lessons on “green flags”: pt 1: when someone isn’t who you think they are

Watercolor hand drawn sketch illustration of garland of green flags with white stripes isolated on white By fuzzylogickate

Red flags are fairly straight forward.

I’m not very good at recognizing red flags, although I am better then I used to be. Someone said I only looked innocent. The way I dressed, they said. I do like dressing modestly, when I put on clothes.

I’m not always good at recognizing red flags, though.  I want to believe in the goodness of the person.  But these leads me to another potential flaw:  failing to see green flags.

Red flags are only warnings, remember.

Remember that red flags aren’t always bad!  They are a sign of something bad, yes, but it could be a miscommunication or some other explation.  Perhaps they forgot about the first date…but it turns out they had to take their dog died and they got really flustered and they are genuinely sorry…and, I mean, their dog died.  Maybe have a little sympathy here?

A red flag ≠ toxic behavior.  It isn’t someone who isolates you from your friends. There is no reason anyone should ever isolate you from your other close relationships. That is not a sign of an abuse relationship. It is abuse. 

Similarly, a green flag is merely an indicator of a good partner.

It is not the behavior itself. While a red flag indicates a potential toxic/harmful behavior, a green flag is a possible illusion of a wanted behavior.  You hear great things about them.  They write so beautifully on their profile page.  It’s everything you could want.  You think.

Only, please be cautious.

Just know that they can appear to be a kind, loving, intelligent person.  Perhaps they even are.  I dated a goddamn therapist trained in communication.  Good sign, right?  Only she couldn’t talk to women.  Or at least she couldn’t talk to me.

Green flag.

 It’s good to place trust in a partner that consistently gives you love, affection, commitment, etc. That consistently follows through on their promises.  But if something feels off to you, well, maybe listen to that voice.

Sometimes people are what they seem.  But every so often, people aren’t what they seem.

Be careful, and be kind.

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