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Do You Have 'The Ick' Or Do You Have Commitment Issues? An Expert Weighs In

Do You Have 'The Ick' Or Do You Have Commitment Issues? An Expert Weighs In

We're asking the real questions.

Ever since the phenomenon took off last year, the people of the internet have kept us wildly entertained by listing out the most bizarre things that have given them the dreaded 'ick' in relationships.

Of course, often times our 'icks' can be a genuine gut signal that something isn't right, but when we're catching the 'ick' for every person we date is there a chance that something darker could be at play?

After 'catching the ick' one too many times, people are starting to wonder if they actually have commitment issues.

Exhibit A:

To shed some light on the 'ick', certified Love, Relationship & Sexuality Coach Emma Spiegler from Zoe Clews & Associates spoke to Tyla.

While she noted that often times 'icks' can be genuine signs that something isn't right, you might have to take a good look at yourself in the mirror if it's happening on a regular basis.

"If you are a serial 'ick'-er then it’s time to take responsibility and acknowledge that the common denominator here is you. 


Our subconscious minds are our ‘Inner Protectors’ and they have very powerful and sophisticated defence mechanisms.

"What can manifest & appear consciously as an ‘ick’ can actually be a very potent protection against intimacy. Intimacy is always a risk. It’s a worth-it-risk, but still a risk."

She continued: "If you’ve had your heart broken badly in previous relationships, been lied to, betrayed or had unhelpful modelling around relationships as a child, your subconscious mind will likely be protecting your heart with a pitchfork and that is certainly worth exploring."


However, Emma added that harbouring commitment issues isn't the only cause of the dreaded 'ick'.

"Sometimes it’s the inner sat nav of your intuition saying ‘this isn’t for you’", she said. "We can only have chemistry with so many people."

To get to the bottom of this, you're going to need to look inward and unpack your icks.

Emma says: "It's important to be curious about why we get the 'ick'. Would that same act give you the 'ick' if it was your friend? Is the 'ick' reminding you of someone that hurt you in the past? Have your feelings suddenly and dramatically changed just because they had their hair cut or turned up once in dubious footwear? Is the 'ick' because you are used to the high cocktail of emotions that come with drama and that someone who appears to be ‘boring’ is actually a great relationship choice?"


So, what if you do all the inner work and all signs really do point to commitment issues?

Emma tells Tyla: "If you find yourself 'ick'-ed out by everyone apart from unavailable people or bad boy / bad girl archetypes, then it’s likely a sign that there are love avoidance issues that need to be addressed.

"One of the ways of doing this is by simply taking things slowly. When we take things slowly our subconscious mind is less likely to activate the jackboot of shutting down all positive feelings."

She added: "It can also be helpful to do a deeper dive to look at why the ‘ick-defence mechanism’ is so strong in you, the subconscious is like a storehouse and it holds on to all the hurts and betrayals and unhelpful messages about love that you may have received & then works furiously to protect your heart from anything similar.

"Working with a Relationship Coach or Therapist can be a really helpful way of letting these go and updating the script that it’s safe for you to love and be loved by someone great."

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@lucinda/ITV

Topics: Sex and Relationships