We often focus on the red flags of a relationship. We look for behaviors that let us know that this person isn’t right for us or that we may be embarking on a relationship that could be unhealthy or even toxic.
So, have you ever asked yourself, “Am I in a good relationship?”
While recognizing red flags is important, it’s also important to take a step back and look at how your relationship is going, from a “green flag” perspective.
Instead of looking for every little thing that might be wrong with the person you’re with, look for whether they are fulfilling some of the affirmative needs you have.
It’s time to focus on the positives, rather than just the negatives.
When evaluating whether your relationship is a good one, here are 8 positive “green flags” to look for.
1. You feel like you can be yourself.
This is the number one, most important element to compatibility.
If you feel like you’re constantly putting on a facade or trying to impress your partner, there’s no way to build an honest relationship.
It’s natural to be a little guarded with your most candid personality in the early phases of the relationship, but keep an eye out for those moments that you feel totally comfortable.
That’s exactly how you should feel around the right partner.
2. You share similar goals.
Are you both super passionate about something and chasing after it? Or are you both perfectly content where you’re at?
Do you both want to live a life of adventure, or build a home of security?
Whatever you each want, being on the same page about what you want in life creates synergy.
A person’s desires say so much about their underlying values, so pay attention to how that matches up.
3. You’re comfortable setting boundaries.
Honesty is a theme that runs through relationships that work, and being honest about what you need is a big part of that.
Setting boundaries with anyone is hard, but doing it in a relationship is the only way to ensure sustainability.
If you naturally feel comfortable telling your partner when you want to be alone or when you need them to pick up some slack on something, that’s a great sign that you have open lines of communication.
4. You laugh and smile a lot.
Not everyone is the world’s greatest comedian, but everyone does have a special sense of humor.
When you find someone that fits with that, you find someone that fits with you. Perhaps, even more so, you need someone that laughs with you, too.
Whether you’re just giggling at one of their jokes or doubling over, laughing will strengthen your bond.
5. You can also get serious.
Real relationships don’t shy away from the stuff that’s tough to talk about. When you need to talk about something hard, it’s not about finding someone that makes those conversations smooth sailing.
An honest relationship isn’t afraid to touch on subjects that make you uncomfortable.
Pay attention to how you’re both able to engage with more serious questions together. Even if it gets rocky, a strong relationship will work through it and make it productive.
6. You can be vulnerable.
We all want to look tough and in control in a relationship. It can be really hard to talk about what makes us feel insecure or what conjures an irrational but overwhelming feeling we’re experiencing.
When you find someone that can help you work through those feelings without judgment, it’s really special.
7. You don’t need each other.
No sustainable relationship is built on necessity. We should be loving people we want to be with, not people who are convenient.
A partner that is self-sufficient ensures that you will be a partner, not a caretaker.
We all like feeling needed, but a relationship that lets us feel free is more important in the long run.
8. They want you to succeed.
Not every person is the type to jump up and down when something good happens. But, you want someone who’s interested in what you’re passionate about and will be your biggest cheerleader in reaching your goals.
When people care about what makes you happy, that means they care about you. When you’re more excited to share your successes with your partner than anyone else, that’s an environment where love can bloom.
Not every relationship is perfect, but you can still find happiness and love.
Every relationship is going to have pain points and weaknesses. It’s not easy trying to make two personalities work seamlessly together, but that’s not what relationships are about.
If you find someone that meets the most essential criteria of compatibility and support, you can work from there.
Babita Spinelli is a psychotherapist and CEO of Opening the Doors Psychotherapy and Babita Spinelli Group. To learn more about how she can help you accomplish your goals, visit her website.