14 Green Flags in a Guy You Date

Dating Tips
03 Aug 2023
11 min read
14 Green Flags in Men You Date

Stoplights make great metaphors for lots of things. And that’s probably why they refer to behaviors in relationships – there are red flags and green flags in men, for example.

Since red flags are negative signs, they attract more attention – while green ones, or positive traits, are mostly taken for granted. That’s why let’s briefly remind most obvious red flags in men when looking at a potential partner for a serious relationship. And after spotting the most common red-flag behaviors, we’ll show 14 green flags that deserve your appreciation and attention.

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Common 7 Red Flags We Encounter in Men:

  1. Exhibiting signs of controlling behaviors
  2. Playing mind games with you
  3. You catch him in lies
  4. Lack of proper communication
  5. Being emotionally or physically abusive
  6. Exhibiting unreasonable jealousy
  7. Not supporting your individual needs for independence

Related reading: 14 Red Flags in Your New Male Squeeze

You can usually spot most of these red flags in a potential partner after your first few dates. But you’ll walk away immediately if you are wise or already had a negative experience. In other scenarios, you may consider these red flags unimportant, and keep dating that guy.

That’s why we recommend having clarity about both red flags and green flags in men. This way, you will have a clear vision before entering a new relationship and dating a new partner. And instead of making the same mistakes in love, you will look for the green flags in your relationship.

How to identify green flags in men: Here's the checklist

14 Most Common Green Flags in Men

So, what are those “green flags” you should look for? Here are those that should show up. These traits will unfold maybe not on a first date or the first few dates, but certainly, as you continue to see this new person.

Green Flag #1: Emotional Intelligence (EI)

EI is the most overriding of all the green flags in men, showing their ability to identify and manage emotions. This skill manifests in their own lives and lets them understand how emotions impact behaviors.

According to psychologist and well-known author Dan Goleman, emotional intelligence has five basic traits – self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Look for them in the next relationship.

When a man has EI, chances are he will also have all of the green flags that make for a healthy relationship. This is the foundation for everything.

Related reading: Male Maturity – When Does It Kick In?

Green Flag #2: He’s a Good Listener

Listening skills are also green flags to look for. A potentially good partner should be active listening when you talk, keeping eye contact, and providing verbal verification about things you share. He may repeat what you have said in different words or respond with nonverbal verification that he truly hears you.

And afterward? You may receive texts that show he has remembered even the details of your conversation – a meme that reminds him of something you said, a quick comment on some detail you revealed during a conversation the night before. Now, you know that he has really listened to all that you have shared, and is genuinely interested in you without the need to play mind games. Isn’t that refreshing?

It’s especially important when a conflict arises. You need to know that he is hearing what you are saying. When both of you communicate effectively, compromises are easily reached.

Green Flag #3: He’s Kind to Everyone

Kindness is a hallmark trait for a potential relationship that reflects concern, caring, and empathy. When you find a guy who has kind words for service workers, the disabled, the elderly person blocking the grocery shopping aisle, the drive-thru worker, and the janitor, you have found a “keeper.”

If he supports equality for all, that’s surely a big green flag.

One of the biggest red flags is a guy who treats those he considers “beneath” him poorly. It means he doesn’t care about those who cannot benefit him in some way. If you witness this behavior instead, proceed with extreme caution.

Green Flag #4: He Gives You Personal Space and Independence

Before you met him, you had friendships, career or schooling, social activities, and outside interests. In past relationships, you may have felt pressure to give up stuff to please your partner – and considered that normal. But a good partner would not put that kind of pressure on you.

If your new guy supports your interests and activities and encourages you to pursue them, he will make a partner who is not clingy or controlling. That’s what you should look for if previous relationships have not given you this kind of independence. And, of course, in this scenario, you should give him his personal space and independence too.

A healthy relationship is supportive

Green Flag #5: He Supports Your Personal Growth

Whether it’s in your career, going back to school, or a fitness program, your new love encourages you to pursue your own personal growth and pursue his.

He understands that each of you has goals and aspirations for your personal and professional life, and knows that going after them makes both of you happy and satisfied.

See? He wants you as successful as he wants to be. Remember: that’s a real red flag if a partner cares only for his own individual growth – that will not serve to maintain a good relationship.

Green Flag #6: He Is Open and Honest About the Relationship

Relationships take many forms – hookups, casual dating, exploration of a potential connection, or seeking long-term relationships over the long haul. It’s a good sign if your new guy is willing to talk honestly about where he is on this relationship spectrum with you.

Of course, this doesn’t mean it won’t change over time, but he wants you to know where he stands right now. Maybe he is into casual dating right now. Good to know, as you are deciding where you want the relationship to go. And you know he doesn’t play games with other people’s feelings.

Keep it casual if that is where he is right now. And by all means, tell him you appreciate his honesty.

