Ever had a dilemma where you wonder if the sudden turn-offs/dating icks are red flags or avoidant attachment dating style? Someone you are dating seems to be attractive but a sudden pang of disgust just flips it 180 degrees completely just because they eat with their mouth open, or they snore so loud when sleeping you can’t stand that despite them checking all the other boxes in your dating list, and you start wondering if you should give them more chances or just take it as a sign that you are no longer attracted to them?
It’s the classic clash between attraction and aversion, leaving you questioning whether to give them another chance or take these seemingly minor annoyances as a sign of a fundamental incompatibility.
As someone who has been in the dating scene even before my 30s, and stretching through my early and soon mid-30s, I am here to share my thoughts (actually speaking my thoughts as I am so excited to have found the speech-to-text dictation Google Chrome extension that saves me time typing – oh, and it is FREE) on how I work through my emotions and what has worked for me in facing this situation, so that you can navigate through this phase gracefully and also when next time you are confused with dating icks, you can decide how to better teach your mind to discern between red flags or incompatibility and avoidant attachment dating style.
I’m Jasveena and I have been blogging since 2013, documenting my experience as well as helpful professional resources and tips I found online in seeking meaningful relationships and connections, and I am here to share them with you so that you are not alone in cruising through this journey called life that may seem like a lonely path.
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My biggest dating icks/pet peeves or turn-offs are inconsistent communication. I used to get anxious when someone I was talking to didn’t text back within a day. The longer it takes for them to respond to me, the more anxious I get, as if like there is an internal alarm system that gets triggered and starts alarming me rapidly as it gets longer for them to get back to me. I used to think that I was too anxious or that it was just an avoidant attachment dating style and that I had not recovered from my past relationship pain. But then, as I got older, and the more I dated men, the more I understood what works and what doesn’t.
What Are Dating Icks?
Navigating the dating scene is like walking through a minefield of butterflies and warning signs. You meet someone who seems perfect—charming, witty, and hitting all the checkboxes on your list. But then, it happens. That inexplicable turn-off, that sudden shift from infatuation to irritation, triggered by something as trivial as the way they slurp their soup, or opening a conversation on a dating app with a mere “hi”, or how they leave the cap off the toothpaste or something more serious like how they treat waiters poorly and does not text consistently every day.
For some, the personalities of people matter a lot as this would turn them off instantly. Someone who has not trimmed their hair or fingernails well, or has not ironed their clothes properly could be a turn-off to people who value hygiene and personality a lot. Imagine dating a fashion model and going on a date poorly dressed. Or going on a date with a PhD holder talking about gambling. It would definitely be a turn-off for people as the personalities don’t match.
You may think that dating icks don’t seem to matter much to some couples and how this could be possible. Couples have endless arguments about toilet rolls – over or under, and still can live under one roof compromising their icks. How can we analyze our icks better to see if it is indicating a mismatch between us and our date or if we could tolerate them in the long run?
How To Understand Your Intuitions Better?
All forms of dating icks are a valuable signal from our bodies to us. They mean something valuable! It either tells us something about ourselves or about others. Anxiety and intuition are often mistaken for one another. Dating icks can either be part of anxiety or intuition and identifying them correctly can be a mountainous task. Here are some of the forms of anxiety and intuition in dating:
- Anxiety-based dating icks: if you have been ghosted in the past, you may fear love bombing then ghosting behaviors, and therefore, dating icks can present in the form of an instant turn-off when someone doesn’t respond to your text immediately or if they leave you on read and fail to respond to you within the next few hours. Anxiety can be very loud and alarming, and it forces you to act upon the feeling of discomfort immediately. You may want to confront the person immediately and demand an explanation as to why they failed to text you immediately.
- Intuition-based dating icks: dating icks that are based on intuitions are usually more subtle but they persist until you listen to them carefully. Intuition tells you the same thing when you are calm and composed. For instance, I have met someone who was very curious about what time I get up in the morning and what time I go to bed every day. It was an instant turn-off, but I decided to just meet him anyway. It turned out that I just did not like the way he socialized throughout the date (as he was not good at asking questions and he was just socially awkward all the time) and the dating ick was indeed an indication that his personality does not blend well with mine.
In order to tune in better to your intuition, you have to be more confident in leaning towards your intuition. A lot of people have difficulties in listening to intuition because they have a lot of self-doubt. It takes a lot of practice to listen to your intuition and usually quieting yourself when in doubt and refraining from listening to outside authority like your friends or family members when you are confused will help you to practice listening to your intuition better.
Experimenting With Your Icks
Whether it is avoidant attachment dating style, actual red flags, or even an indication of a mismatch in personality – it is all explained better when you experiment with your dating icks. As you go out with many people and date people who are not your type, you will get to experiment with the dating icks that you get when you are meeting different types of people.
If you are getting turned off by people who are not consistent with texting, ask yourself why you are feeling this way. Chances are you are feeling this way because you have been ignored by your previous partners and therefore it is sort of like an internal alarm system warning you that you are meeting the same kind of people. However, when we are new to dating, we should also give people the benefit of the doubt, and not completely rule people out instantly when the dating ick kicks in.
