What Is a Love-Hate Relationship?

 What Is a Love-Hate Relationship?

What Is a Love-Hate Relationship_ichhori.webp

If it feels like your relationship has a lot of ups and downs and you hate your partner as much as you love them, you may be in a love-hate relationship.

People in love-hate relationships experience intense emotions and tend to vacillate between one end of the love-hate spectrum to the other extreme, says Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, a clinical psychologist, and professor at Yeshiva University. 

Romanoff says that these relationships feel like rollercoasters, as there is both excitement and exhaustion, and couples must navigate the more negative aspects of these relationships like aggression and frustration to reap the benefits like passion and thrill.

This article examines the causes and effects of love-hate relationships and some coping tactics.

Causes of Love-Hate Relationships

Below, Romanoff explores the causes of love-hate relationships and how they might affect your mental health.

Having Volatile Relationships in Early Life

People who have had chaotic or volatile relationships in their early years may find refuge in the unstable character of love-hate relationships since it is familiar to them. They may interpret conflict as a method to communicate love.

Conflict, for these people, is a method to assess their partner's interest in them by their persistence in seeking a resolution. The intimacy felt after a relationship's resolution following a breakup can feel more intimate than not having one at all.

As a result, solid and even-keeled relationships may become dull, or they may begin to mistrust how the other person feels about them.

The issue with love-hate relationships is the notion that the anguish and tension they bring are related to relationship connection. What these people frequently fail to comprehend is that these partnerships are not the norm and that there are other options.

However, their previous experiences have taught them that this is their only option. They are unaware that there are people who will regard their sentiments, be considerate of their preferences, and communicate freely and effectively.

Furthermore, because they are always navigating extremes, the good in these relationships or how the pair works well together will be amplified relative to the bad, so many couples have a skewed sense of how the relationship is and is not working for them.

By considering the long-term impact and durability of these patterns, these people must learn to let go of what they receive from fighting.

Feeling Unworthy of Love

People who are in love-hate relationships may have vulnerability issues such as feeling worthless or unlovable. Chaotic relationships may reinforce these attitudes about themselves, and they may believe they are undeserving of more.

As a result, their most negative or critical self-thoughts are reinforced by these partnerships. They also give them a false sense of being loved and may lead them to believe that their connection is more valuable because of the effort and strife they went through for it.

The truth is that just because you don't have chronic or daily problems in your relationship doesn't imply it isn't valuable. In truth, it's the reverse, yet believing in the connection without daily proof of what you're sacrificing for demands confidence in the relationship.

Navigating Love-Hate Relationships

Be more conscious of your emotions: Instead of passively accepting the destructive cycle of your relationship, become more active in learning about it. Start labeling your feelings and reactions to your partner's conduct. Begin to factor yourself into these patterns by writing down your thoughts and feelings. When you take the time to process how you're feeling, you'll gain perspective and find new answers to challenges you hadn't considered before.

Establish boundaries: Take inventory of exactly what isn't working for you so that you can plan activities for when it happens again. Take back your power by establishing boundaries in your relationships and characteristics you will no longer tolerate.

Reach out for assistance: People in these situations are often lonely and lack social support from family and friends who can validate their feelings and assist them in coping with challenges. Most likely, you lack a clear viewpoint, and your position in the relationship biases your approach to managing it.

Decide how you want to proceed: You don't have to end or break up the relationship, but you do have a choice over how you participate in it. Recognize your role in the negative parts of the relationship and begin to bring modest modifications or variations in the way you respond to conflict, paying attention to how your spouse changes or does not change in response.

A Word From Ichhori

Instead of a consistent rhythm, love-hate relationships tend to give both negative and positive extremes. They can hurt both partners' mental health; nonetheless, the cycle can be difficult to escape if one does not know what healthy relationships look like or does not believe they deserve more.

If you're in a love-hate relationship, it's critical to start creating and keeping to boundaries, as well as seeking support from loved ones or a mental healthcare specialist.

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