How To Deal With People Who Hate You And Overcome Negative Relationships
Content warning: This article includes references to abuse and other topics that may be considered triggering. Please proceed with discretion. If you are experiencing or witnessing any form of abuse, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
You may have heard the term “love-hate relationship” used to describe mixed feelings about a person, place, or idea, or experience. But what does this term mean in romantic relationships, where you might feel love for your partner one minute, and hatred for them the next? In this article, we will discuss what it means to be in a love-hate relationship with your partner, the effects of love-hate relationships, and how couples can take steps toward a healthier, less volatile dynamic.
What Is A Love-Hate Relationship?
A “love-hate relationship” can often be described as an “emotional rollercoaster ride.” Love-hate relationships are typically characterized by intense ups and downs in emotions between partners, ranging from feelings of strong affection and love to strong aggression, anger, or even hatred toward one’s significant other. These emotions tend to alternate in a love-hate relationship, which can lead to conflict, stress, and exhaustion.
Those in an emotionally volatile relationship may find themselves frequently fighting or breaking up with their partners, only to get back together again. Alternatively, they may experience periods of wanting to leave the relationship but feeling too attached to their partner to end it. Individuals may find themselves wishing they could change their significant other, or feeling resentment or hatred toward their partner when they don’t live up to perceived expectations.
The extreme emotions in a love-hate relationship can at times manifest in unhealthy ways, such as aggressive or unhealthy communication, jealousy, or a lack of boundaries. In some cases, love-hate relationships can even involve elements of emotional, physical, or verbal abuse.
What Are The Causes Of A Love-Hate Relationship?
Love-hate relationships can have a variety of possible causes. In some cases, what begins as an intensely loving and affectionate relationship begins to take a turn as the honeymoon period ends and individuals begin to notice flaws in their partners that they didn’t before, leading to conflicting feelings. Other times, the love-hate dynamic can evolve as a result of anxiety or resentment due to unresolved conflicts within the relationship. Some relationships turn volatile when one partner expects the other to change, only to grow frustrated when this doesn’t happen. People may enter into emotionally volatile relationships because this dynamic was modeled for them as they were growing up. Other times, they may gravitate toward love-hate relationships as a result of low self-esteem.
Although the causes of love-hate relationships can vary, what these relationships generally all have in common is that they tend to be emotionally tumultuous. This can have a negative impact on one or both partners’ mental health and sense of self-worth.
Tips For Managing A Love-Hate Relationship
A love-hate dynamic in a relationship can be damaging for both parties’ mental and emotional well being. That said, depending on the circumstances, partners in a love-hate relationship may be able to take steps to improve their communication and build a healthier dynamic. These steps may include:
Leave the relationship if necessary. Sometimes, the best course of action in a love-hate relationship is to leave it, either temporarily or permanently. If the relationship dynamic has turned toxic, controlling, violent, or otherwise abusive, your safety and well being must come first, which may mean removing yourself from the situation. If you are experiencing or witnessing any form of abuse, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
Set boundaries. Love-hate relationships are often characterized by a lack of healthy boundaries: limits that partners set about what is and is not acceptable for them in a relationship. It can be worth taking the time to figure out what your relationship ground rules are, making them clear to your partner, and making a plan to reinforce them.
Practice healthy communication. When a love-hate dynamic is the result of resentment or unresolved conflict, changing the way you communicate can be valuable. Practicing open, honest, and healthy communication can allow you to air your emotions and work to actively resolve conflicts, rather than letting them lead to feelings of anger or frustration.
Consider couples therapy. Navigating the ups and downs of an emotionally volatile relationship can be challenging, and finding a path to a healthier dynamic can at times feel impossible. For this reason, outside support in the form of couples counseling may be an important resource. Relationship counseling can provide a safe, neutral platform for partners to discuss their emotions about the relationship and each other. A licensed relationship therapist can help couples develop the tools for improving their communication and learning to manage their emotions in a healthy way. This can be valuable for moving forward in a way that supports the emotional and mental health of both partners.
