6 Green Flags In a Relationship to Look for When Dating

If you notice one or more of these relationship green flags when forming a connection (or maintaining a long-term partnership), consider it a good sign.

Top down view of 2 girlfriends laying on ground with green flags in a thought bubble
Photo: Getty Images

So, you're seeing someone new, and the sparks are flying — or maybe you've been with your partner for a while now. Either way, you might be wishing you had a crystal ball to tell you what the future holds, and whether your relationship has the potential to last for the long haul.

Assuming you don't have psychic abilities, you can still get a sense of whether your partnership is destined for success. While a lot of people like to focus on the concept of "red flags" — signals that you're probably not a good match or even that it's time to end things — the opposite also applies. "Green flags" in a relationship suggest that the person you're seeing is compatible with you and that you're likely to form a healthy bond with each other, as evidenced by research on the topic.

Of course, meeting any single condition isn't a guarantee that your relationship will thrive. But if "just follow your gut" feels easier said than done, run through this checklist of the major relationship green flags to gain clarity on your and your S.O.'s outlook. (

psychologist and dating coach Holley Battey, Psy.D.

Liking our partner is highly undervalued. It's far easier to sustain love when you truly like each other as people and enjoy each other's company..

— psychologist and dating coach Holley Battey, Psy.D.

Relationship Green Flags to Seek Out

1. You're attracted to one another.

To start with one of the more obvious green flags in relationships, feeling attracted to each other is a good sign. Your physical chemistry may not feel as exciting after you've been dating for some time, but attraction should still be present in a healthy, long-term relationship, says psychologist and dating coach Holley Battey, Psy.D. "Most people overvalue looks, but you do need baseline attraction to sustain love," she says.

Keep in mind that attraction can grow over time as you get to know someone more — so if a sliver of chemistry is there, give your partner a chance to see what can grow between you, suggests Battey.

2. You feel respected.

Respect, valuing another person in spite of your differences, and considering their needs and preferences along with your own, are crucial ingredients of any healthy relationship, according to marriage and family therapist Sarah Hubbell, L.M.F.T.

You should definitely feel that your partner is considerate of your thoughts and feelings in everyday interactions — this could mean your partner doesn't pass out low-blows during conflicts, or that they check in with how you're doing when you're going through something tough.

But the real test is whether you and your partner can find a way to respect one another when emotions are high. "This may not be obvious if you're still in the honeymoon phase, but pay attention to how your partner interacts with coworkers, family members, and friends when frustrated or angry," says Hubbell. "Are they able to take a time-out and return when feeling more level-headed? That's a green flag."

3. You share similar values.

Your interests and hobbies can change over time, but core values — the beliefs that guide your decisions and routines — usually don't budge too much, according to Battey. If your partner shares your values, you'll likely be on the same page about goals and major life decisions, which will make a long-term relationship a whole lot easier.

For example, if you value family and want to have kids someday, you're more likely to be a match with someone who envisions a similar future. Similarly, if your partner considers their religion a priority and faith is important to you as well, that could be a plus if you invest in a serious relationship. (

4. You're "in like."

It goes without saying you should enjoy being around the person you plan to spend time with. In an ideal world, your partner should feel like your best friend, a person you have fun with and with whom you want to share experiences. "Liking our partner is highly undervalued, yet it's far easier to sustain love when you truly like each other as people and enjoy each other's company," says Battey. Even if the physical chemistry is there, you might not enjoy your partner's company if you don't have fun together — maybe you even feel bored. You might also find yourself preferring to hang out with friends rather than your love interest.

If you're not sure whether you're "in like," ask yourself: Would you choose your partner as a friend even if you weren't romantically involved? If the answer is "yes," that's an indication you could be a solid match.

5. You support each other.

Another important green flag in any relationship: There's a mutual give-and-take. There might be times that you're bending over backward more and times when you're on the receiving end of your partner's care. But in general, you shouldn't feel like your relationship is lopsided, says Hubbell.

One way you can see this play out is in conflicts or the decision-making process, according to Hubbell. "Does your partner listen with curiosity to your perspective even if it differs from their own? If so, consider this a green flag," she says.

6. You feel at peace.

The right partner should make you feel safe and accepted, and how you feel now is likely how you'll feel in a relationship with them five or ten years down the road, according to Battey. Pay attention to how you physically feel when you're with your partner. Do you feel settled and comfortable, as if you can fully relax and be yourself, or do you notice physical symptoms of anxiety when you're spending time with your partner?

"People are emotional beings, and often your body gets the memo before your mind," says Battey."So lean into your intuition and pay attention to how your partner makes you feel."

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