Psychology and Relationships

'Beige flags' in your relationship: Why they're trending on TikTok and why not to 'hyperfocus' on them

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"My partner's beige flag is that he doesn't put his phone on silent mode throughout the night because he's scared it means his morning alarm won't go off." 

"My girlfriend's beige flag is that she physically cannot survive without having something sweet after a meal." 

Declarations like these have swarmed TikTok, with users identifying not a partner's red or a green flags, but a more nuanced "beige" one. 

A beige flag, as defined by Urban Dictionary, is "Something that's neither good nor bad but makes you pause for a minute when you notice it and then you just continue on. something odd." 

Unlike red or green flags, beige flags don't prompt action. There is nothing you should be doing about your partner's idiosyncrasies. So why are people so eager to point them out? 

"The trend caught fire because humans are quirky," says Rachel DeAlto, chief dating expert at 

And it's fun to share your partner's oddities.

There is potential danger in beige flags, though, if you get too obsessed with them, DeAlto says.

"I would caution people not to hyperfocus on it," she says. "Because you could turn a beige flag into a deal breaker." 

'You don't want to give yourself The Ick' 

A red or a green flag is an indicator of future behavior. 

For example, if they text when they say they are going to text, that's a green flag which signals they will be a clear and honest communicator. 

If they shut down when conflict arises, that might be a red flag that signals they aren't great at having tough conversations. 

A beige flag, though, is simply conversation fodder, an observation. 

"These are not the star of the show," DeAlto says. "These are just accessories."

These are not the star of the show. These are just accessories.
Rachel DeAlto
Chief Dating Expert at

While a beige flag is about your partner, it's not relevant to your relationship. 

But, the more you focus on it the more threatening it can become.

"I've seen people decide to end a relationship for pretty insignificant things," DeAlto says. "You don't want to give yourself 'The Ick' over something that's really insignificant." 

Beige flags, if handled the right way, can be fun, even charming. But if you start picking apart your partner's quirks and mistaking them for larger character flaws, they could become a real annoyance. 

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