The Beauty Of Beige Flags 

Woodman. DailyWire+.
Woodman. DailyWire+.

The landscape of dating is a well-trodden horizon of red flags and green flags. Red flags are, of course, warning signs — anything about a partner that you want to avoid at all costs. On the other hand, green flags are qualities and attributes you want in a partner; they make you want to be with that person even more.

In the gray area of dating discourse, however, is yet another third waving flag color: beige flags. While red means stop and green means go, beige doesn’t offer a suggested trajectory. Beige flags are qualities you notice about someone who you spend a lot of time with. They are the distinct, even funny characteristics you recognize in a significant other. They aren’t good or bad; they’re just unique.

Now, why is there a new phrase to define idiosyncrasies and quirks? And is it really necessary? I don’t know and probably not. But here we are. In fact, the phrase “beige flags” has become so popular, it was listed in the top words of 2023, right behind “Swiftie.”

Beige flags became particularly popular on TikTok, where the trend took off with people posting about their partner’s beige flags. From what I’ve seen in the comments, everyone thinks these videos are wholesome and endearing. For example, one TikToker shows her husband asking Siri to set a reminder for 9:30 so he doesn’t forget he has a cookie to eat, captioning the video with “his beige flag is whatever this is.” The post is just so random, but it’s funny. His wife thinks this beige flag is endearing — and so does everyone in the comments:

Screenshots: TikTok

Screenshots: TikTok

It’s sweet that people are viewing these flags as leaning green. Couples seem to be using this trend to fully appreciate each other and recognize what makes their partner unique and different from others in funny, silly ways. It’s healthy to laugh at yourself and know that you love others in spite of their quirks, and this flag is letting people do that.

WATCH: The Comments Section with Brett Cooper

Another theme I have seen through this trend is women pointing out that their husbands and boyfriends just don’t ask for details, like this one who says her husband’s brother is getting a divorce but he never asked why and his best friend has a new job but he has no clue where. The comments back this funny flag up:


Screenshots: TikTok

I see this in my own life with my own husband. When I ask my husband, for example, if he’s talked to his childhood best friend recently, he always tells me yes and that they talk all day sending each other memes. But when I ask what his friend has been up to, how his wife is doing, if they got a new dog — anything — he can’t tell me any details. It’s honestly impressive. Another one of my husband’s beige flags is that he constantly leaves the dishwasher open which I perpetually trip over. Granted, he basically always does the dishes so he wants the dishwasher to be ready to put dishes in. For him, it’s a form of efficiency. And why would I complain? Again, just a quirk.

When it comes to my own beige flag (we all have them), I relate to this one:

Screenshot: TikTok

Now, I know my alarm will still go off even if my phone is on silent, yet every night, I frantically turn the volume up — just to be absolutely certain. I have finally started using do-not-disturb mode, which has been a big win for my husband. 

Per usual, this trend has gotten so big that there are now articles attempting to dissect it and make sense of it all. The Cut published a “So What’s Your ‘Beige Flag’?” piece last year with their take. They go on to try and define what beige flags are: 

Beige flags are traits that, while not immediate cause for concern, are cause for pause. Of course this is subjective, making the exact definition of a beige flag hard to pin down. The phrase isn’t entirely new — videos listing beige flags made the rounds on Australian TikTok last year. And according to those TikToks, a beige flag is simply something that indicates a person isn’t very interesting. On dating-app bios, it manifests as phrases and interests that some users read as shorthand for “I’m boring.” (Think: saying you’re looking for the “Pam to your Jim”; listing “adventure” or “coffee” as an interest.) However, in the year since, what TikTok considers a beige flag has shifted.

While they say a beige flag means “a person isn’t very interesting,” I disagree. I think this has changed since then because they are actually very interesting. TikTok has single-handedly created an entire language of dating lingo, like “the ick,” which this article also discusses:

This is the one thing TikTok agrees on: A beige flag isn’t a red flag, a clear dating dealbreaker. Beige flags also aren’t as off-putting as things that give you “the ick,” which are different than red flags in that they are simply turn-offs that border on cringey and repulsive, not, I don’t know, moral failings. (Stay with me.) While beige flags might leave you momentarily confused, getting the ick changes how you look at someone forever. Maybe it’s how their mouth smacks when they eat. Perhaps it’s the awkward way they picked up their dog’s poop once. The ick can be triggered when you least expect it. This, in part, gives it its power. It can also happen gradually, a once-endearing quirk becoming increasingly grating. In other words, the ick can cause a beige flag to become a red one.

If this sounds complicated, that’s because it is — and TikTok makes it unnecessarily so. A point to note is that one person’s ridiculous ick could be another person’s beige — or even green — flag. But just because your partner does something you don’t understand doesn’t mean it has to go on your ick list.

Unlike the ick trend (which is usually just absurd), the beige flag trend is really just simplifying and normalizing the fact that everyone has quirks. This is all a part of what makes human nature and finding your person so fun and sweet.

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