Imagine you meet the man of your dreams. He’s kind, smart, funny, and handsome. He ticks off every proverbial box in your checklist. But after a few blissful weeks together, he does something seemingly innocent that completely puts you off of him forever— Maybe his umbrella turned inside out while he was holding it, or perhaps he screamed during a rollercoaster ride. Whatever it was, it made you feel sick— And just like that, he went from completely desirable to totally repulsive. This phenomenon is what the Internet has dubbed the “ick”.
While turn-offs are generally universal (for instance, someone who is rude to staff), an “ick” is usually something that is totally normal that almost every human does, but for one reason or another completely repulses you.
Unlike turn-offs, an “ick” is never rational, logical, or even a relationship-ender (such as infidelity or abuse) for that matter. Rather, it’s an innocuous thing that disgusts you when someone you like does it— One particularly savage Twitter user took to the social media app to share that the sight of her boyfriend’s flailing body after they got into a car accident was enough to make her never want to speak to him again.
The term itself was popularized by former Love Island contestant Olivia Attwood who used the phrase to describe her relationship in 2017. “When you’ve seen a boy, and got the ick, it doesn’t go,” she said commenting on her relationship with Sam Gowland. “It’s caught you, and it’s taken over your body. It’s just ick. I can’t shake it off.”
So what causes this sudden repulsion? Some psychologists describe the “ick” as a sort of defense-mechanism for those that have a fear of commitment or rejection, so sometimes it’s helpful to ask yourself if you’re getting the “ick” because you’re engaging in self-sabotage and undermining your chances of a successful relationship.
Or maybe, deep down, you’re not feeling the relationship and are subconsciously looking for any kind of trigger to end things or move on, no matter how insignificant it is; because the reality is, if you lose interest in someone over something so trivial, your romantic feelings probably weren’t that strong to begin with.
Another explanation by those who study human behavior is that the “ick” is sometimes just a gut feeling, and so even if it seems illogical, chances are that you should trust your intuition.
Whatever the case may be, no one is completely safe from catching the “ick”. Below, Mille asked eight young Arabs to share their most ridiculous and oddly-specific turn-offs with us.
Men with lint on their clothing make me sick. It makes them look terribly unkempt and gives me the absolute ick.
My biggest ick was when I dated a guy who wanted to be a fashion designer but his clothes were ugly and I had to pretend to like them. Then he broke up with me because he got jealous after I got a feature in a magazine for my work.
This one is super weird, but when a girl calls me “daddy” it gives me the ick. Like, I’m 31 chill.
A certain famous guy that practically every girl is obsessed with came over to my house once and when he took off his shoes he was wearing ballerina socks. Ankle socks and “no-show” socks on men are a massive ick for me.
I dated this guy for a while and one day we went to the grocery store together and after we checked out he took the receipt to double check if everything was correct. Just let me die.
I get super turned off when I go into a girl’s bathroom and her toiletries, like toothpaste and hand soap, are literally on their last breath. I can’t look at a girl the same after that. Stock up on your hygiene products!
There’s loads, but these are just from the top of my head: When he’s picky with food; When he uses a baby voice; When he walks in front of you- like while letting you walk alone (big ick); When he posts selfies or even takes social media seriously; When he has a preference and mentions it like “I only date skinny girls”; Dancing seriously in a club; Looking at the receipt after paying for something; Complaining about the price of things; Floppy hats and skinny scarves; Calling me baby; Going to beach clubs; Uses any of these emojis ; Not paying for things; Follows anyone who isn’t following him (bonus ick for commenting on famous people or influencer’s posts); If he drinks Diet Coke.
He picked me up once, and when we reached our destination I saw his butt crack as he was getting out of the car. I legit never recovered.