10 Common Relationship Icks And How to Deal With Them
Let’s say you’re in a relationship and everything’s going great. You’re completely infatuated with your partner, you’ve even started to envision your life together. Hours later, things take a turn. You can’t seem to look at them without feeling put off and you recoil at the thought of them touching you. Sounds like you’ve come down with a serious case of the relationship icks.
What is the ick in a relationship?
What exactly is this phenomenon that makes people go from lusting over their partner to repulsed? Dating expert Hayley Quinn describes the ick as “a dating term that means you get a sudden cringe feeling when you have romantic contact with someone and become almost immediately put off by them.”
The term was coined in the third season of the dating reality show, “Love Island,” when Olivia Attwood was “coupled up” with Sam Gowland and suddenly became repulsed by him. More recently, it gained notoriety on Tik Tok, where people started sharing their most ridiculous turn-offs.
While anything can cause the ick, here are 10 common offenders.
10 Relationship Icks You May Never Come Back From
1. Loud Chewing
Listening to someone chew or watching them do it with their mouth open is a common pet peeve. The sight of mashed-up food and audible chomping is enough to make most people’s skin crawl. If you do this on a date, you better enjoy it — it may be your last.
2. Poor Hygiene
If you’re going on a date, brush your teeth, use some deodorant and please ditch the 3-in-one. Bad hygiene is a universal turn off and if you’re a culprit of it, you’re bound to give the ick.
3. Gym Selfies
Before you post that flexed bicep mirror selfie, take a moment to consider that no one cares about your #gains. Sweaty post-gym ‘grams are a common ick so if you find yourself itching to post one, check out our recommendations for other poses instead.
4. This Emoji: 😂
The crying of laughter emoji had its moment back in 2014. If you’re texting with a partner or someone you’re interested in, steer clear of this emoji. If used unironically, it can set you back a few steps.
5. Bad Manners And Rudeness
There’s nothing more off-putting than watching someone be rude to a stranger. Acting like you’re above retail workers or servers is a huge turn-off, so make sure you’re treating everyone with respect. On a date, saying please and thank you can go a long way.
6. Bucket Hats
While the summer heat may inspire you to seek some shade under the brim of a bucket hat, try to resist the urge. These are difficult to pull off and usually result in an immediate and powerful ick.
7. Muscle Tanks
8. An Excessive Social Media Presence
Capturing every moment of a concert on your Instagram story or taking dozens of pictures every time you’re out is unnecessary and annoying. Try to live in the moment and avoid being a perpetrator of this pet peeve. You and your followers will thank us later.
Nobody likes listening to others brag, especially when it’s about money or other material things. If you’re that great, show don’t tell — your partner will notice on their own.
10. A Dirty Bedroom
If someone seems into you all night but tries to leave as soon as you bring them home, take this as a red flag. They were probably interested but caught the ick when they saw that your room is filled with dirty dishes and old laundry. Avoid this situation by keeping your room tidy, especially if you’re planning to have someone over.
You’ve Caught The Ick, Now What?
The ick is a full-body experience and it’s natural to feel confused when it happens to you. Luckily, we have three ways to deal with the sensation.
1. Look on the Bright Side
If you’ve been dating someone for a while, a bucket hat or a muscle tank shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. If your partner is on the verge of giving you the ick, let them know. It’s better to talk about your pet peeves than let them ruin your relationship.
2. Take it As a Sign
As frustrating as they are, relationship icks can serve a positive purpose. By acting as a sign that you aren’t compatible with someone, the ick can help you get out of an existing or potential relationship before you waste more time.
3. Let them Down Gently
If you can’t get over the ick in a relationship, it’s time to let that person go. Sometimes you may be turned off to the point where you consider ghosting them. But, it’s important to let them down gently and address the situation head-on.
For insight on more serious relationship issues, check out our article on relationship pet peeves that are actually red flags.