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The strangest reasons people in the UK got the ‘ick’ with their partners

A study has found that dirty fingernails, putting on a ‘baby voice’ and naff tattoos are some of the top reasons British adults have called it off with their partner

Richard Jenkins
Tuesday 10 January 2023 18:43 GMT
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Smelling bad, being rude and double texting all made the nations top ‘icks’
Smelling bad, being rude and double texting all made the nations top ‘icks’ (Getty)

A poll of 2,000 adults found nearly half (49 per cent) have ended a relationship because of an ‘ick’, and 56 per cent have ghosted someone completely.

An eighth (12 per cent) have called it quits with a romantic interest because they were obsessed with star signs, while 11 per cent have ended it with someone who clapped when a plane landed.

A tenth of men would also happily break it off with someone who wanted to share food on a first date.

And 12 per cent of women find a brash watch an ‘ick’, while 14 per cent judge someone else for referring to their football team as ‘we’.

The study was commissioned by upscale dating site Seeking where spokesperson and in-house dating expert, Emma Hathorn said: "People are very set on what they want, which is empowering.

“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 study found simply smelling bad is the top ick, selected by 16 per cent of those surveyed.

This was followed by pretending to be more knowledgeable about something than they really are and being overbearing or rude (both 15 per cent).

But 53 per cent left their would-be paramour totally in the dark and didn’t explain what they’d done to deserve it.

It also emerged 36 per cent believe they have actually given someone the ick themselves, turning them off totally.

Two thirds (67 per cent) describe themselves as at least somewhat picky when it comes to finding a partner, with 22 per cent being ‘very picky’.

And 61 per cent believe they deserve the best so try to up their standards when looking for a partner, showing the prevalence of the ‘dating up’ trend.

However, 15 per cent believe there is no such thing as being too picky when out on the dating scene, according to the OnePoll figures, further showing the growing popularity of trying to find more aspirational relationships.

Adding to this, nearly four in 10 (35 per cent) believe their dating standards have got higher as they have gotten older – with those aged 65 and up most likely to feel this way.

The research also uncovered how 65 per cent are likely to judge someone negatively if they wanted to split a food bill – particularly if they suggested the date.

While 60 per cent would critique first date location choice if it didn’t meet their standards.

When it comes to looking for a potential partner, 28 per cent said salary is most important, followed by 19 per cent who go for a good sense of style and fashion.

But the same number of adults feel dating does get harder, as you increase in years – despite 28 per cent being completely set on dating someone who matches their preferences exactly.

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

“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.”

Top 40 things that give adults the ‘ick’:

  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 makeup
  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

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