Beige Flags Have Entered the Online Dating Chat

Dating profiles are now subject to 'beige flag' scrutiny
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2023 10:45 AM CDT
Beige Flags Have Entered the Online Dating Chat
Highly subjective beige flags might tank your dating profile.   (Getty / B4LLS)

The latest TikTok obsession has added a new layer of stress to online dating. CNN explains the highly subjective conversation around beige flags, or benign preferences people observe in their relationships that aren't necessarily a deal breaker, but could be fatally irksome. Unlike red flags, clear warning signs that a potential suitor might be problematic (think cheating or abusive tendencies), or green flags indicating this person could be a perfect match, beige flags are the warm porridge in the middle that could simply give someone pause on whether to swipe right. Examples include organizing a bookshelf by color or expressing strong opinions about sports. While many people browsing dating apps won't react to these very specific triggers, potential matches may see them as beige flags and move on.

"The idea of beige flags—or compromising versus settling—as well as deal breakers in a relationship come up quite a bit when discussing dating," Alyssa Mairanz, founder of a relationship counseling company, tells CNN. "Having terms like this can be helpful for people to more accurately describe situations or feelings that they are unsure about." Understanding beige flags helps people judge what may personally affect a relationship down the line. But on TikTok, the trend generally serves as a fun way to debate whether the person posting about their partner's beige habit is being unreasonable or relatable. The New York Times reports that on some posts, comments can spin out into the tens of thousands.

So is quoting The Office going to tank your dating profile? "If you're looking for the Pam to your Jim, I'm just going to assume you have no deeper meaning," one TikToker wrote, per the Times. CNN includes some tips for crafting dating profiles that stand out, but not in a beige way. Relationship coach Blaine Anderson notes that including cliche traits, like enjoying travel, won't stand out in the dating pool. "Who doesn't love to travel?" she said. "It's effectively nondescriptive." Instead, writing about a specific experience while traveling will have more impact. ("Date-Me-Docs" are a new way to find love).

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