21 Signs Of A Love-Hate Relationship & How To Fix It (2024)

Every relationship has its ups and downs. And it can’t be all sunshine and roses all time; that’s just not how life works. 

But having a love-hate relationship is another story. One day you’re crazy in love and obsessing over each other, the next day you can’t stand each other anymore.

That’s exhausting, to say the least! And relationships shouldn’t be emotionally draining and intense. They should be our comfort zone and a place where we feel at peace. 

If your relationship goes from one extreme to the other in a short period of time, this is the article for you. Today, we’re going to talk about signs of a love-hate relationship and how to fix it.

Let’s start from the top.

What Is a Love-Hate Relationship?

Before we dive deep into love-hate relationships, let’s first unravel this love-hate cycle.

A love-hate relationship is a relationship where you feel like you hate your partner as much as love them. It entails extreme emotions of love and hatred where you and your partner swing from one extreme to another. 

The intense emotions in such a relationship make you feel like you’re on a never-ending emotional rollercoaster. You just can’t catch a break with your partner, and this love-hate situation can definitely ruin a relationship.

As much as it’s great to have passion and excitement in a relationship, that’s not to say you should constantly vacillate between love and hate with your partner. 

Passion and peace can co-exist in a loving relationship, so it’s important to learn to navigate the love-hate cycle if you’re in one.

What Is a Love/Hate Relationship Called?

Though often referred to as ambivalent relationships, there’s no other specific term to determine love-hate relationships. The term ‘love-hate relationship’ already does a great job of pointing out the obvious. 

A love-hate relationship is exactly what it sounds like – a relationship where love and hate coincide. So, when people find themselves in relationships full of strong feelings, extreme emotions, and intense behaviors, we usually refer to them as ‘love-hate relationships’.

Can a Love/Hate Relationship Work?

Love Hate Relationship
Picture by Drazen Zigic on Freepik

A love-hate relationship tends to be a never-ending cycle. With that said, with enough maturity, self-reflection, and self-work, a love-hate relationship can work.

Always remember that it takes two people to make a relationship work. And it takes only one person to ruin it.

So, if you want to fix your love-hate relationship, that’s great. But does your partner want the same? Talk about it.

Unless you both work together towards a resolution, the chances are your relationship won’t succeed. 

What Is an Example of a Love/Hate Relationship?

A love-hate relationship is emotionally intense and draining

In such a relationship, you feel like you can’t live without the other person. You want to be with them and everything is drawing you to each other. At the same time, you hate the way they act. You hate how they act around others or around you. You also dislike how you act when you are with them. 

It’s a vicious love-hate cycle where you constantly feel like you can’t be happy no matter what you do. Also, it’s very difficult to break this cycle if you don’t work on yourself and you think you don’t deserve better.

Related article: Push-Pull Relationship – How To Break The Cycle

What Are the Signs of a Love/Hate Relationship?

1. You can’t stop breaking up and making up

If you’re one of those couples that’s constantly on and off again, that’s a sign you have a love-hate relationship. Something is not working for you, so it might be time to do something about it.

2. You’re experiencing extreme emotions

Swinging from one extreme to another is typical love-hate couple behavior. When you love each other, it’s to the extreme. But unfortunately, you take the hatred to the extreme as well which is not healthy. 

3. Your relationship feels unstable

If it feels unstable and unsafe, it probably is. There’s not much more to unpack there. You should feel secure around your partner, and not like you’re walking on eggshells.

4. One day you love them, the next day you can’t stand them

One minute, it’s all sunshine and rainbows, but the next one, you’re having the fight of your life. That’s a typical sign of love-hate relationships.

5. You don’t know how to properly communicate

When a couple stops communicating in a relationship, it all goes downhill from there. How are you ever going to overcome any challenge together if you don’t talk about it?

6. You don’t respect each other’s personal boundaries

In love-hate relationships, personal boundaries are practically non-existent. If you and your partner are constantly breaching each other boundaries, your relationship won’t go anywhere.

7. You pretend you’re a happy couple in front of others

A pretty clear sign that you’re in a toxic relationship is when you find yourself pretending you’re something you’re not in front of others. If your relationship is bad when you’re alone, but picture-perfect when you’re around other people, it’s time to do some serious thinking.

8. You both constantly feel exhausted

If you’re constantly fighting and arguing, there will come a time when you will become exhausted. It’s not healthy to be surrounded by chaos, so do something about it before it’s too late.

9. Your relationship is a never-ending drama

Couple drama is only interesting in soap operas. But in real life, your relationship shouldn’t be dramatic. Quite the opposite, it should be smooth sailing for both of you.

Related: Therapist Hacks – How To Stop Fighting With Your Partner

10. You constantly feel on edge

Even when everything is okay between you, you can’t stop feeling anxious or like something bad is going to happen any minute now.

That’s a clear sign you have developed trauma in that relationship, and it’s going to keep getting worse if you don’t do something about it.

11. There’s no real connection between you

A lack of connection is another serious problem in love-hate relationships. If there’s nothing but the physical attraction between you, you won’t be able to evolve as a couple

12. You don’t see a future together

If you can’t picture a future with your partner, you should ask yourself if you’re in the right relationship. Sometimes you need to be honest with yourself because that’s the only way to be happy.

