Recently, Toni Tone, a writer’s Twitter thread about ‘green flags’ in a healthy relationship went viral. She had stumbled upon a Reddit post about it last year. It examined the signs that indicate someone would make a good partner. This motivated us to check with a mental health expert about green flags in a relationship.
Examine green flags with honesty
Green flags are nothing but indicators of healthy relationships. Counselling psychologist Ishita Pateria stresses on the need for being balanced and honest about these telltale signs in a relationship. She cautions, “When you are focusing on them, one has to be honest. Some green flags stand out, but we can’t necessarily generalise them. They vary upon an individual’s lifestyle, values and what’s important/relevant to them.”
What to lookout for in a healthy relationship
Ishita cautions you against generalising green flags in a relationship. She also advises to look for these healthy signs in a relationship.
In any relationship romantic or otherwise, respect between partners/individuals is essential. Often people tend to confuse respect with getting what they want. That’s not it. It’s about listening to one another. Taking their feelings and views into consideration, and willing to meet them halfway.
Some people mistake healthy communication for hearing someone out. Communication is not only about talking. It’s also about patiently listening to a contrary opinion. Debating it and coming to a mutual understanding that works for all.
Bonding over set values and goals
When people talk about relationships, whether it’s an individual or in couples therapy, there are different factors at play. Two people are mostly in the same stage of their lives. Their experience and their goals matter, and this also helps them bond.
So, while some basic green flags are non-negotiable, there are others that can’t be generalised. It could be something that may work for you, but not for all. A lot of it depends on our lifestyle, insecurities, and what’s acceptable and not.
Knowing what you want can help you differentiate between red and green flags
Overall, one needs to focus on both red and green flags. Be balanced and honest with yourself. For example, a passive laid back person, could be honest about this particular trait. However, it can be viewed as either a green or red flag. The key here is to honestly reflect on whether this is a green or red flag for you. Often people choose to ignore this even though it’s a red flag for them. Eventually, they attempt to change the other person to fit their idea of what they want they want them to be.