You love them; you hate them. You fight, you makeup. And repeat it all over, again and again.
Initially, this could be thrilling and exciting as the making up will be intense; you will be flooded with strong emotions. But eventually, it will make you worry about the relationship and think if you have taken the right decision by entering into it.
If you are wavering between loving and hating your partner, then you could be in a complicated love-hate relationship. Initially, you may think that love will eventually outrun the hate, but when things get worse, you will find yourself on shaky ground with your partner. In this post, MomJunction tells you about a love-hate relationship, the reasons for it, and ways to fix it.
What Is A Love-Hate Relationship?
A love-hate relationship is one where both the partners have strong feelings for each other but are not consistent in expressing them. So they behave lovingly on some occasions and act like enemies on others.
Couples in a love-hate relationship tend to speak harsh words that they do not mean. On some occasions, they cannot stand each other and might want to end the relationship but do not end it.
Besides the apparent inconsistency in their emotions, certain other signs suggest yours is a love-hate relationship.
Signs Of A Love-Hate Relationship
If you and your partner are see-sawing through extreme emotions, look out for these other behaviors or signs that suggest the nature of the relationship.
1. Sometimes you feel they are a blessing in your life
Extreme emotions define love-hate relationships. At times, you feel like the luckiest person in the whole world because of certain appealing qualities in them. You may love that your partner is dynamic, focused in life, always helpful, and makes you a priority. No matter how much you try, you find certain qualities in your partner irresistible.
2. Sometimes you just can’t stand them
There are a few traits that are an absolute turn off. It could be their ego, short temper, or streaks of laziness. These habits or traits may not be deal-breakers but tend to cause friction now and then. At times like these, you will feel that you made a mistake by committing to your partner.
3. You makeup-you break up again and again
In a love-hate relationship, you love and hate each other with passion. When you both argue, it would be intense and can lead to name-calling and threats of breaking up. During such heated moments, you may find each other highly repulsive.
Even as you are thinking about calling it quits, you may have a change of heart and makeup, shower each other with love and forget that you were at each others’ throats just a while ago. But this love is also short-lived, as the cycle of breaking up and making up goes on.
4. You take the relationship as a challenge
Initially, you may have been attracted to the positives in your partner (and still do). But when the negatives caught up, you were taken aback and wanted to end the relationship. However, the positives are too good to let go, or you have invested too much time and effort to walk away without trying one more time. So, you start maintaining the relationship as a prized possession, with the motive of winning them over. You may try to make them stay committed to you permanently or give in to your needs and desires.
5. You have no idea where the relationship is heading
You see other couples going ahead in the relationship, supporting and understanding each other, but you are stuck in the vicious cycle of loving and hating.
With all the mixed emotions and roller coaster rides, you just cannot figure out what the future of the relationship is. Maybe you got comfortable in the relationship or are afraid of being single, and continue being with them.
6. No emotional connection
While you adore certain traits in your partner, you do not love them enough to accept their flaws. This prevents both of you from having an emotional connection, which is essential for the longevity of the relationship.
You could be chasing perfection and trying to fit your partner into your mental image of the perfect guy or girl. Whenever they do something amazing, your heart fills with love for them. And the moment they go against your will, you start hating them. Your feelings for them become conditional and depend on how they make you feel.
7. You both have emotional baggage
Lack of an emotional connection could lead to constant fights and conflicts. At one point, you would no longer discuss the issues and may start to sweep them under the rug.
Say, you are angry at your spouse for not doing the dishes. Instead of addressing that single issue, you use that to bring out all the previously unresolved issues. Such built-up anger will lead to hatred and resentment, which is like a ticking time bomb ready to explode at the slightest disturbance. And when it does, the lack of an emotional connection will make matters worse.
8. The things you dislike in your partner keep bothering you
As mentioned earlier, there may be some things about your partner that you cannot stand. So, even if you feel incredibly drawn towards them, the aspects that you dislike in them nag you. This makes it difficult for you to love them or hate them completely.
You may have tried to talk to your partner about the things that are bothering you, but there is no change, and eventually, you come to a conclusion that they will never change. This will leave you frustrated as you cannot decide whether to stay for the good things or leave for the bad things.
9. You talk less to each other and more about each other
When you are not sure about your partner, and talking to them is taking you nowhere, you try to calm down the voices in your head by taking the relationship issues to your friends and family.
