Hate Will Keep Us Alive

Love and Sex

Hate Will Keep Us Alive

Illustration: Shivali Devalkar

In the first 10 minutes of the excellent dramedy You’re the Worst, its protagonists meet for the first time outside a wedding hall. The man, Jimmy, had just created a ruckus inside, called the bride (his ex) a bitch, and had been thrown out. The woman, Gretchen, was trying to escape after she’d just stolen one of the presents for the new bride and groom. Jimmy and Gretchen then conversed for about five minutes outside. Their conversation revolved around how bad a boyfriend Jimmy was, how fat the bride’s sister looked, and how the groom had no idea what was he was getting into. In this drunken state of mostly misappropriated hating, Jimmy and Gretchen felt a connection, a pull forged in the crucible of bitchiness, and went home and fucked like there was no tomorrow.

Because *insert drum roll*… haters gonna mate.

Enter Hater, a dating app, which matches people on the basis of things they hate. The app, launched in February this year, uses the Tinder swipe-left-and-right-on-potential-suitors doctrine and allows you to chat with them, while showing you subjects that each party hates. The app allows you to choose from over 3,000 topics to hate, ranging from Donald Trump to DJ Khaled, which then sets up your profile and incorporates it into the familiar swipe mechanism like Bumble or Tinder.

For those who come from the “Ooooh, we like the same things” school of thought, please go back to school again. A 2006 study said, “Discovering a shared negative attitude about a target person predicted liking for a stranger more strongly than discovering a shared positive attitude”, which means we like those who hate what we hate. Shared interests then is the dumber, uglier, less bitchy younger brother of “shared hate” and is less efficient as a dating mechanism to boot.

Imagine finding someone online, going out a couple of times, then finding out that he actually loves the TV show you hate, or worse, this worthless piece of shit wants to take a selfie with everything, ranging from with his food, to the sidewalk outside the restaurant. Hater circumvents all these problems by matching you with someone who actually hates selfies, making initial conversations way easier than they’re supposed to be. We all know most people like “travelling” and it’s one of the 150 common things you and your date have, but how does that make for date convo?

I’ll vehemently argue until the end of time that hate produces definitively better war and poetry.

“Hey, you like travelling?

“Yeah! You?

“Oh absolutely”

“Where all have you been?”

*insert names of mostly dull but two cool places*

“Oh, cool (If you haven’t been to any) or Oh, I’ve been there too.”

If the two of you have visited the same place, the only way this exchange ends on a positive note, is if you were at the same place at the same time, which is basically you begging the Probability Gods to give you something, anything so you can salvage this date.

Hating then takes you right past the niceties-laden small talk, to the down-and-dirty bitchy business. It’s why hipsters, whose entire value system is created around hating the mainstream regardless of its merits, feel naturally attracted to other hipsters. Same goes for the self-titled intellectually elite, most of who are now running amok on Twitter, hating on every Drake song, every movie, and Gareebon ka Shakespeare Chetan Bhagat. Hate allows you to bond because hate, unlike love, is just an easier emotion to articulate. Fun fact: There are even more words for negative emotions than positive ones. (Yes, I have read every dictionary ever. Alright it was on the internet.)

In the Scientific American, Melanie Tannenbaum says, “They (love and hate) both make us act irrationally. They both cloud our thinking and judgment. They’ve both sparked wars, poetry, and some of the greatest epics of all time. They both make our hearts race, our pupils dilate, and our palms sweat.”

I’ll vehemently argue until the end of time that hate produces definitively better war and poetry. Kafka’s entire life was based around hating his father, Kundera’s around despising what the Czech regime did to his homeland, and closer to commonplace, even Devil Wears Prada was about hate against a boss. You can cite a billion more examples, but what is undeniable is that hate’s impact on humanity is as important and diverse as Kim Kardashian’s to feminism.

What does this say about us though? Should we do away with niceness as a pre-requisite for relationships and seek out hate instead? Or is it time to fill the universe with thinkpieces on “Are we a hating society and need to reflect on where we are going?”

Hell no! The poor saps just need to swipe right.