Daisy Buchanan | Contributing Writer | Thursday, 15 June 2017

Olivia On Love Island Is Right: The \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'Ick Factor\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' Is Real

Olivia On Love Island Is Right: The 'Ick Factor' Is Real

The Debrief: 'When you've seen a boy and got the ick, it doesn't go. It's caught you, and it's taken over your body. It's just ick. I can't shake it off.' We hear you Olivia...

After Olivia ended it with Sam on Love Island this week, she gave him the ‘It’s not you, it’s me speech’ - but she confided to the camera that she had to break up the relationship because he’d given her ‘the ick’. ‘When you’ve seen a boy, and got the ick, it doesn’t go. It’s caught you, and it’s taken over your body. It’s just ick. I can’t shake it off.’ What did she mean? Some Love Island fans tweeted their confusion 


but others totally got it. 



If you’ve ever ended a relationship before it’s begun, chances are that you know all about ‘the ick’. More often than not, it’s a gut feeling. It’s difficult to put it into words. A few years ago, I caught it on my sixth date with a teacher called Tom. For dates one through five, I was totally into Tom. He was funny, clever and slightly snarky. I spent a blissful few weeks wandering about London, slightly hungover, with last night’s knickers on, buying emergency deodorant when I’d promised myself to go home before last orders. That’s how much I liked Tom. But on date six, during a curry near London Bridge, I found myself looking across the table and thinking ‘No. Oh, no!’ 

I don’t know whether it was the way he ranted about the waiter about the superiority of Kingfisher beer over Cobra, or just the face he pulled when encountering a particularly sour pickle, but the ick had descended. There was no going back. It was as if I’d accidentally taken a picture with a really unflattering filter, and no amount of photo editing could replace what I’d seen. Or as if a stranger farted while I was trying on perfumes in Duty Free, and every fancy fragrance I tried now smelled of poo. The ‘ick’ is completely personal. It’s not the fault of the person who ‘gives’ you the ick - it doesn’t mean they’re doomed to a love life of ickiness. But once you’re in the ick’s clutches, you have to escape as fast as you can. You’re James Franco in 127 Hours, and the ick is your arm.  

My friend Mollie* says that she’d been seeing a guy for a few of months before she caught The Ick. ‘It was going well, and he’d even had lunch with my parents. But one morning, I woke up, saw his face on the pillow and thought “He looks like Peter Kay”. I have nothing against Peter Kay, he’s very funny. But there was something about the way his hair was squashed against his forehead, or the angle of his jaw and Peter Kay was all I could see, and it just made me not want to have sex with him ever again. You can’t tell someone that you want to break up with them because they have suddenly started to remind you of Peter Kay. I had to make something up about still having feelings for an ex.’ 

The thing about the ick is that it’s a gut feeling, and you rarely encounter it on a first or second date. As Olivia found, it usually comes up when you’ve spent enough time with someone to start to see a future with them. The ‘ick’ is a true gut feeling, and life coach Susanna M. Halonen explains that it’s always worth trusting your gut. ‘Your intuition is encoded in your brain like "a web of fact and feeling." This is why intuition is so much more powerful than taking advice from someone else. Your intuition connects your body, mind, and spirit, and how those three elements have digested everything from your past.’ So even if an ‘ick’ seems illogical, chances are that it’s a smart response from your brain and body, which are working together to tell you that the relationship isn’t a runner.

Can you ever move past an ‘ick’? I’m not sure - but I do know that I’ve experienced occasional potential ‘icks’ with my husband that haven’t bothered me, even when they might have sent me running away in previous relationships. (It’s the ultimate test of true love - can you still adore someone and find them sexy when you’ve done their laundry after a difficult day of diarrhoea?) Even if the ‘ick’ doesn’t make sense, you’ll probably find a valid and much more painful reason to break up with someone later on, and that’s when life gets messy. When you’ve got the ick, you’ve got to go. 


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