When I Hate You Really Means I Love You
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When I Hate You Really Means I Love You

How do you and the people around you give and receive love?

When I Hate You Really Means I Love You
Courtney Cummings

Through my 19 years of life, I have met and been friends with a variety of different people, each one individual and unique in their own personal ways. I’ve had loud friends who are the life of the party and exude confidence in everything they do; I’ve had quiet friends who don’t talk as much but are the kindest souls I’ve ever known; and I've had friends who don't seem outwardly loud but are the weirdest people when we are alone. Through these people that I have been lucky enough to call my best friends, I have learned that each relationship and each person is different in the way he or she gives and receives love.

One of the easiest ways to spot how people show their love is through words of affirmation. Literally saying out loud how they feel. For some people, they just want it to be known that this is how they feel and there is no point in beating around the bush. In my experience, people who give and receive love this way, tend to want and need constant affirmation. Always telling people they love them or that they would do anything for them, and always wanting people to tell them the same thing in return.

This method of showing love leaves nothing to the imagination. There is no guessing and questioning when in a relationship with someone who voices how they feel, whether it be a friendship or a romantic relationship. But issues can arise when a person’s need to hear words of affirmation repeated back to him or her is not reciprocated. And this could be because the person doesn’t feel the same way or he or she shows their love in a different way.

Another form of giving and receiving love is by way of physical touch. Some people show their love through hugs, a soft touch on the back, or a squeeze of the hand. This way a person can let you know that he or she loves you without actually having to say the words, which might be hard or scary for someone. This form of communicating love can be difficult when the person receiving the love doesn’t enjoy physical touch. I have known people who despised being hugged or even really touched, and I’ve watched this pull my friends apart because it seems as if a person is rejecting the love being given when really it's just a matter of personal space.

One more way people give and receive love is through gifts. Whether it be jewelry or clothes or even just a letter, giving and receiving gifts can be a way that someone shows their affection. This, of course, can be costly, but it can also be nice to have physical proof of someone’s love for you. But again, some people might not see physical gifts as being a declaration of love. They might not understand what a person is trying to express through these gifts.

For me, the way that I show love is actually quite unconventional. I tend to be meanest to the people that I care about the most. I tell people I hate them when in reality, I love them and sometimes, I give insults as compliments. The way I show love is basically backward. And I’m not really sure why this is. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid to let people in for fear that they won’t like what they see and immediately leave. Or maybe I use it, like humor, as a defense mechanism so people don’t see how truly vulnerable I am and how much I actually care.

I can’t tell you the exact reason why I give love the way that I do, and it’s definitely not the right way to do it, by any means. But it’s who I am, and it’s something that I’m working on. People don’t show love in exactly the same way, and part of the struggle of forming relationships is learning how the other person gives and receives love. It’s important to learn how another person shows their love so that there isn’t a miscommunication in that they feel you're rejecting their love. And it’s equally as important to learn how another person receives love so that they aren’t guessing whether or not you truly care about them.

But I think that’s the reason love works. Because eventually, we find someone who we want to give love to and we work to give it to them in the way they receive it. And in turn, they choose to learn how we receive love so they can give it to us in a way that works for us.

Eventually, we find someone that fits. That’s what love is about.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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