You may feel that they see things differently, or they might know how to fix your relationship. You will have an impulsive need to share your feelings with your friends for support and validation. You know it might hurt or anger your partner, but you cannot help as the doubts inside your head do not let you stay still.
10. You try to play safe
A healthy relationship is one where you can be yourself, love without boundaries, and accept each other without any reservations. But in a love-hate relationship, you are sometimes in and sometimes out.
Such half-hearted emotions will make you protective of yourself. Fearing rejection and hurt, you try to play safe. You start building scenarios in your head as to how you can come out clean from the relationship. You try to focus more on the qualities which you hate and push your partner aside.
If you could relate to most of the behaviors mentioned above, then you could be in a love-hate relationship. And you may wonder how you and your partner landed yourselves in this situation.?
Why Do Couples Have Love-Hate Relationship?
You and your partner did not get into this vortex of love and hate overnight. This situation is a result of many small things, and here are some of them.
- Ego: Ego and love cannot be together. If you and your partner have giant egos that are overshadowing your love, then you will have difficulty accepting your faults. And when your partner tries to point it out, you may take it negatively.
- Compatibility issues: Things can also go wrong when your views and expectations of love, life, goals, and dreams do not match.
- Unbent personalities: If both the partners have strong personal opinions and views and are not ready to let go of them or even bend them a little for the sake of being together, then the love can turn into hatred in no time.
- Control issues: Another downside of having a strong personality is the urge to control. If both you and your partner are always fighting over who holds the reins of the relationship, then there is only war and no love.
- Cheating, jealousy, and insecurity: Such negative traits also push a relationship into a love-hate cycle. If you encounter these issues and ignore them instead of addressing them, they could build up hate and resentment in you.
- Try to perfect others but not oneself: When you always find faults and want your partner to be perfect, but ignore your own flaws, you inevitably create a love-hate situation.
When you identify the cause of all those intense but wavering emotions, you can work on fixing them before the relationship moves towards a breakup. Next, we give you a few tips on how to do that.
Ways To Deal With A Love-Hate Relationship
- Clear out your thoughts: The primary issue in a love-hate relationship is indecisiveness. You cannot keep on questioning your position in the relationship and expect things to turn out great. To guide your relationship out of this frustrating phase, both you and your partner must first be clear if you want to continue or let go of the relationship.
Unless you are in an abusive or toxic relationship, a love-hate relationship could just be a phase. With the right effort, you can steer it on to the path of happiness.
- Identify the negative emotions: The next step is to identify the negative emotions that are causing friction. These could be your lack of patience or your partner’s temper, which are making you both bitter.
So the next time you are on the verge of lashing out at your partner, stop and think for a moment. If you are not able to control your anger, then do not react. Take your time and rethink the scenario with a calm head.
- Emphasize the positives: Everybody has flaws, and it is completely okay. The sooner you accept this, the better it is because once you accept the person for who they are, you will find yourself liberated from the negative thoughts and nagging questions.
Once the negative thoughts are flushed out, you will be able to see each other’s positives that make you both happy, become more confident about yourself and the relationship, and start trusting your partner. However, this may not be true if one of the partners has a narcissistic behavior or is a threat to you and your kids.
- Spend more time with each other: This could look like a simple step, but when a couple is in a love-hate relationship, being able to tolerate each other and have a cheerful conversation without fights could be a miracle.
There will still be fights and difficult times. Spend as much time together as possible, go on dates, do things that both of you can enjoy. This will help build the friendship between you two. Also, when you find that you’re facing an impasse, discuss like mature adults instead of brushing it off. You will be surprised to see how easily an issue could be solved.
- Know what to let go: There is a reason why you were not able to let go of your partner, even though you hate them (sometimes). Find that reason, think about it, and if you feel your negative emotions such as ego, controlling behavior, and adamant nature are not bigger than the relationship, then let go of them without any second thoughts.
A love-hate relationship could be frustrating. But if you manage to cross this phase successfully, you will have formed a strong and healthy bond that can take the relationship to new heights. So, do not throw away the love in haste. Have a little patience and see how you can create miracles.
But if the said relationship is toxic and abusive, and if your partner is taking advantage of your niceness, then remove yourself from that relationship. It is always wise to give up the wrong things for the right reasons.
Did you ever experience a love-hate relationship? How did you navigate? Let us know in the comments section below.