The Hate Phase
The truth is I did like him...a lot. But as I was knee deep in the hate phase, I couldn't remember why.0
“Look,” I said after a few more minutes of listening, “I may not be able to write a book on how to get a ring on your finger, but when it comes to the beginning stages of a relationship, I have done it enough times to be able to spot a specific phase from a mile away. And you, missy, are undeniably in the hate phase.”
“The hate phase. The hate phase occurs between three weeks and three months of a new realtionship. Sometimes you can’t pull yourself out of the hate phase. You can’t get over that thick hair on his middle toe or the way he mispronounces ceviche by adding an annoying “r” thus making it cer-viche. You hate how he makes fun of white wine. His left side burn is slightly longer than his right. He’s not secure in his convictions, doesn’t open the car door and tuck you in, has never heard of Julia Child before the movie, and so on and so forth. It’s the part where you get so annoyed at the person their every word burns you. They are the village idiot and you are the queen. What is the queen doing with the village idiot? you ask yourself over and over. But it happens with the smart ones too. You become annoyed by their constant need to spit facts and highlight idiosyncrasies. You know, the hate phase.”
I thought back to hate phases of the past. I remember an ex looking over at me one night and saying, “You just don’t like me, do you?”
“Nope,” I replied and rolled over and closed my eyes to sleep. The truth was that I did like him…a lot. But as I was knee deep in the hate phase, I couldn’t seem to remember why. During the hate phase, all of the things you initially loved fade to the background, becoming overwhelmed by everything you hate…or everything you think you hate. The trickiest part of the hate phase is that you may not actually hate any of the traits that annoy you, but for some reason, during this funny but dreaded phase, you do. I thought my boyfriend of the time said the cheesiest, least funny things I had ever heard. Hearing him make a joke was like nails to a chalkboard, giving me shivers and forcing me to hide my face. I thought he smelled, talked too much, ate horribly and had nose hair. Truthfully, he is really funny. But all of the other things I was right about, and when I reached the “love phase” my disdain for those traits vanished. He didn’t change his eating habits or stop talking or trim his nose hair, I just moved one to a different phase.
I sipped my latte and looked up at her. “Give it some time. Honestly, give it a few weeks. Sometimes emerging from the hate phase takes time, and if you never do, then cest la vie.”
“You’re right,” she responded. (Duh.) “I remember being at a coffee shop with [name of former love of her life] a couple months into our relationship and thinking ‘This guy sucks. And not only does he suck, he’s a moron who sucks.’ But I got over it, and rarely think of that at all.”
“See,” I replied. “Case in point. Wait it out.”
“Do you think they go through hate phases?” she asked.
“No,” I said firmly. “Why on earth would they?”
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