We hear a lot about red flags in relationships. But personally, I think it's important to discuss green flags in relationships, too. So, I asked the BuzzFeed Community to share with me what green flags they noticed early on that made them realize their significant other was spouse material. The answers I received are so wholesome and sweet. Here are some of them.
1. "I have debilitating health problems which started to become severe around the time we started dating. We were only 22 and 23 when we met. Within our first year together, I was having heart surgery. Less than a year after we got married (mid-20s), I had to have my entire colon removed. Many men would not have been mature enough to stand by a woman's side throughout countless surgeries and hospitalizations. My husband has been a pillar of strength, patience, love, and support. I guarantee I wouldn't have survived all of this without him. I am beyond blessed."
2. "When my boyfriend said that we can have a baby whenever I was ready and wanted to."
3. "When I had to put my childhood cat down, not only did my now-husband come with me, afterward he said that whatever would help me feel better, he would make happen. We watched an obscure movie from my childhood, and he got takeout for us and just held me on the couch while I quietly cried off and on."
4. "We'd been dating a couple of months, and we went to a reading festival. We were in a tent listening to a band and noticed a young lady lying on the floor who has had too much to drink, just before the set was going to end and the crowd were about to file out. It was dark in the tent, with bright sunshine outside, and I realized people wouldn't be able to easily see her and would either walk into or on her. As I thought, 'We should stand upstream from her to protect her,' my now husband moved upstream of her and motioned for me to do the same. We stood there, holding hands, making grumpy people walk around us, to protect a stranger. Then pointed her out to the staff when the tent was empty. I realized at that very early point that this was a very kind, helpful, and thoughtful man — the person I'd want to share my life with."
5. "Somewhat early in the relationship, we agreed that we could mutually point out attractive, good-looking people and not be jealous. It just feels very open and in general is very trusting. That was a very early indicator of trust. It’s been a long time, and we’re still going strong."
6. "Four months in, I told him that there was a very big chance that I couldn't have kids, so if he wanted this to work long term and wanted a family, I was not the gal for him. He looked me dead in the eye and said, 'We'll adopt or enjoy our hard-earned income for ourselves only. It's not a big deal, I just want to be with YOU.' 15 years later, he never wavered on his word, and after friends had kids, realized they were NOT for him."
7. "When I met my husband, I was not in a great space, mentally. I had a history of abandonment, from both family members and romantic partners. I also had a 2-year-old son, whose biological father had broke my spirit completely with his (then) undiagnosed Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Needless to say, I had some really big trust issues and was a self-proclaimed 'crazy bitch' after years of being called that by others. My husband was not deterred. He reassured me that treating my mental health with TLC was good, not a personal weakness, and promised me that he wouldn't just leave if I had a 'crazy' episode. The first time he witnessed one of my mental breakdowns, I was certain that he would reconsider being in a relationship with me. Eight and a half years later, I'm still actively working on my mental health, but everything is generally smooth sailing with someone who supports the process unflinchingly from the start."
8. "When my boyfriend and I were only together for a couple of months, my cat went missing. He insisted on walking through the neighborhood looking for her. When we returned, I started crying because I was scared she was hurt or worse. He comforted me instead of getting uncomfortable and trying to get away. At that moment, I knew he was such a caring partner. I found out someone lured my cat away, and she didn't want to come anymore, so I let her go. Now, we're together for almost seven years, bought a house, and adopted a cat and a dog."
9. "I’ve been used to being the accommodating one in previous relationships, so it was a big jolt to me for my current partner to take the time and ask me about my wants and needs. The best question she posed to me was: If we ever got into an argument or hurt me, how would I prefer that she make it up to me? I appreciated that question because she recognized my individuality and that how she likes to be loved is not necessarily the same as mine."
10. "After our first date, my now-husband asked if he could kiss me. My ex before that never cared about my consent to anything physical and would get mad at me if I gave a firm 'No.' The fact that my now-husband cared to ask even for just a simple kiss made my heart melt and is still the strongest detail I remember of our first date. We've been together for almost seven years, married for two and a half, and expecting our first baby, and he is still as sweet, caring, and wonderful as the day I met him."
