Feel Any Of These Icks? We Have Bad News For Your Relationship

The ick, the pinnacle of all turn-offs, can only pop up so many times before the whole relationship could be out the window, according to new research.

To recap, the ick is the slang term for when you feel unsettled (to say the least) when someone you previously found attractive does something which makes your entire body uneasy. It could be a quality they have, a habit or something they say or do just once which just switches you off them altogether.

And, according to refurbishing technology app musicMagpie, you can have around five icks before most people give up on the romance completely.

On average, it also looked like men have a much lower tolerance for icks. They will only take four cringey habits before ditching a potential partner, while women are willing to take five.

MusicMagpie’s survey research based on 2,000 adults, aged between 18 and 40, collected data  between 11 and 23 January 2023.

What are the most common icks?

Focusing in on people’s technology-related repulsions – because after all, who is very separate from their phone these days? – musicMagpie seems that around 77% of respondents said they were at least slightly icked-out by the way those close to them use tech.

That includes friends and family, as well as romantic interests.

Just under a third (31%) found playing music out loud on their phone was the most repulsive technology ick, closely followed by someone using loud speaker while talking on the phone in public (29%), and looking at their phone when you are talking (27%).

A little over a fifth (21%) also don’t enjoy it when people have contacts saved under cringey nicknames, or pictures of themselves as their own lock screen (20%).

Posting videos of yourself crying – looking at you, Bella Hadid – came out on top as the worst ick for social media, with 25%.

Commenting on celebrity posts as though you are friends was second (21%) and going on live stream to tell followers something minor about your day, 20%.

What about messaging? Well, that’s another game altogether.

Poor grammar and punctuation comes out first as the worst thing you can do for 24% of respondents, while using Snapchat as the main form of communication is a close second with 23%. And taking too long to reply comes in at 18%, making it third place.

And here are the most repulsive emojis, according to musicMagpie:

  • Two hearts 💕(11%)

  • Heart suit ♥️(10%)

  • Red heart ❤️ (10%)

  • Kissing face 😘 (8%)

  • Winking face 😉 (8%)

How do you cope with an ick?

If you’ve got the ick but you’re not ready to let go just yet, you might want to think about why you’ve got this feeling.

Couples counsellor at Relationship Matters Therapy, Lyndsey Murray, explained: “People develop an ick when they feel secondhand embarrassment by someone, or when they realise someone has a trait that they would like to never see again.

“An ick can also happen when someone becomes afraid of commitment and finds a reason to no longer see the person.”

James Earl, relationship and psychosexual therapist, also said: “In my experience, being open about an ick is probably the best way to deal with it.

“Don’t forget the getting creeped out by stuff is your feeling, and the other person is not responsible for your icky response!”