Whether you’re on multiple dating apps, just one, or none at all, I’ll bet that you’re familiar with the pressure that goes along with creating a dating app profile. From the photos to the short answer prompts, dating app profiles are the one and only opportunity users have to showcase their personality and uniqueness in what feels like a very personal, high-stakes elevator pitch. With limited character counts and the already unnatural feeling of describing all that you have to offer in hopes that someone finds you interesting and hopefully, attractive, deciding what photos to use and what to say basically becomes rocket science. With all that in mind, it’s always clear who put the time and effort into creating a swipe-right-worthy profile and who really missed the mark.
A quick scan through a profile often reveals flags, for better or worse: Green flags mean go for it, red flags mean run for the hills, yellow flags mean proceed with caution, and now, there is a new flag to look out for: beige flags. Caitlin MacPhail (@itscaito) coined the term “Beige Flags” through a viral TikTok video series, so of course, we dove into the entire playlist to find out exactly what a beige flag is and which specific ones to be on the lookout for and refrain from having in your own profile.
What is a beige flag?
According to MacPhail, beige flags are an indication that someone didn’t put much effort into their profile, is incredibly boring, or both. Leaning into generic hobbies and interests, for example, like “going to the gym” or “petting puppies” doesn’t offer any special information about a person and in turn, makes their profile boring. Basically, when users come across profiles that lack personality and uniqueness, it becomes safe to assume that if they were to go on a date with this person, it would go nowhere and be uninteresting. Of course, there are always exceptions to these rules since everyone is looking for different things in a partner, but just like red flags are something to be wary of, beige flags are too.
Beige flags to look out for
Ahead are eight of the many beige flags that MacPhail has explained in her TikTok series. To hear about more of them or watch as she reviews dating app profiles submitted by followers, head over to her TikTok.
If all of their photos are selfies
According to MacPhail, this would indicate that someone doesn’t have any hobbies or extra-curricular activities. She says that this could also be a red flag, but on the surface, this mostly indicates a boring lifestyle.
If their hobbies are extremely general
Drinking coffee, going out to eat, taking naps, and petting dogs are not hobbies. They are just things that basically everyone does on a day-to-day basis, so they do not fall under the special or interesting category.
If they make any reference to a mainstream sitcom
If someone is looking for the Pam to their Jim, Ben to their Leslie, Monica to their Chandler, and so on, just assume that’s as deep as they are going to get when it comes to romance. Similarly, if they quote basic sitcoms or say anything like “In my free time, I’m probably… watching The Office,” it’s safe to assume their taste in TV shows is outdated.
If their fluent language or love language is listed as “sarcasm”
First of all, that’s not a language; “You can not be fluent in it” says MacPhail. Anyone who considers themselves to be the “sarcastic” type is probably not very mature or honestly, that funny.
If they are looking for “someone to go on adventures with”
What does this even mean? Are we talking about going on trips, hikes, and ghost tours, or are we talking about trying out a different coffee shop in a neighboring town? Everyone’s definition of this is so different, but it’s such a generic statement that it’s not usually worth diving into.
If they consider themselves to be a “plant parent”
MacPhail says that “keeping a single monstera alive is nothing to write home about and doesn’t really make you relationship material.” Unless you own a plant store or work at one, this doesn’t differentiate you from the thousands of people who own plants and remember to water them.
If they use the word “foodie”
We all love food, so unless you’re an actual chef or a food critic, this is not going to make people stop to ask you about it. But if you get more specific and say what your specialty dish is or what your favorite type of food is, there might be more inquiring minds.
If they include their opinion of the oxford comma
This is equivalent to mentioning your opinion of pineapple on pizza in your dating profile. It is incredibly irrelevant and says basically nothing about someone’s personality other than being overly particular about small things.
No one like to waste their time, especially if they are serious about finding a partner, so if you come across a profile that lacks “oomph,” move along. Similarly, if after reading this you realize that you have a few generic responses in your own profile, it’s time to get more specific! The point of a dating app is to meet people, get to know them, and determine if they could be a good partner, and the only way to do that is if everyone is being themselves. So embrace your interests, even if they are niche, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.