11. "Our first date was at a brewery, and he had to leave after an hour and a half to go to another event. The date went super well, and I was bummed it didn’t last long. He walked to my car and then immediately texted me, 'I had a great time. Would you like to hang out again tomorrow? Or the next day? Or the next day?' No games, just showing interest. We’re now married and expecting our first baby!"
12. "He has so many, but his deep empathy was the biggest green flag for me. When I first started dating my husband, I was still emotionally recovering from a previous relationship that had made me feel like I had to be 'perfect' all the time and really had done a number on my self-esteem and worth. I can’t remember what the exact situation was now because it was already six years ago, but I was apologizing to him after going off on him and acting like a crazy person, and I told him I knew in my head that I was being irrational. Rather than retaliating or arguing back, he very calmly said, 'Don’t apologize, your feelings are valid, and they are how you feel, and I’m trying to understand where you’re coming from.' I was shocked and touched by his empathy because I was expecting him to argue with me and agree that I was being crazy (now that I’m writing this, I’m realizing just how gaslit I was in my previous relationship)."
13. "I finally invited him over to my apartment after a few successful dates. It was his first time meeting my dog, who is my entire world. He was coming straight from work and had his backpack with him that he keeps his tools in (he's a cosmetologist). He walks into my home, introduces himself to my dog, then sets down his backpack and pulls out a pack of healthy dog treats, and asked me for permission before giving her some. This man loves animals so much that he always kept healthy treats on him to give out if given the opportunity. I remember standing there in complete disbelief, just thinking 'yes.' We've been together for two years now, and he's lovingly referred to as my dog's boyfriend."
14. "How patient and unfazed she was! I am autistic and have ADHD, so dating can be somewhat of a challenge for me. I knew she was the one for me when I stimmed freely and she was completely unfazed by it. Three months on, she's still unfazed by my stimming, unless I am holding something in my hand or she's in the line of fire (I use my hands a lot to stim and gesture, there can be casualties if I'm not careful)."
15. "There were red flags, too — but his green flag resolved any red ones. He was so observant. He noticed things about myself that even I hadn't realized, like how I do a weird toe wiggle when I get sleepy. But most importantly, he noticed when I was unhappy, and he'd make me talk it out. I always shut down and bottled up things; I didn't want to make waves, but he wouldn't allow that. I didn't like it at first, but he pushed through it, and I learned so much about healthy communication and that it's a two-way street instead of a tip-toe to not upset anyone. Sometimes, it's okay to upset things as long as it's done respectfully. We are now together 15 years, and we both feel lucky to have each other and to be honest with each other."
16. "I think the biggest green flag someone can give you is space and support to truly be yourself. Dating comes with a lot of pressure to impress (because it sucks and we’re all really tired of doing it), and most of the time, you don’t feel comfortable just being you for a while. I knew he was it when we had the best first date although both of us had very low expectations. We definitely had dating burnout, and I have to admit, I was weird. Like, my unusual, disturbingly honest, snorting laughing, weird self. I left thinking, 'Wow, I have never in my life felt so comfortable with a practical stranger.'"
"Afterwards, he texted me to say, 'I have honestly never felt so at home with someone so quickly.' It was almost too good to be true to know I made him feel the same way, and I knew immediately I could tell him anything and he would accept it without judgment. Two years later and he continues to be the most communicative and emotionally open man I’ve ever met, and now, we’re both so much more comfortable just being our weird selves all the time and couldn’t care less who’s watching."
17. "When my boyfriend and I broke up, he still finished building the little walkway in my garden because he wanted my daughter and me to have a nice, safe path to the garage. We got back together and have been married for eight years!"
18. "A few weeks into our relationship, I was having weird, non-stop pain in my chest and sides, and couldn't figure it out. I ended up going to the hospital four times over the course of a month before doctors could figure out what was going on. I had valley fever, and it had gotten so bad that the care staff was all surprised that I was not dead. In the hospital, doctors talked to me about what my life would be like after, that I'll deal with symptoms and complications for the rest of my life. I didn't want him to feel obligated to stay with me, it hadn't been that long since we'd started dating, and here I was going through something so major."
