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When is a red flag not a red flag?

We talk a lot about red flags and occasionally green flags - but do we talk enough about amber flags?

A red flag indicates that the person you’ve met is not a good person.

They’ve lied (even about something minor - bin them). They’re mucking you about (you don’t need to text round the clock, but leaving you on read for days or unsure about plans until the last minute - bin them). They’re mean (no, it’s not banter to randomly be shitty to someone, ESPECIALLY on an early date when they don’t know your sense of humour or what might be a sore spot - bin them.)

An amber flag is when they are a perfectly lovely person - but are they right for me?

One of you could like to have an ongoing chat thread around the clock, while the other will confirm plans or answer questions but isn’t into random chitchat. One of you is a homebody who likes to hang out primarily with their partner and the other is a social bunny rarely seen with the same folk twice. It could be differences in what you like to do in your free time, what sort of holidays you enjoy, whether you dream of retiring to a cottage in the country or a city centre penthouse.

You will never meet anyone who doesn’t have any amber flags.

If you do, it's a red flag. If they seemingly agree with absolutely everything you say, they are likely love bombing. Or, are such a people pleaser they think they are sincerely agreeing, but there’ll be problems down the line.

Enough amber flags (how many times have I typed the word flags?) could turn into a red flag. Some compromise is necessary, but you don’t want your entire life to turn into a debating ground. And there are amber flags that don’t mean anyone is in the wrong, but indicate incompatibility - compromising on basic ideas of commitment, distance, monogamy (or not), kids, sex drive/tastes is almost always a recipe for misery.

Working your way through minor amber flags is the stuff great relationships are built on

I rarely write conventional happy ever afters and leave it at that. To me, how the couple gets together is about the least interesting bit. The good stuff happens once it gets messy. When real feelings are involved and problems crop up.

Because they do. The best relationships aren’t flawless - they are the ones that are worth it anyway. They teach you about yourself - maybe you try their passion and it becomes yours, or realise that when you’re secure in a relationship, you don’t give a monkey’s about being in touch round the clock.

Figuring that out is where life gets interesting, and that’s what I write about.

Fancy reading some passionate, steamy, messy relationships? Meet the couples of Chances Are...


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