We are constantly being bombarded with “red flags” and warnings regarding many aspects of our lives, yet we rarely encounter “green flags” that serve to demonstrate something positive, in this case, healthy things about a relationship. Not every relationship looks the same, but here are some factors that are the benchmark for a safe and nurturing relationship.

Through appreciation, you respect and value your partner and express gratitude often.

When you find balance, you find happiness in time spent together and apart. Some needs are met outside of the relationship, including hobbies and friendships.

With effective communication, you communicate your own needs and wishes, while respecting those of your partner.

Your actions align with your words with honesty. The thoughts and feelings you express are genuine.

You take responsibility for your actions and work as a team to solve problems through conflict resolution..

Safety requires you to respect your partner’s boundaries. You should feel safe physically, intellectually (expressing thoughts) and emotionally (expressing feelings).

Do you see areas that these “green flags” do not coincide with your relationship? This list can serve as a guide for areas that could benefit from building on and improving as a couple. More importantly, this list can assist you in developing a healthy relationship early on.

Focusing on strengths can have productive lasting effects on many aspects of our lives. Let’s try to change our mindset to a positive one.

Christina Martinez, LCSW