Turn Setbacks into Setups

A Traffic Light Dating Assessment

March 5, 2019

We love saying that our romantic partner “sweeps us off our feet.” It’s the notion that we’ve fallen totally in love. Or that we’re completely enamored with and carried away by our partner.


But navigating the turbulent landscape of dating can be pretty tough, even when we think we know it all. And the last thing we want is to be completely blind to the truth about our partner—especially when they’re not as wholesome as they appear.


Think about your past experiences with dating: Do you struggle to identify early red flags? Are you sure about what you’re looking for in your relationship? Do you know how to deal with rejection in the dating world? Do you have a hard time setting boundaries?


Well, the Traffic Light Dating Assessment is an easy method of exploring the status of your romantic relationship. It’s designed to help you identify personal triggers when dating, determine the status of your romantic relationship, learn specific coping strategies, and set appropriate short term and long-term goals.


Ideally, you’ll achieve a “green light” relationship—but if you need help overcoming red flag concerns and yellow warning signs, the assessment can help you get there. Here’s what you need to know about each relationship category:


Red Flag Concerns

Red flag concerns are major obstacles that interrupt the healthy functioning or flow of a relationship. For example: debilitating addiction, severe mental health problems (such as depression or anxiety), large (and especially hidden) debts, frequent lying, anger issues, and a lack of fidelity or commitment are all red flag concerns. If you’ve noticed one or more of these factors and believe you’re in a red light relationship, you should seek immediate guidance.


Yellow Warning Signs

When you’re at a yellow light, you’re flirting with danger. These smaller problems can transform into red flag concerns over time, unless there’s immediate intervention. Here are a few common yellow warning signs from your partner: complex family entanglements, an unwillingness to disclose details of their day-to-day life, crippling indecisiveness, a lack of trust in themselves (or in you), and overwhelming passivity.


Green Positive Actions

In a green light relationship, there’s a healthy (but not always perfect) flow of support, love, and nurturing. In this type of relationship, you’ll find that your partner is consistent, honest, fully transparent, motivated, proactive, alert, and engaged in communication and the overall dating process. Beyond that, they’re also fully transparent with you, and they’re willing to commit to your relationship completely.


It’s important to remember, of course, that no relationship is truly “perfect” all of the time. There will always be some amount of push and pull, as well as minor conflicts. But you should always aim for a relationship that is loving, supportive, and consistent overall. That’s what you deserve, and it’s entirely possible.


Learn more about where you stand in your relationship with the Traffic Light Dating Assessment. And start working toward the “green light” relationship you deserve, today.


Written by Dr. Wendy O’Connor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Expert

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