13. You complain to your besties all the time

Your friends will always be there for you, that’s a fact. However, if you find yourself constantly complaining to them about your partner, something is off in your relationship.

14. You avoid working on your emotional baggage

Everyone has emotional baggage from past relationships. But if your past trauma is getting in the way of your current relationship and neither of you wants to do something about it, your relationship might suffer.

15. Your relationship feels superficial

Signs Of A Love Hate Relationship
Photo by Racool_studio on Freepik

Strong passion is usually the glue that keeps a love-hate relationship together. But if your entire relationship is artificial, you won’t last much longer.

16. You post on social media to make yourself feel better

If you’re obsessed with how your relationship looks to other people on social media, it’s a clear sign that something is off. Start worrying more about real life, and avoid posting on socials to make yourself feel better.

17. You keep fantasizing about other people

Thinking about other people from time to time is normal. But if you can’t stop fantasizing about other people, it’s a clear sign you’re not happy.

18. Your friends are worried about you

Always remember that your friends love you. So if they tell you they’re worried about you, it means exactly that – they’re worried about you. Instead of trying to fight them on this, ask yourself if your relationship is good for you.

19. You secretly hope they will end it

If you find yourself secretly wishing your partner will end it, you need to do something as soon as possible. Talk to your parents, friends, or a professional to find a way out because there’s always a solution, remember that.

20. You can’t stand them and it’s getting worse every day

You can’t stand them. They ruin your day. You are not happy. These are all massive red flags, so it’s time to walk away.

21. You know deep down that you’re not happy

At the end of the day, you just know it in your gut. You know deep down that they’re not for you. Your gut is telling you everything you need to know, you just won’t listen. 

Well, take this article as a sign to finally follow your intuition and find your true happiness somewhere else.

How to Fix a Love-Hate Relationship

Being in a love-hate relationship can take its toll on you. And when you finally think you’re happy and thriving, you get pulled into that vicious love-hate cycle all over again. And again, and again, and again…

It’s completely normal to want to fix your relationship before you walk away. It’s human nature, after all. You should definitely try your best, but it’s important to know your limits. 

It takes two to fix a relationship, so always have that in mind.

Here are some tips for fixing a love-hate relationship.

  • Put your mental health and well-being first
  • Create (or strengthen) your boundaries
  • Protect your boundaries
  • Learn to properly communicate your feelings
  • Seek professional help
  • Decide if the relationship is worth saving
  • Walk away if you’re unhappy

Love-Hate Relationship Psychology

How To Fix A Love Hate Relationship
Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash

You might be wondering what the psychology is behind love-hate relationships. 

These types of relationships often happen at a young age when you’re still not emotionally mature to understand the world and see your partner for who they really are. These relationships usually start out of passion and attraction, but we shouldn’t mistake these feelings for love.

Over time, as you start growing and developing your personality, you start seeing your partner for what they truly are.

If they are not who you need or want in life, you may start to develop some confusing feelings that could later grow into anger and hatred. Even if there’s still strong passion between you, at times you may experience severe hatred for one another.

Love-Hate Relationship Movies

Let’s face it, Hollywood is obsessed with love-hate relationships. At least, that was the case before. Luckily, new times have come and so have new generations and new movies.

Growing up watching love-hate relationship movies is definitely not good. You start idealizing these types of relationships, looking for real-life drama, and searching for twisted relationships.

However, real life is not like in movies. With that said, it’s great to see that today there is more and more movies that celebrate healthy and devoted love, and not toxic and tragic love.

Love-Hate Relationship Novel

Similar to love-hate relationship movies, novels on the same topic are everywhere around us. Again, I suggest you choose to read books about healthy relationships, not those glorifying the love-hate cycle.

On another hand, sometimes it’s good to get a glimpse of what love-hate relationships look like so that you know how to recognize them and avoid them. 

Love-Hate Relationship With a Guy

Can Love Hate Relationships Work
Photo by Drazen Zigic on Freepik

If at least two or three of the above-mentioned signs resonate with you, unfortunately, it means you’re in a love-hate relationship. I suggest you talk openly with your boyfriend about your feelings. The chances are he’s not happy either. 

Romantic relationships play a crucial part in our everyday lives, so if you’re not happy with your boyfriend and he’s not happy with you, it’s time to do something about it.

Whether it’d be sitting down to have an honest conversation or seeking help from a professional counselor, there are many different ways to break the toxic cycle. Even if it means walking away from each other.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for taking the time to read my article. I hope you found this article helpful and that you understand love-hate relationships better.

Being in a love-hate relationship is emotionally intense and tough, to say the least. But always remember that you deserve to be happy. 

You deserve to be in a loving relationship where you can be your true self without feeling anxious, intense, or like you’re walking on eggshells.

If you have any additional questions about the love-hate cycle, I’m here to help!

Don’t hesitate to reach out or leave a comment in the section below. Let me know your thoughts and I hope I hear from you soon!

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.