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Writing Love/Hate Relationships

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“Hey Lizard. How can you do a love/hate relationship? Not romantic, but friendship.”

So I want to start this by saying there isn’t just one kind of love/hate relationship. 

The thing is love/hate is an expression that gets thrown around and it can mean anything from a terribly abusive relationship to an otherwise healthy relationship with some annoyances or joking jabs. 

Sometimes love/hate relationships can be abusive or cruel but that’s not the case across the board. Love/hate relationships can be more love than hate and hate in the places that matter less in the relationship. The hate can be more annoyance, aggravation, or frustration than actual hate. It varies. 

These relationships can be romantic in nature or just between friends. Really what I think is probably the most notable aspect of a love/hate relationship is that this relationship ties into the identity of the person feeling the love/hate. When you feel that you’re part of some dynamic duo and that is something that helps define you as a person, you are going to be less likely to want to give up that relationship on a moment on the drastic downswing. If this person is your partner in crime, you’re going to love the part of them that enables them to be that partner you’re looking for, even if there are other aspects of your relationship you absolutely despise. I bring up identity for a reason. If your relationship to another person is a definitive part of your identity, you may be less likely to end the relationship even if it is unhealthy or hateful. 

I won’t tell you how to write your own love/hate relationship, if only because there isn’t just one kind of love/hate that can exist between two people. I think if this is something you’re striving for, try to think about the dynamic between them. What about this relationship do they appreciate? Is it a quality in the other person? Is it something that they are able to do with this person that they’ve never felt able to express in any other relationship? Then on the other side of it, what do they hate? What bothers them? What are the things they avoid sharing with other people? What don’t they let others see about this relationship? 

Knowing both sides will give you a better handle on what their relationship is like and determine why they can’t let the relationship go. 

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