My Own Green Relationship Flags

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 7.236% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

There’s a good meme going around that says, “Fuck red flags in relationships. Tell me about some green flags, the flags that make you go FUCK YEAH THIS IS HEALTHY BEHAVIOR.” And since the meme encouraged me to add my own, I would also mention:

Making Space For Each Other In Group Conversations.
If a couple is like, “Oh, you have this great story, you should tell it!” or directing attention back to their partner during a raucous conversation when their point had been overlooked, that’s a win for me.

Proactive Checkins That Aren’t Definitive Denials.
Saying, “I don’t know about that, lemme check in with my sweetie and see if that’s an issue” is music to my ears – mainly because it tells me that a) they’re attuned enough to their partner(s) that they know when something is likely to require a discussion, and b) they’re not proactively turning you down because they’re terrified of their sweetie’s dismissal, they’re just wanting to make sure that everyone’s on the same page.

Accepting That The Stupid Things Can Matter.
Sometimes, things irrationally bug you so thoroughly that it would take way more effort for you to untangle all the panic and/or irritation than it would for, you know, your partner to stop doing that. A partner who can look a thoroughly silly request in the eye – “I know it’s silly, but you rolling up the toothpaste the wrong way makes me feel disrespected” – and say, “Cool, I’ll stop that” is teh sexxors.

Conversely: Acknowledging The Stupid Things.
A partner who doesn’t have to back up all their quirks and tics with firm logic, rearranging the universe so that it suits all of their personal desires, is a wonderful thing. Usually, “I am a strictly logical being” translates to “I am very skilled at arguing, and I will elevate my preferences to absolute law while undermining your delights.”

It’s nice to be able to say, “I like the toothpaste better this way” without having to navigate a twenty-bullet Powerpoint presentation entitled “WHY MY TOOTHPASTE ROLLING TECHNIQUE IS OBJECTIVELY SUPERIOR.”

Ignited Delights.
Partners who actively look for things to love in their partners’ hobbies are wonderful. I’m not particularly knowledgable about quilting, nor even that into fabric arts – but I’ll happily go to a quilting exhibition while my wife explains to me all the reasons why this quilt is made by a quilting master.

You don’t have to love what your partner loves, but you should at least be cataloguing the reasons why they love it.

Unselfishly Speaking Their Love Language.
If someone’s not particularly into touching but realizes their partner thirsts for cuddles on a bad day, giving big snuggly bed-hugs is a total victory in my book. If a laconic person is married to a “needs words of assurance” person, them struggling to put their love into verbal forms is beautiful.

As I’ve said before, Your Second Love Language Is Always Scripted, and it feels weird when you want to bring your partner flowers but what really speaks support to them is “Scrubbing the floor and paying the bills.” But those who make that effort are the ones who tend to be really worth the time.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous Alex
    Jun 10, 2019

    Thanks for the reminders.


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