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Relationship 'green lights' anyone?(80 Posts)
I was just wondering, for those of you in happy relationships - and especially those who've been through dysfunctional or abusive relationships and are now happily settled - we talk a lot about 'red flags' on this board. But what about the opposite? Were there any moments when you realised that, yes, this was different to all the rest, and he really was a good 'un instead of a manipulating charmer? And what incident made you know you were all right to go ahead?
The silence says everything. No one trusts anybody these days
I think the green flags are earned over time by day to day things & not big gestures.
I agree it's often things that come out over time. Think there was a thread about this recently.
I guess things like, having a good group of friends and a good relationship with his family, talking about exes in a respectful manner,
( ie not bad mouthing or blaming them ), erm not sure what else, wish there were a set of questions you could ask someone to figure out if they're gonna be an arse!
Kindness to others.
Listening to you. Asking questions about your work/hobbies etc.
Being respectful to waiters.
If he does get you a gift, it is nice if it is something that you've expressed a liking for in a previous conversation rather than generic "gift for someone I'm dating".
Actually I've only really only ever had one lovely boyfriend. So what made him special was things like he didn't pressurise me into having sex, he was proud of me, was supportive and listened to me, was kind, warm, and I just never doubted he cared deeply about me. If we had a disagreement he was upset and genuinely apologised. On our first date he came to see a film with me even though it wasn't his thing.
On my birthday he secretly bought tickets for a concert that he knew I would like.
Lots of little things that all added up.
This was many years ago, his current wife is a v lucky woman!
Seeing my boyfriend act kindly towards others where he has nothing to gain is a big one for me.
He is kind to everyone, has never spoken ill of anyone, does not bear grudges. He is a properly lovely person.
I think you are over thinking things
Once you live together you either just fit together as a couple or you don't and the bad times outweigh the good
This happened with my ex. We'd been on holiday lots and spent so much time together but once we bought a house we couldn't get on
Now I'm in a happy relationship but he is a man after all. He hardly ever does housework and says find a cleaner I'll pay instead of you know helping me with the cleaning. Goes off to play football/pub twice a week when I'm pregnant and sick and exhausted but his team are top of the league. Haha like I care about that
The good times should just naturally outweigh the bad times and it does in my relationship but we still have crap times, everyone does
The only way to really really know someone is to live with them and I would only advise that if you do a living together agreement or get married so that you have rights!
Great idea for a thread.
Kindness is the top one, esp when it's just natural and unforced and not at all charmer-buttering-people-up.
Is respectful of his own mother/sister/female relatives but not being tied to apron strings.
Nice to animals. And likes gardening/outdoors but not in mad Bear Grylls type way.
Does not throw weight about and show off in social situations but genuinely interested in all kinds of people. Not at all snobbish.
Not bothered by what you wear/look like. Sometimes means that compliments are thin on the ground, mind you, but basically not into appearances.
Keeps out of conflict/ testosterone charged situations: eg doesn't get into road rages, parking wars, knocking over someone's pint type crap, and thinks people who do are a pain.
Being able to spend 2 weeks on holiday, just the two of us, and really enjoying it, not getting on each others nerves. Being able to tell or ask each other anything.
If anyone has seen meet joe black. Years old I know haha
There is a quote
'She knows the worst things about me and it's ok'
Something like that anyway
But come on people it's never all holly willoboobybigboobs we are so in love
all the time!
The people who feel they have to go on about how in love they still are... doth protest too much!
forgetmenotblue that's almost exactly what I was going to say.
Especially the bit about kindness. My mother always said this was the most important quality from a partner. I ignored this when younger and ended up in a horrible and abusive relationship.
My DH is the kindest person I know, along with DF.
There are some really wonderful men out there.
I would also add being secure in their own skin. My DH is happy with himself and knows his faults. He is never out to prove himself to anyone else, or to pick a fight to prove how 'manly' he is.
It's an interesting question and not terribly easy to answer.
I agree with all the above but would add, how he reacts when under pressure or when something goes wrong or when someone else behaves badly.
I saw a friend helping someone who was struggling. I was a bit irritated with the struggler as we were all in a difficult situation but my friend was just encouraging and kind. That was definitely a turning point in how I viewed him and a few years later I married that friend!
Having independence and his own life going on.
Having a good group of friends.
Not getting angry over silly things.
Having ambition and drive (not relevant for everyone)
Being generally happy and enthusiastic about life.
I'm the queen of dysfunctional relationships and I am happy now with someone and I have a relationship that is anything but dysfunctional...
but its such a tough one. In the beginning if he did something nice I'd panic because it fitted in with the 'nice to begin with' pattern.
