In 2023, the concept of “beige flags” gained recognition as a way to identify potential warning signs that aren’t necessarily warning signs at first, but are the precursors to those. Similar to their counterpart, “red flags”, which indicate clear and immediate concerns, beige flags represent more subtle indications of potential incompatibility or shortcomings. These flags suggest traits or behaviors that, while not necessarily deal-breakers, can raise questions about a person’s individuality, cultural depth, or openness to new experiences.
Beige flags serve as valuable signals to consider when evaluating compatibility or seeking to deepen honest connections, encouraging us to explore beyond the mainstream, embrace diversity, and foster intellectual curiosity in all facets of life.
By being aware of beige flags, we can navigate relationships, friendships, and personal growth with a greater sense of self-awareness and understanding— in short, we can start dating better when we know the smaller “icks” that start to turn us off to potential partners.
- Too many emojis on WhatsApp – “Overuse of emojis when texting may suggest emotional immaturity in a partner. It could indicate their reluctance to engage in vulnerable or deeper conversations, as it expresses a preference for a more light-hearted and juvenile approach to communication. In the early stages of a relationship, this beige flag may be a sign you have different communication styles – which could present itself as an issue down the line”.
- Calling themselves a “plant parent”: “Taking excess pride in and labeling the role of ‘parenting’ the plant may suggest that your dating prospect or partner is relatively new to taking on responsibilities. This is likely to present itself as a beige flag, as opposed to a red flag, as it suggests the person is new to taking on commitments. Although, it may not be a sign to run for the hills just yet as it shows they have a willingness to grow and take on a commitment”.
- Favorite sitcoms are Friends or The Office or The Simpsons: “Beige flags are commonly attributed to ‘vanilla’ traits. Favoring or even re-binging popular shows like these could be an initial warning sign you might not be too compatible, as it indicates a sense of unoriginality and a lack of cultural depth. These shows are slapstick in nature, and as such, individuals with more refined entertainment tastes may see this as a turn-off if they’re looking to date up”.
- Favorite movies are exclusively mainstream blockbusters: “Beige flags can be seen when someone’s movie preferences solely consist of mainstream blockbusters. A strong affinity for only popular and widely acclaimed movies may indicate a lack of interest in cinema that speaks on a cultural, or artistic level. It hints at a preference for easily digestible, formulaic storytelling (think the Avengers, or “oh, no I only watch Netflix”), which might not align with someone seeking a deeper and more eclectic cinematic experience.”
- Only reads best-selling novels: “While popular books can be enjoyable, a limited focus on only mainstream literature may hint at a lack of curiosity about the true grit of the literary world. It might show a preference for safe and predictable narratives, reflecting a lack of intellectual curiosity and a hesitancy to venture beyond familiar literary territory. Book club reads (think: Twilight, Fifty Shades, and the new Dan Brown novel) are there for a commercial purpose. Reading teaches us to question this commercial attitude towards literature, and to both read and think outside of the box.”
- Prefers only Michelin Stars over Hidden Gems: “When someone consistently opts for only the absolute best on paper, without considering more niche locations, often, this can show a lack of cultural awareness, and even gives insight into being potentially close-minded. There is more out there than what’s listed in the guidebooks, and a knowledge of those hidden gems that are no less high-class and extraordinary can be a strong indicator that the individual is open-minded, adventurous, and doesn’t define themselves by other people’s standards. Success isn’t defined by cultural norms; it’s diverse, and it’s experimental.”
- Relies on meme references in order to be funny: “One particular beige flag that has emerged in recent times is the excessive use of meme references, often implying that an individual is “too online.” While memes can be humorous and serve as a form of digital shorthand, relying heavily on them in conversation may suggest a limited depth of engagement with the world beyond internet culture. It can indicate a lack of originality, individuality, or the ability to express oneself beyond popular trends. Consequently, those who employ an overwhelming number of meme references might be perceived as lacking the depth and substance that many individuals seek in meaningful connections. While enjoying memes and participating in online culture can be entertaining, it’s essential to balance it with a broader range of interests and engage in meaningful conversations that transcend digital trends.”
While beige flags can seem like something to overlook, or like a cute personality quirk, with time, they will begin to irk. They are cracks in the surface of a relationship, and once you start to be able to identify what your personal beige flags are, then you’re going to start finding connections that suit you, that better you, and that elevate your thinking, as well as your experience of the world around you.
Fortunately on websites like Seeking.com, with details provided in profiles, you can identify those beige flags before you even engage in a conversation.