Wednesday, November 30 2022

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Whereas online dating is a whirlwind of scrolling app profiles, thirst traps, and slippage in DMs, it’s not always easy to tell a potential soulmate from a date who should be solo. With busy lives, spending time swiping right for boring conversations and incompatible dates is wasted effort. As such, there is a new dating term to describe the signs to watch out for to avoid a lackluster love life: beige flags.

Chances are you’ve heard of red flags, those toxic warning signals that pop up early in conversations and scream “stay away.” They are different for everyone, but may not respect your limits or overly jealous messages that lead to quick blocking and deletion. The beige flags are less of absolute no-noes and more of stopping us from making “meh” matches.

At first glance at a profile of potential suitors, they may seem amusing, but on closer inspection, their photos and bios are full of cliches that are copied, pasted, repeated from the world of online dating. Lack of originality can be equated with lack of effort, which doesn’t bode well for a relationship. The #beigeflags hashtag has currently garnered 3.8 million views on TikTok as users reveal the generic bios they encountered while scrolling through apps.

So how do you spot those beige flags early on? And how can you prevent yourself from sending them to others? Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science Logan Ury speaks to POPSUGAR to reveal all.

What are beige flags?

“Beige flags are signs that someone hasn’t put much effort into their profile. The idea is that those online daters with ‘beige’ profiles won’t be as fun because their profiles lack photos. or more creative responses,” Ury says.

The tan flags vary for everyone, depending on your personal preferences, but we’ve all seen profiles loaded with gym selfies or snaps featuring catches from a fishing trip. Combine them with generic photos that give little away, it can make scrolling even more frustrating. The same goes for the words on a biography. Hinge, for example, offers inline prompts to spur user creativity, but can sometimes result in vague responses, like “I’m the most competitive on…everything.”

“While this may sound fun, it actually shows a lack of openness or imagination,” Ury continues. Hinge research proves that beige flags are, in fact, a bummer, with half of users getting bored when given one-word openers.

Should you sue someone with beige flag energy?

“Unlike red flags, beige flags don’t mean you should run the other way, but it’s reasonable to think twice about dating someone who puts little effort into their profile,” says Ury. “That being said, I’ve coached many clients who are great people, but have profiles riddled with beige flags because they just didn’t have the time or the knowledge to stand out.”

In the world of online dating, it can be difficult to show your depth of personality in just a few words or pictures. And some are just too self-aware to be so vulnerable. “If you were initially attracted to them, keep in mind that amazing potential partners may not immediately shine online,” says Ury. “Send them a message asking an interesting and timely question and see if they are able to capture your interest with their answer.”

How can you avoid beige flags on your profile?

Although you may be plagued by beige flags on profiles when browsing profiles, you may have suddenly realized your own the profile is an abundance of cliches, too. “Use your profile to tell a story. Who are you? What are you talking about? Show different sides of yourself and your life and mix in your humor and vulnerability,” Ury advises. “When it comes to selecting photos, you want to go for flattering, yet accurate photos. The most important first photo should be a clean photo, without filters or sunglasses, so that potential matches feel that they can really see you and connect with you on a personal level.”

Ury also has a list of photos to include to give the best chance of success. After the first head shot, she says to also include a full body shot, a shot with your friends or family, and a shot of you doing something you love or are passionate about. This way, potential matches can get a comprehensive look at not just your looks and personality, but also your lifestyle. Take them on a journey with key moments in your life, rather than five photos of you doing the same thing.

“When answering prompts or questions, go deep,” adds Uly. “It may take longer initially, but the first step is to select prompts that allow you to be vulnerable and help the other person get to know you.”

Top Tips for Your Online Dating Profile and Beyond

Light, camera, action: Take a few minutes to set up the show so you look your best. Make sure there is natural light in your face and your background is clean and inviting. Don’t distract from a potential match with your messy bedroom or the lighting from a horror movie. Make it 360: Remember that you are someone with many tastes and layers. Include photos and descriptions of all aspects of your life, rather than multiples of the same hobby. Stay conversational: You are not applying for a Shakespeare production. Talk to potential partners like you would talk to a friend. To show creativity: Showcase a talent, tell a joke and reveal your sense of humor. Try silly photos or add a funny quip in your bio. Discuss when you’re at your best: Listen to your favorite music, make sure you’re wide awake and feel in the right frame of mind to compile your profile and chat with people.

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