Name: Beige flags.
Age: Very old, although TikTok gave it a name recently.
Appearance: A red flag, but much more boring.
Ah, red flags I know about. Me too. They are early warning signs for a relationship. Maybe you meet someone who lies a lot, or follows slightly too many fitness models on Instagram, or responds to simple prompts with startling aggression.
Argh! I hate that so much! Yes. Well, it’s important to note these red flags, because ignoring them might mean that you find yourself trapped in a partnership with someone you come to hate, let’s say, one month shy of 30 years.
Hey, Pass Notes has been going for one month shy of 30 years. What a weird coincidence.
So, what is a beige flag? If a red flag means that the person you’re romantically interested in is incompatible with your personality type, a beige flag means that they’re boring.
How do you work that out? If you’ve spent any time on dating apps, you’ll notice that most profiles have a habit of lapsing into meaningless platitudes. Perhaps they list their interests as something as nondescript as “food”, or claim to enjoy soulless mainstream sitcoms.
How dreary. It gets worse. Perhaps they spout pointless opinions. Maybe they make a fuss about whether pineapple belongs on pizza or their dislike of the word “moist”.
Pineapple on a pizza? So gross! When, in fact, anybody with anything remotely interesting going on in their lives won’t care about something as hackneyed as the great Hawaiian pizza debate.
OK, but jam definitely goes first on a scone, right? Christ. I’m so tired.
You think of something better to talk about, then. That’s not up to me. You set up a dating profile to stand out from the crowd, but you’ve filled it with the same basic, unexceptional cookie-cutter observations and interests as everyone else. Nothing about you stands out. You are a walking, talking beige flag. Why should I waste my time on you?
Fine. How would you stand out? I’d make it clear that I am half of the Guardian’s famous Pass Notes feature.
That won’t get you laid. It will, but only with a very, very, very, very, very, very specific type of person.
What about the rest of us? Remember, it’s a battlefield out there. Use whatever makes you stand out the most. Have you ever been struck by lightning? Were you once bitten by a tiger? Did you invent toothpaste?
No. Hawaiian pizza it is, then. Best of luck.
Do say: “Avoid beige flags at all costs.”
Don’t say: “Or maybe you’re too picky, and your fruitless search for romantic perfection will doom you to die alone.”