I Hate You, I Love You: What You Should Know About Love-Hate Relationships

Is it possible to love someone and hate them at the same time? Like there’s this feeling that you can’t live without them, but being with them seems impossible too? And while you enjoy spending time with them, you also hate the way they (or you) act when you’re with them. The relationship feels thrilling yet exhausting, as well as passionate yet hostile.

If you’re familiar with the situations described above, you’re probably in a love-hate relationship. Read on as we dig deep into this type of connection, its signs, causes, and things you can do if you love and hate your boyfriend or partner at the same time?

What Is a Love-Hate Relationship?

Characterized by an intense and abrupt change of emotions, this type of relationship can feel like an emotional rollercoaster. Couples in a love-hate relationship can have passionate or even extreme feelings toward each other but find it difficult to express them effectively. As a result, they act all lovey-dovey sometimes and behave like mortal enemies on other occasions.

When portrayed in movies and books, love and hate relationships may seem exciting and interesting. In reality, however, they can be draining, as both parties display inconsistent emotions toward each other. Its volatile nature can be too much to handle, so you might ask yourself if it is worth keeping. A personal therapist online can be beneficial in navigating or dealing with this type of relationship.

Signs You’re in a Love-Hate Relationship

How can you love and hate your partner at the same time? Here are some signs that you’re caught in a love-hate relationship.

They make you feel extremely happy, but also very mad

The constant shift between intense love and hate is the most obvious sign that you’re in a love and hate relationship. You experience deep affection for your partner and feel like you hit the jackpot because of their appealing qualities. You may love that they look good, have a nice job, care for you, and have a clear focus in life.

This love and adoration, however, can also morph into anger and hatred. Some of their habits and traits may turn you off and cause friction in your relationship. For example, this may happen because of their ego, streaks of laziness, or short temper. During these moments, you may feel like you can’t stand them and think that you made a mistake by being with them.

You break up and make up again and again

One typical sign that you’re in a love-hate relationship is a cycle of breakups and make-ups. Your arguments go to the extreme, resulting in name-calling, criticizing, and threats to end the relationship. When things cool off, however, you get back together, show affection, and act as if you weren’t fighting a few moments ago.

The “on-again, off-again” cycle can be a red flag and an indication of a toxic relationship. Couples in a healthy relationship don’t just brush things under the carpet — they work together to resolve their issues. So, if you’re in a constant cycle of breaking up and making up, it might be time to take a look at your relationship and think of how it is affecting your mental and physical health.

No deep communication and meaningful connection

Constant conflict and arguments exist in a love-hate connection because of the absence of real, genuine communication. If you never or rarely talk about the things that matter, your relationship won’t grow into something meaningful, making you feel like you’re stuck in a rut. It is important to tackle unresolved issues, set healthy boundaries, and discuss what both of you need and want from the relationship.

It can be almost impossible to have a meaningful connection if you can’t communicate effectively and only focus on superficial things. If the relationship is mostly based on physical and sexual attraction, then your connection or relationship is likely to be shallow. The lack of connection or shared interests can also be a source of conflicts and misunderstandings.

You don’t know where the relationship is heading

When you’re caught up in a cycle of “I love him, I hate him,” it is almost impossible to see where your relationship is heading. With constant fights, reconciliations, and uncertainties, you can’t help but wonder where the two of you might end up and whether there’s any future for your relationship.

It could look like staying in a relationship for the sake of saying you’re in a relationship. Or maybe, you’re afraid of being single and are willing to be with just anyone available. You may have also gotten used to the person or the relationship, even though you know that it is likely heading nowhere.

What Causes Love-Hate Relationships

A number of factors can cause the relationship to veer into the love-hate territory, including:

  • Incompatibilities – When your goals, dreams, expectations, and views don’t match, the love and affection you have for each can easily turn into hate and conflicts in no time.
  • Ego – When both of you have big egos and can’t accept your faults and shortcomings, things can go south. Ego and love sit at different sides, and they often cannot coexist.
  • Insecurity, jealousy, and infidelity – These things can cause the relationship to slide into the love-hate territory. The constant shift between emotions can also become more intense if these issues are not addressed.
  • Chaotic relationships in the past – Being used to chaotic relationships may make you seek the volatile nature of love-hate relationships. If you’re familiar with such relationships, you might be used to love and conflict existing together.
  • Control issues – If both of you have strong personalities and are constantly fighting for control, hate and conflict are more likely to be constant.

How to Deal With Love-Hate Relationships

Love-hate relationships can be exhausting and take a toll on your and your partner’s mental health. It is important to know and understand what a healthy relationship looks like to steer your connection in the right direction or end it if you think you deserve better. Here are some things that can help you deal with love-hate relationships.

Decide how you want to proceed

If you’re stuck in a love-hate relationship, think of how you are contributing to the struggles you are experiencing. You don’t necessarily have to end the relationship, but you can take control over how you approach conflicts and other aspects of your relationship. You can try changing the way you communicate and notice how it affects your interaction and your partner.

Keep in mind that it is only possible to repair the relationship if both of you are willing to work on it. There are also cases where it is better to move on, instead of staying in a relationship that is so uncertain and no longer makes you happy.

Set boundaries

Take a look at your relationship to determine the things you are and aren’t comfortable with. This will help you find the right steps that you can take when these things happen in the future. You can set limits or boundaries to avoid misunderstanding and help you clarify the types of behavior you’re not willing to tolerate.

Another notable benefit of setting boundaries is that you’ll be able to see if your partner is who you want to be with. It is normal to have some incompatibilities and disagreements here and there, but your partner should be willing to respect your boundaries.

Get professional help

Talking to a therapist can be beneficial when you’re trying to resolve your issues or get out of a toxic relationship. If it’s the former, a mental health professional can teach you how to communicate better to address your issues. They can also work with you to grow your bond and turn a love-hate relationship into something more meaningful and satisfying.

If you decide to move on, a therapist can help you get back on track. For example, you may need support if you’ve been with an abusive partner, or experienced lots of manipulation and gaslighting in the relationship. A therapist can help you explore your pain and emotions, cope with difficult feelings, regain control, and rebuild your self-esteem.

Final Thoughts

It can be frustrating and confusing to be in a love-hate relationship. With patience and willingness to change, however, it can be turned into something that is satisfying for both parties. If the relationship, on the other hand, is toxic and abusive, it is better to end things and get help from a therapist if you’re struggling to move on.

The most important thing about such relationships is to figure out what exactly makes a particular relationship problematic, and the best way to do it is to talk to a licensed therapist. Thanks to online therapy platforms like Calmerry, you don’t even need to drive to a therapist’s office. Video calls make therapy much more convenient. Learn more about the benefits of therapy if you’re still not sure whether or not you need it.


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