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What is stronger, love or hate?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Breaking up, Dating, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (7 March 2012) 20 Answers - (Newest, 23 April 2012)
A male United States age 41-50, anonymous writes:


I am wondering about a philosophical question, but one that has great impact on me personally. I am wondering, what is stronger, love or hate?

I wonder about this because I have felt hate for a woman that has been very strong. She used me, acted callously, took money, and treated me like a doormat (though it is true I allowed her to).

Though we no longer speak, I still feel hate, particularly because she is not sorry for anything she does (to me or anyone else).

The hate I feel is so strong, unfortunately more than any love I have ever felt towards a woman. Maybe this says a lot about me.

But I am wondering what is stronger, love or hate? It seems that hate is such a powerful force in this world--moreso than love. What does this say about our world? And what does it say about me? Perhaps I am a hateful person...

Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

View related questions: money

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A reader, anonymous, writes (23 April 2012):

The pain I have felt from loosing love in my life has far far far outweighed the pain I have felt associated with hate. I believe Love is stronger.

I have also found the hate feelings pass far quicker than the love feelings. Thus love is stronger.

I have found I can have a LOT more control over my feelings of hate, and work them out, forgive, move on, forget.... and yet I have found I can not stop loving feelings, not matter how much I want go. Again, Love is stronger.

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A male reader, jj12345678 Antarctica +, writes (20 April 2012):

well dude i know a girl just like this one. as u said she uses and throws. But

1 we guys are at fault cos we let ourselves knowingly be used

2 when a girl knows that the guy gives in to her she begins to despise him and soon leaves him

3 when a girl cannot control a guy easily she begins to respect him and gets attracted to him

4 this is a good lesson for both of us to be strong in our dealings with women

5 we probably thought that being nice and being a doormat would get us sex or friendship or love but you see it don't work this way

6 from now on be more true to what u really want drom a woman and if ur not getting joy out of it walk away

7 never give money to a woman who is not a beggar cos the minute the user woman gets it she will walk away and delete ur number..if u don't give money she will stay on hoping to get it u can string her along a bit

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 March 2012):


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A female reader, Fate100percent United Kingdom +, writes (9 March 2012):

That's the spirit. Think positive, onwards and upwards!

Maybe someone hurt her badly in the past and that's why she is as she is now? Who knows?!

Anyway, I do believe what goes around comes around... ;-)

(You're not with her now, because you deserve better than her). Feel sorry for her next victims! Maybe life let you meet her, so you can appreciate the nicer person you end up with?


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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States +, writes (9 March 2012):

Tisha-1 agony auntThink about this experience as being a learning phase in your life. There are some people who never will know the negative impact they have had in other's lives. Or worse, they will know but not care.

I think the healthiest way to deal with these people is to recognize that they are unconscious. They don't know that they are dysfunctional ... pity them, rather than hate them.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (9 March 2012):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you again. All good food for thought.

Problem is, somehow this woman escapes karma. She manages to slide through men, taking what she wants and then making it seem like the other person is rejecting her when it is over. So her hands remain clean. I know she is not a happy person, but she keeps moving ahead without looking back or inside of herself so it doesn't catch up with her so much.

But I have to let go and have faith better things will come in her place.

Thanks again for the wisdom.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (8 March 2012):

Honeypie agony auntWhen you realize that hating HER isn't helping YOU moving forward.

You have heard the expression, living well is the best revenge?

At some point you will accept that YOU dated a women who wasn't good for you, that she took advantage of you and that YOU let her. Learn from it. That is what mistakes are for.

Hating her will not make her realize she did you wrong, hating her will not make her life harder or yours easier.

You will stop hating her when you are ready to let all that junk go. It's kind of like forgiveness. You can't fully forgive someone til YOU are ready.

So forgive yourself for falling for someone who turned out to be a bad choice. When you can do that, maybe you will be ready to let the hate go and change your thinking. Who cares about her any more, right? Screw her and remember Karma works at "her" own pace. :)

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A female reader, Fate100percent United Kingdom +, writes (8 March 2012):

How long ago did this person hurt you?