Green Flag #7: If He’s Serious, He Shows His Commitment

It’s easy to identify the signs of a commitment:

  • He sincerely speaks the words of love and endearment to you – a lot.
  • He does small things that make you feel good and special – he orders your favorite takeout; he surprises you with tickets to a concert or movie you’ve been dying to see; he texts you randomly just to say he’s thinking of you, etc.
  • He doesn’t make major decisions without having a talk with you about them
  • He chooses to include you in his inner world of close friends and family
  • He talks about a future with you
  • He comes to treat your relationship as a team effort
  • He shows empathy and support when you are going through a rough patch
  • Even when there is conflict, he sticks with you until it is resolved.

In short, he treasures you and the relationship you are building.

Related reading: A Guide to Growing an Exclusive Relationship

Green Flag #8: He Is Willing to Be Vulnerable With You

Every person has emotional vulnerabilities. These may come from dating histories, relationship failures, upbringing, or a host of other things in their past lives. But in healthy relationships, a partner is willing to reveal these things, to speak about what they are afraid of, to expose their feelings, and to take responsibility for their failings.

It’s tough for people to open themselves up and be “exposed.” So if you have found a partner who makes an effort to share his vulnerabilities with you, you have one of the sure signs of a green flag. If your partner is willing to do this, he is committed.

Green Flag #9: He Respects Your Boundaries

We all have emotional boundaries that we do not want to be crossed. And behind them is that innermost layer that we do not share with anyone, even in the closest relationships.

If you are uncomfortable revealing information that you hold only to yourself to a guy, he should respect that and not pressure you to reveal those things. You should not be afraid to tell him no, and he should be willing to back off.

You may also have physical boundaries to respect:

  • You may not be comfortable with major displays of public affection
  • You may not enjoy watching porn though he may
  • You may have boundaries related to sexual behavior

It’s one of the good signs when your guy treats all these boundaries with respect and honors your values.

Related reading: Setting Relationship Rules For a Healthy Partnership

Green Flag #10: He’s Willing to Move the Relationship at a Comfortable Pace

Each new relationship is unique, but we all bring former baggage as we begin dating someone new. The more negative experience you have, the more likely you’ll want to move at a slower pace than your new partner.

If that’s the case, you need to talk about this with one another. And he must be willing to honor your relationship pace, especially if it needs to be slower than his.

A healthy relationship should progress comfortably for both partners, even if you are not on the same page here. If a new guy is willing to slow it down to accommodate your needs, you are dating someone whose behavior says it all. Truly a good sign that this relationship is really important to him.

Green Flag #11: He Values Those Close to You

He chooses to treat the important people in your life with kindness and respect. Not everyone a person may date is always willing to do this.

A friend or family member whose values may differ from his (or yours) will not be the subject of criticism or judgment. He will simply accept them as a part of your life.

Green Flag #12: He Is Patient and Understanding

One of the green flags to look at carefully is how the person you are dating treats you when you are at personal lows or just shut down. He doesn’t focus on himself and how he is impacted or take it personally.

Instead, he gives you the space and time you need without criticizing or pressuring you to “snap out of it.” This is one of those green flags that is a good sign he wants to maintain healthy relationship growth with you and that your well-being and mental health are a primary concern.

Green Flag #13: Things Are Great in the Bedroom

Great sex is really the manifestation of an otherwise great relationship. When he is aware of your needs and desires and works hard to fulfill them, you know that he really cares.

You may not like the same things, but if his goal is to bring you pleasure, it’s a sure sign he is a “giver,” not a “taker.” And another one of those key green flags? He won’t force you to do anything you aren’t comfortable with.

Green Flag #14: You Just Feel Good Around Him

Reacher John Gottman, head of the Gottman Institute, relationship coach, and family therapist, speaks to this “feeling good” in terms of positive and negative interactions. According to Gottman, there is a ratio of interactions which makes a relationship a good one. There should be only one negative interaction for every five positive ones. When this is the average ratio in a relationship, he says, partners experience happiness. Here is a great article and video by Gottman himself that goes into further detail.

When this is typical of your relationship with a guy you date, you feel safe, content, and happy. And you don’t need a dating coach or a licensed marriage counselor to tell you this – your feelings say it all. This may be the biggest green flag of all green flags. You just know in your gut that you are in the right relationship and going in the right direction with this man. Your life just seems to be right and good with this person.

These 14…

From little things to more substantive ones, you want the person you are in a relationship with to show that he is worth your time and effort. No matter what stage you are in your relationship with someone, these 13 green flags will give you a pretty good idea about the potential for success with this partner. Once you study them, you will be able to make informed decisions about that future. And that’s the most important point of all – relationships have to be built on a future.

In sum, be with someone who respects you; be with someone who sets down their phone to ask how your day was or to listen to your highs and lows; be with someone who demonstrates their love even when you are not all that easy to love; be with someone who is honest and loyal; be with someone who adores you for who you are inside; be with someone who makes you laugh and enjoy life; be with someone who gives you space and independence; and, above all, be with a partner who makes you a priority and makes you want to be a better person.

Dating Tips Author
Shelly Standford
After a devastating relationship breakup, I threw myself into the dating scene by registering on Hily. I had over 100 dates - some absolute disasters, some pretty average, and some that were actually great. So many stories to tell and insights to share with you guys!
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