Written by Leah Sinclair
Dating icks are on the rise, as millions take to social media to share their turn-offs. But how do you get passed an ‘ick’ for someone you really like? One expert tells us how.
Picture this: you’re dating someone who you are 100% into. The conversation between you both flows like water. Your goals and aspirations perfectly align with one another. And you want to jump on them every time you see them. Basically, things are going as smoothly as they possibly could.
But then they do something you don’t like. Maybe they have really bad taste in footwear and constantly wear those ugly shoes you don’t like. Or you begin to spend more time with each other at home and you start to notice their lazy habits that you didn’t see in the early stages of your dating journey.
Then suddenly, you begin to feel that familiar pit in your stomach. Incessant thoughts start to circle in your mind and the way you used to look at them suddenly begins to change. That feeling, ladies and gentlemen, is the ick.
An ick is most commonly known as something that’s a turn-off in a romantic interest and is a term that is increasingly popular, particularly on social media.
The term has seen hundreds of thousands take to the internet to share their icks when it comes to potential partners, ranging from the banal to massive red flags – but more and more bizarre icks are being revealed on social media each day, and it’s having an impact on our dating lives.
According to dating app Badoo, over three-quarters of single people (77%) are seeing more ick-related content online and, as a result, 75% are picking up more icks that they wouldn’t have even considered before.
But despite this, 88% of people would advise their friends to push past an ick if it was something unimportant.
But is it really worth pushing past the ick phase? Well, dating and relationship expert Sarah Louise Ryan suggests there are occasions where the ick can be a temporary blockage to a budding relationship as opposed to something you should totally avoid.
“Social media is such an influence in our day-to-day lives – shaping how we think, feel and even make decisions,” says Ryan.
“When it comes to dating, it plays a major role here, too. We’re seeing more and more ick-related content trending online and this is clearly having a direct impact on how singles approach a new relationship – as they try to navigate whether what they’re feeling is genuine, or enforced by something they’ve been encouraged to believe is an ick.
“It’s time we cut the pressure and focus on what’s important, which is ultimately the best way to enjoy dating.”
So for those who want to get past an ick, how do they do it?
Ryan says the first step is to consider what is important to you. “If you start to feel things that make you feel ‘icky’ about the person you’re dating then consider if that ick is superficial,” she says. “If it’s something fickle such as the shoes they wear, remember we are compatible with people based on both similarities and differences, so try to embrace them as opposed to being put off by them.”
Ryan adds that shifting your mindset is another way to get over an ick, especially as we can be influenced by others.“It’s hard to not be influenced by others, and by what you see on social media, but if you want to create a positive dating journey you have to focus on what you want and ignore the icks you know you don’t relate to – you’ll end up building a more joyful and positive experience this way.
Taking ownership of your dating journey by focusing on the connection you feel is another thing Ryan advises. “When we say ‘I’ve got the ick’, we say it as if we can’t control it.Instead, try to take ownership and really think about how you feel – regardless of the ick. If you still don’t feel a connection, it could be best you part ways. But if something’s there, it’s worth trying to push past any ick.”
Lastly, and arguably most importantly, work out what’s causing the ick. “A way to overcome getting the ick time and time again is to think hard about what’s causing it,” she says.
“If it’s the same scenario and set of circumstances making you feel icky, then maybe there’s more to it than what’s on the surface. Perhaps it’s something deeper like getting clear on what’s hurt you in the past so you can acknowledge, deal and heal, to create a more positive and successful dating journey.”
Now, moving past an ick isn’t always a necessity. After all, some can be deeply linked to your personal boundaries, beliefs and preferences – and no one can tell you there is anything wrong with that.
But if you do find yourself dating someone you connect with and want to move past an ick or two, thinking deeply about where it comes from and what it is you really want from a partner is key.
After all, wearing an ugly top is something you might be able to get past (or not). But failing to ask you questions or make you feel emotionally safe is definitely not something to ignore – and it’s important to highlight that icks aren’t flippant preferences just to share on social media timelines for likes and retweets.
Some are deeply entrenched in what we want, deserve and desire – and it’s important to differentiate between the two to help carve out the dating experience you want.
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