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Red flags and green flags

In the early stages of a relationship, it’s important to pay attention to the other person’s behaviour and how they make you feel. You can ask yourself:

  • Do I feel happy and secure?
  • Do I feel like I have room to breathe and do things outside of the relationship?
  • Am I comfortable with the pace of physical intimacy?
  • Are there things the other person is doing that are making me feel really uneasy, uncomfortable, or unsafe?

Your answers to these questions might help you figure out if the other person is showing red or green flags. Remember, trust your gut. 

Red flags are warning signs that indicate unhealthy or manipulative behaviour early on in relationships. They signal the potential for abuse to get worse over time, so it's important to be able to recognise red flags in relationships, and take them seriously. 

Red flags aren’t always easy to recognise which is what makes them so dangerous. Being aware of some common red flags can help you to identify unhealthy relationship dynamics early on, and keep safe.

Red flags include:

If you recognise any of these red flags in your relationship, it’s a good time to pause and think about the dynamic you really share with your partner. If you need support to talk things through or need help leaving the relationship, you could talk to someone you trust, or click below for support services:

Recognising red flags in other relationships

To ensure the people you care about are also safe, it’s important to speak up if you recognise any red flags in their relationships. You can play a role in addressing dating violence happening to a friend or member of your whānau.

Is someone you care about unsafe?

What are green flags in relationships?

Green flags are the relationship behaviours that we want to see. Green flags indicate a relationship is safe and healthy. Green flags give people in a relationship a sense of security, confidence, pleasure and fulfilment.

Green flags include:

Related topics
Have you been harmed?
Is someone you care about unsafe?