Relationships are something people won’t ever get enough advice on. Just like humans are complicated creatures that will never stop being the focus of numerous psychological, sociological, and other studies, such is and always will be the case for relationships as well.
Not too long ago, Bored Panda has recently covered red flags in relationships—you know, indicators that he or she is not the one. Well, now it’s time to switch it up and consider green flags in relationships.
Reddit user u/CircleBox2 went to r/AskReddit to ask the question what are some green flags early on in dating that the relationship should become serious? The post soon went viral, gaining nearly 70,000 upvotes with over 8,500 responses from people sharing advice and personal stories.
Bored Panda gathered the best responses and turned them into a list which you can check out below. And while you’re at it, why not comment and vote on the submissions you found most useful!
More Info: Reddit
I asked my then-girlfriend to hand me a screwdriver. She asked "Flathead, Philips or Vodka?" It was then, I knew she was the one.
When my relationship was brand new, my boyfriend came over late one night to relax after playing a show. It was storming/down pouring outside and we were cracking open some whiskey. Suddenly, my cat started yowling as if he was in pain and making frequent, unsuccessful trips to the litter box. He has a history of kidney issues and I thought he may have had a stone lodged in his urinary tract - a pretty emergent issue! I apologized and said I needed to run him to the animal hospital ASAP. Our cozy night in is over “I’m so sorry, you can stay here if you want but I totally understand if you want to go home.” My boyfriend didn’t miss a beat, refused to leave our side and helped me get my cat into his carrier. I was really upset/crying (my cat is elderly and the thought of him having an emergency procedure was so scary at the time!) but he treated both of us so gently and was a huge source of comfort. He even took his overshirt off and covered up my cat’s carrier so he wouldn’t get rained on on the way to my car, getting soaked in the process and not acting like he was bothered or inconvenienced. I was completely taken aback and deeply touched - this was the moment I began to fall seriously for him. It’s been 3.5 years now and he continues to show deep compassion for people/animals in need, and is so helpful, comforting and wonderful in dark/stressful times. ... Also, my cat was absolutely fine - the vet said he was just having an “off” day. A $400 “off” day. Cats.
My husband and I have endless conversations. There's nothing we can't talk about. Nothing. The first time we ever chatted on the phone we talked for 6 hours.
We've been together for 15 years and STILL talk every day, several times a day. We love our breakfast time because we chat after eating and really enjoy each other's company. We love talking no matter where we are. And since he also works from home, we work together. There's lots of times we're saying nothing, just enjoying being around each other.
But I love that we can talk about anything we want and it doesn't descend into an argument.
I knew my boyfriend was "the one" when I asked him how an internal combustion engine actually works. All my life I had been dismissed when I asked cause I just wouldn't understand. He immediately pulled the car over and explained the entire engine from crank to carb! I totally understood and was grateful he saw that I was genuinely interested and he had the respect to take the time to explain. We have been together for over 40 years and working on our project cars is still one of our favorite couples past time Also, he leaves the crunchy French fries for me even though they are his favorite too :)
When my now-wife and I were dating, we started having “introvert dates” where one of us would come over and we’d just craft or work on projects in the same room, sometimes talking, sometimes putting a show on in the background. It was so cozy and domestic, like we already lived together.
Traveling together in general is a great test of a relationship. My boyfriend and I have travelled internationally together three times now. Twice while dating and once before we got together.
Packing, airports, cabs, foreign languages, etc. Being able to navigate all the potentially stressful aspects of traveling and still have a good time together is a huge green flag in my opinion.
About 4 months into my relationship I got injured. There was a chance that I wouldn't be able to walk again. My then girlfriend now wife said "don't worry it's going to be okay, we can figure this out either way." I'm okay now, but just knowing she was going to stay with me no matter what was huge.
We've been together 8 years now. We have our challenges but at the end of the day we both know we're there for each other.
On my 2nd date, before I was supposed to move states, we got stuck in a parking garage cause of an accident for 45 minutes.
We watched a non subtitled foreign film on my phone, enjoyed talking with one another, and we connected despite being done with what we had planned to do and were stuck in a car.
I ended up canceling my move and marrying the woman.
Edit: just realized today was the day I proposed to her 3 years ago. Odd that it coincided with the post lol.
The one that surprised me the most was being upset and telling my bf how I needed them to do XYZ (help me with chores, walk the dog every once in a while, etc) because I was overwhelmed and frustrated and he just responded "okay, I didn't know you felt like that. I'll try to do better but please remind me if I forget" and that was that. And he did. It seems small and obvious, but holy crap I don't think I had ever felt more heard.
If their friends are all great people. Our closest friends are a reflection of ourselves - you can tell a lot about who they hang out with.
Also: how well do they treat other people they don't know (waiters, bartenders, janitors, etc).