That said, traditional couples therapy is not always accessible. Because it is not typically covered by insurance, the cost of couples counseling can be high (often as much as $200 per session), and attending in-person sessions can be challenging for couples with busy schedules. For this reason, many couples are instead turning to online therapy through platforms like Regain. The ability to attend counseling sessions from wherever is most convenient, and to send messages to a counselor outside of therapy hours, may make virtual therapy an appealing alternative for couples working to change their relationship dynamic.
Online couples counseling has been studied as an effective alternative to face-to-face therapy. Research from 2020 found that couples who received counseling online felt an increased sense of connection to their therapists, while a 2022 study found that online couples therapy delivered similar results to in-person counseling.
“Love-hate relationships” are often characterized by having extreme positive and negative feelings toward a romantic partner. Signs of love-hate relationships may include resentment, frequent conflict, and unhealthy communication, among others. Love-hate relationships can have varying causes, and can often lead to stress, jealousy, and other unhealthy dynamics—sometimes including abuse. Steps for navigating a love-hate relationship include setting boundaries, practicing healthy communication, and, if necessary, leaving the relationship. For couples looking to foster a healthier relationship dynamic, couples counseling—either in person or through a platform like Regain, may also be a valuable resource.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is it called when someone hates you for no reason?
"Misanthropy" is a big word for hating or distrusting humans. A person who hates usually has an emotional reaction to a particular event or feels an emotional reaction to a person or a group. Hatred—like anger or disgust—is a negative feeling on the hater's part. Still, when it's directed at you, it can feel uncomfortable, upsetting, or even scary. Dealing with people who dislike you can be challenging, but there are healthy ways to deal with them. However, if the case is you constantly ask yourself "Why do I hate everyone?" and you want to put a stop to it, a mental health professional can help you.
How do you deal with someone who hates you?
There are ways to deal with people who hate and deal with your feelings and responses. It is normal to dislike and feel uneasy with the idea that someone hates you, but learning ways successful people deal with hatred can help. You can try talking to the person who you believe hates you. You can also try talking to someone else who is familiar with the situation and might have ideas about dealing with the person pushing your buttons. You can prepare yourself emotionally before you see the person to try to minimize negative interactions. People deal with people differently; you can try looking at the situation from their perspective to figure out why they might not like you or whether there's another explanation for the negative vibe you're getting from them. Also, remember that you are not a mind reader, so it's impossible to know what another person is thinking or feeling or why they act a certain way. Sometimes the way that hateful people deal with people is a mystery that's not yours to solve, and it's much more about the other person than about you. Sometimes people act in ways that are challenging to understand. Dealing with negative people can be difficult but not impossible. Remember that you can't control anyone else's feelings, but you can work on your own feelings.
What is the main cause of hatred?
There are many reasons why a person may hate. Often, people dislike others because of issues they are having with themselves. Sometimes people feel threatened or jealous. In some cases, people hate because they are projecting negative feelings about themselves onto the person they hate. They might lack compassion or empathy and be unaware or unconcerned with others' feelings. They might perceive others as dangerous or have an unhealthy view of competition. Hatred may also stem from a general feeling of anger towards people we dislike or fear of differences. Often, people hate because of their own feelings of inadequacy or helplessness. They may feel some power by pushing your buttons. It can be helpful to learn about ways successful people deal with challenging relationships.
What are the signs when someone hates you?
If you are the target of someone's hatred, you might notice that they actively or passively make you feel inferior or try to hurt you. Haters might make negative comments to you or about you. They generally make people feel unliked. You might find yourself feeling humiliated when dealing with people you feel hate you. People who dislike you might be intolerant of you or make you feel like you don't matter. If that's the case, there is help available to learn to cope with people who dislike you.
Why do I hate being around people?
People deal with people in social interactions in various ways. All people feel the need to be alone sometimes for positive reasons, but if hatred keeps you from being with others, seeking help can turn your life in a more positive direction. Negative reasons for hating being around people include feeling anxious when you're with others, unliked, that you can't be yourself, or that you'll say or do something that you'll regret. People we dislike can make us feel uncomfortable, so we try to avoid them. Depression and social anxiety disorder can also make you feel like you hate being around people. A therapist can help you learn ways successful people deal with social anxiety and overcome their discomfort around others. Learning to be with people can help you feel more connected and fulfilled.
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