Can we overcome 'the ick'? The modern dating phenomenon of being put off by your date

Modern dating is complicated enough, but it makes it all worth it when you meet 'the one'. 

That is, of course, until they do that dreaded thing - and you get the ick.

'The ick', a popular dating term, describes that moment when someone you're dating does an innocuous thing - that totally puts you off. 

From using the wrong emojis to dancing badly to wearing skinny jeans, the dreaded 'ick' can be triggered by pretty much anything and once you've got it, there's no turning back - or is there?

Senior lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland and relationship expert Dr Raquel Peel said the ick can range from annoying little habits to something much more significant.

"The silly examples are a way for us to understand the phenomenon. It might be someone's fashion choices, it might seem trivial, but it might be their political views," Dr Peel said.

"But the ick can be something that you can overcome. The ick can be a moment for reflection." 

Dr Peel said an ick can come from acting in advance to avoid the fear of intimacy and rejection - by doing the rejection yourself before you get hurt.

"I think the centre of it is fear. We are designed to protect ourselves and that's okay. We don't want to get hurt and being in an intimate relationship, the potential for getting hurt is huge," she explained.

So if the ick is making you untick some boxes, maybe give your date another chance. 

"It is unrealistic, in my view, to think a partner will tick all the boxes and that you will be happy with them 100 percent of the time," Dr Peel said.

"Sometimes you will be happy with them, sometimes you will be annoyed and sometimes for the exact same things."