Why You Should Look For Pink Flags In Dating, Not Just Red Ones

If you’re single and looking for love, you know to look out for red flags. Those deal breakers that some people put on display early on are major warning signs to avoid them at all costs to save yourself valuable time and energy. On the flip side, green flags are something to look for so you know you’re on the right track with the person you’re seeing. But what about pink flags? What are they and why should you be super cautious about them? Read on to find out.

What are pink flags?

Simply put, pink flags are things that are a little bit weird or concerning but not bad enough for you to write them off — at least not yet. They’re relatively minor, niggling personality traits or behaviors that strike you as slightly questionable. However, they’re not overtly terrible and don’t make you lose interest.

While pink flags may occasionally be downloaded to green flags or upgraded to red ones, generally speaking, they’re no big deal. They usually signify ways in which you differ from your perspective new partner, but they rarely spell disaster. Still, it’s worth being aware of them in case they do become worse.

Ones to watch out for

  1. They’re “bad at texting.” They don’t leave you on read or send you one-word answers, but they’re not exactly a prolific texter. In fact, it’s all very perfunctory and matter-of-fact; a means to an end rather than a conversational form in its own right. This is a pink flag because texting is life, in a way. Yeah, you don’t want your whole relationship to take place on your phones. However, sometimes that’s the best way to get in touch. If they’re “bad” at it or simply not into it, that could become a problem.
  2. Your friends don’t really love them. I mean, your friends don’t hate them or anything, they’re just not entirely sold. Maybe lukewarm is a better adjective. They think the person you’re dating is okay, but there’s not much enthusiasm when you talk about them or how well it’s going. This could just be because your crew hasn’t gotten to know this person yet. That, or they might see something you don’t yet.
  3. They prefer at-home dates rather than going out. If you’re also a homebody, this can be a good thing rather than a bad one. However, it’s a pink flag because it may convey an unwillingness to go on actual dates with you. Are they really introverted or are they lazy? Do they really love hanging out with you on the couch and cuddling or are they seeing other people and don’t want to get caught out? It’s hard to know what the real deal is here until you feel them out.
  4. They’re still good friends with their ex. I mean, who does this? Classic pink flag. It could be that this person and their ex are actually just super mature and evolved and ended on good terms. They liked each other as people, so they decided to stay friends. Or, it could be that they still hook up on the side even though they’re not in an official relationship. Who can say?
  5. Their friends are kinda annoying. On the one hand, they’re your date’s friends, not yours. You don’t really have to be nuts about them for a relationship between the two of you to work. Still, if they’re immature, loud, obnoxious, rude, homophobic, etc. you may have legitimate cause for concern. Or, maybe they’re just a group of knuckleheads that are totally lovable once you get to know them better.
  6. They refuse to engage in basically any PDA. It’s not like you want to make out on the street or have sex in the park. You just want to hold their hand sometimes or be able to give them a hug. Some people legitimately dislike PDA for reasons unrelated to their feelings for you. It’s not necessarily the end of the world, especially if they’re demonstrative in general. However, time will tell if there’s something shadier behind their preference.
  7. They don’t seem interested in being physical with you at all, really. Obviously, if you were going at it like rabbits and they suddenly lost interest, that’s a red flag. However, it’s a pink flag if you only recently started dating and they haven’t been trying to jump your bones. They could legitimately be trying to take things slow. They want to form an emotional connection before they go there instead of rushing in. That’s understandable and even kinda heartwarming. You’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for whether that’s the case or not.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill