It’s normal to talk about red flags when you start dating someone, but if you haven’t had a healthy relationship, it may be hard to tell when things are going the way they’re supposed to. We wrote this post to help you identify green flags in a new partnership.
- You feel good when you talk to them. This may sound obvious, but it actually takes self-awareness to know whether or not the person you’re dating is someone that brings you positive feelings. It can be easy for stress to hide behind the initial endorphins of getting to know someone, and date anxiety is a common mask for being on edge because the person you’re dating is easily angered.
- Your communication is healthy and effective. Everyone has different communication styles, but a healthy relationship requires that you and your partner are able to talk about the fun and the serious parts of your lives. If you find yourself hiding your feelings or avoiding conversations because you don’t know how they’ll respond, it could be time to re-evaluate your shared ability to communicate. Of course, there’s a learning curve when it comes to communicating, but being able to grow in that together is an absolute green flag.
- Both you and your partner function independently of one another. This can be counter-intuitive when you think of a partnership, but a healthy relationship is one with mutual support and growth. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses, which is completely normal, but if your partner is instantly financially, emotionally, or otherwise dependent on your presence, it is unlikely to lead to healthy growth — together or separate.
- You and your partner have similar relationship goals — at least for the big topics. This may sound silly and obvious, but it’s sometimes scary to have conversations about long-term partnership when you’ve just started dating someone. Knowing you and your partner are looking at your relationship with the same goals and expectations is an extremely positive sign, though. This includes talks about “defining the relationship” but also covers plans such as whether or not you see yourself with kids, dogs, or careers in the future.
- They make you happy. This may sound so obvious, but once a relationship gets going, it can be hard to remember that you’re actually committed to it because it’s what’s best for you. It’s all too easy to get caught up in a relationship that no longer serves you. If, regardless of how long you’ve been with your partner, you still look forward to spending time with them, it’s quite likely that you’re in a healthy relationship.
Remember, everyone has different relationship preferences. You and your best friend may have entirely different expectations and wants from your partner. That being said, it’s important to keep in mind your own emotional well-being as you date.