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In (most) every breakup, there is a line that is almost always uttered, in some form:
“I hope you don’t hate me.”
So prevalent is this one sentiment that it was immortalized in the infamous “The Post-It Always Sticks Twice” episode during season six of Sex and The City:
But there is another line from breakups that doesn’t receive nearly as much attention, despite the fact that it’s almost always uttered in response to the first:
“Of course I don’t hate you.”
It’s this one simple sentence that’s put me into a quandary. If the natural opposite of love is hate, why are we unwilling to allow ourselves to feel that? And even if we do allow ourselves to feel it, why are then loath to actually say it? Why is it that our automatic response when someone breaks our most important organ is to absolve them of any negative feelings they may have created?
The answer is, of course, complicated. But the biggest factor, I’ve found, is the notion that hating someone that breaks up with you somehow gives them the upper-hand; that by saying there’s no hate, we are the bigger person, that we somehow “win” the breakup. But I don’t know that I buy that philosophy. First off, why do we automatically assume that the person who escapes the relationship with the least feelings is the winner, particularly since both parties know that’s bullshit anyway? And let’s be honest – no one actually “wins” a breakup. It’s not a game of winners and losers, and to view it as such probably means you weren’t mature enough to have a successful relationship to begin with.
Here’s my take: a little hate (in a breakup) is healthy. By hate, I don’t mean going scorched earth on social, taking a crowbar to his windshield, or forwarding those dick pics to his mom. Instead, I’m talking about the kind of hate that helps us move on. We aren’t friends with people we hate – so there won’t be any of that “trying to be friends” bullshit that never, ever ends well, despite what certain urban legends may say. We don’t talk to people we hate – so there won’t be any “just saying hi” texts. The bottom line, if a little hate is what it takes to help us get past the heartbreak, what’s so wrong with that?
So maybe the next time we hear the inevitable version of “I hope you don’t hate me,” we stop kidding ourselves and sparing them from our feelings, and answer with a “I sure do, motherfucker” and dip out with our heads – and middle fingers – held high..