90 biggest ‘icks’ revealed by people who have dumped their partner

Wearing socks in bed, mispronouncing David Bowie's name and clapping when an airplane lands make the list.

Everyone has an 'ick' when it comes to dating. Maybe you're put off by bad breath, one too many humble brags, or too much ex talk — and now a new survey has revealed exactly what the biggest icks when dating are for Brits.

The survey of 2,000 British adults, from Gen Z to Boomers, found that poor personal hygiene is the number one 'ick' for people who are on the dating scene.

This was followed by being rude to a waiter or bartender, having bad breath, talking about their ex, and speaking with their mouth full.

The survey, from Vape Superstore, also disocovered that it's not just people who are dating that can get the 'ick', but also 43% of people in relationships say their partner can give them the 'ick', along with 56% of married couples.

50 biggest 'icks' for Brits

  1. They have poor personal hygiene

  2. They're rude to a waiter or bartender

  3. They have bad breath

  4. They talk about their ex

  5. They speak with their mouth full

  6. They brag about themselves

  7. They chew gum loudly

  8. They always have to 'top' any story you tell

  9. They're a know-it-all

  10. They talk about themselves too much

  11. They talk in a baby voice

  12. They refer to themselves as an influencer

  13. They wear too much fake tan

  14. They check their phone on a date

  15. They overshare on social media

  16. They get drunk on a date

  17. They post too many mirror selfies

  18. They smoke

  19. They turn up late to a date

  20. They wear clothes the wrong size (e.g. too short trousers, too tight shirt etc.)

  21. They unnecessarily shorten words (e.g. menty-b, cozzie-livs etc.)

  22. They get food on their face while eating

  23. They don't offer to pay on a date

  24. They wear too much make-up

  25. They have holes or rips in their clothing or shoes

  26. They have a bad tattoo

  27. They're over-competitive

  28. They believe in conspiracy theories

  29. They bite their fingernails

  30. They start calling you by a pet name

  31. They clap when the plane lands

  32. They wear cheap or tacky jewellery

  33. They don't tip their waiter

  34. They have a messy car

  35. They have opposing political views to yours

  36. They have bad spelling or grammar

  37. They post inspirational quotes on social media

  38. They refer to themselves as a foodie

  39. They double text you

  40. They confidently sing the wrong lyrics or get a famous quote wrong

  41. They have to repeat themselves when Siri/Alexa/Google doesn't understand them

  42. They live with their parents

  43. They believe in star signs

  44. They can't cook

  45. They don't have a driver's licence

  46. They sing to you or play a song to you on a musical instrument

  47. They have a velcro wallet or purse

  48. They don't know how to ride a bike

  49. They can't reverse park or parallel park

  50. They don't know how to swim

It comes after dirty or long fingernails, using a “baby voice” and terrible tattoos were just some of the so-called 'icks' cited by people who have dumped their partners in a 2023 study.

A poll of 2,000 adults found that half of respondents (49%) had broken up with their partner because of an ick.

Around 12% of respondents said they have broken up with someone because they were obsessed with star signs, while 11% said they got the ick when their partner clapped when a plane landed.

One in 10 men claimed they would call it quits with someone who wanted to share food on a first date, while 14% of women polled by American dating site Seeking said a major turn off would be their partner referring to a football team they support as “we”.

Barefoot female and male feet in socks in bed as socks revealed to be a dating turn-off. (Getty Images)
A survey has revealed people's biggest icks - including bad teeth and putting on a baby voice. (Getty Images)

“People are very set on what they want, which is empowering,” Seeking’s dating expert Emma Hathorn said.

“Online dating has opened up a whole new world of singles, which means people can afford to have higher standards. And if an absolute deal-breaker for you is someone who never wears sunglasses indoors or chews with their mouth open, that’s absolutely fair enough.”

The biggest ick noted by respondents was someone who smelled bad, or pretending to be more knowledgeable about something than they really were.

Two thirds of respondents said they were “picky” when it comes to dating, while 22% admitted they were “very picky”.

40 biggest 'icks' from people who have dumped their partners

  1. Smelling bad

  2. Pretending to be more knowledgeable about something than they actually are

  3. Being overbearing and rude

  4. Double texting (sending a secondary text if you’ve not responded after the first one)

  5. Having bad teeth

  6. Being rude to a waiter

  7. Living in a mess

  8. Having dirty fingernails

  9. Chewing with their mouth open

  10. Being too clingy

  11. Talking too loud

  12. Eating and talking at the same time

  13. Being obsessed with their star signs

  14. Having long fingernails

  15. Putting on a baby voice

  16. Wearing too much make-up

  17. Breathing heavily

  18. Oversharing on social media

  19. Referring to themselves in third person

  20. Having a bad tattoo

  21. Wearing a weird coloured lipstick

  22. Having shoes that are too dirty

  23. Having an Instagram account for their pet

  24. Referring to their football team as 'we'

  25. Clapping when an airplane lands

  26. Wearing bad jeans

  27. Wearing sunglasses indoors

  28. Taking longer than you to get ready

  29. Having too many shirt buttons undone

  30. Wearing shoes you don’t like

  31. Living at home with parents

  32. Not wearing socks with shoes

  33. Wanting to share food on the first date

  34. Wearing a tacky watch

  35. Using emojis in texts

  36. Wearing socks to bed

  37. Not paying on the first date

  38. Wearing creased clothes

  39. Saying pet names like ‘honey’ or ‘baby’

  40. Pronouncing David Bowie’s name wrong

Two out of five of the respondents believe their dating standards have gotten higher as they have gotten older, with 60% admitting they would judge a first date location if it didn’t match their standards.

A man checks his breath in the mirror - bad breath was named as one of the biggest icks people have in a new survey
Bad breath was named as one of the biggest icks. (Getty Images)

A quarter of respondents (28%) said that salary is the most important thing when it comes to looking for a potential partner, while 19% value a good fashion sense over everything else.

“The current trend in dating at the moment is ‘dating up’ - finding someone who can better and elevate their own lifestyle,” Hathorn added.

“So, the goal for all singletons is to not only be someone who can help someone else ‘date up’ - but find someone who can elevate themselves at the same time. As with all things in life, it’s about finding that exact balance that works for you, and this can be tricky if you are totally inflexible in who you date.

“Keeping an open mind is key, and you may find someone who elevates your life in every way possible - even if they wear terrible shoes.”

Additional reporting by SWNS.

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