Check with them if they are busy and give them a reasonable amount of time to get back to you. Do not expect instant replies from working adults. At the same time, if someone takes more than a day to get back to you without proper reasons, you could take this pattern as an indication that it is not a behavior that you would tolerate in the future.
As you date more people, you can check if you are feeling uncomfortable every time someone texts you sporadically. Over the past years, I have come to understand that some people are more comfortable with phone calls, and I have learned how to judge them not just based on the texting frequency but also overall in terms of interest and effort.
So, if someone is not texting me that much but is making an effort to talk to me over phone calls and they are consistent, I no longer find inconsistent texting as a dating ick.
You have to continuously ask yourself every time you find something turning you off when dating people if it is fear-based or intuition-based.
Are The Icks Triggering Your Unmet Needs?
Are the icks actually triggering your unmet needs, your values, and your principles in life? Just do not like people who open a conversation with a “hi” on dating apps because it indicates a lack of effort and interest in dating. It may sound like a very trivial thing but for them, it is crucial to capture their attention. Likewise, for me, when someone is not consistent in texting or getting to know on a daily basis, I get turned off immediately. I have experimented with this ick countless times and I have found this to be very consistent about my needs.
Are cats and dogs sleeping on your couch or bed a big no for you? If so, you will find people who bring their pets to the bed huge turn-off. This type of dating ache indicates that your requirement for hygiene is not being met by your potential partner. If this is your non-negotiable in dating, this dating ick is definitely indicating a mismatch in your needs.
Are The Icks Just Your Avoidant Attachment Dating Style?
On the other hand, people with an avoidant attachment dating style tend to interpret the avoidant tendency as dating ick. If you have always been afraid of getting close to people, being vulnerable and open emotionally, people who are trying to get to know you and become more intimate with you will feel like a threat to you. If you have been feeling this way with every single person who has been trying to get to know you better, you may be pushing people away from your life.
Have you always enjoyed your own company to the extent that you find talking to others a burden? Have you been hurt in the past that subconsciously you have been pushing people away from your life? Have you ever liked people and had the intention to get to know them better? Are you chasing people who are not that much into you? Chances are you could be emotionally unavailable yourself and you are avoiding people who are genuinely wanting to get to know you.
You could also be addicted to the highs and lows of people ignoring you that you have always been attracted to people bread-crumbing you. As a result, when someone comes prepared to have a relationship with you and feels secure, you feel like you’re being chased and you avoid them.
Dating icks, in this case, can present in the form of turn-offs when you find people texting you frequently or even giving you a casual phone call in the evening when you are back from work.
Are The Icks Actual Red Flags?
I’ve dated people in the past who have subtly tried to have conversations surrounding sex and that felt like a dating ick or an instant turn-off, but I did not know how to differentiate between red flags and genuine intimacy. It turned out that someone genuinely interested in getting to know you to have a relationship with you would be emotionally invested in getting to know you, would be consistent, would be invested in finding out about details of your life, and would share their emotions and plans with you. If this is followed by intimacy, then it is something natural in dating and when getting to know people as they have the love intention and they are not wishy washy guys.
However, when you know deep inside that this person has done nothing much and getting to know you or just breadcrumbing you, and seeking intimacy all of a sudden, this is indeed a red flag.
Dating icks can also be red flags when your values and needs are not met by them. If you’re looking for someone ambitious, and the lack of seriousness in financial aspects turns you off because you are looking for someone financially sound, then the dating ick is indeed a red flag because it shows that your values differ from theirs.
How do avoidants act when dating?
They fail to acknowledge your feelings or rarely express their own emotions. They always want to stay at a distance from you and do not want to get too close to you. This could be due to various reasons but the most obvious one is the intention to not get hurt by investing in the dating process emotionally. They avoid getting to know you because they are not ready to be vulnerable and to accept the ugly parts of dating which include conflicts and disappointments.
Is it worth dating someone with avoidant attachment?
Dating someone with an avoidant attachment dating style is hard, but if only they are willing to change, and with patience, understanding, and effective communication, it is possible to build a healthy and fulfilling relationship. However, you should understand that eventually, they should be able to see their shortcomings and put in the work to improve their attachment style so that it does not drain your energy entirely. A relationship is a two-way road and there is no way for you to win alone.
What does avoidant attachment look like in dating?
Basically, they find it difficult to tolerate emotional intimacy. It may look like text messages getting late responses, phone calls are being ignored, and no plans are being made to meet up. Basically, you would be the only one making an effort to make things work. Your needs are not being met and they accuse you of being too clin0y because they are not ready to attach with you emotionally, and this is a sign of avoidant attachment dating.
How do avoidants act in love?
For people who have avoidant attachment dating style, giving their partner space and respecting their need for alone time is crucial. They are highly independent and they can go about with their day without much assistance from their partner. They feel appreciated when people understand them for who they are.
I do get turned off by men who are not careful with their finances because this stemmed from the wound from my past relationship where I got to know I was with a bankrupt guy after almost a year. So, whenever I see men not being careful with their finances, I get the ick to ditch them right away. However, I have learned to not quickly judge people as relationships are all about compromise, and we need to give room for things to evolve. I would talk about the difficult conversations and see if they have similar opinions on it rather than merely cutting them off my life.