Feeling Love and Hate at the Same Time

Feeling Love and Hate at the Same Time

Last update: 23 February, 2016

“Love and hate are not blind,   but they are blinded by the fire that they themselves carry with them.”


We know what it is to feel love, and also what it is to hate someone. But what happens when they’re both felt at the same time? Why do we feel both love and hate towards someone?

These completely opposite emotions are found in every human being. Surely you’ve felt this type of mixed emotions towards someone before. We can’t explain it and it’s quite confusing, because they’re emotions that are felt at two different extremes.

But although it may be strange, we really have felt opposing feelings on more than one occasion. Have you ever felt both happy and sad at the same time? Maybe so…

It happens, for example, when we have to leave our home for a new job opportunity. Or when a loved one passes away, but it was for the best because they were suffering. It’s times like those when love and hate start to become one emotion.

love and hate

I suffer from emotional ambivalence

Emotional ambivalence is a part of us. We can’t avoid feeling both love and hate, even though it causes us discomfort. When we feel both love and hate, we can consider ourselves to be emotionally ambivalent. This does not mean that we feel hate first and then love, or vice versa.

Emotional ambivalence means that these two emotions, love and hate, don’t substitute each other, but rather coexist together, without displacing one another.

Can emotional ambivalence be considered a psychological disorder? In many cases, emotional ambivalence presents itself in people who suffer from some sort of mental disorderFor example, people with depression, schizophrenia, psychosis, or neurosis can show ambivalent behavior.

But the most common situation of emotional ambivalence is when we feel jealous. In these cases, we love someone, but we also hate them for having relationships with other people or being attractive to others. Jealousy is one of the natural causes of love and hate combining into one feeling.

Emotional ambivalence is normal, but it can cause problems when dealing with other people, because not even we can explain how we feel.

And when we’re in a romantic relationshipambivalence can confuse us and make things not go as well as we wanted.

What does emotional ambivalence feel like?

If you’ve never found yourself in this situation, you probably don’t know how it would feel for love and hate to feel like the same emotion.

You might attraction and repulsion towards someone. You might love that person, but also hate certain attitudes that they have. Maybe you want to talk and not talk at the same time. Or you want to take action, but also remain passive.

All of these contradicting feelings can have a negative effect that many of us hate: feeling paralyzed, without knowing which path we should choose.

cut the string

Consequences of emotional ambivalence

When we find ourselves between two opposite poles that converge into one, our emotions paralyze and confuse us. Ambiguity  is a characteristic of ambivalent people, whose self-esteem gets damaged when they’re unable to decide between two opposing emotions.

They feel strange about their own emotions. They don’t know how to act, and they don’t know how to stop feeling two emotions that should never be felt as one.

This state of chaos lowers their self-esteem because they’re not able to maintain a healthy emotional balance.

They lose trust in themselves. They really don’t know what to feel and what to stop feeling. On occasions, this gives rise to anxiety and loneliness that can lead to a deep depression.

“How sad it was to love and hate at the same time!”

-Leo Tolstoy-

Emotional ambivalence doesn’t last for a very long time. In certain moments, we feel confused by this fusion of emotions, but it passes, and it won’t always happen. Unless, as we’ve seen, you suffer from some sort of psychological disorder.

What about you? Are you ambivalent?

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.