There are a few relationship red flags that we’ve all been warned about plenty of times. We know that people who are controlling in the beginning only become more controlling as time goes on, and people who are aggressive now will keep being aggressive in the future.
We know that a guy who can’t stop talking about his ex is fishy, and one who gets caught lying once usually isn’t trustworthy. We know these standard relationship red flags, but because the dating game isn’t quite difficult enough, there are also red flags that many people actually interpret to be green flags in the beginning.
Some behaviors in the early days of a relationship can seem really positive, like an overflow of compliments or making promises and commitments right from the beginning. In reality, though, those “green flags” can actually be red flags in disguise.
Fear not! There are still those genuine actions that a guy or girl can take that are undeniable green flags in a relationship, and show that a date has the potential to be a real keeper. So how do we differentiate the two? Good thing we have the answers.
Check out this list of hidden relationship red flags, and green flags that can really be trusted!
20-Red Flag In Disguise: He’s All About The Pet Names Too Early On
Pet names are usually seen as a positive sign, right? While they can show how affectionate your partner or date is towards you, it might not be such a good sign when the other person is using them a lot too early on, according to Popsugar. Apparently, this can be a sign of being too needy and falling in love too quickly.
“Plus, after the infatuation phase is over, it can just come across as annoying or routine,” advises David Bennett, a relationship counselor and owner of Double Trust Dating and Relationships. In other words, beware if he’s always calling you ‘babe’ from the beginning and never says your name.
19-Green Flag: He Shows Thoughtfulness
Being thoughtful is such a rare trait these days, so if you notice that the person you’re dating takes the time to think of others every now and then, consider it a green light. He doesn’t have to totally forget about himself just to cater to the needs of others, but a bit of thoughtfulness never hurt anybody!
That might include not bringing up certain topics that you would consider offensive, or offering to meet you somewhere that’s close to where you live if he knows you don’t drive, or suggesting dinner at a restaurant he knows provides a good gluten-free menu if you have celiac.
18-Red Flag In Disguise: He’s Definitely Never Talking To His Ex
You might thank your lucky stars if the person you’ve just started seeing tells you that they’re never talking to their ex again. After all, still remaining very close friends with an ex is probably a much more obvious red flag! But you should also stay alert if your date talks about how much they can’t stand their ex, and how they’re never talking to their ex again.
Behavior like this suggests they had a really bad break up, which might mean that your date was just unlucky in the past, or it could mean that they’re a difficult and immature person. You’d have even more reason to believe this if there is more than one ex with a red cross through her name.
17-Green Flag: He Is Interested In What She Has To Say, And Doesn’t Dominate The Conversation
It is definitely a green light and promising sign if he’s interested in what you have to say. Most guys will appear interested, but you can tell if he really is or not by how he responds. Someone who’s genuinely interested will show that they understand what you’re talking about and even ask follow-up questions.
On the other hand, it’s a red flag if your date tries to one-up you every time you bring something up. If he’s constantly bringing the conversation back to him and his interests plus making everything relate to his life, he’s probably a little self-centered.
16-Red Flag In Disguise: Everything About Him Seems Perfect
Don’t panic: you don’t have to start avoiding guys because they’re too perfect! To be totally clear, you don’t have to lower your standards and you should never settle for less than you deserve. Just be aware that nobody is perfect, so if he seems legitimately perfect in every way, you’re in for a shock sooner or later.
In one way or another, he will be flawed. That’s just humans for you! This red flag isn’t so much about being warned that he’s not a keeper; it’s just a sign to prepare yourself because if you think he really is perfect, you’ll soon get a wake-up call.
15-Green Flag: He Understands Her Sense Of Humor
Never underestimate the importance of laughter in a relationship! It only seems like a small element of the bond between two people, but it can actually be the difference between an average relationship and a great one.
A guy or girl always gets bonus points for understanding their partner’s sense of humor, and even more bonus points if they find it funny, and even more bonus points still if they can make their partner laugh too. Sometimes, people’s personalities and senses of humor are just too different and clash, so it’s a sign to hang on tight if you’ve found someone who aligns with your funny side.
14-Red Flag In Disguise: He Gives Out Compliment Showers On The Regular
There’s nothing inherently wrong with compliments, and you don’t have to worry if the guy you’re seeing loves making you feel good with positive comments. They’re always better than insults!
According to the love gurus at Bolde, it’s actually not a great sign, though, if your partner is constantly bombarding you with compliments to the point where you feel inundated. This is especially true if he’s making huge statements like, “You’re perfect.” Instead of just filling the silence, these compliments could actually show that he likes the idea of you, but he doesn’t actually know the real you. And if compliments are all he ever says? Big red flag.
13-Green Flag: He Never Accuses Her, But Confronts Her In A Mature Way
All couples will run into challenges at one point or another. You’re going to have disagreements, and just because you butt heads doesn’t mean that he’s not a keeper. But you can still tell a lot about a person, and whether he’s soulmate material or not, by how he acts during a confrontation with you.
Does he accuse you of things without giving you a chance to explain yourself and jump to conclusions based on what he’s heard? Or does he calmly confront you and ask you for your side of the story? Does he listen to what you say, or does he talk over you? An argument will either produce green or red flags, so pay attention!
12-Red Flag In Disguise: He’s Always In A Rush To Take The Next Step
There tends to be a stereotype that suggests that women are always looking for commitment and marriage while men are always trying to avoid those things until they absolutely have to. That’s true in some cases, but it’s really just a generalization—sometimes, a guy can be in a hurry to take the next step, and you might feel like you’re stuck on a fast ride and you want off!
