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  • Writer's pictureMim Kempson

What are "beige flags"?

We've heard of red and green flags, but what about beige?

I personally believe the concept of "beige flags" can hold some valuable conversation prompts for couples and people dating.

A beige flag is a sign or quality that could be viewed as a red flag by one person, but as green by another. Beige flags are subjective, they’re up for discussion.

Here are 3 examples.


While some people may find ambition sexy and consider it a good quality to have in a partner, others may feel almost the opposite. It mightn’t even be attractive at all. It all depends. How ambitious are we talking, and in what way exactly? It comes down to shared values, priorities and often what people’s relationship to risk vs. security is. Is this quality a turn on or turn off for someone to build a life with?

Closeness with family

What one person may consider a loving, positive relationship with family, another may see as codependent. Sure, there are clinical frameworks that deem how “enmeshed” or “differentiated” an individual is from their family of origin, but those technicalities don’t really matter here. Family is deeply personal and cultural. What’s seen as a “problem” by one partner could be no issue at all for the other. A difference of opinion in partnerships always calls for a conversation. Ideally, right at the beginning.

Social anxiety or confidence

Whether someone is the life of the party, disappears into the background or doesn’t go to parties at all, it’s less about whether you find that attractive or not, and more about what sort of connection matters most to you, especially when it comes to life partners. Someone’s outgoingness could be a green flag for one person, but a red flag for another. Hence it’s a beige flag because there’s no right or wrong.

Attractiveness and compatibility are different things. What initially draws you to a person mightn’t be the same things that bind you together, where you both decide that your relationship is one worth investing in and building long-term. The ideal is when most of the qualities you’re attracted to are those that also make you compatible. Often, this matching up is a result of having done “the work” on ourselves and our past relationships. 

Interested in 1:1 or couples therapy? Book a 15-minute call and we can discuss whether we'd make a good fit for therapy.

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