Body odor and being a ‘know-it-all’ top the list of dating dealbreakers

April 5, 2023


Rejection can sting—but not knowing why you were spurned can wound you for far longer, reports Study Finds.


And those reasons may be extremely persnickety, a new survey of 2,000 British adults commissioned by upscale dating site Seeking and conducted by OnePoll has found: Simply smelling bad is the top “ick” factor—selected by 24% of respondents. This was followed by pretending to be more knowledgeable about something than they really are and being rude to a waiter (both 21%).


However, 20% left their would-be paramour totally in the dark and didn’t explain what they’d done to deserve being ghosted. It also emerged 58% believe they have given someone the ick themselves, —turning them off totally.


Over half (65%) have ended a relationship because of an “ick”—a trait that turns them off— and 88% have ghosted someone completely. For example, one in seven men (14%) would  happily break it off with someone who wanted to share food on a first date. Sixteen percent of women find wearing a tacky watch is an “ick,” while 15% judge someone else for referring to their favorite sports team as if they were part of the actual team.


What’s more, it seems as if superstition may not be welcomed by some singles. Nearly one in six (15%) have called it quits with a romantic interest because they were obsessed with astrological star signs.


And if you’re flying with your new partner, beware giving the pilots a round of applause for not crashing. For many, that’s apparently an instant dealbreaker as 14% have ended it with someone who clapped when a plane landed.


Nearly half of those polled (44%) describe themselves as at least somewhat picky when it comes to finding a partner, with 33% being “very picky.” Four in five (79%) believe they deserve the best, so they try to up their standards when looking for a partner— showing the prevalence of the “dating up” trend.


“People are very set on what they want, which is empowering,” says Emma Hathorn, spokesperson and in-house dating expert at Seeking, in a statement. “Online dating has opened 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.”


However, the study revealed 35% believe there is no such thing as being too picky when out on the dating scene—further demonstrating the growing popularity of trying to find more aspirational relationshipsAdding to this, 48% believe that their dating standards have gotten more stringent as they have gotten older—with those 65 and up most likely to feel this way.


The research also uncovered that 73% are likely to judge someone negatively if their new date wants to split a food bill—particularly if they suggested the date. Meanwhile, 72% would critique a first date location choice if it didn’t meet their standards.


When it comes to looking for a potential partner, 33% say salary is most important; followed by 30%, who go for a good sense of style and fashion.

However, 40 percent of adults feel dating does get harder as you increase in years


“The current trend in dating at the moment is ‘dating up’—finding someone who can better and elevate their own lifestyle,” adds Hathorn. “So, the goal for all singletons is to not only be someone who can help someone else ‘date up’—but to 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.”


Research contact: @StudyFindsorg