This is why girls get ‘the ick’, the gut feeling where you’re suddenly put off by the person you’re dating
Once you’ve caught it you can’t go back
I’d been dating a guy for a few weeks and everything was perfect. He was funny, hot, clever and I really liked him. But suddenly everything changed. His compliments that used to make me blush, suddenly seemed intrusive and creepy. I’d cringe when he touched me and the idea of sleeping with him sent me into a dark hole. I guiltily tried to ignore it, but it was too late. I’d caught the ick and couldn’t shake it off.
If you’ve ever ended a relationship in its early stages, you’ll be familiar with the ick. It’s that cringe-inducing gut feeling that emerges when you’re dating someone — a sudden repulsion that you can’t shake off.
It normally emerges in the early stages of relationships, but can strike at any time. My friend caught it after three years with her boyfriend. “All of a sudden tiny little things like sending too many kisses after texts or even trying to constantly hold my hand started to really irritate me,” she said. “From then it snowballed and literally everything he did or said pissed me off. I felt awful because I couldn’t pinpoint actually why those things were annoying me. I tried to ignore it, because things had been so great before, but I was so put off I couldn’t have sex with him, and eventually we broke up. Now I know that once I’ve got the ick, that’s it.”
But why do we get the ick? Is it a gut instinct we should trust or a momentary panic we should push past? babe spoke to consultant clinical psychologist Emma Citron to find out more.
Why do we get the ick?
During all relationships at some stage there are moments of distain or even revulsion for certain habits that even loved ones engage in.
Is there a common time frame in which people normally catch it?
If the ick occurs after a few dates with a previous stranger, it’s usually a sign that they are perhaps not the person you thought they were.
'The ick' is the most relatable thing I've ever heard in my life #LoveIsland
— Amy Inns (@amy_inns) June 20, 2017
Is it the other person’s fault, or is it something personal to you?
If they are harsh with serving staff at a cafe or are even fleetingly dismissive, these are clues to an aspect of their underlying nature that you may not like or choose to live with. I think a small number of small moments of this gut feeling is fine, but if the behavior feels more significant, such as a display of rigid traits and Inflexibility, then follow our instinct and don’t stick around the relationship.
On the other hand, if you catch the person cleaning their ear or chewing the side of their cheek and you find this off putting, try not to be too judgmental either. We all do these things and one needs to work on tolerance of others and their humanity.
I catch the ick so easily it's so problematic
— Tasmin (@TasminSandford) June 29, 2017
An ick is a gut feeling, but is it one you should trust or something unnecessary you should move on from?
If it’s something minor, it’s worth pushing through. However, if you are beginning to find a person you are dating unappealing in whatever way, it’s best to end the relationship as it is hard to fake attraction to another or switch it on.
Preferences for others are bespoke and personal and ultimately one has to want to spend time with another and not feel repulsed by them in whatever way. Good luck and make balanced choices in relationships as with everything else.
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