These are the top 10 characteristics which give daters ‘the ick’

We’ve all been there, cringing at someone speaking with their mouth full on a first date. Or perhaps you leaned in for the goodnight kiss only to be met with rank smelling breath? *shudders* These are both fine examples of things which give us ‘the ick’ when it comes to dating.

For those of you who might be on the outskirts of the dating game, as described on social media and TikTok, ‘the ick’ is a feeling of revulsion or disgust one gets towards someone who they used to be attracted to.

It’s become quite a popular dating term over the last year, with phrases like ‘funniest icks’ and ‘common icks’ increasing on the Google search database by +170% in the past 12 months.

To reveal just how ‘icky’ icks really make us feel, greeting card marketplace, has set out to find the  biggest icks, to see whether they differ between females and males… and they do! 

So, what are the top 10 biggest icks? Well, number one is bad hygiene! 

Bad personal hygiene – 50%

Being too arrogant – 38%

A noisy eater – 33%

Bad breath – 30% 

Being rude to hospitality staff – 29% 

Spitting on the street – 26%

Speaking with their mouth full – 25%

Crude jokes – 19%

Speaking with a baby voice – 14%

Sitting on their phone all the time – 13%

Half of participants find that having bad personal hygiene is a big turn off, often resulting in them ‘getting the ick’, and there’s a fine line between being confident and starting to become arrogant in other people’s eyes.

Though hygiene and personalities topped the list of the UK’s biggest icks, some funny ones appeared among the crowd with 6% of the voters claiming that bad grammar gave them the ick, and others can’t deal with heavy breathing (5%) or mullets (4%).

Here’s the breakdown on what’s the biggest ick for each gender.

For females, the biggest icks are: 

Bad hygiene – 52% 

Being too arrogant – 37%

A noisy eater – 34%

Bad breath – 33%

Spitting on the street – 33%

For males, the biggest icks are: 

Bad hygiene – 43%

Being too arrogant – 40%

A noisy eater – 31%

Bad breath – 29%

Spitting on the street – 28% 

Differing from their male counterparts, 12% of females claimed they weren’t a fan of long fingernails, although this didn’t appear to be an issue for males. Both genders agreed that someone being obsessed with their phones would inevitably give them the ick. 

Over half (51%) of females claimed they’d experienced the ick when going on first dates with someone new, compared to as little as 38% of men.

Well hello there!
Help us help you by allowing us and our partners to remember your device in cookies to serve you personalized content and ads.

We're on a mission to help our mums and their families thrive by informing, connecting and entertaining.

Join us in our mission by consenting to the use of cookies and IP address recognition by us and our partners to serve you content (including ads) best suited to your interests, both here and around the web.

We promise never to share any other information that may be deemed personal unless you explicitly tell us it's ok.

If you want more info, see our privacy policy.