If you’ve been bruised once or twice in your love life, it’s natural to look out for the red flags you missed in previous relationships when putting yourself out there again.
Editor’s note: Although this article uses male pronouns, the advice applies to all sexual orientations and gender identities.
But don’t forget:
You get what you focus on!
Of course, you don’t want to walk into the next relationship as blindly as you did the last, but make sure you’re not solely focused on searching for and potentially projecting red flags from past relationships onto your present guy.
For example, if your ex was constantly putting his friends before you, and your new man says he isn’t available because he has a friend’s birthday party, careful you don’t immediately clock this as a red flag.
It’s important to be eyes wide open from a place of self-empowerment and clarity about who you are and what you’re now looking for, but don’t forget to allow space and energy to focus on the GREEN FLAGS of your potential Mr. Right.
It’s way more fun, and a great reminder of why you’re putting yourself out there in the first place.
Here are eight green flags to look for when you embark on finding your person.
1. He makes plans to see you in advance. You’re never hanging around on a Thursday, wondering if you’re going to see him that weekend. He makes it clear he’s interested and that you’re a priority in his schedule.
2. He respects YOUR time. You’re a busy woman with a life! If you aren’t available at a time he suggests, he’s more than happy to figure out a time that works for you both.
3. He asks you questions about yourself. He genuinely is interested in who you are and what matters most to you. He wants to know about your job, friends, and family. Even the things that make you tick.
4. He doesn’t judge the things you’re most vulnerable to share with him. Perhaps you’re insecure about your current job status. Or the fact that you don’t have a great relationship with a family member. He just wants to know you, understand you, and learn all about you, without making challenging circumstances in your life a red flag in his eyes.
5. He wants the same things you want. This doesn’t guarantee that the two of you will run off into the sunset together, but it’s really nice when you’re finally dating someone who’s making it clear that his life goals are on the same page as yours, and his actions are in alignment with his words.
6. He wants to share his life with you. You know who his friends are. His family. How things are going at his job.
7. He checks in with you regularly. I’m not saying the guy has to do all the work when it comes to newly dating someone. If you want to text and say hello to someone who’s been nothing but lovely and is consistently showing up, GO FOR IT. I also am not a fan of incessant texting all day, every day, regardless of how far along your relationship has progressed. But a guy gets a green flag when he isn’t shy to regularly check in, to let you know he’s thinking about you, and to ask you about whatever you’ve shared is happening in your life.
8. He tells you how he feels about you. Not all men are verbose about their feelings, but the guy with the green flags makes it clear he’s into you in one way or another. And it goes beyond, “I’m having fun with you.” It’s more along the lines of, “I really like you.” “I love spending time with you.” “I really want to continue to get to know you.” And again, his actions line up with his words.
It’s kind of fascinating to reflect on this list and see how truly basic green flags are when searching for your Mr. Right, right?
It’s also a great list to hold onto when the oxytocin (aka the love hormone) in your brain is blinding you from recognizing when a super hot Mr. Unavailable probably isn’t your guy.
It’s a bummer to realize this when you’re extremely attracted and charmed right off the bat, but you’ll prevent yourself from a lot more pain when you recognize that he isn’t showing up for the basics of what you’re looking for.
The more you focus on who you ARE looking for and how you’ll feel when he shows up in these eight lovely and available ways, the closer you will be to finding each other.
Again, you get what you focus on.