What exactly is the ‘ick’ in relationships? The ick is a pop psychology phrase that refers to losing romantic or sexual interest in someone you were once attracted to. It can present itself as mild or strong disgust towards another person and cause you to want to leave the relationship completely.
Sometimes the feeling is completely justifiable and it’s time to say goodbye. According to VeryWellMind, it’s a negative feeling that comes up and it is not in the form of doubts but a visceral reaction to a habit, behaviour pattern or personality trait.
Once we get this feeling, it makes us feel unpleasant towards the other and we start withdrawing from such relationships.
“Because it is more of a reaction, the ick can happen quickly and may catch you off guard, where if you are having doubts in the relationship the issues can feel like they have been lingering for a while,” said Leanna Stockard, who is a therapist at LifeStance Health.
Stockard said that the ‘ick’ can happen at any point in the relationship from day one to after years of marriage.
Why do we get the Ick in relationships?
According to therapist, Amber Trueblood this usually happens when we see a yellow or red flag in our partner. Red flags include verbal, emotional and physical abuse or if your close friends or family members share concerns or confusion about your relationship then it’s time to trust the ‘ick’ feeling.
“I cannot emphasize enough that it is imperative to listen to your gut feelings when abusive behaviours begin to show to prevent us from falling into manipulation techniques, which can be more difficult to leave long term,” says Stockard.
One way of coping psychological when you drift apart is to start to view your partner less favourably. This can make it easier to extricate yourself from the relationship that is headed nowhere.
“Listening to your body and your feelings is an important component in understanding yourself and your needs. [Getting the ick] means that some deeper analysis will be well worth the time and effort.”
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