10 habits guaranteed to turn off a potential partner

In the mood for romance? You may be sabotaging your chances without even knowing it.

We’ve all been there – you’re out enjoying a first date (or second, third or fourth) and all of sudden, the “ick” factor.

The person you thought you liked does something that leaves you suddenly, well, repulsed. And just like that, the attraction is gone.

But what if you’re the one unwittingly turning off a potential partner?

Here’s our lowdown on 10 common turn-offs (in no particular order) that could be jeopardising your chances of dating success.

1. You’re on the nose

“Human beings are very sensory; that’s why we don’t like things that are gross,” says psychologist Dr Marny Lishman.

“Anything that gets to your senses such as an icky smell is very primal and will make someone really pay attention.”

Make deodorant your friend.

2. There’s too much ex talk

Bringing previous partners into the conversation on the first date is also a no, says dating coach Renee Slansky.

“It can be seen as a sign you’re not over your ex,” she says.

3. That pesky criminal record

When an e-cigarette company researched what Aussies find most unattractive in a partner, having a criminal record came up tops (with being a smoker and bad breath close seconds).

4. You are a a space invader

Science has found that not only do we stress when our own personal space is invaded, we don’t like seeing it happening to others.

“We can panic quite quickly if people are being over-friendly and touchy-feely too soon,” Marny says.

5. Disrespecting the waiter

The way you treat service staff can speak volumes about your real self.

“Depending on the stages of dating, different ‘turn offs’ come up,” Renee says.

“On a first date, someone with bad manners or who is badly dressed stands out.”

6. Talking about yourself in the third person

Called illeism, and often associated with narcissistic, self-obsessed behaviour, this conversational quirk was made famous in a Seinfield episode when a guest character “Jimmy” spoke about himself in the third person.

And, Donald Trump perfected it. ’Nuf said.

7. Being over confident (or too humble)

“It’s all about striking the right balance,” says Renee.

“Confidence, but with some humbleness, is something both sexes are highly attracted to.

“Women love to be led by their male dates, while men like a woman who appreciates his effort.”

8. Having poor taste in footwear

Yup, a footwear faux pas can be enough to signal sayonara.

“Visually anything that stands out too much and doesn’t align with our own tastes can be a turn off,” Marny says.

9. Being too full on, too quickly

He or she may be oozing absolute hotness, but resist the urge to order the wedding invites (even if only in your mind) during your first date.

Coming on too strong can lead to perceptions you’re a stage five clinger, warn our experts. 

10. Being a bad communicator

“As dating progresses, turn offs become less about appearances and more about character and potential to be a partner,” Renee says.

“Someone’s inability to be consistent in texting back or following through can be a big red flag.”

So, how should you get to know someone?

“The most important thing is to be authentic – try to be real from the beginning rather than putting on a show that will peter off,” Marny advises.

“Pace yourself, look beyond just physical appearances, communicate your desires and make sure you’re dating from a place of integrity,” adds Renee.

More dating and relationships advice:

Written by Liz McGrath.