A red flag: hate-based closeness



Hating all the same things is not a good basis for a relationship. 

You can have a lot of fun ranting about how awful certain things or people are; you can also feel satisfied in a darker sense by the hate. But you can’t build on that; it’s not a foundation for closeness. 
You also have to have love; you have to care more about the thing you are building than the thing you are tearing down.


And if/when you find out that the person/people in question seemed to only want to hurt, destroy and tear down more than they ever actually wanted to create, it can feel like the bottom just dropped out of the world.  Especially if you spent several years looking up to or admiring or taking advice from them in some way.

Mutually ranting about things because you and this other person or people spent a long time feeling wrong, bad, inferior to or less worthy than others because of certain attitudes or ideas is fine and cathartic, up to a point.  But there can also come a point where it stops being about deconstructing things that were hurting you, and hate just becomes relationship glue.  When any and all problems that come up between you and the other person or people can be defused by switching the topic of conversation to one of their Designated Hate Subjects, and this happens more often than you ever actually resolve any real problems, then you are in a bad situation.

Then there’s also the problem of… some people seeming to just have hate constantly frothing inside them, that isn’t just targeted at specific things, people or attitudes that have hurt them, but can just suddenly and unexpectedly erupt at anything, including things you found completely innocuous.  When you thought you were bonding with someone over shared suffering, and suddenly you find yourself having to “police” everything you say or like or even show interest in, because it might turn out to be something that they RAEGHAET on… some pretext or other.  And then, if you’ve gotten in a situation where they’re your only frame of reference, you may find yourself having to hate everything they hate, out of terror of what they’ll think of you if they find out you like it, even a little bit.

(This is, for what it’s worth, why we tend to be somewhat prickly and guarded around people who seem to spent a lot of time hanging out in or around snark communities.  When we were still in the closet as plural to all but a few people, like a decade ago, there was a period where we… got pulled into this social circle where people were continually linking to things and holding them up for mockery.  LOL, SELF-INSERTIONS AND MARY SUES! LOL, FURRIES! LOL, OTHERKIN! There was just this sudden, dizzying feeling of descending terror when we realised that “LOL, MULTIPLES” could easily be next on the agenda, and that in some of the snark communities being linked to, this had already been brought up as a topic for mockery.  And yes, to reiterate, this was 10-12 years ago, long before Tumblr, insert quote about those who don’t know about history being doomed to repeat it, etc.

…Although we’ve definitely met people from the aforementioned hateable groups who seemed to thrive off of spewing hate at other people in their own communities.  I think that’s another red flag to watch out for: when people try to convince you, on the basis of dislike of certain trends in a community, that you’re the “only sane ones” and are some sort of elite and should condescend to or outright mock and insult most of the rest of the community.)

~Yarrow and S.