Relationship Green Flags
Whether it’s with friends or someone you’re dating, healthy relationships are about more than just our feelings towards a person. The actions we take within relationships and how those actions affect each other matter too. And everyone—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, class, or background—deserves to be treated kindly and valued for who they are.
So, as you form new relationships and grow old ones, here are some green flags, or good signs, that your relationship is healthy for all involved!
Trust & Respect
When relationships include mutual trust and respect, a safe space is created for you both to be yourselves—helping each of you feel seen, heard, and appreciated by the other person. Sometimes trust takes time to grow, but relationships should begin with respect.
So, what does trust and respect look like? It can be when someone shows you that you can rely on them. They listen to you. They consider your feelings when they speak to you. And you’re comfortable talking about personal things with them. Even when you disagree, you know that they only want the best for you.
Open Communication & Support
Someone may not always know what you’re thinking or feeling, and communication can help you both understand each other better. Talking openly with each other could mean voicing your opinions, telling each other what’s on your minds or how you’re feeling about something, or even trying to resolve a disagreement. Just remember that healthy communication means listening too.
Being supported without judgment is also essential to a healthy relationship. Are you paying attention to what each other needs? Encouraging each other’s goals and passions without making the other person feel bad about what they like or how they spend their time? And do you each want the other person to spend time with the people they love, even if that means they won’t be around you in those moments? These are just a few examples of how you can give and receive support in your relationships.
Independence & Privacy
No matter how close of a relationship you have with someone, you always have a right to autonomy and privacy—and they should want that for you too! You should each be able to choose what you do and don’t want to share with the other person. If a person supports your independence and privacy, they won’t mind time apart sometimes, if you have other friends, or that you keep somethings—like your journal, passwords, or conversations with others—private.
Setting your own and respecting each other’s physical, emotional, and digital boundaries is a great way to grow your relationship and your own independence. Interested in learning more about exploring and setting boundaries in your life? Check out this 30-day guide from FocusOnYou.org.
Every relationship is unique—and no matter what, remember that you deserve to be respected, heard, and supported by the relationships in your life. As you continue to learn more about what a healthy relationship means to you, know that you can always reach out to the people in your life that you trust—like your parents, friends, counselors, or trusted help lines.
If you have more questions or want to talk about the relationships in your life, reach out to a teen trained to help by texting, calling, or chatting Teen Link.