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.
Date mature people who are ready for long-term healthy relationships on Hily! Pass the compatibility test and use in-built tips to chat with ease and fun.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s easy to identify the signs of a commitment:
In short, he treasures you and the relationship you are building.
Related reading: A Guide to Growing an Exclusive Relationship
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.