When dating, we often focus on someone’s “red flags,” or things that give us pause about a person. (Think of behavior such as trash talking their ex.) It’s important to recognize these characteristics, but it’s also worth noting the “green flags” that are also there. Green flags are the opposite of red flags and are the thoughtful things that someone does to indicate they're worthy of our time. They are also healthy relationship habits that someone has, such as good communication skills.
Green flags are different for everyone, but essentially, they’re characteristics that make us feel better and not worse. “Green flags are positive indicators that a connection has the potential to flourish into a safe, healthy, lasting relationship,” explains Shanita Brown, Ph.D. “They’re a good sign that you’re compatible with that person and can form a healthy bond.”
So, what are some green flags to look for? People across the internet are sharing their opinions. A Reddit thread asking for “instant ‘green flags’” got a lot of responses. They aren’t earth-shattering, but they're definitely things you don’t find in everyone you meet.
Consistency was one green flag. “Not having to wonder if he likes you or not,” said one Redditor. “It feels natural and you don’t have to wait 1000 years to reply to text.” Another shared that it was when the person asked questions. “Asking questions about the stuff that I enjoy even if he doesn’t inherently understand. My now husband did this when we started dating and does it to this day.”
Of course, the big things are important. But it’s also the little, sometimes silly things, that make a lasting impact. “I dated a guy once, and on our first date,” a Redditor shared, “I told him I was obsessed with owls as a kid. The next time I saw him, he brought me a cute little owl figurine that he picked up at a convenience store while on a road trip. It couldn’t have cost more than $5, but him just remembering that detail meant so much.”
The next time you, a friend, or a family member are starting to see someone, consider their green flags as much as you do the red ones.
People on Reddit are sharing “green flags,” or signs that someone they are dating is worthy of their time.
“How he treats other people, especially other women in his life. One of the things I love about my boyfriend is how sweet he is to his mom and grandma, and how polite he is with service people.” – StarvationCure
“I dated a guy once, and on our first date, I told him I was obsessed with owls as a kid. The next time I saw him, he brought me a cute little owl figurine that he picked up at a convenience store while on a road trip. It couldn’t have cost more than $5, but him just remembering that detail meant so much. Unfortunately it didn’t work out, but he was a pretty great guy.” – thrwy_111822
“Consistency. Not having to wonder if he likes you or not. It feels natural and you don’t have to wait 1000 years to reply to text. F*** that. If you don’t feel that way, then don’t bother. It’s a waste of energy and time. You’ll just be disappointed.” – hippycutie
“Asking questions about the stuff that I enjoy even if he doesn’t inherently understand. My now husband did this when we started dating and does it to this day. He’ll let me ramble about chemistry or other things he doesn’t quite get just to see me smile.” – Diene4fun
“Making an effort to understand your interest, or a situation you are discussing. It shows that you care about the person and their feelings about XYZ even if you don’t personally care about XYZ.” – Diene4fun
“Listening to ‘no’ from the beginning, even in the small things. Additionally, being able to talk about an issue and be respectful, considerate, and not dismissive.” – lexiconkiller
“Fabulous communication and following through with everything he says. Not calling all his ex’s crazy, admitting that he was the problem. These were some of the many green flags I saw when I met my now husband.” – evi995
“Being kind to animals. Even insects, it’s a huge green flag if I’m freaked out by a spider and he gently removes the spider and releases it outside. I may hate the bugs but anyone who is gentle, even to insects, is someone I trust.” – The_Rural_Banshee
“He made (makes!) me feel comfortable in myself, just being.” – SaxAndViolince
There are also informative videos summing up more green flags to look for.
@nadiaaddesi What green flags do you look for? #therapy #mentalhealth #tiktoktherapist ♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic
Green flags can show up in subtle ways.
@therapyjeff 5 very subtle but important relationship green flags. #dating #relationshiptips #therapy #mentalhealth #relationship #datingadvice #therapytiktok ♬ original sound – TherapyJeff