With the world opening again after a 20-month long hiatus, and with cuffing season around the corner many of us are looking to re-enter the dating game… but where do we start?
Finding a long-term partner has become increasingly more complicated, what with endless red flags, situationships, ghosting, and bread-crumbing, modern-day dating can be the absolute pits. However, with a little bit of direction, focusing on the positive aspects of dating, and with some expert advice, dare we say, dating can be enjoyable.
Ness Cooper a sexologist at The Sex Consultant says, ‘we focus a lot on telling people to look out for red flags but regularly forget about green flags. Green flags are positive signs that the relationship is consensual, safe and has possibilities to grow both individually as well as together.’
Hmm.. how about that? So what is a green flag?
‘Green flags aren’t to be mistaken with making the relationship perfect or feeling happiness 100% of the time, as no relationship is perfect, but a green flag can be where you’re able to both work through any problems that do arise, together.’
Why is it important to look out for green flags as well as red ones?
‘When you go on a first date it’s easy to look out for more red flags than green flags as you’re nervous. It’s important to look out for both as it can help you make a solid judgement afterwards whether or not you feel comfortable seeing that individual again. When we go on a date and just focus on red flags, we may have already decided to end it straight away rather than giving it a chance to go further.’
So look no further, here are the 10 green flags you should look out for on a first date
- Being present in the moment
Being present in the moment is important and if they‘ve taken the time to put their phone down and pay attention to you this can be a sign that they are really into you.
- They are listening
Not just listening, but actively listening and responding with empathy. You’ll find when someone is really listening, the conversation can feel more natural and have a better flow to it.
- Eye contact
You’re both able to form eye contact on and off throughout the night. This can mean you’re feeling safe in each other’s company, plus added bonus is you’ll both be sharing moments that help produce bonding chemicals and strengthen any future relationship you form.
- They are willing to compromise
Even during first dates, there will be moments where you both may disagree on slight matters such as food choices to discussing hobbies, and more. Comprising is a good green flag, rather than them flagging you down for not being into the same things, it’s positive when you both can see that differences don’t matter and you can work through them even early on.
- They compliment you
It doesn’t always have to be about looks, but if your date says positive words about your looks or personality, it’s a good sign they like you.
- You can both be individuals
It’s very tempting to go straight into the WE of a relationship even on a first date, but a green flag is when you accept that you are both individuals too. A date should be a healthy combination of We, I, and You.
- They respect your boundaries
We all have boundaries and even on a first date we often go in with a set of limits that if overstepped we’re not comfortable. Whilst your date may be learning about your boundaries, when they do find out about them, they should respect them and not push through them.
- They can control unwanted emotions
Even on first dates, individuals may get jealous of other interactions that may happen between you and others. It’s a green flag when they’re able to control these in a healthy manner, rather than leading to negative confrontations and outbursts.
- Encouragement for your passions
On a first date, it’s common to share future goals such as study or work-related. If they take the time to share your passion and even comment on words of encouragement this is a green flag that they’re hoping you’re happy in the future.
- Lots of laughter
If you’re able to laugh together this can be a sign that you’re both very comfortable with each other and are able to share things in a way that is fun and relaxed.