Home Family & Relationship The Psychology Behind the ‘Ick’, New Survey Reveals

The Psychology Behind the ‘Ick’, New Survey Reveals

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The modern dating world is already on par with a real-life version of The Hunger Games, and getting ‘the ick’ is the latest dating phenomenon that can halt any blossoming relationship quickly.

So with this in mind, lovehoney has surveyed 2,083 Brits to break down exactly what people are looking for (and looking to avoid) to make it that bit easier for everyone when they embark on the journey of finding the one or the next one.

The UK’s biggest ‘icks’

When asked exactly what gives people the ‘ick’, it was revealed that the most common ‘icks’ are poor personal hygiene (55%), doing drugs (46%), and having bad manners (37%).

It was also found that while the UK’s ‘icks’ are fairly unanimous, drinking a lot of alcohol (25%), being prominent on social media (6%), and replying to messages quickly (2%), were all flagged as giving people the ‘ick’.

The UK’s biggest turn-ons

In addition to the biggest ‘icks’, Lovehoney also asked what traits Brits find the most appealing in a potential partner, and it was found that good hygiene (63%), being respectful (48%) and having good manners (43%) are Brits’ biggest turn-ons.

When comparing what turns men on vs women, it was found that 37% of men a turned on by open-mindedness in the bedroom, compared to only 15% of women.

Almost half of the British women have ended a relationship due to getting the ‘ick

When you get ‘the ick’, it’s often followed by a pit in your stomach; as you know, this romance is hitting the rocks, but does that mean it’s the end? Unfortunately, for women, it often does.

The study found that almost half of female respondents (43%) admitted to ending a relationship due to getting the ick, and 60% said that they’d never come back from ‘the ick’. So, unfortunately, for anyone in a relationship with a woman who’s gotten ‘the ick’, this means almost certain relationship death. 

The psychology behind the ‘ick

To get the low-down on why we get ‘the ick’ and whether it does mean the end of a relationship, we’ve spoken to sex and relationship expert Ness Cooper; he said: ‘When we get ‘the ick’, it’s something that challenges our internal belief systems that have often been put into place a long time ago from upbringing and social influences.’

‘Unfortunately, this also makes it pretty hard to move past. While our focuses are changing in the relationship, we also notice the differences in feel-good hormones that start to wane after the initial honeymoon period. The ick can put us off performing our normal relationship routines and activities that make us feel connected.’

Challenging the ‘ick

Ness’s insight gives understanding as to why ‘the ick’ can make an appearance in relationships; we’ve asked her also to share some advice on how we can look to come back from it and continue to build a healthy relationship.

  • Challenge our internal belief systems This can be hard to do due to the fear of losing part of our identity and the relationship.
  • Make sure to connect Connecting in ways that make you feel good is essential. It can be off-putting if you have the ‘ick’, but this is essential if you’re dead-set on maintaining the relationships.
  • Communicate effectively Sometimes, the ‘ick’ can simply be a miscommunication of love languages, so speak to your partner about their love language to ensure you understand what speaks to each other’s hearts.
  • Know when to move on Sometimes, if you’re feeling put off, it’s not the ‘ick’ and is a gut reaction to something bigger. It may be that the relationship isn’t right for you.

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