What Is a Beige Flag (& Why Is TikTok Obsessed with the Concept)?

what is a beige flag
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It seems like there’s a new dating term or trend to learn every other week, from gophering and hardballing to…rizz? The latest that’s taking over TikTok? Beige flags, or traits in a partner (or potential partner) that are neither good nor bad but might cause you to do a double take. We caught up with Tinder’s resident relationship expert Devyn Simone for the 4-1-1 on how beige flags differ from red or green flags, plus why they’re trending in the first place.

Meet the Expert

Devyn Simone is a matchmaker and dating expert who is Tinder’s resident relationship expert. As a matchmaker and dating coach, Simone has interviewed more than two thousand singles as well as hundreds of happy couples to gain a deeper understanding of what unique challenges all of us face when we are dating in the age of technology and our new post-pandemic normal. Over the years she has analyzed that data and has developed a collection of best practices, tips, and easy-to-use formulas that help those dating with purpose find meaningful relationships.

What Are Beige Flags (& How Are They Different from Red and Green Flags?)?

You’re probably familiar with the concept of red flags and green flags, or dealbreakers and dealmakers in a relationship. (A red flag could be someone who’s rude to waiters at a restaurant while a green flag could be someone who is comfortable talking about their feelings.) According to Simone, “Beige flags are traits or habits that make you side-eye your partner.” She says the term describes quirky habits that aren’t necessarily dealbreakers, but they aren’t exactly something you’re seeking out in a romantic partner either. They’re neither good nor bad, just there—and potentially interesting. On TikTok, beige flags we’ve seen range from a boyfriend who lowers his voice a little every time he goes through a drive through (and is in complete denial about it) to a woman’s fiancé disliking silence during dinner so much that “he’ll Google ‘couples questions’ or ‘relationship quiz’ and ask me the most random yet intimate questions in a room full of people as if we’re in our own world.” (Some folks are even sharing their own beige flags, like a guy who fake proposes to his girlfriend every time they ask someone to take their picture.)

Why Have Beige Flags Become So Popular?

Simone tells us that the beige flag trend, which is particularly popular on TikTok, is related to the ick trend on the social media platform. (Though not an actual affliction or diagnosis, it’s widely agreed that ‘the ick’ happens when you have a viscerally repulsed reaction to something the person you’re dating does. It’s like a turn-off that’s dialed up by 11.) As for why these trends continue to sprout up, she says, “These trends continue to evolve because they can be relatable, lighthearted, and a way for people to commiserate and feel connected online. Naturally, we all want to share our thoughts and opinions, and even beyond that, there's a desire from young singles to be upfront about dating habits and expectations so time isn’t being wasted.” She notes that trends like sharing beige flags and dating icks are so popular because they’re something everyone can join in on and relate to, since everyone (everyone) has their quirks. She’s even seen more and more people sharing their own beige flags in their Tinder profiles, “and this makes for a fun, light-hearted way to strike up conversation with potential matches and gives other users insights to who you are as a person.”

So go ahead and start normalizing all the weird little things that make you you—even if you set timers instead of alarms every night.

sarah stiefvater
Sarah Stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...
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