We talk a lot about relationship “red flags” and “deal-breakers.” In this article, let’s talk about “green flags;” the signs your relationship is healthy!
This article was inspired by @risingwoman’s post on Instagram. This page’s content is about emotional and spiritual healing. The post contains a list of relationship “green flags” or things that show a healthy relationship. I took my favorites from the list (which you’ll find in quotes) and did a little research to expand my understanding of them. I share what I learned with you in the list below.
Healthy Relationship Green Flag #1: “The climate of the relationship is consistent, not chaotic.”
Chaos is a regular part of all of our lives. Sometimes everything just falls apart. But is your relationship more often stable than chaotic? Stability like this is a “green flag” that your relationship is healthy.
Relationship stability refers to how prone a couple is to breaking up. If you and your partner break up and get back together often, experts consider this an “unstable relationship.” Researchers have linked relationship stability to important individual outcomes such as physical and emotional health. This means, the more stable your relationships are, the more mentally and emotionally healthy you will be.
Stable relationships are important for children in the home. Studies show that chaotic households, especially those with frequent verbal or physical aggression, influence a child’s behavior. Actually, a chaotic household predicts a child’s behavior more effectively than parenting. Therefore, where a stable relationship is a green flag, a chaotic and unstable relationship would be a red flag.
Healthy Relationship Green Flag #2: “Disagreement doesn’t threaten the relationship.”
Everyone has relationship baggage and any two people have disagreements. These are both facts of being human. As individuals we may have needs or desires at conflict with that of our partner. That fact alone is not problematic, but how you handle conflict that arises may be.
A relationship green flag is if a couple can work through their disagreements without being intentionally hurtful, accusatory, or personal. Couples do this through intentional communication. When communicating keep in mind that language, inflection, tone, and word choice all matter! Work with your partner to communicate through conflict and you will more likely achieve a lasting relationship.
Healthy Relationship Green Flag #3: “Each person is responsible for their energy/emotions and behavior.”
Studies show there are three basic needs every human has, “autonomy (feeling uncoerced in one’s actions), competence (feeling capable), and relatedness (feeling connected to others).” When we get those needs met, we optimize our happiness and physical and emotional well-being. If these needs are being met in your relationships, it is a green flag your relationship is healthy.
Just because you are in a relationship, doesn’t mean you stop being an individual. Individuals in a relationship need to be responsible for their own well-being just as much as their partner. If you are not emotionally well going into a relationship, your partner cannot “save” you. You and your partner are only responsible for the ways you treat each other within the relationship.
This includes setting boundaries. Getting your emotional and physical needs met means communicating with your partner what those needs are. Set boundaries with your partner by calmly explaining what you need, what you’re willing to give, and how you would like them to support you. When a partner respects your boundaries and is willing to stay within them, it is a green flag for a healthy relationship!
As a culture, we focus a lot on the negative. Sometimes when a relationship falls apart, it makes it more difficult to build trust in a future relationship. If you could identify the green flags from this article in your relationship, hit that gas pedal!