We asked London students their biggest icks about dating in the city

One word: Tories

We’ve all heard of the ick. You thought your dating experience was going GREAT until that day where all the icks about someone hit you like a ton of bricks, and now they make you cringe at whatever they do or say. And there’s just nothing you can do to unsee it. Literally nothing.

London students definitely have their say in dating icks, being in such a massive city with such a large proportion of econ guys, so we decided to ask what their absolute no-no’s are with dating in London.

As well as this, I threw in some of my friends’ icks for good measure, so we can get a sensible and well-rounded picture of just who to avoid on the big city’s streets. The answers are hilarious:


Probably the most common answer of our Instagram poll – “men”. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to come up with an idea on how you could get rid of this ick when it’s half of the population… maybe try dating women?

It’s true that in London you do indeed encounter a lot of men, and whether it’s businessmen who think Jordan Peterson is the Messiah, or roadmen who smoke too much weed and that’s just their personality, they’re not always the pick of the bunch.

‘People who use the winky emoji without even knowing you’ – Emma

Emma, a second-year Sociology student, describes her biggest London dating ick as “the guy who uses the winky emoji in weird contexts”.

For her, it’s worse is when it’s a guy she doesn’t even know. She says it “just makes everything so awkward, like why? Just why?” I agree with Emma, that winky face emoji can be menacing at the best of times.

‘Tories’ – Alicia

Alicia shared her last dating experience with us. She says: “So basically, I was going on a date with this cute, good-looking guy, until he made it explicit that he was a Tory.”

But it didn’t stop there, apparently he kept going on about his political views, trying to convince her that she should have changed her mind. She says: “I ended the date as soon as I could,” and honestly, I don’t blame her.

‘Show me around London’ people – Lily

We’ve all had the classic “Show me around London” guy/girl who just can’t get over the fact that they’re not in the countryside anymore.

Lily, UCL medicine student, describes her London dating life as a constant “request for a free tourist guide”. Worst part is she doesn’t even get paid! Most of her Tinder messages include the classic “going around London” date. Get more creativeeee! There’s a bunch of stuff you can do in London without having to ask the person for a personal guided tour.

Like, do you really care if the London Tower bridge was built on the 21st June 1886? Or that Big Ben is actually called the Elizabeth Tower? It’s not my job, okay.

‘Guys in Clapham’

Don’t ask me why – you answered the poll, not me.

Maybe it’s something about the edgy mysteriousness that takes over when someone makes the stupid decision to move south of the river, which ends up turning into one big and fake personality trait.

‘The guys who think they’re gonna get famous on Soundcloud’ – Emma

I’m sure you are also thinking about the “artsy” guy with the Carhartt hat and nail polish who just came straight out of TikTok and pretends he can sing, draw, and probably do some magic tricks if you insist enough. You can literally find dozens of them in London.

Emma, an econ student, was texting a guy called Aron for a few weeks and they agreed to finally meet up. However, when she saw him for the first time, he was exactly THAT guy, who kept going on about becoming a Soundcloud celebrity with thousands of TikTok followers.

She describes him as the “egocentric, selfish and untrustworthy guy” that is guaranteed to give you a reflex ick.

‘City guys’

There’s nothing worse than the consultants and banking guys in London. You can find them walking around the City with a perfect, super formal fit and an empty look in their eyes.

They are so burned out that you’re able to sense their stress with their nervous ticks and the scary amount of lines of coke they’re able to go through on the weekend. They are the literal representation of the type of person you don’t want to become in your thirties,  AVOID!

‘When they ask to pay but their card gets declined’ – Anna

We all know London is expensive and that as a student you’re 100 per cent broke, but don’t ask to pay if you know you have £2 in your bank account, it’s not going to do you any good.

What was a lovely romantic dinner date can rapidly turn into a big ick moment at any second when this happens, and you may as well just starting digging your own way into the ground.

‘Seeing them on the street’

I don’t know why, but I completely understand. There’s nothing more awkward than walking past someone you romanticise before going to bed in normal clothes, probably slouched over, and not knowing whether to say hi to you or not.

This is definitely an internal cringe ick, and probably ruins a lot of possible dating opportunities, but London just is an awkward place to see people on the street.

‘White girls putting everything up on Instagram’

This gives me the ick from afar. You could literally be seeing someone or out on a date for two minutes and this person just has to whip their phone out, take a pic for their story, and let the “Omg who are you with??” messages come flooding in.

The third wheel will always be Boomerangs in this relationship, and I beg you to stay well away as soon as you can.

Dating in London is definitely a brutal affair with a lot of ick-avoiding needed, but there are plenty of fish in the sea as well. Hopefully your next date won’t give you the ick for being a Tory.

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