I believe I may have even started a thread entitled something along the lines of 'OMG he bought me flowers is this a red flag'?
As naze says its really something that you find out over time.
Definitely kindness is the biggest one. If they are kind, chances are they will care to listen to you, not want to see you hurt or upset, help you/your family out, be nice to other people/children in your lives, etc. I think it all stems from that
I've been with my bf/dp for a year and we've not had an argument. We've disagreed but that's never escalated, instead it's been resolved v quickly and reasonably. There's no drama. That's very important to me now.
No game playing
If something's up then he tells me
Always kind, even if I'm a pain in the arse
When I come in he gets up and gives me a hug and then makes me a cup of tea. Worth his weight in gold
My biggest green flag came as part of a funny story (when I look back at it, it wasn't quite so funny at the time!)
We'd been together about six months. Id been through a rough few weeks which culminated in me having to go on leave of absence from uni which left me a bit unsure about what to do immediately next.
I went to stay with him for a couple of weeks while I applied for jobs and worked out my next life move. One of the nights we decided to go out to have some fun and to help take my mind off of everything. Unfortunately my mind ended up slightly too far removed. I had far too much to drink and things went downhill pretty quickly. He got us both in a taxi to go home to bed without any complaint. As we pulled up outside his flat I puked over his lap, so off he trundled to the cash point to get out the fifty quid the taxi driver made him pay. He held my hair while I slumped over the toilet and fell asleep for a while. When he thought it was safe, he got me in the shower and cleaned me up and washed my hair. I imagine this to be have been a similar experience to attempting to clean an very uncooperative baby whale. He then tucked me into bed and I proceeded to puke on his duvet.
He threw everything covered in sick into the wash, grabbed a blanket and finally fell asleep next to me.
I woke up first the next morning and gradually it all started coming back to me. I was almost in tears apologising so profusely, and I was absolutely ready for him to be so mad at me, he would have had every right to be! But instead, his only concern was that I was okay, and how I was feeling.
I apologised profusely for the next week, doing all the chores, cooking all the meals and of course I paid him back the money he had to pay! But it was in that moment I realised that he cared very deeply about me and I knew he was for definite a keeper!
Sorry for the long post, just thought it might amuse someone.
Note: I am in no way proud of any of my actions that night, it was absolute ridiculous of me to get anywhere near as drunk as that and I can confirm that I had never behaved that way before, and have never again since. Lesson severely learned.
There is one thing that did make me think "yes, this is the man for me"... When we met, DH was renting a room from his brother and his wife, and their house was filthy. I mean, like proper dirty. He warned me before I went, and I was still shocked by the state of it when we walked through the front door. However, when I walked into DH's room, it was like walking into a completely different house. It was clean, everything tidy and he clearly cared about how he lived. And it wasn't just the kind of clean and tidy up you do when you know someone is coming round. But more than that, when I said I needed to use the bathroom, he said to just give him five minutes and he cleaned it as well as he could in that time.
Now to me this signalled that not only did he care about how he lived, but he also cared about me and he wanted things nice for me. Also, it meant that he was honest enough to show me the good and the bad. Oh, and it also showed me that cleans! Nothing as sexy as a man wearing marigolds and bleaching a toilet
Being able to forgive. That's pretty important in the long run, as we all make mistakes.
Being able to work through relationship problems.
Being able to find a win-win solution together when disagreeing.
But these are traits that develops with time during a relationship and with age, they are rarely something we master when we are younger.
Being able to develop and change as a person without the relationship suffering.
Surviving as a couple when you have kids ;)
forgetmenotblue that describes my DP! And I completely agree. I hope that doesn't sound smug but we have our ups and downs and of course to every positive attribute there is a potential downside, e.g. Stable and reliable = boring, can lack enthusiasm!
When I met DP I wasn't sure about him but I think the 'green flags' for me would be:
- affectionate not just in a sexual way;
- actively support and encourage you in pursuing your own hobbies, interests and friendships;
- careful with money (not a spendthrift/impulse buyer) but not 'tight' - willing to splash out on a nice meal for example without it being an issue;
- share similar values to you;
- take good care of themselves physically without it being obsessive or vain, or coming before time spent with you;
- comfortable with their own space - a personal must with me as I cannot be with people all the time;
- thoughtful on a day to day basis rather than the odd extravagant gesture;
- kindness (as mentioned by others);
- very true as said by others - watch how they treat waiters etc. as this is very revealing.
Maybe my DP is OK after all!
Evidence of being able to hold down a career. Normal mates that he's had for some years. Ability to go for a pint with my brothers. Not squeamish. Allows unrestricted access to blackheads. Wanting the same things out of life. Protective but not smothering. Decisive but not controlling.
Reader I married him.
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