He says that our past experiences might make us feel that healthy patterns are problematic and unsafe.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 9, 2022. It has since been updated.
Romantic relationships are complex and hard to navigate for all age groups. Sharing your life with another person can be a challenging task and often leads to misunderstandings and arguments if those involved aren't equipped to handle hurdles in a productive manner. Fortunately, some early signs during the courtship and dating phase can give you an indication of whether the outcome will be positive if you choose to be in a relationship with your love interest. These signs are often divided into two categories: red flags and green flags. Red flags, as the name suggests, are warning signs of a person's problematic and unhealthy patterns whereas green flags indicate that the person is someone with whom you can build a healthy and fulfilling partnership.
A clinical psychologist on TikTok is doing his part in helping people identify these red and green flags. Dr. Kyle Osbourne has made a series of videos titled, "Green flags in a relationship that you probably thought were red flags. In these videos, he talks about some behavioral patterns that despite some mistaking them to be problematic are actually signs of a well-rounded personality. His videos have gathered millions of views as he tries to simplify relationships and offer coping mechanisms for people in distress.
In his first video in the series, Osbourne talks about how people are alarmed when their relationship feels "boring." The expert says that this usually happens with people who are used to being in chaotic and unpredictable environments. When one is used to this unpredictability, one often finds comfort in chaos which one mistakes for passionate love. He urges his viewers to ask themselves if their relationship is actually functional and whether they're just not used to the drama-free life before concluding that it is a "boring" relationship.
In part 2, he notes how people often think that if a partner is not chasing them, it is a red flag. Presenting a different perspective, Osbourne explains that people with "anxious pre-occupied attachments" seek comfort and a sense of security. So, they often put their partner to the test by being distant and expecting them to chase them or beg them to come back. When their partner tries to give them space to figure themselves out and what they really want, they are often misunderstood to be uninterested in the relationship. Osbourne says that before jumping to such conclusions, one should consider whether their partner is really uninterested in them or whether they are simply trying to give them some space.
Osbourne also comments on the aspect of relationships relating to a partner having other priorities outside a relationship. He says that people who have experienced abandonment in their past might try to control their partner's time to get a sense of security and safety. They can also mistake their partner's other interests for their not prioritizing the relationship. However, this might not be true as having other important relationships can be a sign of being emotionally healthy.
Lastly, the psychologist says that having healthy arguments with a partner is not something to be worried about. As two people have different values and mindsets, arguments are sure to arise now and then. What's important is how you handle them. He urges his viewers to ask themselves if having arguments is an issue or whether it is an opportunity to learn more about their partner.