Couples all act a little icky, but some are more icky than others. By ‘icky’ we don’t mean disgusting or immoral or affectionate; it’s a rating of how ‘couply’ they are in public. Obviously couples have been icky since the dawn of time, but now finally there is a system which can put it all in context. Yes: that’s right! You can all sleep easy now, safe in the knowledge of exactly how icky you and your significant other are.


To find out how ‘icky’ you are as a couple, simply read over the list below. These only apply to things you’ve done in public. Though there are, of course, many privately icky couples, that really isn’t any of our business. For every one that you have done in public, award yourself the proper points. For example, if you held hands in public, that earns you only one point. If you interlock fingers, that’s another point.

After counting up all the points, consult the chart below to find your ickiness rating.


There you both are, happy and satisfied that you are possibly the least icky couple on campus. Trouble is, no-one agrees with you! They’re throwing up all over the place whenever you frolic by, arm-in-arm. Well, this is really the nasty bit. You see we recommend that actually you work out your ratings with your friends watching! We know, we know… It’s nasty, but it ensures fairness in all areas, and if you really are an icky couple, then it should be a good humbling experience. Hahahahaha!

Note: We realize that many of these activities are done by people who aren’t couples. For example, we all have stupid arguments, many of us wrestle regularly, and some of us have no social life regardless of having a significant other. These things are included because they can be done in the context of being a couple. It might seem ambiguous now, but you’ll know the difference between innocuous things and icky things – trust me.

Social interaction

1 Stupid Arguments Arguments just to hear each other speak.

1 Whispering Only for couple’s ears.

1 Passing notes At Bean Hall, Class, anywhere.

1 Interrupted talking completely forgetting the train of though if the Significant Other walks by or says something.

2 Constant Reference Excessive use of the phrase, “well <so-and-so> says.…”

2 Silence giggle silence We don’t know why they do it, and we don’t want to know....

2 Frolicking running around, chasing each other in the fields...

2 Gross absenteeism “Hey, has anyone seen them lately….”

2 Irrational defenses Teasing one and suffering the wrath of the other.

2 Silly games Games which everybody seems to win    and make no sense.

3 Family assimilation Eating meals with families, vacations, etc.

3 No social life “Don’t bother asking them to come.”

4 Saying goodbye for far too long Minutes on end in front of Grant Hall, for example.

Physical Interaction

1 Holding hands Just holding hands.

1 Interlocking fingers An extra point on top of holding hands.

1 Fidgeting/poking Poking at bean hall or any other lame excuse to touch the other person.

1 Piggyback rides Pretty innocuous, everybody does it…

2 Light kissing A peck on the cheek or the lips in a public place.

2 Massages Foot rubs, backrubs only    no funky stuff.

2 Wrestling Often a consequence of other behavior.

2 Face touching This doesn’t count slapping, kissing, or picking noses    just stroking, mostly.

4 Popping each other's zits We’ve heard rumors…

4 Not so light kissing The word “snogging” comes to mind…

4 Hands in butt pockets You see this a lot at the mall as people walk around.


1 Over use of “we”...' With the implication that “I” isn’t used much at all.

1 Mutual speaking This includes finishing sentences and saying the same phrases.

2 Binary existence Is one ever seen without the other?

2 Sharing straw/utensils This just means using the same fork, not using it at the same instant.

2 'Our song' etc. Taking possession of things which are obviously everyone’s.

2 Sharing one seat In the lounge, in a movie theatre (in a pew, theoretically...)

2 Leaning on each other Using each other for pillows, etc.

3 Sharing gum I’m told it happens...

3 Switching jackets A classic sign of ickdom.

3 Mutual pets/possessions Things like cars, fridges, dogs, flatware...

3 Feeding each other One person using utensils to nourish another    ick!


1 Vacant staring Staring into each other’s eye’s with no regard to the surroundings.

1 New hobbies Has he taken up crochet? Does she like football?

1 Constant Expectation Do they constantly watch the doors, waiting for that special someone?

1 Special tones for each other A milder voice, a more understanding inflection.

2 New hair style Did he shave his beard? Is her hair down instead of up?

2 New clothing Does one of them have a new wardrobe picked out by the other?

2 Too many Kodak moments Sunsets, shared ice cream cones, Paris in ‘45...

2 Sappy gifts not so much flowers as fuzzy bears and heart shaped things.

2 Room decorations subverted When Enya or Howitzers show up suddenly...

2 Non verbal communication Not the common kind, but the secret, eyebrow kind.

3 Gooshy wooshy nicknames Snookems, Honey buns, My Little Babushka...

3 Baby talk Does the mean ol’ owie hurt you much much?

4 Dominating room's sphere People enter and leave without saying a thing.


0 20 Tame You guys are probably just keeping it a secret you are dating, right? You as a couple are quiet, maybe surreptitious even. Half the people don’t know you’re an item, and the other half know but don’t notice much.

21-40 Tolerable Some ickiness, but only enough for your friends to complain about. Everyone knows you’re dating, but only your friends make cracks about being icky. People might notice if you aren’t, but everybody’s cool with it – except maybe your roommate.

41-60 Tiresome Ickiness is beginning to be rampant. The jokes are all old, and people just roll their eyes, at you – they stop to, now. Strangers are puzzled by you, and teachers and parents might make quiet remarks.

61-80 Taxing Ickiness is everywhere. Repeated comments like “Get a room” are uttered by strangers    there are no sympathetic friends. Other couples remind people that they aren’t like you. You’re probably defensive, and have decided that others “just don’t understand” that special thing you have.

81-100 Traumatic You are Ickiness personified. Even other couples are retching and gagging as they pass by. Most of humanity has given up trying to communicate with you, and anthropologists are arriving to study you for a new Discovery Channel special.