To All The Guys I Dated Before and Their Flags

To All The Guys I Dated Before and Their Flags

There's a whole spectrum of colors when it comes to relationships. Kate Biol defines the colors for each man she dated.

We are familiar with red and green flags in a relationship but there are more colors to watch out for. These colors can help you see the bigger picture of how you feel about your partner you have a relationship with. 

I will walk you through the guys I met waving the colorful relationship flags in no particular timeline order. 


Code Name: Green Tea Guy

Behavior: Boring, low to zero effort, or both

One of the non-memorable guys I’ve met but I filed it under weird dates was this Green Tea guy. I was in Bacolod for a solo trip and Tinder-swiped my way for free lunch or dinner dates. Iloilo is just an hour away, so I crossed the sea and met the Green Tea Guy instead. He’s a good guy, fresh out of a four-year relationship. He toured me around Iloilo, introduced me to cansi, and dropped me off where I stayed. He is very vanilla and we do not have common interests.

On weekends, he helps out his family run a restaurant by manning the cash register. Yes, he came from an influential Chinese family whose business is flourishing among locals and tourists. He invited me to visit his family restaurant the day before I left for Bacolod. And he assured me that he will be manning the cash register during my visit. When he told me the name, I was surprised that he works for a popular resto that is included in my itinerary of places to visit!

He’s an online gamer but his mother raised him well to be a gentleman but not a coffee drinker. When I wanted to buy him coffee for being my Tinder date-turned-tour guide, I found out he is a big green tea drinker. To be more specific, a slimming green tea drinker. Unfortunately, the slimming tea was a big turn-off.


Code Name: The Pilot

Behavior: Mismatch love language, different political views, or values

We hit it off after a few texts, follows, and hearts on Instagram. He’s based in Davao but occasionally travels to Cebu. He is funny, witty, sings, and plays the guitar, and he even sent me a voice recording of him singing LANY’s 13 in the acoustic version! He’s too good to be true! So I unleashed my CSI skills and did some stalking.

After a few clicks, I found out he is an estranged father of two kids based in Pampanga. IDK why most millennial guys I met are separated or have commitment issues. I still view his Instagram stories to date and he does the same thing but I laid out boundaries. We still hang out whenever he is in Cebu.

The airport hangar shares the same zip code as my home address. I am secretly waiting for a private plane ride a la Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele to chase the sunrise or sunset, but that remains to be seen. Dude, if you are reading this, please make it happen.


Code Name: The Ilocano

Behavior: Power and control-related issues

Before I started dating the Ilocano, I already recognized the issues that we need to address. I’ve been single for quite some time and I don’t like someone hovering over me. We don’t have a label yet he is very controlling of the way I dress, where I hang out, the friends that I drink with, or the guys I chat or call at work. He requires an itinerary update every single day. It can be suffocating that I sometimes wonder if this is why his past relationships don’t work.

Then there is the reputation issue that both of us need to maintain as his family can be quite influential. Dating in public but we need to keep it private. I may have soft-launched him in my Instagram stories but no static posts to keep it low-key. He is an active viewer of my stories and would tell me to delete any post that shows his face. He can be annoying AF and I would leave him on read sometimes, just to get back at him.


Code Name: The Ilocano (again)

Behavior: Bad boy, commitment issues, inconsistency, manipulative, gas lighter to name a few

The Ilocano graduated from the orange flag to become a red one. He is my karmic soul connection. No matter how many times I avoided him, he always circles back to me. He is one of the on-off no-label relationships that I’ve milked enough to make it to my series of dating articles. Yes, I’ve distributed a lot of Easter eggs all over my previous dating articles.

He is everything I don’t like in a guy yet I am attractively drawn to him as he is to me. The Ilocano is a self-professed recovering drug addict, separated but with no kids, goes to AA meetings, and he belongs to an influential family. I don’t want to be the receiving end of his anger as he can easily pull strings and manipulate people everywhere I go.

I think he is my karmic soulmate. Karmic soul connections are meant to be lessons that we need to learn in this lifetime so we can grow spiritually and never to be reincarnated again with the same cycle. And it usually ends in tears.

This guy is a breathing and walking big mistake. And no, he is yet to learn his lesson in this lifetime. I wish he will just learn his lesson in this lifetime with me so we can close the cycle.


Code Name: The Gym Buff

Behavior: Undesirable issues or deal breakers that might be hiding in plain sight, something to be cautious about and may hint at underlying problems.

The Gym Buff is one of the serious guys that I have been in a relationship with. We met at work and our friendship blossomed because we always hung out. After dating for over a year, it became clear to us that we were not growing as individuals in a relationship. I’ve become a demanding girlfriend and our babe time schedules don’t seem to meet. Every time we both get time off, either one of us is working or he prefers to work out at the gym than hang out with his girl.

