Dating can be a thrilling and enjoyable experience, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges. One of those challenges is encountering the infamous "ick." Over the years I’ve helped many singles get to grips with what it is and many new couples navigate feelings of doubt and uncertainty as they begin to form foundations.
The "ick" is described as that gut feeling of discomfort or unease that can arise when you're dating someone and suddenly find yourself turned off by something they do or say. It's a common experience, but it doesn't have to spell the end of a potential relationship. In this blog, we'll explore five ways to overcome the "ick" when dating and navigate these moments with grace and empathy.
Self-reflection is Key
Before jumping to conclusions about your date, take some time for self-reflection. Ask yourself why you're feeling the "ick." Is it something the other person did or said, or is it a reflection of your own insecurities or past experiences? Sometimes, the "ick" can be triggered by our own fears and biases rather than any fault of the other person.
By understanding your own feelings and motivations, you can gain clarity on whether your discomfort is justified or if it's an opportunity for personal growth. It's essential to differentiate between genuine red flags and minor annoyances that can be worked through.
Effective communication is the foundation of any healthy relationship. If something about your date is bothering you, it's crucial to address it openly and honestly. Avoid bottling up your feelings or making snap judgments. Instead, express your concerns in a non-confrontational manner.
Choose a comfortable setting for the conversation, and use "I" statements to express your feelings. For example, say, "I felt uncomfortable when..." rather than making accusatory statements. By sharing your thoughts and feelings, you create an opportunity for both you and your date to better understand each other and potentially find a resolution.
Boundaries are essential in dating. If something your date does makes you uncomfortable, it may be a sign that you need to establish or reinforce your boundaries. Healthy boundaries help you maintain your self-respect and ensure that your needs and values are respected in a relationship.
Take the time to reflect on what is and isn't acceptable to you in a relationship. Communicate your boundaries clearly with your date and be prepared to enforce them if necessary. Establishing and maintaining boundaries can help prevent future "ick" moments.
Focus on the Positives
When the "ick" rears its head, it's easy to get fixated on the negative aspects of your date. However, it's essential to remember the positives as well. No one is perfect, and it's unlikely that you will find someone who meets all your criteria without any flaws.
Make a list of the things you appreciate and enjoy about your date. By focusing on the positives, you can balance out the "ick" moments and maintain a more realistic perspective on your potential partner.
Empathy is a powerful tool when dealing with the "ick." Remember that your date is a complex individual with their own insecurities and past experiences. Try to put yourself in their shoes and consider their perspective. What might be motivating their actions or words? Is there room for understanding and forgiveness?
Empathy can lead to more compassionate and constructive conversations. It can also help you decide whether the "ick" moment is something that can be worked through together or if it's indicative of a fundamental incompatibility.
Experiencing the "ick" when dating is a common occurrence, but it doesn't have to be a relationship-killer. By practising self-reflection, open communication, setting boundaries, focusing on the positives, and embracing empathy, you can navigate these moments with maturity and grace. Remember that no one is perfect, and relationships often require effort, understanding, and compromise. If both you and your date are willing to work through the "ick" moments, you may find that your connection deepens and grows stronger.
If you’re struggling to overcome hurdles holding you back from creating relationships that last, perhaps speaking with a dating coach could be a positive next step for you in your dating journey. I love helping singles work towards finding and building a loving relationship, but sometimes that starts with looking inward to see what lessons can be learnt so one can let love in.
If you would like to explore what working with a professional dating coach looks like, please do reach out to me on my contact page.
Sarah Louise Ryan x