He has a profile picture of a dog, the classic shot where he’s in the car driving and his dog (a Golden Retriever) is looking out the window as though he’s two roads away from the chicken shop. He says he likes going to the gym (which his gym photo proves) and is open to seeing where something leads. In essence, he reflects a beige flag. Predictable and oh so unoriginal. He’s simply too boring to date.
This phenomenon (now classified as beige flags by TikTok) has invaded online dating and our entire population. We’re all minimal-dressing, city background Instagram-loving, travel-enthusiastic, food photographers walking around with Gucci belts and Shein outfits (but that’s for another post).
A friend mentioned boring dating profiles over a catch-up on dating life. ‘No one is interesting’, she mused. ‘I want to message this guy because he looks nice but there’s nothing on his profile to comment on.’ It’s true, another friend confessed, that dating apps feel like one big cliché.
The signs of beige flags
Beige flags are warning signs that someone’s online profile means they’ll be boring to date. If you want to know the signs, just picture repeatable, generic hobbies. For example, I enjoy:
- Watching Netflix
- Eating pizza
- Eating at restaurants
Examples of beige flags also include cliché debates such as pineapple on pizza and phrases such as, ‘I’m looking for someone to go on adventures with’ and writing ‘Just ask’ next to a writing prompt – usually one that asks you to list your hobbies.
In the UK, an estimated 35% of people are single (based on the 2019 Census). Singletons looking for love don’t want to fall for someone plain enough to match up with anyone. It feels equivalent to dating a people-pleaser who nods along to whatever you say. We often seek qualities such as intellect, ambition, humour and kindness, but fun and excitement are just as important.
So, if you are a guilty party member causing boredom online with your clichés and generic lines, please stop. Believe me when I say, going on holiday to drink cocktails or explore historic sites is not a standalone feature to sell yourself with.
Now that we’ve got beige flags out the way, what about you being too boring to date?
Reader’s Digest spoke to clinical psychologist, Joshua Klapow, PhD, who believes, ‘Am I boring?’ is an important question everyone should ask. He says boring is down to whom you associate with and the perceptions you have of yourself.
Stress, boredom at work, routine and too much comfort make for a dull life, and therefore a dull person. One survey asked over 1,000 adults whether their work excites them: 45.5% said no.
UK Research reveals 91.5% of people watch TV in their spare time. It is the most popular activity, with another study by the British Heart Foundation showing almost of third of people cannot remember when they last took up a hobby or tried something different.
Furthermore, the American Institute of Stress found 73% of people experience stress that impacts their mental health.
So basically, we are stressed, bored, overworked and not doing too much exciting. Is it any wonder we’re forming dating stereotypes? Boredom is such a huge problem in dating that it gets masked by other faults. We are much more forgivable and open if someone seems fascinating and interesting. We can look past appearance, job, height etc. because we love spending time with them.
How can we make ourselves more interesting to date?
The obvious answer is telling you to take skydiving or head off to a drawing class. On the other hand, people are just as dull when they believe their extreme sports make them super interesting and unique.
I’ve compiled a list of possible boring people traits:
- Low self-esteem – Why? Poor self-esteem can lead to seeking validation (bragging, need for attention), constant reassurance and self-doubt. If you have insecurities, consider how to work on them internally without letting them affect your dating life.
- People-pleasers – maybe another branch of low self-esteem. ‘Nice guys’ tend to fit this category. Saying yes to everything doesn’t make you kind – it makes you a person without opinions.
- Enforcing your passion – It’s very sexy listening to a guy share his passions. But, going on about something that’s not of interest can soon get boring. No one wants a 20-minute dialogue on how you finally caught a fish.
- Using finance to replace a personality – I get it, you travel often, buy fancy bottles of wine, and dine at Michelin restaurants. Finding ways to humble brag is not interesting. If you have been to an incredible restaurant, discuss why and tell me what curious things you tasted. Continually mentioning lifestyle alone gets tiring.
- Bad storytellers – Leading on from my last point, doesn’t everyone like a good story? Even if it’s in the audio version. The best dates have these funny, well-rehearsed memories that reduce you to laughter.
- Comfort – Okay, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to a particular restaurant or appreciating the vanilla side of things. Nothing as such, as long as you can keep finding fun ways to discuss these aspects.
- Repetitiveness – Those people who only talk about their kids, workouts, diets and potential weekend plans – plain, old yawn.
With that exhaustive list out the way, let’s look at ways to make ourselves more interesting. The simple solution involves looking at how you spend your spare time. Are you doing things that you can discuss with others?
Write down your version of a fun person and then compare it to your current situation. A book alone is enough to get you out of your shell. I bought a book on romantic psychology which led to countless conversations on attraction and dating.
No one is saying you must take on a hobby. But the next time you arrange to meet your friends with coffee or brunch, why not take on something different after? A stroll to the antiques fair, a round of mini golf, a walk in a new direction.
Dating is like selling yourself. The more you are ‘loving life’ and building up memories and experiences, the more people will want to hang out with you to enjoy the same.
How can I make my online dating more interesting?
What do I write if I don’t put down that I go to the gym and have a dog? Don’t panic…
There’s nothing wrong with sharing a dog photo, or mentioning that you go to the gym, providing it is not your key selling point. To sound interesting, people can overthink their dating app profiles and end up writing what sounds a bit cheesy and cliché.
Funnily enough, the secret to a good dating profile is to sound boring. Rather than getting creative with words, stick to the truth. Share that you have recently started drawing. Some people will think that’s boring, but others will want to know why you’ve started and what you draw.
Equally, sometimes it can work in your favour to say you’re looking for a new hobby. Then some people will ask what you’re thinking of doing.
Not the best examples, I know, but interesting people ultimately create intrigue. Your dating profile ideally has lots of content that people can respond back to.
Conclusion – Am I too boring to date?
It of course all depends. What I do know is that if you’re running out of things to discuss and if you feel you’re in a bit of a rut, the people you’re dating can probably tell. Equally, if you keep going on boring dates, you might have a problem with liking incompatible people.
We all like the clichés – I’m not one to say no to a pizza and then end up doing a workout the day after. These typical activities, however, do not feel particularly deep. Figure out your unique selling point to stand out from the dating crowd.
What makes someone too boring to date? Why not catch up with my other dating articles.
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