Greenflags in relationships part 7

People who respect your boundaries.

This post will be specifically about the sexual boundaries a person has. When dating people often encounter issues about people’s boundaries with sex.

Some people don’t want to have sex until marriage, some want to wait 90 days, others have a set amount of dates, and others don’t have a set time at all it’s when they feel it’s the “right time”.

The green flag of this is simply respecting a person’s boundary when it comes to their body. You don’t get to say how someone should use their body. A person who respects another’s boundaries is going to do one of two things. 1.) Accept it and continue dating them or 2.) break up with them.

Yes, break up.BECAUSE.

They respect the person too much to ask them to compromise themselves and their boundaries for them. They wouldn’t want someone to have sex with them because a.) they felt pressured into it or b) they want sexuality to be a big part of their relationship and they don’t want to have someone who isn’t ready for that.

But let’s break down the red flag. Isn’t breaking up too extreme?

Not at all. Breaking up is what mature people do when they hit value roadblocks. Some things we can compromise on to form well-balanced relationships. Sometimes we have to draw our line in the sand. I would say your boundaries and values are something you shouldn’t compromise or feel the need to compromise for a relationship. And anyone worth having wouldn’t ask you to.

I have honest questions that you have to ask yourself if you disagree.

Do you think you have the right to try to redefine what a person has decided to do with their body?

Are you ok with your partner feeling like you forced them into having sex before they were ready?

Would you be ok with knowing your partner only had sex with you because they feared they lose you?

Do you think that just because you are dating someone that you are entitled to sex?

Does your monetary contribution to dates entitle you to the other person’s body? Is dating just a transaction of food to sex to you?

Do you think because a person has had sex or a child they don’t have the right to say when they will have sex again?

Many of those questions are based on conversations I’ve had with people and conversations I’ve heard people have. I also need to say that many people aren’t trying to use sex as a weapon, but they want to give themselves to the right person. Especially if they’ve had a rocky dating history. Men love to say for women need to choose better, and for many setting healthy boundaries is a part of seeing if the person’s the right person for them.

Greenflags in relationships part 6.1

Being respectful of other people cultures

You may be thinking that this is just a given, but it’s not. We need to start talking about it more. This green flag is probably one of the biggest ones that we don’t give people credit for. We might simply think of the person as being just generally nice, well-spoken, and/or considerate.

But let’s break it down to show you the red flag so you can more appreciate how much of a green flag this can be. This will be a three-part series just on respecting other people’s cultures. This is part one.

I wanted to talk about specific things in culture that could honestly leave you having better relationships as a whole with people.

Respecting someone’s food culture.

Recently a TikTok creator made a video about making omurice but without “all the nastiness”. If you didn’t know, omurice is a popular Japanese food. It is made with egg and is a staple in Japanese cuisine. The video is gone, but there is an important lesson to be learned.

 How easy it is to have a bias towards cultures they know little about. As many pointed out, there are many European dishes made with runny eggs, that I’m sure she wouldn’t use those same colorful words for. Imagine looking at a dish you have no cultural context for nor have ever tasted, and deciding it’s nasty. Not only that you feel the need to broadcast your uninformed opinion to the world.

Storytime. I had a couple of roommates and one came home while I was cooking. She announced how bad my collards (green) smelt. Rather you like the smell of cooking collard greens or not, there’s a way to talk about people’s food, and these just aren’t it. 

Storytime #2. So I was at a get-together where everyone made a dish. A friend of mine who is Indian made a sweet rice pudding. That I noticed was, for the most part untouched. And it made me realize how I was raised made me very open to foods that were different from my own. And how unless it was trendy many aren’t.

 What is important is knowing how to appropriately respond to textures, smells, and foods that you are not used to. You do that by keeping words such as disgusting, nasty, smelly, icky, gross, different, strange, unique, and weird to yourself. After you hold in those words, consider why you feel this way.

How are foods people have been eating for thousands of years unique or strange? It’s not strange, you’re ignorant about that culture. There are billions of people in this world. You’re not going to know everyone’s food, being ignorant in this context is ok. Being judgemental and rude is not.

 Someone eating with their hands isn’t gross. Those kinds of food cultures have existed for thousands of years and will continue to exist regardless of how sanitary you may see it as. Imagine your favorite food of your culture, now imagine someone telling you that because they’ve never heard of it it’s strange, smells weird, and is disgusting. Why oh, because it doesn’t stand up to the standard of their food culture. See the problem? 

The green-flag people are green flags here because it automatically tells you how worldly and/or well raised a person is. 

