The ruthless hunt for red flags in a relationship has become an obsession that can, ironically, derail a relationship instead of strengthening it. We're so fixated on seeking out flaws, we end up missing the signs that we're at the start of something really good.That's why it's just as important to avoid tunnel vision by keeping an eye out for white flags.
What is a white flag, you ask? If you're bad at context clues, here's a quick explainer: where a red flag requires a negative emotional check, a white flag conjures up the opposite feeling -- feelings of love, comfort, and sweet, sweet surrender. A white flag is when you can completely let your guard down and surrender (get it?) to what's becoming a healthy, strong relationship.
So, to further help you understand and categorize the moments with your partners that make you feel warm and fuzzy, here are some white flags for you to look for.
Sitting on the couch together and not feeling obliged to cuddle
There's nothing wrong with cuddling -- but there's also nothing wrong NOT cuddling. When you've made the commitment of being, well, committed, you don't need to constantly smother each other with physical affection, because the true connection is -- wait for it -- in your brain.
Borrowing each other's clothes, regardless of gender norms and size
She looks terrible in your oversized black hoodie, you look ridiculous wearing her fleece beanie, but who the hell cares. When you can throw caution to the wind and re-appropriate each other's outfits for your own personal gain without a care in the world -- or taking issue with how they look -- then that's a win.
Asking to borrow a couple of dollars as if you were asking your mom
Money can be as touchy a subject as food sometimes, which makes this next white flag extra meaningful. When you start doing chores together -- laundry, grocery shopping, IKEA trips -- you start to realize the value you can get from sharing everything with someone else. Suddenly, feeling obligated to pay someone back becomes a thing of the past. That makes all loose change and dollars seem pretty unimportant, which doesn't make it a big deal when they want to borrow a fresh George Washington for that sweet, sweet IKEA ice cream.
Being entirely unconcerned about garlic breath
When you start consuming meal after meal together, it's only a matter of time before you encounter a dish or two that makes your breath smell like an old dumpster. Truly comfortable couples will simply ignore the god-awful fruit or vegetable that made their significant other's mouth smell like an old pizza covered in rubber. True love is when you can get to first base without dry heaving.
Wearing the most ugly, horrid outfit because it's comfortable
When you're in it for the long haul, you let your walls come down and stop doing all the annoying first date moves that plague people trying to get to know each other. With that, you stop feeling obligated to dress up for each other. Not all the time, mind you, but an outfit that you previously swore you'd never wear in front of a person becomes fair game. Baggy gray sweatsuit that's absolutely riddled with mustard stains? Hell yes!
Showering together without attempting shower sex
Shower sex is, perhaps, one of the most overrated sex acts in the history of all fornication everywhere. If you happen to configure your bodies in the borderline-acrobatic position required to achieve penetration, you get cock-blocked by the gradual loss of body temperature from standing just outside the shower stream. Comfortable couples who've tried it once know that it's not worth trying again, which is exactly why they stick to business during a shower. Props to those who wash each other's hard-to-reach spots.