Inspirace je silou, která probouzí touhu po vlastní dokonalosti...
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What are Yellow Flags in My Relationship and What Do They Mean? Tips From a Los Angeles Couples Therapist

What are Yellow Flags in My Relationship and What Do They Mean? Tips From a Los Angeles Couples Therapist

There is a lot of talk about red and green flags in the dating world. Is this person a consistent communicator? Green flag! My date doesn’t take accountability for their mistakes? Red flag!

But what about yellow flags, especially in marriages and long-term relationships? Yellow flags are a marker of where your relationship may be experiencing some tension. They are the perfect invitation to not only seek out couples therapy. But to work on the health and long-term fulfillment of your partnership. The accessibility of online couples therapy at Therapy for Adults makes it easier to keep your relationship on track.

Heightened emotion, or reacting versus responding to seemingly trivial occurrences

Occurances especially over issues that have been easy to resolve in the past. Often, yellow flags are present when we get inordinately reactive or defensive. Over day-to-day details and expectations. It is not just that your partner forgot to get the dry cleaning-again-before an extended business trip. It is not just that your significant other bailed on cooking dinner-again-for the weekend. It is how we respond to these patterns that is an indicator. Were we willing to be understanding and compassionate in the past and now are feeling heated, impatient, frustrated, or shut down? Do these patterns prevent contentment or trust with our partner? Do they cause us to find everything our partner does irritating? Getting to the bottom of the tension behind the patterns is a yellow flag. And keeping harmony within the relationship can continue with the help of couples therapy.

By looking at behaviors and what they represent, an online couples therapist can help clarify what is going on under the surface. Did your partner forget the dry cleaning because they have been overwhelmed at work and it is causing them to be forgetful? Is it because they prioritize other errands? Do they feel that they can openly communicate their perspective in the relationship or not? In the other scenario, was it an oversight that now has turned into a pattern? Was it because this partner could not ask for help in making dinner and just decided to ignore their commitment? If these issues are not addressed in therapy at a yellow flag moment, they can quickly turn into resentment. Which can lead to rifts in intimacy and trust, and can ultimately break down a relationship.

Shifting communication patterns

Often, yellow flags appear when patterns of communication change. Maybe one partner neglected to follow anniversary traditions. Rather than addressing it openly and communicating about why there was a shift in behavior, this partner shut down without explanation or apology. Maybe the other partner, stunned and hurt that the traditions were not upheld, decides not to encourage dialogue but to create emotional distance by also shutting down, refusing to engage, or choosing to take on punishing behavior.

While often our tendency is to initially overlook or excuse changes in communication-think: it was just once, it’s not that big of a deal, maybe my expectations are too high, we’ve both been under a lot of stress lately, etc.-seeing this as a yellow flag is an invitation to uncover why communication patterns are not being upheld in the relationship. Online couples therapy allows the ideal forum for each person to share how they see the communication between them deviating from previous patterns of openness and trust. Couples therapy for relationship issues is extremely helpful in this regard. It allows each party to safely share their experience and discuss how to resolve it so as to not cause long-term damage to the relationship.

A change in the consistency of trust

As a relationship evolves, there are points of security established between partners that lead to contentment, safety, and a continued growth in trust. When there are breaches or violations of established trust, this is a yellow flag. Being able to talk through the history of the relationship-particularly how trust was built, fostered, and nurtured-with an online couples counselor is an ideal way to gain perspective on the entirety of the relationship, and can help uncover how trust deviations are affecting a sense of safety and security in the relationship.

Unusual or new patterns of behavior that may be confusing

In a marriage or relationship, each partner knows the other with deep intimacy. When there is a new pattern of behavior, this can sometimes be a yellow flag to look into the motivation behind it. At times, a shift in behavior can be a healthy choice-working out more, eating better, consulting a physician over health issues that may have been ignored in the past, etc. But other times, changes in behavior can be a yellow flag-or a window into looking at the health of the relationship dynamic.

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Did one partner pick up a second racquetball league because they are trying to avoid issues at home? Did another partner suddenly give up their volunteer work without mentioning why? Did one person in the relationship go from not traveling to constantly being on the road? Did a usually thrifty partner start spending excessively? Are there new groups of friends that are impacting how one partner spends their time? An online couples therapist can help each partner take a look at the motivating factors behind the new behaviors. To help suss out if they might represent a yellow flag in how you are both connecting as a couple.

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