4 Small Gestures That Could Mean You're In A Love-Hate Relationship

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“I hate you / I love you / I hate that I love you / Don't want to, but I can't put nobody else above you.” There's no doubt about it — these gnash lyrics are straight up heart-wrenching, and that's because for many of us, they’re relatable AF. If you’ve ever been in this kind of relationship, then you know the distinct pain and confusion that comes with being #blessed by your boo one minute and then battling them in a heated throw-down the next. It’s straight-up exhausting, and it may lead you to wonder, “Am in a love-hate relationship?” Fortunately, there are ways to answer this question. All you have to do is keep a lookout for certain behaviors that may point to the volatility of your relationship.

“A love-hate relationship is often created by a partner who continually lets you down,” NYC-based relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter tells Elite Daily. “You’re attracted to them and enjoy being with them. They are charismatic and charming. And most definitely, the sex is fantastic.”

While the chemistry may be explosive, however, there is a problematic side to this type of relationship.

“The emotion is so intense that it sparks intense feelings of hatred at times when you aren't receiving the intense love you are putting out,” Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Elite Daily. “Some people call it passion, but I like to think of it as two people that haven't learned how to treat each other well during disagreements that really do love each other."

Obviously, this kind of cycle can prove rather emotionally draining for both partners — but if you can recognize it, you can do something about it. So, here are some red flags to look out for that can suggest you’re in a love-hate relationship.

You alternate between ranting and raving about each other to friends and family.
Jamie Grill Atlas/Stocksy

TBH, your brother and your college bestie don’t really know what to think about your relationship. According to Trombetti, if you and your boo have a tendency to trash each other or complain to loved ones a lot, that can signal that you’re in a love-hate relationship.

When things are going well, you can’t say enough good things about them, but as soon as you have a disagreement, you may look to loved ones to validate your frustrations. It’s totally normal for your friends to be a sounding board when you’re going through a tough time with bae, but when it’s a never-ending cycle of singing your partner’s praises and then putting them down a week later, you may want to take a step back and consider the health of your relationship.

You're quick to break up — but even quicker to make up.

If you’ve split and reconciled more times than Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth (too soon?), that’s another sign you may have a love-hate kind of bond.

“For example, one person might always break off the relationship to try out other people but ultimately, returns to their initial partner,” says Trombetti.

If your upbringing was a constant rollercoaster ride, Trombetti notes that you may actually be addicted to the drama, because you're accustomed to it.

“You might be subconsciously trying to recreate your past with this chaotic love you call a relationship,” she adds.

However, very often, on-again, off-again relationships happen because both people aren’t really working to resolve their core issues. So, after reuniting, they end up having the same arguments over and over again. When you love someone deeply, yet hate some of their habits, tendencies, or traits, then you may find yourself in a pretty tumultuous situation.

Either or both of you demonstrate intermittent apathy.
Giorgio Magini/Stocksy

If at least one of you shows indifference or a consistent lack of consideration for the other partner’s feelings or needs, Trombetti says that could hint at the possibility that you’re in a love-hate relationship.

“You might take each other for granted, or at least one of you does,” she adds.

This is especially true if the apathy is sporadic and unpredictable. For example, if your boo is showering you with validation and emotional support one minute, and then quick to withdraw it during a conflict, that kind of flippant behavior is usually a red flag. For a relationship to be stable and healthy, both people must be continually motivated to ensure their partners feel secure, heard, and loved.

You sometimes make decisions knowing that they will upset the other person.

It goes a little something like this. After a blissful week with bae, they do something that bothers you, so you retaliate by doing something that you know will piss them off.

This kind of blatant disregard for each other’s preferences may just seem like inconsiderate behavior, but according to Trombetti, it could also be a sign that your relationship is the love-hate kind. This can also easily tread into toxic territory, because intentionally doing something that you know will hurt your partner breeds distrust and resentment.

If you’re starting to suspect you have a love-hate relationship on your hands, don’t assume it’s not salvageable. The first step is to acknowledge the situation you’re in, and then determine what specific gestures of behaviors are contributing to it.

“Love-hate relationships usually happen when the couple has immature or poor ways of expressing their feelings or they don't communicate well,” explains Trombetti. “It doesn't mean you don't love each other. But these poor behaviors can cause the hate dynamic.”

According to Winter, the key is to openly and honestly address the problematic behaviors with your SO, as well as develop strong boundaries. As long as your partner shows a genuine interest in and dedication to improving the dynamic in your relationship, there’s definitely hope for you to achieve a healthier bond. However, if they continue ignoring your needs, wishes, and boundaries, then you may need to take a step back and consider what kind of emotional toll the relationship is taking on you.

“At some point, you’ll either make peace with the situation or leave,” explains Winter.

Ultimately, the only way to make a positive change is to recognize the need for one. And provided you and your partner are both equally invested in making the relationship work, as well as capable of taking responsibility for your actions, then the possibilities are endless. After all, there’s just as much love as there is hate between you and your boo, so it’s important to focus on the positive elements while working through the negative ones.

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