You might be thinking, isn’t this just being respectful, a part of it is. But the problem lies deeper than just not saying it out loud. It’s also about the way you think. But for example, thinking a food to you is unique isn’t rude, it’s just uninformed, especially of old traditions. Is it new or rare, or is it just new to you? Thinking that ramen isn’t healthy because of the way people like to eat top ramen in the U.S. isn’t rude per se, but it is inaccurate. It’s thinking that kimchi can’t be good because it’s fermented cabbage, but you enjoy cheese and other aged foods.

I could probably write a whole thesis paper on this alone. But green flag people are willing to try your culture’s food and others without judgment. They’re going to try your big mama’s, abuelita’s,halmeoni’s, and nana’s food without you having to worry about them offending your grandmother because they won’t even try it. 

Greenflags in a relationships: part 5

A person with a dependable healthy friend group.

I know people may not like it, but your friends are a good indicator of where you are going in life. We judge books by their covers over here. Because that cover and sleeve tell you what the book is about.

A dependable healthy friend group is one of the best things that you can have in life. And more often than not, people are a reflection of who they hang around. Nothing is going to be as consistently inspiring then friends who are constantly pushing you to be your best at all times. They don’t even have to push sometimes. People whom you love doing their best are inspirational.

Now, let’s say that your partner isn’t as emotionally healthy as their friends, I guarantee you they are in a much better place than if we flip.

Let’s flip it.

Imagine we have an emotionally healthy dependable person, in a friend group in which no one else is. I hate to say it but that person is in danger of being dragged down vs being lifted up. And to be fair people realizing that their friend groups aren’t good places are often why people leave friend groups.

So even if your person isn’t where they want to be in life or where they want to stand emotionally; having friends around them that constantly walk in bettering themselves. Is a bonus in life for them. And quiet as kept, it’s a bonus for you too. So not only do you get a person who is consistently being inspired to grow. You gain people who want the best for you.

WHY?

Because they want their friend to be happy, and encouraging you does that too. And in time, you gain people that will cheer you on for the rest of your life.

Greenflags in a relationships: part 4

Knowing how to talk to someone.

I’m not talking about someone good at communicating overall, but about a specific part of good communication, which is kindness.

You’ve heard people say, I’m just BLUNT. That is who I am. The problem is, it isn’t. Bluntness isn’t a personality trait.

It’s a choice.

Being blunt is like letting yourself give into anger. It requires little care or effort to do. It’s difficult to regulate what you say, but I guarantee you those who do have better relationships than those who don’t.

I’m not talking about people that finesse others or smooth talkers.

No.

I’m talking about the regular people that realize that the tone that you talk to people will affect the outcome. The way you speak to someone might be the difference between someone actually taking in what you said or just not listening at all. It’s also someone who even when they’re angry at you will use their words to articulate without being overly harsh when you because they are upset.

The way in which you choose to articulate yourself and your feelings matters. It’s hard for people to be kind and considerate,but it’s possible. Just choosing to speak kindly can change a situation entirely.

Let’s give a real-world example.

You’re a woman, and your boyfriend has a dinner planned out. He takes you to a restaurant. He had to get reservations months in advance to even get seats. He takes you to do something he loves, put-put, at a fancy indoor adult night put-put experience.

The issue.

You love all kinds of food, but this particular food culture is the only one you don’t enjoy, and you have told him that. You’re not sure if he knows you hate put-put, but you do. It’s your birthday. You’re grateful for all the effort, but you didn’t enjoy your meal, and although you always enjoy doing things with him. You were a bit bored.

These are the two ways you could respond about your birthday.

BLUNT

“Well you know I really don’t like [“insert culture”] food, and I didn’t enjoy it all. And I really don’t like put-put, so I feel like you don’t listen to me when I tell you what I do enjoy. Why would you take me out for my birthday to only do things that you like? It’s like you don’t even listen to what I say.”

KIND

“This is the most elaborate well planned date you’ve ever done for me, and I love that. I know how hard it is to get a reservation from [resturuant], I see you. Thank you for doing everything you could to make my birthday as special as possible. We should stop at [insert favorite late-night snack place] and chill there before we head home. ‘” (Waits to have conversations to talk about foods and activities that they do and don’t like later. Maybe taking at most two weeks rather than throwing all at the unsuspecting guy at once).

To be honest, this is a Kobayashi maru test, it’s a no-win scenario. You appreciated a valiant effort, but you like what you like.

But your words have power.

The first response only exasperates the issue and actually makes everyone have a bad night. But when the person chose their words vs just saying their immediate feelings, they built up their boyfriend and made the situation a bit better.

Woman or man, if the words of those you let around you aren’t building you up, then why are they around you?

