In dating, we often use green or red colors of flags as the yes or no in whether we should date someone.

Red and Green Flags in DatingA red flag refers to an indicator of the probability of an emotionally unhealthy or problematic partner and a green flag refers to an indicator of the probability that the partner is emotionally healthy and mature. It is easy to focus on only the red flags that suggest the potential for doom, but the green flags that suggest the potential to flourish and succeed are equally important. As a beginning guide in determining some reds and greens, here are five of each to look for, in random order.

Red Flags:

  1. Love Bombing – when your partner illustrates a false sense of intimacy with intense feelings of love as an attempt for your rapid emotional investment before you learn who they really are.
  2. Bad-mouthing their exes – if the ex is immediately termed as crazy there could be a lack of accountability and honesty.
  3. Stonewalling/poor conflict resolution – if in conflict they shut down, criticize, retreat, or lash out as well as react with anger, blame and shame.
  4. Controlling behavior or jealousy – possessiveness that suggests emotional immaturity, trauma or even more serious concerns.
  5. Unhealed trauma or active addition – your partner needs to be healthy for themselves first in order to be healthy for you.

Green Flags:

  1. Expression of feelings and emotional maturity – suggests the partner might have done some emotional work in healing and has a high level of self-awareness and good communication skills.
  2. Integrity – how they deal with people, money, ethics and their work.
  3. You feel safe with this person – their energy is calming and peaceful and they illustrate a sense of stability and comfort.
  4. Acceptance – of themselves and of you, including an interest in your perspectives and views which suggests they would respect you and your boundaries.
  5. Attentiveness – they are interested in validating and meeting your needs and desires.

It is important to learn how to recognize these early signs to find a healthy partner. We want partners who are gentle with us, who are accountable in their life and who want to have a loving, healthy, fulfilling relationship. If you start seeing red flags, know your limits and stick to those boundaries. If you question your ability to see the flags or find yourself repeating unhealthy relationships, some therapeutic work on emotional trauma, attachment concerns and inner child work can be helpful.

If you have a question you would like to ask or a topic to be addressed in next month’s article, please email If you would like to schedule an individual appointment, please contact us at 713.800.6999 or

Connect with Jenn Pinkerton

Interested in scheduling an appointment, looking for more information, or for a qualified expert to speak at your next event?