The Difference And Similarities Between Love And Hate

How brain process differences and similarities of love and hate

By Adina Mazilu
The Difference And Similarities Between Love And Hate

Our brain executes a lot of interesting processes throughout our lives, and love and hate are just two of those. In essence, both of those feelings are very similar in the sense that they are often directed at a person or a group of people that trigger them in us. And yet, when we talk of love and hate, we always think of them as two opposing forces that should never co-exist. Or should they?

Loving someone means wishing all the best to them, wanting them to succeed in every aspect of their life, and admiring them for what they are. Hating someone means the exact opposite, wanting them to fail, have a bad life, and not liking what person they are. Those are two extremely fascinating concepts of the human brain that deserve a little bit of attention. In this article, this is what we are going to do in order to understand the similarities and differences between love and hate a lot better.

It's a Thin Line Between Love And Hate

You don’t exactly need to have studied human psychology or be an expert in this domain to realize that love and hate can co-exist in our daily lives. Experience teaches all of us that where there’s strong love, there can also be strong feelings of hate, and the other way around. But how is this possible? Well, it’s a very thin line between love and hate, and we as people know it all too well.

Feelings of love and hate are two of the strongest that exist, and if you happen to have them both in your life, they can keep you very busy and awake at night. The main idea is that both of those emotions are a lot different than other emotions and can really wreak havoc in both yours and your partner’s lives. It’s very interesting to consider the concept of physical attraction when talking about love and hate. Loving someone comes with the need to have intimate contact with them, to always being near them, touching and caressing them. Now think of hate. Don’t be surprised to find yourself in dire need of touching the person you hate, but not in a nice way. This is just an example to showcase just how powerful these two emotions are and just how thin the line between them is.

The main problem with such relationships is that you cannot continue like this unless you step away from that thin line that we mentioned. Without some balance, there cannot be peace. Getting near that thin line becomes clear whenever your love feeling intensifies. You might just start feeling both emotions at the same time. Beyond that, becoming stuck on something that once hurt you, like one of your partner’s remarks, can easily turn love into hate.

Jealousy and possession are two things that are born from this unhealthy combo of love and hate. Insecurity lies at the root of both of them, which comes from strong feelings of love combines with hate. Overreacting and becoming abusive towards your partner are usually the next steps when it comes to such a relationship. This is the main reason why such a mix of feelings should be kept far away and you should distance yourself from that thin line between love and hate.

What Does A Love/Hate Relationship Mean?

As previously mentioned, a love/hate relationship is difficult to explain, but in its essence, it can be very straightforward. One of the most popular reasons for this crazy duality to occur is when your love is not reciprocated. This is especially difficult if you think of yourself as a lovable and nice person and find out that the one you are falling in love with does not feel the same way. It can drive anyone mad and can make you target the other person with your negative feelings which, after a while, might turn into hate.

Another reason why you might start a love/hate relationship with someone is when they take away your personal freedom, willingly or even unwillingly. Being in a relationship means spending time with that person. However, sometimes, you might feel like your own personal freedom is destroyed this way and that you no longer have any time for yourself and your own pleasures. In time, if not discussed and solved, this small issue can turn into a mountain of hate towards that other person because you feel controlled and like you’re in jail.

Being vulnerable in a relationship can also turn it into a love/hate one because you let your guard down and, in turn, you begin hating that person for making you do this, willingly or not.

The other person’s bad habits can also make you hate them, even if, in the beginning, you probably loved them very much. This is the root of all abusive relationships that happen nowadays where one of the partners becomes hateful of the other one because of the way they behave. In such cases, this problematic relationship should no longer exist and both partners should find their own ways, before more serious things happen.

The Similarities Between Love And Hate

You may wonder why love and hate, two feelings that appear to be at the opposing ends of the emotional spectrum, have so many things in common and why do they often co-exist. That’s because they also have many similarities too.

  • Their strength: love and hate are two of the strongest emotions that a human being is capable of. You cannot love or hate someone “a little” because it just doesn’t make any sense. For such cases, we use different words like “like” or “dislike” someone. Also, hate derives from love and it’s especially present when that love is not reciprocated or it abruptly ends. Without strong feelings of love, there cannot be strong feelings of hate.
  • Their recipient: like love, hate is also directed at someone else. When you love someone, all the responsibility to make you happy is on their shoulders. You cannot intervene in any way to make it easier. When the other person doesn’t quite act the way you expect to, feelings of hate appear and develop, also towards that other person. Yes, you might think that there is something wrong with you if they don’t like you back, but there’s a long way from this to hating yourself. Usually, you begin hating the other one.

Famous Song And Movie Quotes That Express Both Love And Hate

This fascinating connection between love and hate has been the subject of many songs and movies throughout the eras. Just another proof that, if you are going through something similar, you’re not the only one. Some of the most popular hits and blockbuster movies are based on this complex idea because it offers a lot of interesting ideas and situations that can be displayed and exploited so that people can learn from them. Here is a selection of quotes from famous songs and movies that relate to the duality of love and hate:

  • “I hate the way you love” – The Kills
  • “Thin line between love and hate” – The Persuaders. 
  • “Love and hate what a beautiful combination/ Sending shivers up and down my spine” – Erasure
  • “Without you/ Can't stop the hurt inside/ When love and hate collide” – Def Leppard,
  • “Love me or hate me, both are in my favor” – William Shakespeare
  • “Believe me when I say it took a lot of love for me to hate him the way I do.” – Legend (2015)
  • “But jealousy is just to love and hate at the same time.” – Drake

Related Article: How to manage if you are in a Love-Hate Relationship
How to manage if you are in a Love-Hate Relationship

What is a Love-Hate Relationship and how to cope with it


All in all, when talking about love, from now on, expect people to also talk about hate. The differences and similarities between these two concepts are a very interesting topic to expand on, and definitely something to think about in regards to your own relationship. As we have seen in this article, there are a lot of things that these two emotions have in common, as weird as it may sound. So, it’s about yourself and how you can balance them so that your life is harmonious and happy, without you having to worry about getting slowly dragged into a love/hate relationship.



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