The new kind of hate

“Have you ever cared about someone so much, but hated them at the same time?” a guy I was once dating asked me. He was telling me about a phone call he had received from his ex-girlfriend the day before, and felt the need to divulge that he broke up with her because he realized that he didn’t like her.

“I don’t hate anyone,” I told him.

“Even your ex’s?”

I thought about it for a moment, “Even the man that I fell in love with that broke my heart.”

He shrugged as he took my hand. “I guess I don’t hate her, but I really can’t stand her. That’s why I broke up with her. She wanted to marry me. I couldn’t marry someone I can’t stand.”

I was trying not to think about why he was telling me this. I hadn’t even asked about his ex-girlfriend. I mean, isn’t that something that’s supposed to be saved for awhile? Aren’t you not supposed to really talk about previous relationships until you are at least an official couple. And, even then, isn’t it just supposed to be something you say in passing? Like, “Oh yeah, my ex lives in (insert town here) and always hangs out at that pub. I really don’t feel like running into him so maybe we should go to a different bar…”

Anyway, a few weeks after that conversation, I found a picture of his ex-girlfriend and him hanging up on his bedroom wall, hidden behind a photo of his friends. It stung. The pain sliced through me like a knife, even though I had only known him for a few months.  I knew then that even though his relationship had ended years before, he still wasn’t completely over her. That that picture resembled much more than just two people who used to date.

People fall in love for all kinds of reasons. You see something in someone else that pulls at you. That attracts you mentally, physically, emotionally. You grow together. You learn together. You change together. Sometimes it’s for the better. Sometimes not. If it’s the latter, then you may break up. But the fact remains that you once were in love with this person. And even if they have turned crazy, psycho ex on you, can you really say that you truly hate them? Wouldn’t that, in a sense, be saying that you never really loved them in the first place? That you were wrong?

This situation made me realize that I don’t think I will ever be that girl for someone. The girl that the guy will always have somewhere in his heart, and always feel some connection with. The girl he will compare all other girls he meets to. The girl he will keep a picture of in his room, because it would feel like a piece of himself was missing without it.

I hope to God that someday someone cares about me enough to think that they hate me.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maura
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 15:54:47

    I think I was “that girl” for someone awhile ago. I don’t know that I am anymore, and frankly, I don’t care. Mainly because he’s a d-bag.

    The catch is though – once a guy finds the love of his life, “that girl” becomes wildly irrelevant. Trust me, you don’t want to be her – because she is ultimately replaced with time. Nine times out of ten, that picture on the wall is comin’ down. It’s just a matter of when.

    All that being said, I hear you.


    • Wild Oats
      Dec 02, 2010 @ 20:17:52

      You’re right, Maura. Someday, I hope to actually be the “love of his life” girl. The one that makes “that girl” seem like nothing more than a fleeting memory.


  2. G/W
    Dec 03, 2010 @ 09:00:11

    I used to think about this all the time- being “that girl”. Actually, being “any girl” would have worked for me.
    It all started when I was sitting with a few of my male friends and they were talking about how a friend of ours was still hung up on his ex-girlfriend who broke it off with him three years ago. They all agreed that they would have been pretty broken up too if it were them because she was really hot.
    I was surprised by this because she seemed like an average girl. She was cute but there wasn’t anything outwardly outstanding about her. I questioned them about this and they just told me that it was something about her that made her one of “those girls” and they proceeded to list the girls that they could potentially be obsessed with. Some of them seemed obvious (one of my friends had this ethereal beauty and… essence? that made her irresistible to girls and guys) but some of their other choices were strange, even though those girls usually enjoyed a lot of attention from guys.
    Anyway, it was so disheartening. I felt like these girls are in a club that I’ll never be a part of. Hell, I couldn’t even get one guy to fall for me, never mind having this intrinsic attractiveness that has nothing to do with my looks. At least, if it was purely based on physical traits, I could dismiss it as something superficial but it’s more than that. It’s having the power to make someone fall in love with you- and the fact that I may not have it is really upsetting.


  3. amber
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 14:11:51

    I think everyone is that person for someone – the person they can’t forget or replace, no matter how hard they try.


  4. Bathwater
    Dec 06, 2010 @ 10:38:35

    It is funny thing love and hate. I was once asked, “Why would you love a person who doesn’t love you?” It is easy to hate my ex-wife. She has done nothing be cruel things to me since the time she filed. On top of that shewas there for the wrong reasons.

    On the other hand I have been in love with and sometimes hated my friend Tinkerbell and that situation is more complex. A person that can elicit strong feeling of love can also bring forth jealousy,anger and hate. It is hard to let someone go. It is even harder to let them go and have them remain a part of your life.

    It isn’t so hard to be “that girl” it means never letting go, always meddling, always reminding. You are better off being “the one” for some special.


  5. Alexia
    Dec 26, 2010 @ 20:48:36

    Isn’t everyone that person to someone? Admittedly, I don’t think I’m anyone’s ‘that person’ right now but I definitely have been. I think everyone has. And I think it goes both ways. Who’s your ‘that person’?

    Oh and this: “I hope to God that someday someone cares about me enough to think that they hate me.”
    Awesome. I shall have to quote you on this…


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