Red Flags, Green Flags…Beige Flags? Top dating oddities across the nation

Do this, not that. Say this, not that. The world of romanticism can be a tricky one to navigate, as we constantly assess and analyze every “flag” that we can find on first dates, apps, and more. Whether we’re getting the green light for a second date or coming to a screeching halt, there’s always something in between. And with that enters: beige flags

Ah, beige flags. As the name might suggest, it’s not a red flag, but certainly not a green one either. It’s an oddity in a partner or romantic interest that you might find weird, but not enough to cut it off or reconsider. In a recent New York Times article, the example of dunking your Oreos in water instead of milk helps to really encapsulate the idea of beige flags – bizarre to say the least, but far too trivial to give someone the beige-flag-boot. 

People are, above all, odd. But as it turns out, we can actually sum that strangeness into a report and find the top beige flags for you to be wary of before you find yourself in a watery, Oreo-dunked-in-transgression mess. 

Key Findings

  • The top beige flags across the country are:
    • Making moderately controversial opinions your personality
    • Excessive reference to mainstream sitcoms
    • Having an unnecessary amount of alarms on your phone
  • Women feel some kind of way about fish pics in the same way men do about brunch as a personality trait 
  • “Making controversial opinions your personality” matters more to young people than older generations

Top Beige Flags across the country

According to Statista, 59.16 million Americans are actively on dating apps. Add that to the amount of Americans who are actively dating off the apps and you get an idea of just how large the pool of singles is. We pulled from that pool of bachelors and bachelorettes to get the top beige flags across the country.

Do you have strong opinions about pineapple on pizza? Do you believe being a dog parent is the same as having kids? Is this the hill you’ll die on? Then you fall into the number one beige flag category! “Making moderately controversial opinions their entire personality” waves its cream-colored flag into first place. The majority of Americans find this peculiarity notable enough to vote it number one, so maybe think twice before you rant to your date about how Pluto really deserves planetary status.

In a similar vein, you might want to reconsider saying that you’re looking for the Pam to your Jim or making reference to other mainstream sitcoms. In the age of binge-watching and the Netflix Effect shaping the world around us, it’s only natural to drop a Friends reference every now and again, but moderation is key. Americans cited this as their second biggest beige flag in dating, so maybe don’t lead with “How you doin’?”

Beep, beep, beep! Your beige flag is going off! Coming in third place is “having an excessive amount of alarms on their phone.” We all could use a snooze or two, but if you have seven different alarms spanning between 8:00 to 8:30, you might be buzzing your way into beige flag-dom. Snoozer beware: limit the alarms if you don’t want your partner to beige-zone you.

Beige Flags for Men vs. Women

The battle of the beige-toned sexes just got more interesting. Who pays the bill and who holds the door are being replaced with cilantro preferences and weighing out other dating oddities. As it turns out, some things are black, white, and beige for some sexes more than others. 

Put the fish down, boys. Amongst the women polled, they cited “Holding a picture of a fish in their profile or dating photo” as a top beige flag. Posing with your catch just feels a bit…slimy. If your hobbies are more profit over ponds, you’re not “off the hook” either. A close second for women’s beige flags was “being very into cryptocurrency.” Banking is the new beige, as it turns out. To complete the top three, excessive alarms ring into third place once more.

No one is safe from beige blunders. Men had their own ranking of beige flags when it came to dating. With breakfast and brunch becoming a trendy weekend pastime, we’re faced with mimosa melodrama. Ranking as the number one beige flag for men was “Making brunch a major staple to their personality.” Brunch is apparently as beige as it comes to men’s perception of dating red flags. Following this up, “excessive reference to sitcoms” again makes a resurgence as the second most cited beige flag for men. Keep those Schitt’s Creek comments to yourself. 

Not so fast, Cinderella. The bell of the ball is getting the beige flag with the third-highest gaffe for men. Brunching, binge-watching, and…passenger princess-ing? “Insisting on being the passenger princess” makes the top charts. You might want to think twice before kicking off your glass slippers and getting snug in the passenger’s seat as it’s seen as a beige flag for many.

It’s worth noting that there was inconclusive data for analysis of non-binary, transgender, and other gender identification’s beige flags. 

Beige or bust? State-by-state Look

The top beige flags across the countries give us an insight into the weird and wonderful, but some states have stronger opinions on the matter than others. Taking a look across the vast U.S. and we see that Vermont had the strongest opinions about “hating cilantro” and “being into cryptocurrency” more than any other state. Both beige flags tied for number one at 22% in Vermont. 

For South Dakota, “making controversial opinions your entire personality” was enough of an oddity to take 33% of the vote for the number one beige flag. Wyoming scratches its head at the folks who are “highly active on non-social platforms like Google Reviews, Waze, etc.” Just along the Carolina coast, fishing is a top hobby, but that doesn’t mean North Carolinians want to see that demonstrated in your profile picture, citing it as their number one beige flag at 24%. 

Ready, Beige, Go!

Come what may, don’t let these cream-colored concerns stop you from living your life. Put that pineapple on your pizza, sing “Smelly Cat” at the top of your lungs, and keep setting 51 alarms for your morning; embrace the beige, the bizarre, and the beautiful. 


We surveyed over 2,000 Americans in July 2023 about their dating habits. The age range was between 18-70 with all participants residing in the United States. Just over half — 53% — were female, 46% were female, and 1% identified as non-binary or other.

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