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10 Instant “Green Flags” You Look For In A Partner, According To Moms

From being emotionally available to respecting independence, we couldn’t agree more with what our readers had to say.

A couple sits on the couch, laughing together.
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People often talk about “red flags” to watch out for in a partner: being overly controlling, unconscious gaslighting, showing constant jealousy, or lying, just to name a few. These can be warning signs that a relationship may end up unhealthy — or even toxic.

But what about “green flags”? These positive traits are just as important to pay attention to and can be signs of a healthy and long-lasting relationship.

We asked our Scary Mommy readers on Facebook about instant “green flags” they notice in a partner. From being emotionally available to owning up to their mistakes, we couldn’t agree more with what they had to say.

Read on for some of their most relatable responses.

1. They are kind to family and friends — and even strangers.

“They’re considerate of others. If they can’t be kind to strangers, they won’t be kind to their partners.” — Kate A. Lynn

“It says a lot to me if he’s good with animals. It shows that he has patience and empathy.” — Abbey Mulligan

“He’s nice to his mom and retail workers/serving staff.” — Kim Mauch

“They put the shopping cart back, hold the door for anyone behind them, and give good tips at restaurants.” — Patty Yvette

“They talk nicely about people who are not present and don’t join in on negative talk.” — Andrea Ryan

2. They don’t ignore emotions.

“They … know how to process [their emotions] … and communicate about them. They aren’t a part of the ‘shove everything down’ tribe.” — Noel Ross

“My husband always listens to how I'm feeling, validates what I'm going through, and helps me process it without trying to find a solution. He makes me feel safe and completely heard.” — Sarah Maerz

“When he baby talks to my animals or cries at a sad part in a movie … It means he is willing to be himself in front of me and is in touch with his feelings.” — Virginia Dunn

3. They do “little things” to show they’re thinking of you.

“[They] do little things: like plugging in my phone or AirPods so they’re charged or handing me water when I didn’t even know I was thirsty.” — Becky Hartsock

“If my husband gets up to get a snack, he brings me one without asking. If my coffee cup is low, he refills it … I also think of him and his needs. It’s about mutual respect.” — Suzy Herbster-Durkee

“He remembers little details about you that you have mentioned … [It] just means he has listened and is interested.” — George Gina

4. They own up to their mistakes.

“Everyone makes mistakes. Being accountable for their actions and why they are in certain situations is huge because it is necessary to change behavior.” — Jennifer Allen

“They admit their wrong and accept responsibility — and take it a step further to want to learn how to do better. It’s rare.” — Joelene Michelle

“They take ownership of mistakes, small and large. Taking responsibility for the little things rather than brushing them off as NBD is huge.” — Jenna Speltz

5. They are their authentic selves no matter what the situation is.

“They act the same around everyone: friends, family, when we're alone, etc. I like knowing that, from the beginning, what I see is what I’m going to get.” — Michelle Young

“They know themselves, and their behavior is consistent no matter who they are near. That’s someone who is confident in who they are and someone you can be confident in.” — Jan Bridwell Amidon

6. They are proactive in helping you.

“Someone who is proactive, not passive. It’s not a ‘do-you-need-me-to…,’ it’s an ‘I saw this needed to be done and did it’ kind of partner.” — Melissa Feldman

7. They know how to have a two-way conversation.

“Initially, it's as simple as being able to hold a conversation. If they can't answer friendly questions with no more than a yes/no answer and then follow with questions of their own, then there's really no need to go any further.” — Melissa Gaskill Straiton

“I like someone who can talk about anything with curiosity and interest. Even if they don’t know anything about the subject, they are willing to converse about it.” — Khadine Campany

8. They are open-minded about ideas or beliefs that are different from their own.

“They are willing to … not always agree but have our own opinions and still talk about things in a civil manner … I don't like arguing and being told what to think or that I'm wrong for having an opinion.” — Cynthia Crowsen

“They are willing to change their minds. I can't imagine being with someone who is so sure of themselves and what they know that they're impermeable to new information.” — Heidi Amiot

9. They support you and your independence.

“They encourage their partner to sleep, eat well, and take good care of themselves. And they also encourage their partner to spend quality time with friends and family even when it means less time together.” — Crystal Botkin

“Having a ‘yes, and’ partner rather than an ‘OK, but’ partner. When I decided to go back to school … my husband was immediately supportive and tried to brainstorm childcare options and scholarship opportunities.” — Emily Suchowolec

10. They have a sense of humor and don’t take themselves too seriously.

“Life is hard. You need someone who can keep you laughing!” — Kelsey Strasser Flynn

“We’re surrounded by absurdities. If he can’t laugh about life, and himself, he’s not for me.” — Deana Ferrusi

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.