‘Green flags’ you should look for on a first date – from eye contact to compliments

Relationship expert Ness Cooper has unveiled the 10 things you should always look out for when going on a first date, as they could be a sign you’ve found ‘the one’

A man and a woman sharing a sweet embrace at a coffee shop. There are two cups of coffee on the table and the couple are smiling.
Green flags could help you spot the perfect person on your dates

We’ve all heard about “red flags” when it comes to dating and meeting new people – but did you know there’s also a set of “green flags” that could help you find your perfect partner?

As the name suggests, green flags are the opposite of red ones – they’re the traits you should definitely be looking out for instead of running away from.

Lenstore partnered with sexologist Ness Cooper from The Sex Consultant to uncover some green flags you should try to find on every date, as they could help you make a “solid judgement” about your potential partner.

Ness said: “We focus a lot on telling people to look out for red flags but regularly forget about green flags. Green flags are positive signs that the relationship is consensual, safe and has possibilities to grow both individually as well as together.

Ness says look out for people who listen to you and make eye contact


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“When you go on a first date it’s easy to look out for more red flags than green flags as you’re nervous. It’s important to look out for both as it can help you make a solid judgement afterwards whether or not you feel comfortable seeing that individual again.

“When we go on a date and just focus on red flags, we may have already decided to end it straight away rather than giving it a chance to go further.”

The sexologist went on to detail the 10 green flags you should always look for – from making eye contact to respecting your boundaries.

They are present in the moment

Ness says having a partner who can put their phone down and pay attention to you is an important quality.

People who can compromise and respect your boundaries are also good candidates


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Being preoccupied with your phone can be a sign of boredom, so look out for people who give you their focus – as it could be a sign that they’re really into you!

They listen

Starting a conversation on a first date can be tricky, but people who listen and actively respond with empathy are often better partners than those who zone out or don’t take an interest in the conversation.

They make eye contact

For many people, making eye contact can make us feel vulnerable – but that can be a good thing in relationships.

If your date is willing to make eye contact, Ness says it means they feel safe in your company, with the added bonus of producing bonding chemicals that strengthen any future relationship you form.

They can compromise

While you’re still getting to know someone on a first date, there’s likely to be times when you disagree on things like food preferences or hobbies.

But if your date is willing to compromise and work through your differences, then they’re more likely to be a good partner further down the line.

They compliment you

Ness says that if your date says positive words about your looks or personality, it’s a good sign they like you – but be aware of those who say too many nice things, as a positive can quickly turn into a negative if they become overbearing.

They promote individuality

Dates who don’t jump the gun are good candidates for partners. It can be tempting to start talking about “we” while on a first date, but Ness says a green flag is when your date can accept that you are both individuals.

They respect your boundaries

Everyone has boundaries, and on a first date, it’s common to have a set of limits that will make us uncomfortable if overstepped.

A good candidate for a future partner will respect those boundaries, and as they learn more about you, they’ll make sure not to push you past your limits.

They can control unwanted emotions

Even on first dates, individuals may get jealous of other interactions that may happen between you and others.

Ness says that something you can look out for in these situations is how they control those emotions, as you can spot a green flag if your partner does so in a healthy way rather than resorting to negative confrontations.

They encourage your passions

You and your date might get chatting about future goals on your first date, and Ness explained that having a partner who supports your dreams and aspirations is a green flag.

They make you laugh

One of the easiest ways to tell if a date is going well is to gauge how much you and your partner are laughing.

Ness says any date that promotes laughter is a green flag, as it suggests you are both very comfortable with each other and are able to share things in a way that is fun and relaxed.

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