There are so many “red flags”. Every article, post, comment, Reddit thread is about the “warning signs” you should look out for at the start of a relationship. Does this behaviour mean the person is a cheater? A manipulator? Maybe an undercover psychopath?
What if they’re none of these things?
What if they are a green flag kind of guy?
Here’s how to tell.
A sense of joy.
How much do you laugh? Even if you’re driving into the night, have no idea where you might find food, there’s a long way to the next town, and you’re running low on petrol, can you still laugh?
This might sound idealistic. But having a ‘sense of joy’ is not just related to the good times. Any relationship will bring with it difficult moments, but a feeling of joy runs deeper than this.
“To be joyful is not to always be happy or expansive,” integrative psychiatrist and author Henry Emmons wrote for the Elephant Journal. “Joy comes from accepting that which is most life-giving, with an accompanying sense of gratitude.”
A good laugh. Really key. A relaxed, genuine, spontanous, unguarded laugh. A natural laugh that is the manifestation of joy. – kmkm34534n3j3j on Reddit.
One of the writers at Mamamia interviewed countless couples in their 70s for her masters in psychology. The number-one thing she took out of this project? The importance of being intellectually compatible.
There are a lot of elements within a relationship that might wane and re-surge throughout the course of life. Sexual attraction, busy schedules, career aspirations. But not the way you connect intellectually. Can you challenge each other? Keep each other interested? Debate, suggest, discuss?
Having similar values is certainly important in maintaining a lasting relationship, but a willingness and openness to discuss different points of view can be extremely exciting. Green flag.
How do you problem solve?
Intellectual compatibility plays into problem solving. You might drift apart and come back together throughout the course of your relationship. One of the most important aspects of this ‘coming back together’ is the way your minds connect.
Can you have the discussion? Stay calm? Listen? Understand each other?
Sooner or later there’s going to be a problem in the relationship and you’re both going to have to sit down and work it out. The way we handle the first problem that comes up tells me a lot about whether or not I want to get serious. Resolving personal issues amicably is an absolute must for any long-term relationship. – Dear_Occupant on Reddit.
Doing things for each other, just because. This is the simple stuff. Cooking extra dinner, so you both have lunch in the morning. Sending a ‘good luck’ text before a tough meeting. Suggesting a weekend away together. Realising the other person needs to laugh, so showing them a funny video.
Thoughtfulness shows connection and concern. It shows that you’re in this together; that you’re thinking of each other; that your well being and happiness is important.