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    On airplanes, staff members always tell you to put on your own mask before helping someone else with theirs. The same logic can be applied to relationships. You can only really be present as a good partner in a relationship if you love and care for yourself. That’s why it’s so important to practice self-love and self-care. Caring for yourself is a great way to learn how to care for those around you, and it’s a great way to show loved ones how you want to be cared for too. Rupi Kaur once wrote, "How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you." Building a strong foundation for a healthy, loving relationship can often come down to how you choose a partner and what attributes you look for or avoid. A lot has been said about the relationship “Red Flags” to watch out for in a partner. Let us spend this time focusing on some of the best parts of a loving relationship, calling themRed Roses,” or “Green Flags” which are signs of a healthy partnership.

    Here are five ‘red roses’ that are signs you’ve found your person are:

    1. They’re a good listener. Not only do they listen to you, but they listen actively and respond thoughtfully. A partner who cares for you will make you feel seen and heard and will have thoughtful responses to your questions and feelings. They also will usually look at you while you’re talking and not spend a lot of time Phubbing

    It’s important to remember that listening and hearing are two different things, and someone can hear your words without really listening to the meaning in them. Active listening is a sign that someone wants to know and understand you and your feelings, how you think, and just generally is interested in you.

    1. They’re quick to offer genuine apologies. Apologizing isn’t always easy, but it takes emotional maturity and is a crucial part of any relationship. Moreover, when a partner is quick to blame or won’t accept responsibility for their actions, it can be a real problem. Saying sorry is a big red rose in a partner, but there are some people who are masters at false apologies too.

    Sometimes partners will say sorry but will do it in a way that invalidates your emotions or justifies their own actions. Some unhealthy or false apologies might sound like, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” “I was trying to do [X], that’s why I said or did that,” or, “Sorry, but I think you’re overreacting.”

    Healthy relationships are built on compromise and mutual respect, and an emotionally mature partner will own their mistakes and support your emotions. Some healthy ways to apologize might sound like, “I didn’t think that through, I’m sorry for what I did,” “I should have thought about how this would make you feel,” or, “I can see that I hurt your feelings. I didn’t mean to, and I would love to know what I can do better next time.”

    1. They can have difficult emotional conversations and discuss relationship issues with maturity and kindness. This is a big one. A caring partner will validate your emotions and never gaslight. They will try to understand why you feel the way you do and work to consider your feelings in all that they do. Additionally, you should be able to discuss relationship issues with your partner without worrying about what they might say.

    If you feel like you must always walk on eggshells or be cautious with your words for fear of upsetting your partner or causing retaliation, that is a bad sign. However, if a partner is interested in hearing what you have to say, even in difficult times or about difficult subjects, that shows maturity. Part of a healthy relationship is planning for the future. Where is the relationship going? What do you and your partner want out of the relationship or a life together? How can you make that a reality? These are difficult questions that might bring up a lot of emotions for many, but a good partner will want to discuss these issues with you and will do it with patience and sincerity.

    1. Your partner should always respect your boundaries. Boundaries are important, and everyone has them. We set boundaries with our loved ones to maintain and support our mental health and protect ourselves from harm. Boundaries are an essential part of any relationship, and mutual respect for boundaries between you and your partner is vital to a relationship’s success and health.

    Not everyone’s boundaries are the same. Most people have many that are contextual, such as physical, emotional, sexual, romantic, or financial. A partner who cares about you will ask you about your boundaries, work to understand them, and will not cross them or disrespect them.

    1. Building you up, always. It seems like a no-brainer, but a loving partner will build you up. They will encourage you to be your best self, broaden your horizons, and achieve your goals. A caring partner will compliment you often and use language that enhances your self-esteem and self-worth. They will never put you down, insult you, hurt your feelings intentionally, or try to keep you from getting what you want out of life.

    A loving partner will rejoice in your success and mourn your failure. They will treat your friends and family well and help you overcome obstacles in your life. If someone does this for you and always builds you up, that is a big red rose and you should take note!

    Are any of these your top “red roses?” What are your red roses or things that you look for in a caring partner? We want to hear from you.

    Tag(s): Relationships

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