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Move over, red flags: What are 'beige flags' taking over the dating scene?

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Sep 05, 2022 6:16 pm

Once upon a time, there were only red flags, but the modern dating world has now introduced a milder type of trouble: the beige flag.

Let's face it, the talking stage is kind of like a little purgatory—that awkward in-between from getting into a full exclusive relationship with someone to essentially being strangers who find each other cute. The talking stage in dating apps, in particular, can become a mishmash of false expectations and, well, ghosting. It's no wonder then that looking your best and the ability to carry a conversation is a must.

Introducing beige flags, a dating term coined by TikTok creator Caitlin MacPhail. With red flags meaning warning signs that a certain person is toxic in a relationship, beige flags are a little more nuanced than that as it essentially means looking out for the little signs on their dating profile that a person is boring.

In her TikTok series of the same name, MacPhail reviews dating profiles and looks out for "boring warning signs" such as generic photos, uninspired bios, and the like.

"We're looking for signs that they're really boring as evidenced by their profile," Caitlin begins. "And they get three strikes, and once you get three flags you're out of here." She's since been posting more beige flag content such as bio examples, traits, references, and more.

@itscaito beige is the new red and in other news dating apps are a wasteland 🚩 #hinge #redflags #datingredflags #hingedating ♬ original sound - Caito

Other websites such as youth site The Tab have since listed down beige flag examples, such as "Anything to do with coffee as a substitute for a personality," hyping up mainstream favorites like Harry Potter and The Office, being a fan of sleep, and gym selfies, among others.

Although "boring" is a subjective term that depends on just about anyone, a number of Filipino dating app users have heeded Caitlyn's call and given advice on how to spice up your dating profile.

"I don't wanna miss out on good people given I don't always swipe," said Bumble user, Jay, 28. "The best thing to do is work on yourself, your career, hobbies, personality so you don't have to do the usual dating profile cliches. It pays to be fundamentally interesting as a person on apps."

Another thing that dating app users consider a beige flag is listing off the things they don't like right off the bat.

"Some people just put stuff they don’t like in their bio which just gives such a pretentious vibe to me," said Shania, 23. "It’s all right to talk about those, but at least share something positive too! I also think people can be more honest and not just copy-paste bios or answers from other people."

"Also, putting 'MNL' or 'CEB'' or 'Southie' doesn’t really do anything for your profile. We already know where you’re from based on your location tag."

Nadine, 25, suggested ditching the templates and digging deep into yourself: "If your bio’s like every other person’s on the app, you’ll probably give off beige flags. Get creative but be authentic. Put the most interesting things about you, like hobbies (watching TV series don’t count) on your profile."

The self-proclaimed beige flag's POV

Meanwhile, there really are some people who prefer to keep their dating profiles as basic as possible. Using dating apps and meeting new people can be a trying experience for some, and it can be a challenge to be transparent from the get-go.

"When someone is not giving you the energy you want, I don't think they aren't necessarily giving off beige flags. Maybe you're just finding an excuse to not like them from the start," said Zak, 24, who considers his own dating profile a "beige flagged" one as it ticks off the qualities that Caitlyn mentioned, such as having no bio description and featuring a selfie.

"I'm a moody person so sometimes I actually put some effort into getting to know someone but there are times that I just stop giving the effort even if I want to. Nothing personal," he added.

Belle, 25, a-once avid dating app user, also pointed out that people sometimes choose to use proven bios and basic traits simply to increase their chances of people swiping right.

"We can't expect a magical authentic moment with every person," she said. "Maybe automatically dubbing someone 'boring' based on first impressions is the red flag."