.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, September 24, 2007

Theory #38: It's a Thin Line Between Love and Hate

It's Smart Bitches Day!

When I was writing about Beauvallet, it really started me thinking about the books that have mortal enemies falling in love, and the concept of love being akin to hate.

I've since read a handful more romances with couples who start out with at least one of them hating the other. I'm not buying it.

I know conventional wisdom says love and hate are two sides of the same coin, and that it's not that hard to go from one to the other, and it's true that nobody can make you as furious as someone you love, but I'm thinking of people I truly loathe, and they're without exception loathsome--hypocritical, violent, and vile--and there's not a chance in hell that I feel that way about them because I secretly love them.

I think love can turn to hate easily enough, and I can see how if you loved someone, then they betrayed you and you hated them, and if they made amends or you found out it wasn't their fault or something, I can believe that hate turning back to love. But someone you hate as soon as you get to know them? I don't think you're ever going to love them (other than possibly in the "love your neighbor" sense).

I'm not talking about the playground game of hitting a boy because you like him, or being irritable because you're too attracted to someone and you don't want to be. That's not really hate. I'm also not talking about someone you hate in theory without knowing them--like when a friend of a friend has bad-mouthed them, or you hate men who wear red shirts or something.

I used to just accept the convention in books and go with the flow, generally finding it amusing to see characters falling in love with their worst enemies. But then I started thinking about it (probably not a good idea), and I've found myself unable to believe it. I don't know anyone in a happy successful romantic relationship who really hated their significant other initially--before loving them.

So, is it a real phenomenon? Do people really fall in love with people they hate? Or is it just a literary convention--a way to make a more interesting story by raising the romantic stakes? I kind of miss enjoying those stories, but I can't stuff my disbelief back in its closet and lock the door.


Categories: , ,

Labels: , ,

I think there's a difference between antipathy /antagonism that results in hateful behavior and true hate. I would suggest that what we see in novels is more the first thing.
Actual hate? Like someone killed by kid in a drunk hit-and-run hate? Hella no. And then I stalk that person and wind up in jail. But a healthy dose of dislike based on circumstance or misunderstanding? I've had that happen with eventual friends. I don't see why it couldn't have turned to love if those friends had been guys.
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?