It's not 'wrong' to initially feel hate towards someone that hurt you, is just destructive! It serves no purpose, and it doesn't change what that person is or has done. It just makes you bitter and angry. Have you ever written her a letter telling her exactly what you think of her? (You don't send it obviously you just vent it's quite therapeutic)!

I suggest you feel sorry for her and her future conquests instead of hate (she is obviously messed up) You ESCAPED it!

Be the bigger person, accept your part in letting her treat you so bad, then think of what she will be missing in YOU, and what the next person/relationship you have will gain. xx

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (8 March 2012):

chigirl agony auntYou can't help "falling in love", but falling in love is about the intoxication. The need to breed. Not love. You can prefectly well choose who to love.

You can also make a decision not to hate. It demands that you have a highly developed control over your emotions, but most adults do have control over their emotions. We can choose whether to keep ourselves calm and not burst into rage. We can choose whether to stay calm or cry our eyes out. We can choose whether to be nice to someone or be mean to them. Feelings are under control. But you got to take that control.

If you don't want to hate then don't. Forgive instead. Pracice forgiveness. Not being able to forgive comes not from a strong hate, but from a lacking ability within yourself.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (8 March 2012):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you so much for your answers.

I wonder though how one can let go of hate?

One Aunt below said we cannot help to fall in love. But can one help not to fall in hate?

I am trying not to hate this person...but I find it so hard.

Thank you

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A female reader, Anonymous 123 Italy + , writes (8 March 2012):

Anonymous 123 agony auntYou are not a hateful person, you just strongly dislike the woman for what she did to you and you are unable to let go off that feeling.

To answer your question, I like to believe that love is stronger than hate, because love gives us a will to live and carry on, it gives hope and happiness.

As another aunt here said, love and hate are two complete opposite ends of the spectrum. If you cant love the woman in question, then you dont have to necessarily hate her too. It doesnt have to be all black or white. You can be indifferent towards her because she doesnt deserve your thoughts. You'll just be gifting yourself ulcers and a crabby disposition if you continue to hate her. Agreed that she was mean to you, but you know what, most of us have been used by other people and we have willingly allowed ourselves to be used. Why hate the other person then? If you gave her the power to use you, she just took it. Why should she be sorry when you willingly put yourself out there?

Just stop giving her so much attention because she doesn't deserve it. And yes, in my opinion, love is stronger than hate. It gives me hope to say that, hope for a better future and a happier life where love can conquer all.

"He drew a circle that shut me out —

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But Love and I had the wit to win:

We drew a circle that took him in."

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A female reader, Shadow Rose United States +, writes (8 March 2012):

Shadow Rose agony auntIt all depends on the point of view.

But I personally believe that love and hate are like Yin and Yang. We love because we hate, we hate because we love.

It's like, opposite but equal.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 March 2012):

Hate is by far stronger. Nations have gone to war over disdain for one another. Hell, people in the same country have gone so far as to try to exterminate one another because of hate (i.e. Rwanda). Although I will concede that love, true love anyway, is pretty strong. But nowadays, "love" is just a commodity - people go through relationships like one goes through a piece of clothing.

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A female reader, Fate100percent United Kingdom +, writes (7 March 2012):

Great question! You know what they say...there's a fine line between love and hate!

Some people find it easier to forgive and forget (or at least to move on) than others. My view is you probably don't find it so easy.

I think both are strong emotions, but with love it's uncontrollable (you don't choose to fall in love, it just happens), however you can choose to not hate someone. (Sure you can dislike people), but to hate them and give them that much power seems an awful waste of time and emotion-I personally wouldn't give them the satisfaction.

If the woman was as bad as you say, then you're well rid! I wonder if you hate her that much or if you hate yourself for allowing her to treat you like (in your words) a doormat?

