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That is a GREEN FLAG!

We all know the infamous red flags, how we should look out for and steer clear of them in our potential relationships. Whether they be friendships, romantic relationships or other. But what exactly are they? How do we notice them while we’re blinded by love and lust? It’s hard to notice anything in that state. Our brains are literally releasing hormones which make us see nothing but the best in a person, making it extremely easy to overlook and fail to notice all the warning signs. Especially with new relationships, we are so swept up in the excitement and endless possibilities of everything, we’re essentially vulnerable. We see what the person wants us to see when they want us to see it. Some things to look out for include:

· Lack of open communication

· Dishonesty

· Over criticism (put downs)

· Excessive jealousy

· Controlling behaviour

· No other healthy relationships (friends, family)

· Failure to compromise

· Failure to have difficult conversations

These are some of the most prominent. If you take note of any of these red flags, communicate with your partner immediately. Make your needs and wants clear and do not give into any emotional bait that will lead to you losing yourself in an endless argument with no point while continuing to feel unheard, not having your needs met, frustrated and being pulled further into a toxic union that will never make you happy as these red flags tend to grow as the relationships go on. Most even lead to abusive relationships.

We have become quite familiar with the red flags, but what about the green flags? Finally! We usually only hear about the red flags and what we should run from. But what are the green flags and what should we be running towards? What constitutes a healthy relationship with healthy patterns and behaviours? Green flags include a partner who:

· Communicates openly

A partner who knows how to be open and clear in their communication is a gift. You will never be confused about their, needs, their wants, or their feelings.

· Is consistent

Consistency is one of the most important things in a relationship, especially when it comes to building trust. It shows you that the person is here to stay and they mean what they say.

· Is kind to you and others

A person is either kind or they are not. When one is indeed kind, they are kind to everyone, not just to you and people they are trying to impress.

· Is self-aware

Self-awareness is important in a relationship so that your partner can reflect and introspect when they need to, understand their feelings & thoughts, as well as know that this relationship is even something that they want.

· Is confident

Being confident means they will not project their insecurities onto you and end up being jealous and controlling to the point of mental, physical, and/or emotional abuse.

· Embraces the differences between you

We do not have every single thing in common, it is also important to note that maintaining your own identity is a good indicator of being in a healthy relationship where you do not feel the pressure to conform, be something you are not, or end up losing yourself (codependency – no longer being your own person).

· Shows empathy

Knows how to listen attentively and put themselves in your shoes. This is someone who will not intentionally do something to hurt you as they would have considered your feelings.

· Can have difficult conversations

We have already touched upon the fact that difficult conversations will be necessary in a relationship, it is important to be with someone who does not run from those conversations, but instead sees them as an opportunity to grow in the relationship and to grow closer.

· Respects you

Without respect, everything else is futile. Respect is an imperative component in a healthy relationship as it is required to build the trust that is essential for a solid foundation for every relationship.

Being able to note or notice green flags comes from knowing what you want in a relationship and in a partner. Sharing common interests, having mutual respect, trusting each other, motivating each other, and knowing how to handle conflict, are all green flags that you should look out for when pursuing a possible relationship as these are things which build a strong foundation and strengthen one which already exists. Not to mention, even the best relationships go through some conflict at one point or another, this is normal. Another very important green flag is having fun together. You should feel great around each other and have fun doing things together, even mundane tasks. Sharing common interests, values, and goals, increases the level of compatibility, which is an essential ingredient to a successful long-term relationship. Good luck!

Coach Nomie, Take Control x

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