From the Obnoxious Flex to Conversation Killers: 9 Editors Share Their Biggest Dating Icks

Ah, the ick. Whether it’s your first date or your tenth year of marriage, “the ick” can creep up at any time. While the ick can be fleeting, it can also be the relationship dealbreaker. Maybe they don’t like hummus or their taste in music is atrocious. Or worse, they can’t stop gabbing about NFTs and are stingy tippers. We asked nine PureWow editors about their biggest dating icks. From fact-checking to indecisiveness and pompous flexing, these are the things that are major turn-offs.

What Is ‘The Ick’ (& Once You Get It, Is the Relationship Over)?

1. Fact-Checking

"If someone says something you've never heard before and you don't believe it...just lie and pretend you do! Googling on the spot for the sake of proving someone wrong isn't cute,” says Senior Food Editor Katherine Gillen. There’s a time and place for getting your facts straight, but on a date isn’t one of them. Honestly, making someone feel embarrassed is hardly the paragon of flattery.

2. Speaking on Your Date’s Behalf

“I hate when people order for me or speak for me in general. Do not ‘she will have’ me. I am an adult woman who can speak for herself. I’ll let you know what I will have,” shares Fashion Editor Abby Hepworth. Unless your date specifically asks you to be their spokesperson in a situation, let them handle it.

3. Indecisiveness

Another thing Hepworth can’t stand? Indecisiveness. Sometimes, it feels like we’re stepping on toes when we assert our opinion—but oftentimes, it’s actually helpful and welcomed. “I get really frustrated when you’re trying to choose between two things—restaurants to eat at, movies to watch, types of cuisine to eat—and you ask the other person and they say, ‘I don’t care.’ Presumably I don’t either, which is why I offered it to you. Just pick one. It clearly doesn’t matter to either of us, I just want you to pick.”

4. Only Talks About Themselves

One thing Editorial Assistant Delia Curtis and I agree on is that people who can only talk about themselves are exhausting. “I strongly dislike it when people don’t know how to balance a conversation. If you’re talking more than 50 percent of the time about yourself AND don’t ask questions about me, that’s a red flag,” Curtis says. “A first date should be equal parts sharing about yourself and asking questions about the other person—and then letting them answer the question. I know people get nervous on date, but here’s a reminder to check in on your talking habits.” Because the last thing you want is for your date to feel like they’re interviewing you for a juicy exposé that they’ll later publish on the internet. (And to be honest, if they’re a writer, you’re fair game.)

5. Assaults You with Questions

Commerce Editor Liv Kappler says a major turn-off is a person who unleashes a barrage of questions. “I haven't dated in a good while, but my husband and I went on a double date with my friend in Chicago and her new boyfriend, and we were getting so irritated because every small anecdote or story or fun fact about ourselves resulted in an endless questioning session from him,” she shares. “My husband would say ‘Yeah, I love my new job here, where I was at in Texas just wasn't a good fit for me,’ and he would go ‘Why wasn't it a good fit? Are you sure it wasn't you and not the job you were at?’ and we were like dude, WTF.”

6. They Don’t Know How to Be Quiet

Some people are hard to make conversation with. I’ve been in conversations where I was making the effort to ask questions and be curious, only to be met with monosyllabic answers and no queries about my own life in return. I’m sure that is one of the hells on earth. On the other hand, Senior Editor Dana Dickey can’t stand people who just can’t stop talking—whether it’s about themselves or any topic that comes their way. “I don’t like it when someone is prattling on with questions that performatively show how ‘present’ they are or riffing endlessly about any topic. I’m like, ‘hey, take a breath. We are all friends here; can you deal with a couple minutes of silence?’”

7. Too Personal Too Fast

“I think my biggest one is asking wildly inappropriate and personal questions on the first date,” says Associate Entertainment Editor Nakeisha Campbell. “Asking for details about past relationships and my sex life is not okay.”

8. Asking, ‘How Are You Single?’

Maybe it’s meant to be a compliment, but Assistant Commerce Editor Destinee Scott believes it’s better left unsaid. “I think it's passive aggressive when someone asks or says something like ‘how are you single?’ At first glance, it may seem flattering, but it really implies that it's not by choice and really comes off as ‘something's gotta be wrong for you to be single.’ Also there's nothing wrong with being single!”

9. The Nauseating Flex

Good impressions are paramount, but don’t go overboard or they’ll have the exact opposite effect. According to Assistant Editor Steph Meraz, flaunting status, wealth and success is a big no-no. “I once went on a date with someone in NYC who happened to own a lot of bars/restaurants/cafes. (A fact I didn’t know beforehand.) Plot twist, the cafe he asked me to meet at was his cafe, and it was only when he went behind the counter to get my coffee did I start to wonder who he was,” she recounts. “Then he proceeded to test my coffee tasting knowledge by asking me what I tasted (Nutty? Chocolatey?), finally talking about how he started the cafe and so on. When I thought the date was over, he asked me if I wanted to see his new restaurant under construction. While I was impressed by his drive and success, I couldn’t help but feel like this is his MO—his way to impress girls. And it did not work on me. At the end of the day, humility is far more attractive than pompous flexing.”

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Marissa Wu

Associate SEO Editor

I’ve covered the lifestyle space for the last three years after majoring in journalism (and minoring in French) at Boston University. Talk to me about all things sustainable &...
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