Feel Good

10 dating red flags

And the green and beige flags to look out for on a first date, too.

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 29.07.2023

According to a recent study, dating Brits will on average take just 42 minutes and 29 seconds to decide if they like someone enough to go on a second date.

So, it turns out, first impressions really do count.

That’s not to say our snap decisions aren’t wrong on occasion. But most of us will display enough green, beige or red flags to our prospective partners in less than an hour to make up their mind on whether it’s a ‘potential soulmate’ or a ‘thanks but no thanks’ situation.

The thought of dating’s hard enough without throwing this added time pressure into the mix. But what if we turned these ‘flags’ on their head and used them as something of a ‘cheat code’ for compatibility?

That was BonusFinder’s genius idea. They surveyed more than 2,000 Brits to uncover some of the most common green, beige and red flags in dating in the UK to discover the best and worst habits we may all be guilty of.

After all, knowledge is power…


  1. Not independent (78.9%)
  2. Only talks about themselves (76.2%)
  3. Talks about ex-partners too much (75.7%)
  4. No fashion sense (74.5%)
  5. Gets your name wrong (70.7%)
  6. Lazy (70.1%)
  7. Rude to others (64.9%)
  8. Excessive phone use (61.9%)
  9. Uses slang like ‘yeet’, ‘cop’ or ‘bussin’ (57.8%)
  10. Doesn’t tip (56.8%)

The most common dating red flag amongst Brits is a lack of independence, with an outstanding 79% of surveyed people voting for it. Whether they rely on their parents too much or are easily influenced by their mates, it seems this trait is a real turn-off for many of us.

Those whose conversation starters revolve predominantly around themselves are also spooking their date partner, with 76% of people saying only talking about yourself is enough of a red flag to turn down a second date.

And we all know it, but we sometimes can’t help it – talking about your ex too much is never gonna end well.


  1. Attentive listener (59.7%)
  2. Offers to pay the bill (46.8)
  3. Organises dates (42.5)
  4. Shared sense of humour (38.7%)
  5. Is spontaneous (34.7%)
  6. Good manners (30.8%)
  7. Remembers your likes / dislikes (29.4%)
  8. Family orientated (28.8%)
  9. Showing enthusiasm (28.1%)
  10. Responsive / good communication (27%)

It stands to reason that us Brits find others who are attentive as showing the most promise, with 60% loving that their date is so interested and present in the moment with them.

It seems chivalry isn’t dead yet, as the age-old debate of who pays for the bill lands in second place among our top green flags in dating. This isn’t just one for the fellas, either – both women (48%) and men (44%) find it attractive for their date to offer to pay. So, dust off those wallets and purses, peeps…

Again, bronze medallist here is no surprise. We all secretly hate deciding on where to go out, so if you meet someone else who is prepared to organise dates for you, marry them.


  1. Not adventurous with food (61.7%)
  2. Gives indecisive answers (55.5%)
  3. Never been abroad (54.3%)
  4. Only likes one genre of music (52.3%)
  5. Non-specific or genuine compliments (51.3%)
  6. Agrees with everything you say (46.2%)
  7. Doesn’t know their left and right (43.4%)
  8. Makes cliché statements (40.8%)
  9. Doesn’t want to leave their hometown (37.2%)
  10. Makes a food or drink their personality (coffee, craft beer, etc.) (37.2%)

A quick clarifier here: the term ‘beige flags’ has recently taken TikTok by storm, but for those of you who aren’t on the app, the term refers to habits or traits that make someone seem a bit odd, straddling the line of being an ‘ick’.

Whilst beige flags are far from ideal, they’re also not necessarily a deal breaker.

It seems none of us want to make a romantic connection over bland food, with a lack of culinary adventurousness landing the top spot here.

In second place, indecision. Not knowing where you see yourself in five years, not having a favourite film, not weighing in on topical events… a lack of confidence in your own beliefs can put a real downer on those hoping to find love.

And thirdly, 54% of respondents found those who lack wanderlust to be in danger of ‘beige flag’ status, with not travelling abroad a real concern.

For more information, the full set of survey results is available to view here.

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