Relationship Red Flags and Now, Beige Flags

Should This Relationship Be Saved?

Relationship red and beige flags

Young moderns face a maze of dating conundrums that we muddling middle-agers luckily avoided. Dating apps, a smorgasbord of scary social diseases we never heard of, and casual sexual practices that make me cringe. Yet, some things about dating remain the same — relationship red flags! You know, glaring — blazing — warning signs that a potential partner is a mega-no-no.

Still, today, life and dating seem more complicated, and youngins not only have red and green flags to signal relationship status in their social media conversations, they’ve also added “beige flags” to the online conversation mix.

Relationship Red and Now, Beige Flags

What does a beige flag denote? Apparently, as my young friends tell me, a beige flag signals an annoying or weird habit a potential partner has. The habit’s not a deal-breaker, just a quirk, a foible, an eccentricity.

Examples cited in a recent New York Times article include:

  • Dunking Oreos in water instead of milk
  • Moving the living room couch … every two week
  • Eating live ants. (Query: Unless you are dating an anteater, how is this not a total red flag? An absolute, immediate deal breaker? Honestly, how could you kiss someone who ingested an ant? What does “ant breath” smell like? Do not answer. I DO NOT want to know!

Now, in the first blush of romance, beige flag mannerisms may seem cute, even charming, but I urge caution. Extreme caution. I say, “Go, slow, very slow.”

For what is today’s endearing eccentricity can quickly — or slowly, agonizingly slowly, say over 30+ years of marriage — turn into an utterly aggravating, migrating-inducing, even murderous-inducing aberration. (I’m not saying I’ve harbored felonious intent.) Still, a lifetime of a mate’s beige flags can drive a woman NUTS!!! (I’m just saying.)

In sum, today’s “cute” is tomorrow’s kink, worthy of a kick-in-the-pants out the door!

To Make Matters Worse!

And it’s not like you witness all those little beige flag foibles during those first glorious dating days. Oh, no! It’s not until you start doing a man’s laundry that you really know what’s what. More importantly, it’s not until you live with someone that you know what’s going to strike you as “adorable” and what’s simply going to cause you to strike out.

So, young misses or Ms.-es, here is a Relationship Flag Guide to ensure smooth partnering:

In the bedroom

  1. Snoring: Sure slim/sleek he doesn’t snore now, but what about later? (Later, by the way, comes much sooner than you think. Usually shortly after the first child is born and he’s packed on a few of those sympathy eating-along-with-you pregnancy pounds.) Will he sound like a trumpeting foghorn in the night? Of course, he will. Are you a sound sleeper? If not, either run for the nearest exit or plan on buying a house with an extra bedroom to exile him to when the snoring sets in.
    Flag color: red
  2. Temperature control: If one of you runs hot and the other runs cold — either make sure you control the electric blanket controls or skedaddle.
    Flag color: red

In the laundry room

  1. Even if you’re a laundry-loving lady (which weirdly I am), make clear the hamper “do’s and do not’s. (Mine: 1. Dirty, sweaty, stinky socks must be unfurled and right side out. 2. Shirts must be unbuttoned including cuffs. 3. Pants must be zipped. Failure to abide by these rules results in the offending articles being dumped on the floor by his side of the bed, unwashed.
    Flag color: beige

And In the kitchen

  1. Wash your own damned breakfast dishes. What am I a maid?
    Flag color: beige
  2. Ditto snack dishes? What am I your mother?
    Flag color: beige to red

Of course, you may wonder if these helpful hints are drawn from real life. Well, I’m not telling except … Handsome Hubby is perfection in the kitchen. No dirty dishes ever!

HH’s Red Flags and Beige Flags

And in HH’s defense, looking back, he probably missed (or overlooked) a few warning signs, signs like …

  • The look of abject contempt I displayed when he gave me three (yes, three) cookbooks as birthday gifts. At the time, he joyfully proclaimed how much “fun” we’d have in the kitchen together!
    To this day, my cooking leaves a lot to be desired! Although to tell the truth, given HH’s work schedule, the amount of time he spends in the kitchen is limited. So, that cooking together pledge of his was “a little” bogus to put it kindly!
  • The time I screamed and almost caused an accident because a bug flew in the car and landed on my hand while HH was navigating a Los Angeles freeway.
    To this day, bug-phobic me still shrieks like a banshee with its foot caught in a bear’s steel trap at the sight of a moth or any kind of insect, crawling, buzzing, or flying!
  • Or the time he first heard me “warbling” at the top of my lungs to Man of La Mancha’s “To Dream the Impossible Dream” and I dreamily told him I was a total Broadway baby.
    I’m sure HH’s dream is that a. I meet a Broadway show I don’t want to attend or b. that I learn to sing on key!

Flags Be Gone!

Clearly, you didn’t need to have served in the Navy and learned semaphore flags to know, I was sending up a series of warnings … red, beige, and every color of the rainbow — to know I was going to be a handful to deal with! Still, sweet HH has hung on for dear life for 35 years. So, youngins, maybe red and beige (dating) flags be hanged and not relied upon! Love at your own risk! Who knows? It may just work out! (Except for that ant-eater guy. Definitely lose him.)

🚩 🚩 🚩

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