It took me two years to realize that we don’t have anything in common and call it quits. We were in a relationship because of the kilig factor. The knee-melting kind where time stood still every time we saw each other. Yes, this feeling exists. I still get the same rush with every guy I am currently into.

Now I understand why not everyone in a relationship is happy. Some might be unhappy yet they choose to stay because they want the familiar routine and security blanket it offers. We tried to make it work but it was hard to renegotiate to find a common ground in our relationship. To rub salt in our wounds, we broke up on Valentine’s Day. Ouch.


Code Name: The Gym Buff

Behavior: Warning signs that your relationship is ending. Partner seeks emotional support outside of your relationship or emotional infidelity.

There were warning signs before the Gym Buff and I broke up, one of which was a dodgy chat from a certain girl. I don’t want to believe that there was a third party but to add fuel to the fire, he refused to introduce me to this girl friend of his. He gets randomly tagged to the photos of the girl which annoyed the hell out of me. He also became dismissive of the issue saying it’s NBD and became emotionally distant.

He once told me that he has never broken up with a girl before. He would find ways to trigger or become emotionally distant so the girl will initiate the breakup and not the other way around. He thinks it is honorable of him to do so but it was already toxic for the relationship.

TBH, I got bored in the relationship because I felt like I was the one steering the wheel and he was just there for the ride. It was emotionally exhausting on my part because I can feel the proverbial dragging of his feet for the sake of our relationship. In the end, I chose my work over fixing my relationship. Those killer six-pack abs are not worth my time.


Code Name: The 7-Eleven Guy

Behavior: Violates your boundaries or disregards consent

I met this guy online and went on a date with him. We went to a not-so-public bar for drinks. I know it’s NBD but he was coming on too strong for me on a first date. As he was driving to take me home, he suddenly struck up a funny story that is supposed to be a “joke” that goes:

7-Eleven Guy: Do you know where to eat the most delicious pancit canton?

Me: *Is there such a thing?* Where?

7-Eleven Guy: I have a story of a friend who asked where to eat the most delicious pancit canton. He took the girl to try the pancit canton to a motel and explained they are just going to eat. When they get there, the guy offers not to close the door of the room but the girl says to close it anyway. [laughs]

Me: *Waiting for the punchline and laugh awkwardly* (… took me a few minutes to realize he was trying to feel if we were on the same page.)

The route he took was en route to the said motel but since I was waiting for the punchline he said bluntly we are going to try the said pancit canton at the same motel. Warning signs were sent to my brain. I didn’t even like him that way! I insisted on stopping the car or I am going to open the door and roll to the sidewalk! He was kind enough to drop me off at a random 7-Eleven store. One of the worst dates I’ve ever been on!


Code Name: The Haciendero

Behavior: Acts of love, a little bit of sacrifice, being selfless

A white flag is a good flag. This happens when your partner lets their guard down and feels comfortable enough to show their truth. It can also be little acts of love that help build a healthy and strong relationship.

Haciendero is filthy rich, almost bordering on Crazy Rich Asians level plus he is an estranged relative to a Cebuana celebrity. TBF, he only told me he is rich after a few dates. It must be a test to check if I’m not a gold digger. This was supposed to be my chance to turn into a Disney Princess and wait for my prince to ride me off into the sunset.

He was eleven years my senior and I genuinely appreciate the way he is handling things. He went as far as telling me that his mom would love me because we have a lot in common with her! Errmm… I don’t know if I would be alarmed or flattered at the comment.

We have a working schedule for when to see each other since he doesn’t have to work (let our response be: sana all!). He just waits for me to get off work. I like that this time he is the one taking the helm of our almost relationship. A trial period of what it would be like to be official in the upcoming months.

But the honeymoon period disappeared when he needed to go to Nepal to close some business deals. He stopped by in Manila to hang out with his daughter who he was helping to settle down before going off to college. It took every ounce of my patience to wait for his calls and texts. I know the date he is coming home but he never got in touch with me again. His daughter probably said something that made him stop dating me. One time I tried to chase him (I know! How shameless of me!) just to get the feel of things but he became a ghost. He ghosted me after a few months of dating! 

I still file his story under the white flag because he was not afraid to show his truth. The only bad thing about dating him is being ghosted. Talk about digital karma!


Behavior: A good person and a perfect fit for a healthy relationship.

I have yet to find this walking green flag guy. I went on a few first dates but I cannot feel any spark among them. As they say, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you get to kiss a prince.

Married couples usually tell me to enjoy my single life. I go on a lot of first dates but there are a few who made it to two or three. Well, they only need me for a bad date case study as the main topic every time we get together. On the other hand, getting into a no-label relationship is expensive because it costs you peace of mind. 

Take these flags as a sign to reflect and ask yourself if you can overlook his quirks, accept him for who he is—warts and all, and if he is really worth fighting for. Just make sure you will be on the winning end.

For now, next date, please.