Why it is important to move beyond Red Flags and Green Flags in intimate relations

Why it is important to move beyond Red Flags and Green Flags in intimate relations

Embrace life’s adventure in intimate relationships, viewing your partner as a fellow adventurer, not just a future contract

Somi DasUpdated: Saturday, July 29, 2023, 02:49 PM IST
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Pic: Pixabay

In a world where relationships often face scrutiny for their longevity and material gains, it’s essential to shift our focus towards the profound wisdom of embracing life with a partner. We need to reevaluate our perceptions of relationships and understand that they are not merely contracts for future benefits but rather opportunities to experience life’s journey together. Viewing our intimate partnerships as a mutual commitment to practice life daily can lead us to treasure the true essence of connection and love.

The concepts of red flags and green flags in relationships can be limiting when we recognise that individuals are constantly evolving beings. While it’s essential to be attentive to potential warning signs, solely relying on rigid classifications may overlook the dynamic nature of a person. People grow, learn, and change over time, and what might have been a red flag in the past may not hold true in the present.

Conversely, green flags might fade as someone explores new aspects of their identity. Therefore, instead of fixating on static notions, we should unravel and understand each other on a daily basis, embracing the fluidity of our personalities.

The conventional approach to relationships often revolves around security and a guarantee of lasting forever. However, life is unpredictable, and the future is never certain. By seeing our partners as fellow travellers, willingly walking beside us in this unpredictable journey, we free ourselves from the burden of fretting over whether the relationship will endure. Embracing the concept of doing life together on a daily basis enables us to appreciate each moment, as it unfolds, without being overshadowed by an uncertain future.

Our individual requirements and boundaries are non-negotiable, and it is crucial to prioritise self-care and emotional health. Within the context of an adult relationship, it is essential to recognise that we all carry emotional wounds from the past, and these may surface in various forms, such as jealousy, insecurity, or emotional withdrawal. Such manifestations often stem from deeper trauma wounds, and relationships can serve as a space for healing and growth. However, this does not mean reducing a person to a list of symptoms or attempting to diagnose them. Instead, intimate relationships allow us to encounter the darker aspects of each other, creating an opportunity for understanding and compassion. It is not about fixing the other person but aligning with each other’s needs, which can require time and navigating through conflicts through daily negotiations and learnings.

In this mindset, we become each other’s teachers. We learn from one another, share experiences, and grow together. It fosters an environment where communication thrives, and empathy flourishes. We begin to understand that growth is not solely about reaching the destination but rather the transformative journey we embark upon together. The relationship becomes a safe space where both partners can evolve into better versions of themselves.

The idea of relationships has indeed evolved over time. While they once served as basic units for families, today, they transcend mere companionship. We now seek spiritual union, a sense of belongingness, and a constant connection with our significant other. This profound shift is a testament to our inner yearning for deeper emotional and spiritual bonds.

By letting go of outdated expectations and beliefs surrounding relationships, we open ourselves up to a more adventurous and fulfilling experience. The traditional model of relationships often perpetuated a sense of ownership, leading to possessiveness and jealousy. But when we see our partner as an equal participant in the journey of life, we embrace the liberating concept of freedom within togetherness.

Moreover, viewing relationships as a daily practice encourages us to be present and engaged in the here and now. The past cannot be altered, and the future remains uncertain, so the only moment that truly belongs to us is the present. As we immerse ourselves fully in each moment, we discover the beauty of shared experiences, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Relationships are not rigid contracts meant to withstand the test of time. They are living, breathing entities that thrive when nurtured with love, understanding, and a sense of adventure.

(The writer is a mental health and behavioural sciences columnist, conducts art therapy workshops and provides personality development sessions for young adults. She can be found @the_millennial_pilgrim on Instagram and Twitter)

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