A white flag is actually positive, in many ways (Picture: Getty Images)
Recently there has been a lot of talk about red flags in relationships.
You know, the warning signs that tell us something isn’t quite right even though you really hope things will work out in the end.
And aside from red, pink flags have also been being discussed left, right and centre too.
Pink flags are concerns and blips that pop up early on in a relationship, which lead to you confronting and sorting them out before things get serious.
But now there’s a different dating phenomena on the scene: the white flag.
Because romantic relationships require some sacrifices over time – the acts of giving things up have been dubbed as white flags.
You know, when you give up peanuts because your partner’s got an allergy, or you open up about your actual feelings (probably the toughest, right?).
So, once you’ve ruled out any unsuitable love interests through the dating process, sieved through any pink flags and finally found your person, a white flag might be waved.
Elaine Parker, CEO and founder of Safer Date, one of the world’s safest dating apps, says that a white flag can come about ‘if you experience a situation where you must surrender yourself to the relationship’.
Confused as to what that might mean? Fear not, because we’ve got the lowdown.
White flags come after red, pink and green (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Explaining more about this new phenomenon, she explains: ‘In some cases, you may not always be willing to surrender yourself, and the relationship may come to an end.
‘But for the right person, you will wave the white flag and surrender yourself, so you can keep the relationship going and allow one another to thrive.’
Because long-term romantic relationships require a bit of work, sometimes we need to surrender some things in our lives.
For example, if a pink flag pops up on either side of the relationship, a white one can be risen instead as a way to resolve the issue.
‘It’s important for couples to recognise what is perhaps hindering their relationship from reaching the next level,’ Elaine explains.
‘But giving things up doesn’t always have to be difficult – it can be a small change of a habit to allow the relationship to progress.’
What is a white flag?
Unlike red and pink, white flags aren’t negative and can instead be seen as a resolver of sorts.
Surrendering is a somewhat healthy thing to do for someone you’re committed to, and Elaine explains that a white flag can be something very simple.
An example of this could be giving up your time to be supportive of your partner and experience what they enjoy doing.
Elaine says: ‘Whether it’s partaking in a hobby or a sport, you’re surrendering yourself to the relationship by putting your interests aside and favouring your partners instead.’
Not only is this linked to doing things that your partner enjoys, but it can also link to letting your guard down.
In the beginning stages of a relationship, everything seems flawless because you’re both making an effort, trying to woo the other.
White flags can actually strengthen a relationship (Picture: Getty Images/fStop)
So when things get serious and you’re thrust into the start of a long-term relationship, it’s important to show your true self by taking off the makeup and letting the other person know how you feel deep down.
Elaine realises that this can make us feel vulnerable, but affirms that it allows us to ‘maintain the healthy relationship we need in our lives’.
She added that the vulnerability that we experience from surrendering can increase our satisfaction with one another.
Are white flags unhealthy?
No, they’re not unhealthy per se, but Elaine explains that they can tip over into unhealthy territories occasionally.
This can sometimes happen if you find yourself in a toxic relationship.
‘Surrendering yourself to be with someone shouldn’t involve shutting off your loved ones,’ she says.
Dubbing it as ‘unhealthy’ should you end up shutting other people out, she adds that it’s important to be aware that scenarios like this can be dangerous.
Long-term relationships require work and commitment (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
So never let somebody persuade you into flying a white flag if something seems off.
White flags are supposed to be positive and a way to work through a relationship – overcoming any issues before they turn into problems.
If somebody is repeatedly telling you not to do things in a self-gratifying way, you may want to reassess things or speak to a close friend or family member.
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How can we work through white flags?
The success of a white flag really depends on how willing and committed you are to the relationship.
If you see the relationship going the distance, then you might be willing to make a few big changes in your life in order to make space for your partner.
Or maybe if you don’t see the relationship going anywhere, the thought of surrendering with a white flag might make you revaluate your situation.
‘Relationships aren’t always smooth sailing,’ Elaine says.
‘However, for the right person, you’re willing to do anything to make it work – resulting in a white flag.’
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