It’s Sunday, so it must be silly goo Ranking time! This time we look at what behaviour people can (or would, or did) put up with from a partner when they are going out together, but want them to stop doing once they marry, for both men putting up with women and women putting up with men.


Between the 21st and 25th of May 2009 1,082 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 51.4% of the sample were male, 7.3% were in their teens, 16.0% in their twenties, 28.1% in their thirties, 27.9% in their forties, 10.8% in their fifties, and 9.9% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample. Note that this survey was for the 556 men only.

Call me old-fashioned, but being unfaithful or staying out overnight without letting me know is a great big sign, regardless of how wonderful she might be with me, that things aren’t going to last, and hoping that she’ll stop is just fulling myself.

This reminds me of a survey from two years ago on marriage deal-breakers that you might want to cross-reference with!

Ranking result

Q: What behaviour can you put up with from your girlfriend, but want them to quit if you marry? (Sample size=556, male)

Rank   Score
1 Staying out overnight without telling me 100
2 Not doing housework 87.3
3 Being unfaithful 86.9
4 Wasting money, impulse buying 82.6
5 Only listening to what her parents say 82.6
6 Being out of touch 58.1
7 Differences in values 55.9
8 Not working 51.7
9 Keeping me on a short leash 49.2
10= Poor table manners 44.5
10= Not tidying up her own things 44.5
12 Going out to eat as a couple with other guys 44.1
13 Being too wrapped up in, spending too much on her hobbies 42.4
14 Her moaning when I work late 36.4
15 Sneaking a peek at my mobile phone 31.8
16 Not worrying about her appearance 30.5
17 Eating, drinking too much 28.4
18 Not talking much 25.8
19 Not getting up in the morning 18.6
20 Loving her pet more than me 17.8

Q: What behaviour can you put up with from your boyfriend, but want them to quit if you marry? (Sample size=526, female)

Rank   Score
1 Not working 100
2 Staying out overnight without telling me 91.5
3 Only listening to what his parents say 80.2
4 Being unfaithful 76.8
5 Wasting money, impulse buying 70.9
6 Being out of touch 61.9
7 Differences in values 61.3
8 Being too wrapped up in, spending too much on his hobbies 59.6
9 Poor table manners 45.2
10 Keeping me on a short leash 44.4
11 Going out to eat as a couple with other girls 41.5
12 Not doing housework 39.8
13 Not worrying about his appearance 34.7
14 Not tidying up his own things 33.1
15 Him moaning when I work late 32.5
16 Sneaking a peek at my mobile phone 31.9
17 Not talking much 29.7
18 Eating, drinking too much 27.7
19 His smell of old age 20.1
20 Forgetting things, losing things 19.2


Liv · July 20, 2009 at 02:21

His smell of old age?

“All right now, Kazu – that old man smell might have turned me on when we were dating but now I expect you to smell your age.”

    Ian · June 13, 2011 at 06:33

    ummm…. you smell old ? i can see acting old etc.. what exactly is the “old age smell” ben-gay or some other type of anti-arthritis med. elderly seem to stereotypically use ?
    it would seem there is a somewhat generally census of opinion here.

umebossy · July 20, 2009 at 09:08

Haha yeah that was the one that got me too… how can you change the way you smell? My gaijin nose is obviously not trained to pick up on kareishuu as my husband complains that he smells like that now but I can’t discern any change… and when I was out for dinner with a group of friends they were all talking about how bad it is now they’re in their 30s – it’s obviously a big concern!

CogDis · July 20, 2009 at 11:53

About the ‘his smell of old age’ thing:

I don’t know – I think it has to be something you can actually quit in life. I don’t know if you can just quit smelling(?!) old.

Perhaps it’s something one does *to* smell old – like mothballs or using that certain hair tonic or an aftershave that’s more typical for an older gentleman.

Made in DNA · July 20, 2009 at 17:28

“Smell of old age” is KAREISHU (加齢臭). Something we don’t really talk about in the West but the Japanese do, it is a reference to “old person’s smell”. You know… that heavy, “odd” smell at a old folks’ home–that’s KAREISHU.

Ken Y-N · July 21, 2009 at 00:13

I’m wondering if the “smell of old age” is either figurative, as in being a premature old fogey, or if it refers also to the smell of some salarymen due to too much beer, ciggies and coffee and too little dental hygene?

umebossy · July 21, 2009 at 08:46

I did a bit of reading about it yesterday after talking to my husband (who SWEARS that he “is kareishu” now) and found this…加齢臭 – apparently it’s caused by a fatty acid called nonenol. But also that the company LiOn claim that the 30s version of the smell is caused by something different. Either way, I’m still not able to detect it!

I still don’t know why someone would put up with someone they think whiffs a bit (whether from kareishu or salaryman stink) while dating but suddenly expect that to change when they got married… maybe they think that living together they’d be able to influence bathing/hygiene habits a bit more?

mike · August 20, 2009 at 01:14

Pretty much the same things here in my country.

Cleo · January 16, 2011 at 04:41

Wow. Being unfaithful is something they have to change before marriage? Really? You’re going to have to commingle dandruff and breathe each other’s farts. It’s kind of a no brainer in an economically stable life to NOT get married at all unless True Love makes you “love’s bitch” as Joss Whedon wrote for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There are just so many mucusy gross things about human bodies cohabitting that it’s a wonder we don’t all live in one person pods all over the world.

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