Greenflags in Relationship: part 3

A person with Hobbies

I said it before that a person respecting your hobbies is one of the best things you can have in a relationship. But having someone who has their own hobbies is very important too. Even if they are not the same hobbies that you are into.

Having someone who has hobbies, means that when participating in a hobby they probably won’t be feeling lonely or left out. They understand that sometimes hobbies are solo activities. You wanna read a new fantasy novel for a couple of hours, cool they’re going to game for that time. Everyone wins. You want to game for a few hours. Well, they’re going to draw a comic for a few and then watch some Korean dramas. You’re going to go to a convention, they’ll go or they’ll hang out with their friends.

When a person has a hobby, they are more likely to understand that you taking out time for that hobby isn’t about you separating from them. It’s just you taking time to enjoy something that makes you happy. And a responsible adult who loves and cares about you regardless of what they like to do will make time for you. Hobbies often get the reputation of being the reason people don’t spend time with their partners.

But let’s be honest, hobbies are not the reason a partner doesn’t spend time with you. Them not seeing you as a high priority in your relationship is the actual issue. And if your partner finds more solace in their hobby than you.

Then your issues are bigger than hobbies

Greenflags in a relationship: part 2

Someone who is open and honest about their values and what they want in a relationship from the beginning.

There is a lot of discourse about when you should really have difficult discussions in a relationship. When should the discussion go from fluff to serious? Many people argue against being too open at the beginning because of a relationship, because of the fear of coming on too strong.

My argument is that these people are better at dating than others. Think about it. If I knew the main issues that people end up having trouble in their relationships and I could cut it out from the beginning don’t you think I should? 

I hate to say it but a lot of long-term relationships end up having issues because they do feelings and emotions first. Then values and beliefs secondarily. So by the time many have deep relationships with people, they are already like them a lot. The issue is most people are lenient on people they really like. People will deny red flags in the name of love until they don’t.

But what if before you go in too deep you have a person that wants to know what makes you tick before they put that love in, to protect not just themselves, but you as well. We love to talk about compromise, but we don’t often discuss that you shouldn’t have to compromise everything for a relationship. It’s ok to have non-negotiables. Choosing to have kids, if you should get married or not, keeping your pets, family traditions, there are many others but these are often ones that actually hurt relationships.

Imagine you meet a guy. You go on a couple of dates, and then you learn that he wants to get married. You think marriage is an antiquated concept. You talk about it and you’re surprised he’s not trying to convince you of getting married. He respects your choice. He articulates himself in such a way you can understand why he wants to get married. 

  You guys decide to break up, still be friends, and find someone with similar ideals.

Now imagine the same scenario but with different people who have been dating six months, and the lady begins talking about marriage. The guy tells her he doesn’t believe in it. If we’re being honest in this situation, only the person who wants to get married is essentially affected. Though over time, if their want is deep, it ends up really affecting everything. 

 Sometimes issues can’t be avoided. People lie, some change their minds, but some people tell you for better or for worse what they are about from the beginning. And even if they are not giving you want. You really should respect them for being upfront, because so many people aren’t.

Green Flags for any relationship part 1

A person that can easily apologize and say you are wrong.

Man or woman, it doesn’t matter the ability to apologize is a beautiful thing. The problem with many people is that they’re too proud to admit they are wrong. They’ll offer sex, dates, food, anything but the simple admission that they aren’t always right.

It can be difficult, but a big part of being an adult is the ability to admit when you’re wrong. Though I must admit that many adults are capable of doing it.

That’s why it’s a green flag, a person capable of apologizing is a person who can’t put their pride aside for the health of their relationship. That’s a person worth having. 

A person with the ability to hold each other accountable.

This can also be hard for both genders. But imagine you have something you say you wanted to do. And you declare that you have some steps to make sure you achieve your goal. You can’t be mad when someone holds you to the standard you said you wish to be held to.

But also it’s important to understand that the caveat of accountability is respectfulness and calmness. Rather it’s health-wise or being held up to the standards you set for yourself. How can you be mad at someone you love trying to help you be better in such a loving way.

A person that respects your hobbies.

Hobbies are an integral part of making adult life fun. Yes, you may have to work, have children, and have countless other responsibilities. But you also have those things that bring you happiness from just thinking about them. Maybe it’s basketball, anime, gunpla, video games, comics, or just reading. Regardless of what it is a hobby is, it’s often a big part of being a well-rounded individual.

Imagine you’ve loved something since you were a kid and you meet someone, and they don’t get it but they love that you love your hobby. They appreciate that you have something that makes you happy. They even sometimes will do it with you. They love sharing those experiences with you and learning more about what you love.

And you being that supportive partner that you are, do the same. You support their hobbies and take part in them because that’s just what people do in strong relationships.

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