We can get very obsessed with the negatives of dating, with red flags and toxic dating trends like situationships, haunting, and cookie jarring everywhere—but as the experts remind us—there are green flags you should be looking out for too.
Green flags, as the name suggests, are the opposite of red flags. They are good, positive things that hint at your compatibility and that you may have found someone pretty special that you might want to keep around.
Ness Cooper a sexologist at The Sex Consultant and partnered with Lenstore, explains: “We focus a lot on telling people to look out for red flags but regularly forget about green flags. Green flags are positive signs that the relationship is consensual, safe, and has possibilities to grow both individually as well as together.
“Green flags aren’t to be mistaken with making the relationship perfect or feeling happiness 100% of the time, as no relationship is perfect, but a green flag can be where you’re able to both work through any problems that do arise, together.”
Ness has now shared with us, ten simple green flags to look out for—so get your notebooks out, folks!
1. Being Present in the moment
Ness explains that being present is one of the most important green flags to look out for because it shows that they’re into you. If their phone remains in their pocket, the date is off to a good start.
2. They listen
In our opinion, a big red flag is someone who just talks about themselves and interrupts you when you’re finally able to say something. Ness says if your date is "actively listening and responding with empathy" you’re more likely to feel like the date is natural, and like conversation flows.
3. Big eye contact
Though many can find too much eye contact a tad uncomfortable, good eye contact can help build a connection and if you’re a hopeless romantic you’ll likely find eye contact really romantic and exciting.
Ness says eye contact “can mean you’re feeling safe in each other’s company, plus added bonus is you’ll both be sharing moments that help produce bonding chemicals and strengthen any future relationship you form.”
4. They can compromise
Ness shares: “Even during first dates, there will be moments where you both may disagree on slight matters such as food choices to discussing hobbies and more. Comprising is a good green flag, rather than them flagging you down for not being into the same things.”
In a relationship you’re never going to 100% agree on everything, so showing they are willing to compromise so early on—even on little things—is a good insight.
5. They give you compliments, obviously
Your date giving you flattering and positive compliments are a big green flag. Obviously, compliments on your looks are nice but if they’re complimenting your personality that gets a yes from us.
6. You can both be individuals
Ness explains that individualism is important, even in the first few meetings. She said: “It’s very tempting to go straight into the WE of a relationship even on a first date, but a green flag is when you accept that you are both individuals too. A date should be a healthy combination of We, I, and You. “
7. They respect your boundaries
The most important green flag, your date should make sure you feel comfortable, and respect your boundaries, always.
8. They can control their unwanted emotions
Ness says if your date can control emotions like jealousy that’s a big green flag, it shows maturity.
9. They encourage your passions
Someone you’re dating should like your interests and passions and encourage you—not laugh, make you feel stupid, or talk down on your likes.
Ness says: “If they take the time to share your passion and even comment words of encouragement this is a green flag that they’re hoping you’re happy in the future.”
As the saying goes, ‘laughter is the best medicine’ because laughter and getting along is always a green flag.
It shows you’re comfortable with each other and can have fun. There's nothing better than someone you can have a laugh with, after all.
Naomi is a trainee News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on fashion, wellbeing, and entertainment for GoodTo and My Imperfect Life and is training for an NCTJ Qualification.
Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.