Navigating new situations, experiences, and relationships can be awkward for many people and re-traumatizing for others. It also makes people very cautious, so they zero in on anything that presents itself as danger or “red flags.” Looking for red flags like toxic personality traits or behaviors in potential mates, friends, or employers may start as a defense mechanism. But it can end up causing you to disregard relationships before they start.
While it’s a good idea to develop a healthy or cautious optimism when approaching new relationships, too often, we lean too heavily one way or the other. Viewing potential partners through a realistic lens is important, as is finding positive traits to embrace instead of hunting down negative ones to avoid. Think about the reasons you want to stay in a relationship. These reasons are anti-red flags, positive signs you can call green flags.
A green flags list can help you recognize that the romantic, platonic, or professional relationship you’re forging is positive. Listed below are three signs someone’s good for you. At Pure Health Center, our counselors specialize in individual, group, family, and relationship therapy and can help you identify other positive signs specific to your relationships.
#1: They Set and Respect Personal Boundaries
When a romance, friendship, or professional partnership sours, you may come down hard on yourself. Did you do or say something that ended the relationship? Why couldn’t you see it coming? You may feel you’ve let yourself down because you couldn’t recognize negative signs that might have been there the entire time. As a result, you may set personal boundaries to save yourself more heartbreak and pain.
Your boundaries are the physical and emotional limits you create to protect yourself. They allow you to express what conversations, actions, and behaviors you find acceptable or unacceptable in a relationship. Someone who’s good for you will respect your boundaries. Green flags should wave when your potential lover, friend, or associate behaves and speaks in ways that align with and support your boundaries.
Recognize situations where you should create boundaries.
The need to set boundaries may be more apparent to you under some circumstances than others. However, your mind, body, and feelings will tell you when you need boundaries. You may experience:
- Anger, confusion, sadness, resentment, or shame
- Discomfort or butterflies in your stomach
- Suspicions that you’re being manipulated, used, or lied to
By paying attention to how certain situations make you feel, you can set appropriate boundaries that allow you to be kind to yourself. Likewise, the right person will consider your needs and limits as you do theirs. They may even help you create new boundaries as they better get to know you and your reactions to situations.
#2: They Communicate Honestly
While every relationship is unique with its issues, communication problems are a common source of conflict brought up by couples in relationship therapy. Our relationship therapy counselors provide couples a safe, judgment-free environment to learn effective communication and conflict resolution techniques. We help them learn to agree, disagree, and express themselves safely and respectfully. Ultimately, it’s a good sign when your partner is willing to discuss their ideas, hopes, feelings, anxieties, and fears. It should also raise green flags for you when someone goes to therapy or is open to individual and relationship therapy. Such openness demonstrates that they’re willing to admit flaws and setbacks and work on improving them.
#3: They Offer Reciprocal Support
Ultimately, you and your partner are members of the same team. You should feel like you’re aiming for the same goal. It’s a green flag when someone wants to work with you, not against you.
You’re in a healthy situation when you and your partner root for and work for each other’s success and happiness. Likewise, it’s healthy when you keep each other accountable, too. For instance, in a positive relationship, you should be able to tell each other when you’re being careless or inconsiderate. A partner who isn’t a ‘yes’ person that blindly supports you or enables your bad habits is good for you. Ultimately, they can help you learn more about yourself and how you treat others.
Seek Professional Relationship Therapy to Nurture Your Relationship
Relationship therapy isn’t just for working through conflicts. Attending relationship therapy in the early stages of a green flag-filled relationship can benefit its health and stability. At Pure Health Center, therapy sessions led by licensed, experienced counselors can also help couples work through transitions. Whether you’re just starting your relationship, moving to a new place, or expecting a new baby, the compassionate professionals at Pure Health Center help you experience such events with as little stress and as much understanding and cooperation as possible.
Common topics discussed in relationship therapy include:
- Communication problems
- Commitment questions
- Conflict resolution issues
- Trust/boundary matters
Keep an open mind and consider attending relationship therapy with someone who’s good for you. Call Pure Health Center at 312.324.4502 to participate in therapy that can have a positive impact on your relationship and life. Ultimately, it can encourage you to grow healthier as a couple.