It doesn't take a team of researchers to figure out that women are sometimes frustrated with their partner's behaviour, but it's surprising that not a single candidate questioned in a recent survey was completely content with her man.
The British study collated the views of 2000 heterosexual women and found that they believed their partners to be, on average, only 69 per cent "perfect". Of the 20 areas for potential improvement cited in the survey, respondents were especially upset about three: a man's failure to get along with her family, using her toothbrush on the sly and leaving the toilet in a mess.
Commissioned by shaver manufacturer Remington in a fairly naked bid to sell more product - two of the survey's suggested male failings centred on shaving: a "big bushy beard" and "unkempt facial hair" - it does nevertheless provide an intriguing glimpse into female domestic priorities. Contrary to conventional wisdom, "not helping with the cooking" was nominated by women as the least annoying of bad male behaviours but "hating her friends" - that's a top-five dealbreaker.
"It seems women are quite realistic on what they look for from their partner," said Remington's marketing director Nikki McReynolds. "While they might happily overlook a few common flaws, there are certain behaviours that men just won't get away with."
On a positive note, slobby but kind-hearted blokes with a good sense of humour are quite likely to make a woman happy despite their toiletry bag's shortcomings. Thirty-five per cent of respondents nominated character as the most important quality in a mate, while the ability to tickle a funny bone came in second at 25 per cent. But, if all else fails, with a Remington-approved grooming schedule, men can at least achieve an ideal look.
"It's clear that while guys may not be completely perfect, there are plenty of things they can be perfect in, in order to please their partner," added McReynolds. "As long as guys take the time to look after themselves, be attentive and keep up appearances then their partner will be willing to overlook the smaller pet peeves."
When it comes to celebrities, David Beckham topped the list of notables, handily reinforcing the emphasis on good grooming. But, if Gordon Ramsay's spot at the bottom of the poll is an accurate indicator, a clean shave is no compensation for a foul mouth. Regular guys needn't worry though; the path to perfection is simple. Leave your partner's toothbrush alone, be toilet tidy and make an effort with the in-laws.
As McReynolds sagely notes: "The average guy may not be able to compete with the image of a David Beckham, and their partners don't expect them to - but there are still a number of small changes they can do to make a big difference."
THE 20 MOST IRRITATING BEHAVIOURS
1. Not getting on with her family
2. Using her toothbrush
3. Leaving the toilet dirty
4. Hating her friends
5. Not being good with children
6. Being lazy
7. Having a big bushy beard that you never shave
8. Leaving nail clippings out
9. Driving like a boy racer
10. Being grumpy
11. Being a mummy's boy
12. Using the toilet with the door open
13. Leaving dirty washing on the floor
14. Unkempt facial hair
15. Criticising her driving
16. Burping or farting
17. Not liking dogs
18. Not helping with washing up
19. Watching too much sport
20. Not helping with the cooking
What's your biggest pet peeve?
-Sydney Morning Herald
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