5 green flags to look for in a new relationship

So you're finally an item with that cutie you've been staring at in math class for the past year. Congrats!

Though you may be having a blast on ice cream dates and movie nights, a new relationship (especially if it happens to be your first one) can be nerve-wracking. It's perfectly normal to wonder if you're truly compatible, if your relationship will last past high school and if your S.O. *actually* likes you as much as you like them. Deciphering the language of love can feel like solving an escape room on your own...blindfolded...and with your hands tied, but figuring out where you stand in a relationship doesn't have to be a podcast-worthy mystery. 

Let me introduce you to green flags! Unlike red flags, these are the signs that show your boo is right for you. Here are five green flags that prove your new relationship is destined by the cosmos.

1. Your S.O. is vulnerable around you


Opening up to someone is hard. Seriously, it's difficult and it's not fun. If your S.O. has meaningful conversations with you about their anxieties, dreams and hopes for your relationship, it shows that they genuinely care for you. This is also a sign that you can be vulnerable around them without fear of judgment. They might be nervous to open up at first, so let them know they can be honest with you. You've heard this a *billion* times, but without honesty, a new relationship is planted on a shaky foundation and that makes it hard for it to grow strong. 

2. Your S.O. takes an interest in your hobbies


If you're a full-blown sports fanatic and your BF/GF can't name a single basketball player, but they still put in the effort to watch games with you, it's a surefire sign that they care about you and the relationship. If they're the next Frida Kahlo and you can't draw a stick figure, but you still take them on art museum dates, it shows that you are interested in them as a person and that you want to know more about the things they're passionate about (other than you, of course). You two are both humans who exist outside of your relationship—paying attention to each other's hobbies shows mutual respect.

3. Your S.O. sticks up for you


Scenario: You wear a very cool skull crop top to your S.O.'s house, but their mom is decidedly *not* happy about it. She rants that you have no respect for her and basically makes it clear that she's the opposite of your biggest fan at the moment. If your bae defends you and lets their mom know you didn't mean any harm, that's a green flag.

When you care about someone, you want your loved ones to love them (or at least like them a lot) just like you do. If your S.O. speaks up and has your back when it would be easier to just keep quiet and let you weather the storm alone, it shows they want you to stay in their life long-term. And when sticking up for you means pushing back against someone already in their inner circle—whether that's their actual fam or their squad at school—it proves that it's important to them for you to mesh with the people they care about. It also shows they won't let their family or friends disrespect you, *especially* behind your back. Your boo is not willing to prioritize their loved one's prejudice over your relationship.

4. You and your S.O. have the same sense of humor


You laugh at the same dumb Twitter memes. You finish each other's sentences after the fifth date. Your conversations last hours, even if you spent the whole time rehashing inside jokes no one else would ever get and laughing until you can't breathe. When you realize that a lot of the same things tickle your respective funny bones (especially if those things are a special kind of weird that not many other people seem to get), that's a sign that you and your GF/BF are ultra-compatible. This is a green flag because you won't run out of things to say or get tired of each other. Your relationship is compatible on a personal level!

5. Your S.O. respects you


Basic respect is key to a successful, long-term relationship. If you have a minor disagreement over which song is better—"drivers license" or "deja vu"—and they playfully insult you without crossing your boundaries, that's a sign that they respect you. Respect is also the foundation for functional, healthy communication. Without mutual respect, a relationship begins to crumble with resentment, fatigue and bitterness. Make sure that even if you two argue, they are always kind and *actually* listen to your side. 

These signs are general guidelines to success in your new relationship—you still need to put in effort regardless of how many green flags you hit. Hopefully, these signs help ease your fears and reassure you that your S.O. is right for you! 

Tag us in your cutest couple photos @girlslifemag!

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Top image: @shayrudolph
Slider: @erica.syl


by Julieanne Larick | 11/12/2023