What Are Beige Flags? We Unpack the Trending Term

You may know your red flags… but what about the beige ones?

Well, color us beige! Whether you’re braving the streets of the dating world, in a committed relationship or floating somewhere in the space between (can we have a moment of silence for all the situationships out there?!)—then you’ve probably heard the phrases “red flag” or “green flag” describing a potential partner’s pros and cons. Translation: Do I bring this person home to meet my parents or run for the hills? Green flags are obviously good—maybe they’re an A+ pastry chef, always wash the dishes or remember your favorite snack, while red flags are, well, red. (Alexa, play “Gaslighter” by The Chicks).  

However, the world isn’t just red and green—there’s gotta be something in-between, right? Enter the beige flag. As The New York Times explains (and TikTokers go ham with), a beige flag isn’t an automatic dealbreaker… but it isn’t anything amping up the dating résumé either. Simply put—it’s a quirky aspect or characteristic that might cause a partner (or even a friend or co-worker) to pause without pulling the plug. It’s something middle of the road, harmless and maybe a wee bit odd—like eating cold pizza, unironically listening to The Muppets soundtrack or having a Lego obsession in your 40s. Here, the RM team waves a few of our beige flags

“Saying I’m on my way when I haven’t left yet—or double booking.”
—Gina Stephens, Publisher, @ginasdawgs

“Saying sorry all the time—I would apologize to a wall if I bumped into it.”
—Liz Comella, Creative Director, @liz.comella.design

“I’m a sauce slut. I don’t eat food that isn’t drenched in sauce—or many sauces and usually globs of it—especially hot sauce. I also had a Sriracha era where the staff at Sono literally called me ‘Sriracha.’”
—Melissa Howsam, Editor-in-Chief, @mahowsam

“Wearing a sweater when it’s 75 degrees outside.”
Lauren Kruchten, Associate Editor, @laurenn_nicol

“I deconstruct my food—from sandwiches to pizza, nothing is safe. And I steal toilet paper from my parent’s house.”
—Anna Beth Adcock, Editorial Assistant, @_annabethadcock

“I don’t like trash in my house! My kitchen trash can is under the sink, and I take it out daily.”
—Debby Serena, Account Executive

“Whenever I have a meal, I have at least four condiments on hand at all times.”
—Cam Rhinehardt, Account Executive, @camrht

“I am a completely different person when I get too hungry and never in a good way. Will I be mad? Will I be sad? Who knows! But it won’t be pretty.”
—Susan Holt, Contributing Photographer, Susan Holt Photography, @susanholtphoto

“I like to say I’m ‘go with the flow’—but only if the flow goes my way. And also, what time does the flow start?”
—Kelsie Barton, Contributing Writer, @kelsie_barton

“I think mine could be that I have to put shoes on (that match my outfit, of course) when having any type of work-related at-home video or phone call. It just doesn’t feel professional to stay barefoot—even though the other person would never see my feet on the call.”
—Emily O’Brien, Contributing Writer

“I have more fun with my mom’s friends than my own. 🤣”
—Ellie Davis, Contributing Writer

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.