No one starts a book, movie, show, or a new hobby only hoping it isn’t terrible. They want something worth their time because of the benefits—not in spite of the negatives. This principle applies to a relationship as well. The thing is, I’ve heard too many people only watching out for red flags in the other person. I wonder if this keeps the bar too low and misses the point of shared, loving intimacy. Y’all should know the signs of a deep, healthy relationship so you’re not only waiting for something bad to pop up. To help you along, consider these four potential green flags in your relationship that signal relational strength and compatibility.
They Share Their Whole Self & You Share Yours
To start, you want someone who willingly shares who they are with you—skeletons and all. Now, this doesn’t mean everything is fair game to discuss at any point. Rather, you want your relationship to build slow, founded on your shared knowledge of one another. When you trust them enough to bring up something you dislike about yourself without fearing they’ll high-tail it out of your life, that’s invaluable. It’s awfully dissatisfying to stop short of this kind of relationship.
They Validate Your Experiences and Feelings
Another potential green flag in your relationship is the validation of your feelings and experiences. While parking comes to mind with the word validation, here it means confirming what another person sees. It means telling someone, honestly, that you see the truth to the pain they have now and the burdens they carry from the past. While this does not look like blanket approval, it doesn’t come from a spirit of suspicion either. If you have someone who does this for you, that’s a positive sign and one that should invite you into doing the same for them.
This is perhaps the hardest and rarest of green flags: a readiness to apologize. No one likes to be wrong. The humility it takes to address your wrongdoing takes greater strength than Olympic weightlifting. That’s why, when you find someone who isn’t shy about doing this, you know they’re special. Keep in mind too—apologizing truthfully doesn’t mean they have a license to offend again a few days later. True apologizing also involves personal change, which is borne out of their love for you. This too would motivate you to reciprocate.
Their Gestures Are Personal
A nice cherry on top, our last green flag is when their romantic gestures carry lots of personal meaning. This means they make a habit of considering you and drawing from your shared time to buy a gift or do something special. This takes a degree of commitment as well as attentiveness—if you want to improve in this area, there are plenty of ways to give personal gifts or better your own gestures. There’s something exciting about surprising each other in turn with kindness.
When these and other green flags start to stack up, you know you’re on the right relationship track.