'Ticks' and 'Icks' - a light-hearted look at relationships for Metro
Updated: Jun 20
Metro asked for my thoughts about 'ticks' - the random things that we find attractive in other people. The idea is that a 'tick' is the opposite of an 'ick' - something that totally puts us off another person.
Here's what I had to say:
At first glance, ‘ticks’ might seem completely illogical. Can you be attracted to someone for an arbitrary reason, like the way they eat a bowl of pasta?
I’d argue that it’s not the ‘ticks’ themselves that are meaningful, but it’s what they tell us about how we feel about someone else.
If someone’s actions leave you with a smile on your face, then it’s an indicator that you’re fond of them, that they make you happy. Ask yourself: if someone else did this in the exact same way, would I experience the same response? It’s likely that your response is tied in to how you feel about the other person.
As time goes on, it’s common for relationships to ebb and flow. If the initial glow has worn off, it can be helpful to remind ourselves about the ‘ticks’ that we used to find attractive in our partner. Perhaps you’ve forgotten to notice the things that used to make you feel drawn to your partner.
Or perhaps you still notice the ‘ticks’, but they have a different impact on you. Things that used to make you smile might make you feel irritated, angry, or frustrated. They might even become weaponised, serving as a way for you to criticise the other person. These responses can help you to check in on how you’re feeling about the other person, and about your relationship.
Alternatively, it might feel as if it’s the ‘ticks’ that keep your relationship going. Perhaps there are cracks showing in the relationship, but you’re staying together because of a sense of fondness for the other person, for the little things that they do.
I would encourage people to have a well-rounded view of their relationship, and how it meets their needs. It’s all well and good being drawn to someone because of things you notice about their behaviour. But what about the bigger picture: do they treat you how you deserve to be treated?
Click here for the full article in Metro.