Picture this: you’ve connected with a good-looking person, and during your first few encounters, you begin experiencing rumbles of disgust and confusion. The exit door is near eyesight, and you just can’t wait to break free and away from the date. What the heck just happened?
This, my friend, is no other than the rumbles of the ick! We hear about the ick on social media and TV shows, and it’s not just millennial jargon. Man, woman, or child, we all experience the ick in various forms. Whether it’s an interior signal that triggers alarms of warning or perpetual occurrence in your relationships, we have all experienced feeling “icky” about situations and people.
When it comes to dating and relationships, the ick is a huge indicator to step away and move on. But how do we decipher whether the icks are valid reasons to end a date or even a relationship? And is the ick the person or the trait?
When we get stuck in analyzing the ick, that’s when we know we are up in the mind and in anxiety. It’s not fun to get the ick, especially if you experience relationship anxiety.
I was excited to explore the experiences of the ick with Gabrielle Bergeron and Hinge Honey (my beau!). We not only share a few of our own personal dating icks, but also how to handle icks in loving relationships.
Does our love language inform us why we get the ick? Love Languages show us how we receive love, but they also tell us about how we react to unwanted love. For example, if your love language is Words of Affirmation, and someone you’re not super into starts showering you with compliments, you’re more likely to get the ick than someone who doesn’t value Words of Affirmation as highly as you do.
If someone is giving us this love prematurely, it feels as though they are overstepping a boundary, or worse, manipulating their way into our hearts, hence THE ICK!
How to reduce “the ick” in your loving, healthy relationships
#1: Take a step back!
Always soothe your nervous system before trying to think your way out of the ick. This could be via breath, movement, the five senses, putting on your favorite music, dancing, stretching…etc whatever it is to get yourself out of the mind and back into the body, and into the present moment. The goal of connecting to the present moment is to shift you out of worrying about what it means to experience the ick or adding on a layer of shame about what it says about you.
#2: Trying to see the ick objectively instead of subjectively!
It’s OK to experience moments of turn-offs or even disgust in a loving, healthy relationship. And if we react to those moments with shame or fear, and add this extra layer of meaning that we’re in the wrong relationship or a terrible person, we are going to feel much more anxious.
#3: Use the ick to reconnect with your partner!
The ick is really a form of resistance, and resistance wins when we let it win. When resistance wins, it actually causes us to disconnect or disengage even more from the thing that we are actually trying to reconnect with. In this case, your loving partner. Use the ick as an opportunity to snuggle up or cuddle with your partner and try not to think about how you’re feeling when you do it, just do it!
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