One time I was with my partner; I got up and started pouring myself some water from a filter and the lid came off. Water went absolutely everywhere- all over myself, the kitchen counter, and the floors.
I started to panic and immediately began apologizing profusely. I grew up in a, well, not great home, and a similar mistake there would’ve resulted in a shouting match and me ending up on my hands and knees scrubbing the entire kitchen.
My partner looked up when I spilled it, paused, then started laughing their ass off. They came over to me, stepping over the water, and gave me a hug, saying “It’s okay! Accidents happen. Come sit with me, the water will evaporate.”
That was the moment I knew I wanted to marry them.
My husband and I back country camped on our second date. He was a pro so I trusted him abs he says he was impressed at my willingness to be bold and do something adventurous.
We spent several hours hiking in to spot with only conversation and the woods. We set up camp and cooked together. The feeling was peace. Just at peace to be with each other, work as a team and comfortable with the quiet and fire. I knew he was the one that night.
I always thought love at first sight would be a powerful rush or energy. Turns out it feels like coming home.
When your soul feels at peace, that’s a green flag my friends.
How good is their company during a drive, or when there is nothing to do?
My future wife and I found that we loved just spending time together. We could talk for hours in a car during a drive. Sometimes the drive was more interesting than where we were going.
A few weeks into our relationship, we went through a drive-through and she spontaneously unwrapped and rewrapped my burger so I could eat it while driving with clean hands. I knew I was going to marry her. Just over a week from now it will be 23 years!
When they don't mind doing the boring stuff with you and make even that seem fun. The morning of my first date with my now-fiance, my glasses got a massive scratch on them. Any of you fellow glasses-wearers know that this means a trip to the store right then and there. I told him hey, I can't hang out for lunch right now (we had a brunch date), because I had to get all that sorted first. He offered to go with me and made the journey fun. We told stories on the way there and ended up spending the entire day together, morning to night. Then did it again two days later. Then the day after that... then a few days after that... we've been inseparable ever since :)
This recently happened to my sister.
She'd been chatting with this guy for a while and it was finally safe for them to meet in person. She went out with him and ended up eating something that didn't agree with her (deep fried pickles are a "never again" food now, apparently). She asked him to take her home and he did. As they were walking to the car, she puked. He ran and got her a bag and she ended up puking all over his shoes.
Not only did this not scare him off in the least, he started building a care package for her - her favourite tea, Gravol, a bucket and some other stuff. It's seriously the sweetest thing I'd ever heard of.
If he's going to do something like that for a girl he's met in person all of twice, imagine what he'll do to someone he's super committed to (they're officially together now).
We just celebrated 15 years together and I believe being ok with spending time apart is the single most important part of us being happy together for that long. We're both hobby and career driven individuals that have our own workspaces at home where we like to escape and do our own thing. We also often chill in the same room while doing our own separate things and just enjoying each other's company. Respecting each others needs to do things alone and not needing to do absolutely everything together is really the key to our relationship working as well as it does.
I was preparing to move to a new apartment and had a ton of stuff going on in my life, including trying to coordinate moving out with expensive heat treatment for bedbugs that my a-hole landlord refused to be involved with. I was super stressed and drained and when I was cleaning the fridge one of the shelves inside literally shattered. I was basically beside myself and so frustrated because I knew that said a-hole landlord was going to screw me on my security deposit now after all I put up with. So I vented to my husband (then boyfriend) and was basically just like I give up, everything is the worst.
The next day he let me know that he had looked up my fridge model, found the shelf as a standalone piece and ordered it and it would be there in two days (or whatever). I cried. I was so, so grateful. I was so overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted over the bedbugs and moving and everything else and the fact that he saw that and just took something off my plate and handled it was such a relief. It showed me what a supportive partner he could be and it was just what I needed.
Early in our dating days, I was on a train with my now-husband. The inspector was checking our tickets while we were about to pull away from the station when my husband spotted a woman come running down the platform. He pointed this out to the inspector, who stuck his arm out the window and held the train until she got on.
My husband was so casual about it, didn’t think anything of it really, and it was a small action, but one that likely made her day better.
I thought it said a lot about his character, that he’d help out a stranger who didn’t even know it.
I was right, he is still that kind of guy!
My wife and I both pride our relationship on our handling of our disagreements. If either of us starts to get angry, we stop separate for a while then come back with cooler heads and iron it out. The adage don’t go to bed angry I hate cause sometimes that cool down period helps. But you still have to be open and communicate what it is you are feeling and why.
You genuinely enjoy one another's company during dull moments. Life's full of them and you are going to want a partner who you can enjoy them with.
I think silence is underappreciated in relationships in general, not just in romantic relationships. There's an oceanic feeling when you're with a good friend just quietly taking in the whole world around you.