Remember that there’s a difference between knowing what you want and working towards it at a steady pace and flat-out rushing. If he is in a hurry to take things to the next level with you, it could be because he’s on the rebound or because he’s an expert at playing the game.
11-Green Flag: He Can Admit That He’s In The Wrong
Major green flag alert: anyone who can admit that they’re wrong. Having this kind of maturity is a lot rarer than you’d think, so it definitely lifts a person up many notches in our book!
Being able to admit that you made a mistake is a great quality because we all make mistakes, so it’s relevant for all of us. Life is much easier with someone who is grown up enough to own up to his mistakes rather than with someone who tries to dodge the blame at all costs. He doesn’t have to be a doormat—just responsible for his actions.
10-Red Flag In Disguise: He’s Quick To Make It Social Media Official
Social media is now a big part of most relationships, and it comes with its own red and green flags. One of the red flags that we all know about is when a guy doesn’t want to be seen with you on social media at all—that could be because he doesn’t want anyone to know about your relationship, and that could potentially be due to a variety of reasons.
But another red flag is if he’s too quick to make your relationship official in front of his family and friends. If he’s in too much of a rush, it could be because he’s trying to prove a point, or again because he likes the idea of you, but not you as a person.
9-Green Flag: He’s Nice To Everyone, Regardless Of Who They Are
Ever heard that saying that someone who isn’t nice to the waiter isn’t a nice person? Well, it’s totally true! A guy being nice to you on a date doesn’t automatically mean he’s a nice person or a keeper. Most of us are capable of pretending to be nice, even when we don’t want to deep down.
You can get much better insight into his personality by watching how he is with people that he doesn’t have to impress or be nice to, like the waiting staff. If he’s nice to everyone, whether he’s on a date with them or eating at their restaurant, there’s a much higher chance that he’s genuinely a good person.
8-Red Flag In Disguise: He Never Stops Texting
When it comes to texting, most people take it as a red flag when the other person takes too long to reply to their messages or doesn’t reply at all. But it can also be a red flag if the person you’re seeing overwhelms you with texts.
“Texting all day sounds romantic, but it will quickly seem needy when you’re trying to enjoy the moment you’re in or actually busy with work and other projects and your partner is upset you haven’t responded immediately,” reveals Bennett (via Popsugar). This is another sign that could show that the person you’re seeing is needy, and even a little possessive.
7-Green Flag: He Doesn’t Need To Spend Every Minute In Her Presence
On the contrary, it’s refreshing to be with someone who has a life independent from you and who doesn’t feel the need to be with you every second of every day. If he does want to be in your presence every minute, it’s going to get tiresome really quickly.
Plus, this kind of behavior likely shows that he’s got trust issues because he doesn’t want to let you out of his sight, or he’s developing an unhealthy obsession. Take it as a green light to move forward if he lets you have as much space as you need and doesn’t feel threatened or left out.
6-Red Flag In Disguise: He Ignores His Friends For His Relationship
It isn’t a good sign if he’s always dumping you to hang out with his friends, but it’s also not great if he’s dumping them to hang out with you. Basically, he should be able to organize his schedule so that he can see the people who are important to him without having to cut anyone off.
If he abandons all his friends when he starts seeing you, it’s a red flag because it shows you how he treats those close to him and how highly he prioritizes the different relationships in his life. Plus, we all need friendships to stay healthy.
5-Green Flag: He Follows Through With His Promises
It’s always a good sign when someone proves that their word is actually worth something. If he can follow through on the promises he makes, then it’s easier to trust him, and trust is a non-negotiable part of a healthy relationship, in our opinion.
So this is something else to take as a green light to move forward with the dating process. By keeping his word and actually doing what he said he would do, he not only shows that he’s trustworthy and genuine but also that he cares enough about you to make an effort to fulfill even the smallest commitments.
4-Red Flag In Disguise: His Friends Seem Different From Him
Another red flag concerning friends arises when a guy’s friends aren’t very nice but you’re certain that he’s different from them. Is he really different, though? There’s a high chance that he has at least a few things in common with them if he chooses to hang out with them.
Family is a little different because we can’t choose our families, but we all have a say in who our friends are. So if his friends really aren’t your type of people, for whatever reason, and he swears he’s nothing like them, it might be time to question that and dig a little deeper.
3-Green Flag: He Shares His Opinions Without Being Judgmental
You don’t want a partner who criticizes you every chance they get is always trying to put you down and judges you for every little thing you do. And at the same time, you don’t want someone who is so scared to tell you the truth that they’ll let you spend a whole night with spinach in your teeth and not say anything.
Move ahead with the kind of person who can give you his opinion and tell you the truth in a gentle way, but also isn’t judgmental. He’s honest, but doesn’t say unnecessary things just to hurt you and is still sensitive toward your feelings.
2-Red Flag In Disguise: He’s Always Been In A Relationship
Someone who’s always been in a relationship might be a keeper, but they also might have some unresolved issues deep down. We’re not talking about the person who stayed with their high school sweetheart for years, but the person who bounces from relationship to relationship without ever taking a minute to be single.
This kind of behavior can point to someone who is afraid of being alone, which opens up a can of worms. If he’s not able to stay happy and fulfilled on his own, he could potentially bring some problematic behaviors to his relationship with you. Red flag alert!
1-Green Flag: He Tries To Understand What She’s Feeling When She’s Upset
A guy doesn’t have to act as your personal therapist in order to be a keeper, but it is a green flag if he makes an effort to understand your feelings. It’s hard knowing the right thing to say when someone is upset, but it makes all the difference if he at least listens to you vent and tries to understand where you’re coming from.
This shows that he cares about your wellbeing, he isn’t judging you for having emotions, and he is emotionally intelligent enough to try and empathize with you, even if he’s not in your position. Keeper material!