The UK’s Biggest Dating Icks Revealed

22nd November 2022 • by Tara W

Have you ever been on a date with someone that got ruined by something incredibly minor? Maybe they got food stuck in their teeth or they laughed a little too hard at the waiter’s jokes or they spent most of their time on their phone. Whatever the reason, you are not alone in being completely turned off by a date and experiencing the dreaded ‘ick’.

The term ‘getting the ick’ is a popular phrase in the modern dating world that essentially means your date did something that made you instantly hate the idea of being with them romantically.

If you managed to make it past the ‘ick’ stages of dating and are in a happy, healthy, loving long-term relationship, make sure to put an engagement ring on your partner’s finger now, before risking any new ‘icks’ developing!

But, what gives single Brits that icky feeling the most? Well, at Austen & Blake, we conducted a survey asking 500 single UK adults between the ages of 18 and 40 to find out what their ‘icks’ are when dating online. From deciding which way to swipe on a dating app based on their profile to messaging and, finally, when on a date.

Keep reading to discover the eye-opening results!

General Online Dating ‘Icks’

We asked our participants on which dating app did people give them the ‘ick’ the most, and Tinder came out on top, with 35% of respondents agreeing it was filled with icky people. This was followed closely by Badoo, which earned 34% of votes, and Bumble, with 26% of votes for the app where people gave them the ‘ick’.

Interestingly though, it was found that while people got the ‘ick’ from dating profiles, 38% of participants continued to match with said individual anyway! Even more surprising, the ‘ick’ then went away for 75% of participants, after they got to know the person more. This just goes to show the lack of true representation of someone’s personality on a dating profile and that everyone should at least get a chance to impress you in real life. You could find the love of your life and have a sparkling engagement ring on your finger before you know it if you can look past the initial ‘ick’!

Based on just the profile alone, these were the most popular reasons to give someone the ‘ick’:

  • Too little information and insight into their personality (24%)
  • Too many body-only or topless photos (21%)
  • Too many photos from the same events or activity (21%)
  • Blunt or meaningless answers to prompts (21%)
  • Too much emphasis on their travels and how adventurous they are (19%)

So, maybe think twice before posting all of your recent holiday pictures and make sure you get your personality across as much as possible.

Most Common ‘Ick’s’ While Messaging

You’ve looked at someone’s profile, you liked what you saw and, great news, it’s a match! As you start talking and getting to know each other beyond the first impression of the profile, ‘icks’ can still very quickly rear their ugly head and prevent you from agreeing to a first date. Here are the 5 most common ‘icks’ while in the talking stage:
  • Being too flirtatious and too sexual too quickly (24%)
  • Sending random or random images before ever having met (22%)
  • Asking for nudes (20%)
  • Wanting to call or video call before having met (19%)
  • Slow responses or lack of initiative (19%)

39% of respondents said they would stop messaging someone solely because they gave them the ‘ick’ while 23% were unsure of whether to give them a chance or not.

What ‘Icks’ do People Experience on a First Date?

If all is smooth sailing and you score yourself a date, keep in mind that these most popular ‘icks’ can instantly put someone off:
  • Being rude to staff (14%)
  • Turning up intoxicated (14%)
  • Bad teeth (14%)
  • Bad table manners (14%)
  • Being overly flirtatious with people around you (13%)

Interestingly, all of these ‘icks’ were very similarly scored, with only a couple of votes between each determining the top spots.  41% of people said they wouldn’t see someone again after a date if they demonstrated any of the above ‘icks’. However, it seems men are more forgiving than women, as 51% of women said they’d never see an icky date again, compared to just 32% of men.

What Happens After the First Date?

After the first date, if it was decided to take it that one step further, 36% found that a turn-off for them was when their physical appearance differed significantly from their dating profile. 29% said bad kissing was an unforgivable ‘ick’, and for a further 28%, not caring about contraception or protection was, understandably, enough to turn them away and not come back for a second date.

Whether that extra romantic step was taken or not, following the first date, overly emotional messages, such as expressing how much they’ve been thinking about you, are considered the biggest ‘ick’, with 43% of respondents saying they don’t like it. Not texting back for a prolonged amount of time or giving vague replies, however, was also an ‘ick’ (37%), and telling you that they told their friends about you got 33% of the vote as the most popular post date ‘ick’.

It seems there is a fine balance between being too keen or too distant, so playing it cool and not coming across as overly strong - even if you really liked the person - is the best way to secure a second date (and the possibility of a beautiful diamond engagement ring in your future). 


An ‘ick’ is something we’ve all experienced while dating or even while in a relationship, while we learned that 75% can often move past it and change their opinion as they get to know the person on a deeper level, 18% still couldn’t get over the ‘ick’ and 6% ended up discovering more ‘icks’ as the dating process went on.

From the entire dating process, giving too little information about yourself, being overly sexual too quickly and being rude to staff around you are the biggest ‘icks’ according to UK singles.

Looking to put a ring on their finger soon? We have a wide choice of engagement rings including the classic solitaire, dazzling halo and unique etherial ring styles.

Also, prepare to tie the knot in style and take a look at our range of beautiful wedding rings that you’ll cherish for eternity.