10 Relationship Green Flags That Might Just Mean You’ve Found a Keeper

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Green Flags to Look for in New RelationshipsBritt Erlanson - Getty Images

Whether you matched on a dating app or had an epic, romantic comedy-worthy meet-cute, dating someone new is full of excitement and mystery. As you’re sending flirty texts and going on romantic dates, you’re likely trying to figure out whether or not they could have long-term potential. That, my friends, is where green flags come into play.

You’ve likely heard of red flags and even beige flags, but IMO, green flags are some of the most important in the dating game. Just like it sounds, a green flag is an indication that a person or relationship has the potential for a healthy and enjoyable future. Relationship therapist Suzy Daren, LMFT, explains, “Green flags appear in a person’s words and behavior and, with repetition, can teach us about their integrity and good character.”

Green flags are different from the qualities you dreamed about for your significant other when you were 12. (Sorry, but being tall, dark, and handsome isn’t what we’re talking about here, fam.) “It’s very easy to choose partners based on looks, chemistry, and other more superficial factors, but this will almost always lead to disappointment (and quite likely a breakup) without enough healthy building blocks,” Daren explains. Instead, we’re looking at how a partner consistently interacts with you and the world around them.

While no one’s perfect—and they’re bound to have a flaw or two—identifying these green flags can indicate that a potential match could make a great partner. “It’s important that green flags far outnumber [red or yellow flags],” Daren says. “This will increase the likelihood that a prospective partner will have the maturity and the resources to commit to a healthy relationship.”

Ready to see if you’ve found your person? Read on for the green flags that experts say could indicate your date would make a top-notch partner.

1. They Can Be Vulnerable

While being vulnerable in front of a partner might make anyone feel a little emotionally exposed, Daren says it’s one of the biggest dating green flags out there. “Successful relationships require the ability of both partners to be able to talk openly about their feelings,” she explains. “This brings closeness and security and the ability to process thoughts and feelings when difficult conversations arise.” No guessing games or “I’m fine”s here, folks!

2. They’re Good at Communicating

Ask any dating pro, and they’ll likely agree: Communication is the cornerstone of all healthy relationships. “Speaking up and telling you how they feel is a valuable green flag,” relationship expert Audrey Hope notes, but it goes beyond what they say. How they listen and respond is vital as well.

“Being able to speak kindly and honestly while also knowing that you have been heard with accuracy and respect allows new couples to get to know the truest versions of each other,” Daren explains. “In established couples, it ensures a deep level of emotional intimacy and the tools to journey through life together as honest and loving partners.” That doesn’t mean you never disagree; it just means you know how to fight fairly and healthily. As Daren says, “The best relationships are consistently releasing tension so that their channels of communication and love remain clear and open with no hurt or resentment piling up over time.”

3. They’re Kind and Considerate

The key here isn’t that your partner is kind when they get their way or when they’re in a good mood—we’re talking about consistently being kind, even during disagreements or if things don’t go according to plan. And that kindness? It should extend beyond your relationship, too, says Hope. Holding doors and paying attention on dates is one thing, but notice how they interact with others as well. “Are they a good tipper? How do they speak to others on your dates? Do they make a date in enough time or are they last minute?” Hope asks. “It’s these little things that can tell you everything.”

4. They’re Self Aware

Pro tip: People who spend time getting to know their thoughts, feelings, and motives tend to be more thoughtful and self-aware in relationships. “They understand their own emotional landscape, which makes them better equipped to navigate the ups and downs of a relationship,” Daren explains. This kind of insight is invaluable for creating a deep, meaningful connection. When your partner is in tune with their own emotions, they’re more capable of recognizing and respecting yours. If your date regularly engages in self-reflection, demonstrates a genuine understanding of their inner world, and shows empathy, you might just have found a keeper.

5. *And* They’re Willing to Grow

A willingness to grow is a crucial green flag in any relationship. Do they go to therapy or actively work on themselves? Are they open to change and self-exploration? Are they flexible? Hope says this trait is invaluable because it indicates that your partner is committed to personal development and, by extension, the growth of your bond. This attitude not only fosters a healthier relationship, but also ensures that both of you are continually improving and adapting as individuals and as a couple.

6. They Put Work into Your Relationship

Important note: A relationship doesn’t have to be perfect from the start. In fact, it’s highly likely that both people come with wounds, patterns, and other defense mechanisms that will inevitably lead to disruption and conflict. Daren says that working together to better a relationship builds collaborative skills and generates a sense of mutual creation, value, and satisfaction for a job well done.

Manifesting healthy love requires both parties to have done the work and investigated their baggage and their issues so they can love without needing the other person to fill a void. “It’s dangerous to go into love asking another to validate and heal what you must do yourself,” Hope explains. When both partners are committed to putting in the effort, it shows they’re dedicated to making the relationship thrive, creating a solid foundation for a lasting connection.

7. And They Have a Sense of Personal Responsibility

You know what’s très hot? Someone being able to take care of themselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. In fact, this is kinda a must for a healthy relationship. When your partner takes personal responsibility seriously, Daren says it means they can handle life's challenges without dragging the relationship down. This stability creates a secure environment where both of you can thrive, fostering a healthy, balanced connection. On the other hand, a lack of stability can often lead to relationships filled with codependency and chaos—yikes.

8. You Share a Similar Worldview

Building a life together? Similar worldviews are a must. Your worldview shapes your lifestyle, belief systems, how you want to raise kids, and basically every other important aspect of life. From their stance on sobriety to their long-term goals, Daren says these need to align; otherwise, you'll likely end up making compromises and sacrifices that could make you feel resentful down the line.

9. They Make You Laugh

Fun and laughter are more important factors than you might think—Daren says being able to joke and cut the tension together is a great sign. “A healthy relationship should always include shared fun,” she says. “For example: a fulfilling sex life (whatever that means to you!), taking an interest in each other’s enjoyments, prioritizing time for relaxation and wellbeing, happily spending time with each other's friends and family, and planning date nights and adventures.” No, it’s not all about having a good time together, but that, paired with other green flags, is a recipe for a strong, happy relationship.

10. They Bring Out Your Green Flags

Hope says the catch to being a pro at spotting green flags is being in the headspace to attract a healthy relationship for yourself. “Relationships are about the law of attraction on a deeper level," she says. If you don't feel ready for a relationship, or you're not super comfortable with who or where you are at the moment, even a relationship with someone who has a ton of green flags might not last because you might be unable to show up as your best self. For this, Daren says having personal check-ins is essential.

Take a gut reading on the energy you're putting out into the world, and what you're accepting into your own sphere. Focus on yourself, your goals, your mental health, and prioritize that over finding a partner. With some inner work and reflection, not only will you be able to spot a potential partner's green flags, but plenty will apply to yourself. Eventually, the right person for you won't just have green flags, but will help bring out and compliment everything that you, too, bring to the table.

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