Red and Green Flags In Relationships
When I get online, there’s loads of content about relationship issues and relationship problems. That’s why I want this content to be a little bit different. I want to talk about green flags. Green means go! So when you’re in a relationship, and you’re wondering if you should keep pursuing this person, look for the green flags.
Before you continue to read, take time to get to know yourself. The better we know who we are, the easier it will be to engage in positives and avoid negatives. For instance, if you are aware that you struggle with doubt due to past relationship challenges. You find that in a relationship you are on edge and hyperaware of your partner’s behaviors due to your insecurities.
Green Flag: Validate Your Feelings
You find yourself in a healthy relationship when someone validates how you feel. For instance, let’s say you have a rough day at work, and you call your partner. You tell them you have a bad day, and your partner says, “I’m sorry you went through that; how are you doing?” They are validating your feelings and giving you space to share. This validation is a massive green flag for your relationships.
Green Flag: Vulnerability
Another green flag is vulnerability. If a person is vulnerable to you, then they care about you, and they love you. Suppose you find yourself in a healthy level of vulnerability. It’s not going to happen overnight; it takes a decent amount of time to build a relationship’s vulnerability. If you’re looking to deepen vulnerability with your partner, there are some questions you can ask each other each week:
- Did you feel loved by me this week?
- Did you feel connected to me this week?
- Where can we improve in the relationship?
- How are you this week?
- Did you have a good week?
- What are you thankful for this week?
- What does our weekly schedule look like?
- Is your love language being met? Is my love language being met?
- Did you feel valued this week?
- Did we set sufficient time for each other this week?
To understand vulnerability in a relationship let’s consider the case of Carlos with his wife Sarah. Carlos returned home from work and shared what he did during the day. He opened up and shade with Sarah what he did and how he felt. The combination of events with feelings worked to help Sarah feel connected with Carlos.
In the example above, you are able to identify that Carlos’s skill in sharing what took place during the day while also feelings connect to emotional connection and vulnerability.
Red Flag: Not Over Their Past Relationship
Whenever you’re dating someone and are still hung up on their past relationship, that can be a significant red flag. If the other person is texting and emailing their previous partner, that’s a sign that they are not over that relationship. It means your relationship has poor boundaries. It can be challenging to keep building your relationship when there is a wedge there. If you see this red flag, then it’s time to stop. After you stop, you need to think about this: how do I deserve to be treated? Think about what you would like out of this relationship. How do you want to be treated by your partner? Once you have that answer, you need to have a black and white conversation with them. Here are some questions that you may want to ask them:
- Do you still have feelings for your ex-partner?
- Are you still communicating with your ex?
- Are you fully present for this relationship?
Continue improving and nurturing your relationship with the Couple’s Workbook: Making Your Relationship Work.
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Books that can help with relationship growth:
The Five Love Languages
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is a must-have self-help relationship book. This book is beyond words in its effectiveness to help struggling couples, individuals seeking healthy relationships, and therapists or counselors that work with couples. As a couple’s counselor, I use this book because it helps couples I work with understand how they accept and give love. Understanding the five love languages provides individuals with the proper guidance to achieving a healthy loving relationship.
Even now, this book continues to be ranked extremely high. I personally think it’s due to the book’s simple and direct approach in creating clarity and understanding around love. The book evaluates the five languages of love. These include acts of service, quality time, physical touch, gifts, and words of affirmation.
I strongly recommend this book if you are experiencing issues in your relationship.
Mating In Captivity
This book takes a very different approach to support couples, which has been rated very well by readers. One key area is the authors’ ability to focus on teaching readers how to find creative ways to discuss sex, intimacy, and desire. A great read for couples that desire to strengthen their relationship and search for ways to build connection and spark.
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