20140708_seoulbeats_f(x)We all probably know how volatile relationships are; no relationship is completely perfect – sort of like my relationship with K-pop. Yet, a majority of songs portray one side of a relationship: either ‘I love you’ or ‘I hate you’. But, what about blending those two together? Many dramas use love-hate romances where characters tease, annoy and challenge one another to create an ‘interesting’ dynamic between the two. So, is this a more realistic representation of romance?

‘Love and hate’ has become one of those perpetual titles for albums, used to make all the songs relevant or connected. Many of the songs are opposites to each other whether pertaining to budding relationships or break ups — it’s love or hate. f(x) challenges this with “Love Hate” which pertains to a relationship at its beginning.

I hate you, I love you, my heart keeps changing
I love you, I hate you, the clock hand goes back and forth
Isn’t love and hate the same thing anyway?

Is it possible to love and hate someone at the same time and still have a romantic relationship? f(x) definitely portrays it as the same thing in this upbeat romantic release. As this song is set at the beginning of the relationship, the love and hate have more to do with confusion at whether to want someone romantically. This leaves the Facebook status of the relationship at ‘it’s complicated’. Though the dynamic between love and hate makes the person intriguing. The blend of the pulsing beat, techno backings and vocals make this song completely addictive from start to end, matching the songs message. Hate is a temporary aspect of the relationship in f(x)’s “Love Hate”, something that enhances and also needs to be overcome to continue with it. The only question is do they overcome it or not?

20101019_2am_seoulbeats2am’s “Love You, Hate You” off their first album, Saint o’clock, is a surprisingly upbeat song far from the soulful ballads associated with the group. The majority of the song is rapping and the vocals use auto-tune which pushes the contrast further. The song speaks of someone whose relationship has become unsteady, but they are still in love the other person.

We’re attracted to each other because we’re opposite ends of magnets
But we’re still clumsy about understanding each other
Girl, at the smile you make like you’re sorry
Again, I decide to trust you “It’ll be different this time”
Love love love U but I hate U
Hate hate hate U but I love

Romance seems synonymous with understanding in this song; Even though someone does something they hate, it doesn’t mean they hate your entire being. Instead it provides to be an obstacle, one that 2am will wither have to overcome or run away from. This leaves the status of the relationship is still up in the air.

20150430_seoulbeats_BTSIn BTS‘s “I Need U”, despite the negative toll the relationship is taking on someone, they still are unable to let go; it is definitely twisted romance.

I’m sorry I hate you
I love you I hate you
Forgive me

The power is put into the girls hands with the boys proclaiming ‘I need you’, leaving her to make a final decision. They are holding onto hearing her decision, suspended with not knowing her answer. It’s torturous and makes them hate the girl they love. So basically the moral of “I Need U” is to never fall in love, it is not worth it and you will most certainly die.

The presence of love and hate in a relationship seems to place it in limbo no matter if it is the start, end, or after it. BoA’s new self composed album, Kiss My Lips, has been the birthplace of many dynamic songs and “Love and Hate” serves as a simple acoustic ballad that laments the exclusiveness of the two extremes in a relationship that she ended.

I hate you as much as I loved you
It was a lie when I said it was okay
Telling myself that I knew
We were together but it didn’t feel like it
Pain is better than the deepened loneliness
If only we were honest with each other

The combination of love and hate in BoA’s relationship is portrayed as incredibly one sided. It is clear that BoA is unable to let go of the love she had even though she hates the person she was in love with. While in the other two songs pertained to a relationship that was in limbo, BoA’s pertains to herself being left suspended instead.

The combination of love and hate in a relationship always seem to indicate that it is in limbo, whether it be at the start or at the end of one. While definitely a frustrating time, it proves to be a challenge that must be overcome for the relationship to continue. Though love and hate relationships may start off interesting as two people get to know each other, they ultimately lead to tension (and definitely not the good kind of tension either). There should be a warning on the ‘box’, ‘love and hate relationships can lead to the end of a relationship’ — this is definitely K-pop tested. Though, what suits someone in relationships definitely varies per person. So, what do you think? Is it possible to sustain a love-hate relationship? Know any songs that portray it positively?

(YouTube [1][2], Images via SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, Big Hit Entertainment)