"Every day for the past three and a half years, my partner has stayed by my side, taking care of me and never letting me think that I'm a burden, as I often do. The fact that he didn't (still doesn't) waver about sticking with me, helping on my bad days, and is always reminding me that he loves me, sick or not, is the biggest green flag, one among many."
19. "This is just one of many moments, but the first time we were both knitting while watching an episode of Star Trek. I’d never met anyone who loves Star Trek as much as I do until I met her, and I’ve also never met anyone as crafty as her. Watching Star Trek and knitting used to be a perfect evening, but now, my perfect evening is doing all of that with her."
20. "This may not sound romantic — but it was a big green flag for me. The first time my husband and I slept together, he asked my consent before doing anything that could potentially make me uncomfortable. While we were in the act, he also made sure to check in with me to make sure I was enjoying it. It was so refreshing to be with someone who prioritized communication in the bedroom! I wish I could say this was common in my dating experiences, but unfortunately, it was a rare find. I made sure to not let that boy get away, and we're still together a decade later. Consent is sexy, y'all!"
21. "I met my current boyfriend after a few years-post divorce from a not-so-great relationship with my ex. My ex was never super friendly to our cats and would constantly complain about them. When my boyfriend started staying over, I would always find one of his sweatshirts left on the bed. Thinking he was just leaving it out, I asked him about it, and he said he was 'leaving something out so the cats would have a familiar smell while we are gone and they won't be as lonely.' I knew then that he was a really kind person, especially since he is mildly allergic."
22. "Right at the beginning of our relationship, my now husband established clear boundaries. The most important one in my opinion was that there would be no breaking up unless it was for good, which was fantastic because when we had arguments, it forced us to work together to solve our problems instead of breaking up, missing each other, and repeating the cycle. There were so many other green flags for him, but I truly think that is the one that has kept us together for 11 years."
23. "A few months into dating my now husband, we were discussing coffee preferences, and I mentioned that I seemed to prefer my coffee hotter. He casually replied, 'You definitely do. That's why I put one ice cube in yours and two ice cubes in mine when I make coffee in the mornings.' This small gesture, of noticing my preference and adopting a thoughtful routine to it made me feel so seen and cared for. Four years in, he still makes me coffee every morning and is the most attentive partner I have ever had."
24. "On our second or third date, we were discussing our most recent relationship, and I had said that while the last man I had dated was really nice, he was very afraid of commitment, which is why it didn’t last. Without skipping a beat, my now-husband looked me in the eye and said, 'Well, I’m not afraid of commitment.' He has shown me every single day that I will never have to question his intentions and love. The most refreshing thing ever!"
25. "Growing up, when my mom or I craved salty snacks, a normal conversation in our home was 'I’m going to the grocery store, want anything?' 'Yeah, I need salt!' 'What kind of salt, Pringles?' Once, I told my now-husband I needed salt and forgot to clarify, and he bought me a salt shaker in all sincerity. Didn’t question me, didn’t laugh at the bizarre request, just got what I asked for! There were other green flags, but this was the funniest."
26. "When we first started dating, my beloved dog needed an unexpected, expensive surgery I couldn't afford. I opened a credit card, and even with it maxed out, I was still $300 short. I was so distraught and crying all the time — I was so ashamed I couldn't take care of her. He offered to pay the extra $300, and although I initially refused, he insisted. He helped with all her extensive aftercare and never complained or expected me to pay him back. We have been together for five years, married for three, and have an 8-month-old daughter."
27. "When my boyfriend and I started hanging out, we would mostly watch TV in my dorm room. One day, we were watching an anime, and I did something to block my view of the subtitles. Without missing a beat, he started reading them out to me until I could see them again. That was the first time I noticed how generous and special he was, and he continues to be selfless toward me. Two years later, we now read out subtitles for each other if the other is not looking."
28. "When I first started dating my fiancé, we were casually dating, so we weren't exclusive. He doesn't live in my area, so it didn't occur to me that he could be seeing someone I knew. I noticed he was following her on socials, so I asked him how he knew her. It was an uncomfortable talk, but he was completely honest with me and answered every question I had. This proved to me early on that he would stick it out and communicate with me, no matter how uncomfortable the subject matter was. We've been together going on five years now, and I popped the question last year."