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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

I think we can all agree that dating has been kind of a nightmare in recent years. Between dating apps, ghosting, and Snapchat scores, trying to find and keep “the one” has become pretty tricky. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “love conquers all,” but can it conquer “the ick?”

What Is The Ick?

“The ick” has been a popular topic on Instagram and TikTok, but you may be wondering what it is. The ick is when your attraction for someone suddenly turns into disgust for that person. One moment you’re lovey-dovey, sipping slushies with two straws, then BAM, ick. You thought this person was everything you were looking for! So why, when you’re so into them, did you get “the ick?”

What Can Cause the Ick?

This quick flip of emotions can be caused by many triggers like how a person chews, sneezes, or stands. The ick can also be triggered by red flags like how they treat the waiter or how they talk to their mom. That feeling of disgust can also come from a lack of attention or support from your significant other, especially during a hard time.

Do you really want to be with the person who talks on their phone the whole time you’re on a date? Or the person who never lets you get a word in the conversation? You deserve better than that! Many times, these feelings of disgust are justified and your brain’s way of keeping you away from possible heartbreak. But what about the times when the ick can’t really be explained?

Why Do I Feel An Unexplainable Ick?

I’ve seen someone get the ick just by how a person falls to the floor. And that got me thinking, what are some icks people have but can’t explain?

  • Not knowing the difference between “there,” “their,” and “they’re”
  • Putting their hands up on a roller coaster
  • Clapping after their plane lands
  • How they put on a jacket
  • Sitting cross-legged
  • Eating spaghetti and having orange stains around their mouth

Twitter has been pretty vocal about their icks, which is where many of these came from. Some, I could agree with and just couldn’t explain why. It inspired me to make my own ick-list:

  • Saying my name with an attitude
  • Pursing their lips when concentrating
  • Squinting to read food labels (I do it too…yeah, I can’t explain it)
  • Wearing rugby shirts
  • Not brushing their teeth first thing in the morning
  • Pouting and using baby voice (the ick is at 100%)

I learned from my past mistakes and can recognize a red flag (now), but I didn’t have an ick-list until after I searched for common ones. This brings me to my next question: how do we get over the ick?

Will An Ick Make Or Break My Relationship?

I, like many others, have learned to look past red flags and icks simply because I want to be with that special person. It’s possible that love can conquer the ick, but it’s also important not to sacrifice your personal happiness just to be nice or because you feel bad.

When you think about those quirks that may have you searching for the vomit emoji, try thinking of these questions:

  • Can I stand to live with this person for five years?
  • Will this person’s behavior affect me negatively in the long run?
  • Could I bring them around my friends or family without feeling worried or embarrassed?
  • Does the love outweigh the ick?

You don’t have to cut someone off immediately after feeling the ick. Remember communication is gold and it’s better to call out a behavior early, either to yourself or your partner, rather than later.  

Taiz Yamillette "Yami" Garcia is an English major – Creative Writing Track with a Technical Communications minor at the University of Central Florida. She enjoys reading fiction, fantasy, and romance novels. Yami is a creative through and through with a passion for language! Her goals are to become an editor, ghost writer, and published author!