Reflexive love and hate

A comment was left on the last post by the delightfully-named Devil’s Avocado, and I thought it was so interesting I wanted to throw it open. Here you go; zie says:

“So what about ‘I hate you’? I have a theory, based simply on what goes on in my own head, that it almost always means ‘I hate myself.’ So is there an argument to say that ‘I love you’ may often mean ‘I love myself’? (In a good way, obviously.)”


7 responses to “Reflexive love and hate

  1. Ooh! Gut reaction: If by which you mean “I hate/love who I am when I am with you” – I’d buy that. I believe that it is within the power of a connection to bring out the best, worst, or anything between, in us. I also think it’s fair to say that we purport to “love” people who make us the best version of ourselves and accuse to “hate” people who make us resort to behaviours we’d rather not .. (anger, pettiness perhaps?)


    I might say more on this in due course – but that’s my instinctive $0.02 !

    • What I said in the previous entry was this, FWIW: ” I think sort of, yes – or at least ‘I am able to love you because I love myself’. If you’re unhappy or insecure or troubled, it’s harder – if not impossible – to extend healthy love to others.”

    • Also, this totally relates to the comment I left on your blog about love improving us – I think part of the reason you fall in love with someone in the first place is that slightly narcissistic thing of loving who they see when they look at you.

      • “I think part of the reason you fall in love with someone in the first place is that slightly narcissistic thing of loving who they see when they look at you.”

        In that case, I wonder if or how this applies to unrequited love?

      • I wonder too! Perhaps it’s that healthy unrequited love (as opposed to the unhealthy deluded kind) is still based on the existing relationship between the two people, it just happens not to be (say) a romantic relationship. So there must be some free flow of affection, admiration, liking etc between them. And if that’s not there, then it seems to me to be sliding over into the unhealthy end of unrequited love anyway.

        Actually though, that’s an interesting thought. Falling in love sends you a bit mad, but it’s a socially sanctioned and even admired form of madness. Tandem weirdness makes it okay. But unrequited love shows it up for the madness it is – someone going through all the intensity and obsession of falling in love, but all on their own, looks a bit… well, mad.

  2. Devil's Avocado

    To love someone who doesn’t love you back may be mad but it’s still love. To demand love is madness. Stalking is bad.

    • That’s my point – falling in love, that heightened state of obsession, sends you temporarily mad, but if there are two of you doing it at once, it’s a socially-sanctioned form of madness. Whereas going through that obsession all on one’s own shows it up for what it is.

      I imagine we can all agree on ‘stalking is bad’!

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