Dating Green Flags to Look Out For
Everyone’s heard of dating red flags, the warning signs that tell you whether a date is worth pursuing. They may talk excessively about themselves and bring all conversations back to them. They may be overly critical and aggressive when discussing previous partners, insist on ordering your food/drinks for you, tell a lot of lies, show up very late without an explanation or apology.
But what about the green flags, the signs of a good date? Dating red flags have been discussed extensively and there’s a good chance you’ve seen all of them already. In this guide, we’re going to switch things up by looking at online dating green flags, the things that you want to see when you take a chance and meet dates through sites like Zoosk.
The Top 7 Dating Green Flags
Green Flag 1: They are attentive.
Your partner should pay attention to you and to what you’re saying. If they’re simply waiting for a break in conversation so they can speak, or they’re constantly glancing at their phone or around the restaurant, that’s a bad sign. If, on the other hand, they are focused on everything that you say, keep their phone tucked away and seem almost lost in you, that’s a great sign.
Don’t focus too much on eye contact though. It doesn’t always mean they don’t like you or they’re not paying attention if they look away every now and then. They may be nervous—it’s perfectly normal for the first few dates. Struggling to make consistent eye contact is different from being distracted and disinterested and it could be the difference between a red flag and a green one.
Green Flag 2: They are respectful of their exes.
Relationships breakdown for many reasons. People fall out of love, they realise they’re not compatible, they have disagreements, they move away. These things are common and there’s a good chance your date has experienced a few of them.
If they talk about their ex respectfully, it shows they are being honest and accept that there isn’t always one person or one reason at fault for a relationship breakdown.
This is especially true for marriages and long-term relationships. If you’re on a date with someone who tells you they were with their ex for a few days/weeks and broke it off because they were crazy, that’s understandable. These things happen as well. However, if they make the same comments about a spouse they were with for years, you have to question their motives.
They’re either lying to gloss over their involvement in the breakdown, or they willingly entered a marriage with a crazy person that they didn’t like, and then spent the next few years with them.
Both outcomes reflect pretty poorly on them.
A date who is respectful of their exes when the subject is raised, but who doesn’t spend too much time talking about them, is someone focused on the future; a respectful, honest person who sees the good in people and just wants to get on with their life.
Green Flag 3: They are passionate about something, but not obsessive.
It’s always a good sign when your date is passionate about something but knows when to stop talking about it. If you tell them you’re not a big Sci-Fi or comic book fan, but they still spend the next 30 minutes talking about their comic book collection and Star Wars obsession, it’s a red flag.
If they mention it and move on, only delving deeper into a passion when you display the same interest, then it’s a definite green flag. Passion is good, especially if it revolves around a talent or a hobby that required a lot of practice and patience on their behalf. It proves they are willing to put the time into something when they like it, which is great news for you.
However, as soon as that becomes an obsession that takes over their lives, it’s bad news. It means you could end up playing second-fiddle to whatever their current or future obsession is.
Green Flag 4: They match your ambition.
Ambitious people struggle to maintain stable relationships with lazy people. If you are a driven person who constantly strives for more, you want someone who will match those ambitions. Careers can cause conflicts when couples don’t share the same level of ambition and don’t want the same things from life.
Alternatively, if your goal is to start a family, live comfortably and retire early, your green flag will come in the form of a partner who wants those things as well, a partner who isn’t career-minded and won’t place success and financial gain ahead of starting a family and settling down.
Green Flag 5: They have had a LOT of relationships.
It’s not a good sign if your date is young but has had numerous partners. It shows that they can’t maintain a stable relationship, and while they may blame this on their exes, they are the common denominator so there’s a good chance they are the ones at fault.
If, however, they have had a few long-term relationships and this is backed by a wide friendship circle with people they have known for years, it’s a huge positive. People who cycle through numerous short-term relationships and friendships are more likely to be self-centred and to lack key interpersonal skills.
Green Flag 6: They are thoughtful with others.
Good people are kind, open and empathetic regardless of who they’re talking to. If your date reacts empathetically to you this is a great sign. They should also demonstrate a good attitude when interacting with service staff. If they are rude and look down upon your waiter or waitress, you should be wary.
Green Flag 7: You’re comfortable being open with them.
If the second date has come and gone and you’re wondering if your date is a keeper, check your comfort levels. How comfortable are you when talking about any and all subjects?
Are there subjects that you actively avoid because of the way they react? Do they get angry when you talk about politics; aggressive when you talk about exes; dismissive when you bring up sex? Do their bigoted reactions cause you to avoid subjects about equality; does their immaturity mean you always avoid talking about sex?
You should feel comfortable talking about anything. Your partner should be the person that is prepared to listen to everything that you have to say. You should feel like you can be your authentic self with them. If you genuinely feel like this, then it’s a huge green flag that bodes well for your future together.
If not, maybe it’s time to get back on that dating website and start looking for someone else.
Be on the Lookout
First dates have become somewhat complicated in the social media age. The average dater has more of them than in generations past and they are much less tolerant of bad dates. However, the science of first date success hasn’t changed much and the fundamentals are the same.
If you keep an eye out for the aforementioned green flags, while also watching for any red flags, you can determine whether the person on the other end of the table is worth pursuing or whether you should give up and move on.
Sites like eHarmony are no longer the future of dating, they are the present, and with a little help from this guide, you can greatly improve your chances of succeeding on these platforms and being one of the millions of success stories.