Love is a positive emotion (being in love is a good feel factor, it can make you feel on top of the world)and hate is a negative emotion, it doesn't make you feel any better to hate someone does it? (It's a waste of your time and life tbh, what is done is done and you can only learn from it)

P.s. I don't think you're a 'hateful' person, just someone who's been hurt and is finding it hard to put it down to experience, learn from it/move on from it and accept the positives it will bring in new relationships (i.e. you will not let someone treat you badly again) x

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States +, writes (7 March 2012):

Tisha-1 agony auntDepending on the definition of love, in this case I take you to mean 'love' as the romantic, stereotypical 'can't live without you' kind of need you feel, rather than 'love' in terms of accepting and honoring another living being; for me the first kind of romantic love is the flip side of the hate you describe.

To answer your question, which one is stronger? The answer is: the one you feed. You feed the 'hate' side of this emotion-filled equation, so that is the one that is stronger. You feed it by continuing to think about the past situation and not accepting that it happened and then letting it go.

I think you don't realize you have a choice, not to feed the anger and hate, and so you continue with the negative emotions. It's not very healthy for you, honestly. I hope you can find a way to release the anger and move toward acceptance.

Good luck.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 March 2012):

It is interesting how some people seem to be able to walk away from bad experiences and people, with some light perspective of regret but little self harm, and some really hold onto it refusing to drop it. I myself have held on to things at times in my life that truly made me angry. Looking back at those times, I now know with certainty that it was less to do with them and more to do with me. I do feel that people hold onto hate because to be honest and frank, they have nothing else to do, or rather nothing else going for them than to derrive some sense of self. Anger is so easy, to distract, to release unrelated emotions of frustration- at self or society, and therefore some people just take that route.

I do't think there is 'so much hate' in the world, I honestly see it very differently. I see there is a lot of insecurity , fear but not hate. Hate is usually non existent in people who are happy with themselves, maybe because they just work through it seeing it as only harming themselves- rationally why put yourself through misery when you can potentially move on, forget it or write it off? Or perhaps to begin with- they avoid it outright because they are secure enough to spot it and flaws.

You may dislike this woman, her values and actions, her appearance, everything. But without knowing what happened its hard to really understand your situation. So philisophical that is my response.

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A female reader, Ampersand Canada +, writes (7 March 2012):

Ampersand agony auntI believe love to be one of the purest emotions. I once read something that went along the lines of there only being two pure human emotions; love & fear. In some ways that makes sense to me...

Love is simply in existence, perhaps the very first emotion we are introduced to or it could be fear (the birth process) - I won't even pretend to know the answer to that as I don't remember being born :) Hate stems from things such as hurt, fear or ignorance; I don't believe we are born knowing hate.

The world and people are both so complicated but how you choose to view it is your choice. You choose what world you want to live in (obviously rose-colored glasses are not an option)...but the people you surround yourself with, the media you choose to pay attention to, the people you choose to learn from - all affect your views and outlook of the world you're in.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (7 March 2012):

Honeypie agony auntI don't think it's that simple :)

I think as a person love makes you stronger. Holding on to hate for a long period of time doesn't do much for a person. It ages them, makes then depressed and bitter. Letting go of the hate makes you stronger as well.

In life you will come across people who are not "good" people. Spending your time/life hating them is almost like validating them in some way.

However, at times hate can help short term. For you though, the longer you hold on to it, the longer it will take you to get over it and to find real love.

Live and learn.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (7 March 2012):

chigirl agony auntLove is a sort of soft power. It nurtures, heals and grows. Hate is a stronger power as such, it kills, demolishes and destroys.

They are two very similar, yet very different feelings. They can be described as two close feelings in that they are both deep, strong, passionate and extreme. But they are also words apart in terms of how they affect the person with the emotion, what the feeling can result in, and the objective of the feeling.

So it is like comparing apples and oranges. They are both fruits, and both round etc. But they are still two different fruits. You might as well ask what is stronger, hate or sorrow. Love or sorrow. Love or regret. Anger or hate.

They are expressed differently, and as such can't really be compared. Besides, feelings are relative. They can grow, they can diminsh. They can be calm or explosive.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States +, writes (7 March 2012):

So_Very_Confused agony auntNeither is stronger. They are the same emotion on opposite ends of the spectrum.

The opposite of love is not hate the opposite of love is ambivalence.

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