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When it comes to dating, we almost always keep an eye out for the red flags.
We watch out for any negative signs or misbehaviors that might indicate that our date or partner is planning to stick around for the long haul.
Forget about red flags for a moment. How about “green lights?” How about the behaviors that scream “keeper” and make us breathe a sigh of relief?
I’ve been in so many long-term relationships, so I kind of have an idea of what a successful relationship means (or not, as I screwed up badly in the past).
But let’s presume I’m right and learn more about the nine relationship green lights that we should look out for:
1. Consistency. Trust me, consistency is an outstanding, promising green light. When we’re consistent, it means we’re predictable, and predictability is sometimes good in relationships. It promotes trustworthiness and investment. If they message you every day for a week but disappear for the entire next month, you might want to question their reliability.
2. Using “we.” Yes, if someone refers to themselves as “we” when talking to you, know this is a good sign. Thinking about the other person and involving them in future plans means partnership and friendship. It means the other person isn’t self-centered or afraid of moving forward.
3. Silence feels comfortable. When we’re in a new relationship, we tend to find distractions to brush off the awkward silence. With a keeper (aka healthy relationship), there’s no need to constantly talk to fill the silent space. Saying nothing feels as safe as speaking words.
4. Putting effort. Keep note of this one: our relationships are only as strong as the effort we put into them. When we don’t put in enough energy, we weaken the relationship, making it more vulnerable to break.
5. Respecting your time alone. For me, this is a huge turn-on. Someone who respects my alone time is definitely a keeper and someone I can live with for the long term. If they have no problem with you being with “you,” know that their company will be a smooth ride.
6. Respecting boundaries. This one’s a huge green light. When there is no insisting, pushing, or forcing, it’s a positive sign. Someone who respects your boundaries is someone you can feel safe and comfortable with. When they don’t cross your basic guidelines and treat you the way you want to be treated, rest assured that you might have found a keeper.
7. The ability to say “I’m sorry.” The ability to apologize takes bravery. A remarkable green light here! There’s power in taking responsibility for our mistakes. It restores feelings of safety and trust and helps relationships grow.
8. No criticism. There are two types of criticism: healthy and unhealthy. The healthy type helps us become better people; the unhealthy type promotes judgment and disrespect. If your partner constantly criticizes the way you look, speak, or think, well, this is a red flag. The green light, though, is someone who loves you the way you are and makes sure to give gentle, friendly comments—not harsh, disrespectful remarks.
9. Showing interest in your goals. A keeper is someone who supports you and doesn’t belittle your interests or dreams. They don’t stand in the way of your goals—they encourage you and help you achieve them.
Have you found your keeper yet?