Noticing the other does not take themself too seriously. In the very very early days of dating my now-husband, we took a long road trip for a romantic getaway in Boston. The first night in town, expensive dinner in a famous seafood restaurant. The server brings the bill and takes my date's credit card. Server comes back with the news that the credit card was declined. Both he and I burst out laughing at the same moment. That was my green flag!
He/she remembers small details from your conversations. It means they pay attention to you and what your interests are.
Every year at Christmas for at least the first five years of our relationship, my now-fiance got me at least one little gift he called a "listening gift." The first year it was a Kindle case--I had told him offhand I had an embarrassingly ugly fangirly Kindle case my mom had gotten me off CafePress, but I felt obligated to use it because I didn't want to hurt her feelings when it was a well meaning gift. So he got me a Kindle sleeve and said, "There, now you can tell her you have to use this one because your boyfriend got it for you." One year it was, "Four months ago, you mentioned that your family's copy of Jurassic Park was one that was taped off of TV in the 90's so it had 90's commercial breaks, so I got you Jurassic Park on DVD." It was really sweet and the listening gift was always my favorite, and also the hardest to explain to people when I gushed about it ("No, you don't get it, he got me a Kindle case!").
He is still very thoughtful but we've been together so long that I don't think he feels the need to prove he listens to me with one specific gift every holiday. He's still an awesome gift giver.
Encouraging growth, but doesn't try to change your foundation.
My (now) husband is 100% the reason I decided to go to college at 25. He believed in me and encouraged me so much or I’d have never done it... I kinda just did it on a whim too. It ended up being a quick decision over the summer. I’ll be a senior next semester and applying to law schools and he has been so supportive, encouraging, and helpful this entire time. Honestly, had I had the support from my family I’d probably already have been through college. I’m lucky I found him.
On my first date with my future spouse, we had planned to spend some time together, then go get a bite and be done by evening. When the date was supposed to end, i invited her for a walking tour of my campus. When that was supposed to end, she invited me on a tour of hers. When that was supposed to end, she asked if I'd ever walked a pretty nearby neighbourhood, and we walked there. It was now about 11pm, i offered to walk her home. I went to walk home, she invited me in for tea. We sat in her living room, sometimes in long stretches of blissfully relaxing silence just smiling, and i wasn't on my way home until 2 am, 8 hours after the date was meant to have ended.
Being weird together after only a couple of dates. It has taken me forever with most. But if I'm able to open up and be silly then I know it's a really good sign as I'm an introvert and incredibly shy around someone new, especially someone I see as a partner.
Only a few people outside of family know the true depths of my silly. Whenever they meet my other friends they get a bit confused about why people would think I'm a serious no-nonsense type of person. Or the other people are so very shocked to catch a glimpse of me goofing off.
They're curious about you. It's not just about the flow of a given conversation, it's about having genuine, enthusiastic interest in you and the things you care about. It doesn't mean they have to like the same things you like, but they should be able to engage with you even when it's not their "thing".
They have their own people. They don't need to rely on you completely for emotional support, because they have other meaningful relationships they could turn to. They do rely on you often, but they know when to give you some breathing room when they know you're having a tough time and turn to someone else for support.
They don’t push their preferences on you and pressure you to maintain them
My wife and I have... about 20-30% crossover in our tastes in music.
Neither of us try and change each other's minds, we'll show each other cool stuff in the crossover area, but the outside areas get left alone. She won't subject me to stuff I find sleepy or nauseating and I won't subject her to things she finds terrifying and overstimulating.
Did they return their shopping cart to the cart return after grocery shopping? I stand by shopping cart theory as a good indicator of a person's moral compass.
I recently moved to South Florida. No one - and I really do mean no one - takes their cart to the corral or back to the store. I’ve locked eyes with people as they just push them into an empty parking spot. It boggles my mind. I always get thanked by staff when I bring my cart back.
They get your humor and laugh at the jokes you tell.
My boyfriend and I have a dark sense of humor; I used to be super sensitive but I've lightened up a lot after dating him. The other day he and I were washing dishes together and his mother mentioned that his sister was on antidepressants. My boyfriend, who had attempted to kill himself in the past, and neither his sister nor mother knew about it, responded that that was understandable. I whispered to him in my best James Franco voice "first time?"
If you set a boundary and they respect it.
If you say that you are more comfortable meeting them at the date location after they offer you a ride they shouldn’t insist on picking you up.
I met my husband on a dating app. I was using a very obvious pseudonym. He asked me if that was my real name, I said "No, I have a very unusual given name and finding me IRL would be very simple. " his reply was "That makes sense" and did not ask or bring it up again. So many men got frustrated or would just keep asking.
I did tell him before or first date and now or cat is named Artful in honor of my former identity.annoyed with each other.