asking ‘what did you have for dinner’?” she says.

Written by Larissa Ham.