When it comes to finding the perfect partner nothing is straightforward. Most of us have been in the situation where you think you have found Mr or Mrs Perfect only to discover that they have an awful habit which puts you off them completely and brings you back to square one in the dating stakes. There have been hundreds of polls and surveys about the biggest turn-offs for men and women. Here are some of the most popular answers:

Body Odour

If you’ve just finished a marathon or you are trekking through a desert, body odour is acceptable but if you constantly have an unpleasant, sweaty odour around you, you will struggle to get a date. Body odour is a result of poor personal hygiene. Sweat doesn’t actually smell but the bacteria that feed on it release unpleasant odours, so it’s really important to wash every day, wash your clothes on a regular basis and wear antiperspirant.


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Some women love a bearded man, but polls suggest that the majority of women consider a beard a massive turn-off. Reasons cited include the look, feel and texture of the beard and some women worry that facial hair reflects poor personal hygiene.


Smoking is one of the biggest turn-offs for both men and women. This is largely because of the smell associated with smoking but many people also think that smoking makes a date very antisocial, especially since the laws against smoking inside public buildings were brought in.

Bad Breath

Bad breath is excusable now and again after a curry or a heavy night on the tiles, but if you are constantly greeted with an unpleasant odour every time you chat to your date or share a kiss, this is far from ideal. Bad breath is one of the most common winners of the biggest turn-off competition but it can be addressed very easily by visiting a dental clinic. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, clean your teeth before you leave the hours to go on a date and always keep some sugar-free gum on you in case you get lucky and end up sharing a doorstep kiss moment.

Talking about an Ex

This is one of those scenarios commonly seen in movies and TV programmes. Your date is going great, you are sharing a bottle of wine and eating nice food and then your date suddenly drops the ‘ex’ bombshell. The situation is particularly awkward if the mention of the ex comes with an emotional outburst or a speech about how amazing she/he was and how happy life used to be.

It’s best to leave the ex chat until it comes up naturally in conversation a couple of months into a relationship unless you want to experience that awful scenario when the person you are dating pretends to answer their phone and darts off claiming their house is burning down or their best friend is having a crisis and you never see them again.


Confidence is a tricky issue because both over-confidence and a lack of confidence feature in surveys about turn-offs. It’s best to be yourself and try to be confident without being cocky. Arrogance is a turn-off for most, but don’t under-sell yourself or keep quiet or put yourself down, as you may come across as shy and distant.