The key to love: to hate the same things

Loath ’em: A couple who both despise all four of the above are likely to see romance blossom.

Moaners of the world, unite! Hater, a dating app that matches you with people who dislike the same things as you, has just been launched. Perhaps we are best defined by our hates?

In 2015, a young man called Brendan Alper decided to leave his job at Goldman Sachs to become a comedy writer.

He came up with an idea for a sketch: a dating app that, instead of matching its users by their mutual likes — films, books and political parties — matches them with their dislikes.

‘The more I thought about it, the more I thought Hey even though this was a funny idea, it actually makes a lot of sense,’ said Alper, now 29.

Hater, the dating industry’s newest arrival, was born.

It is a similar app to Tinder: it presents you with something potentially dislikable and you swipe down for hate, up for love, right for like, and left for dislike or opt out for neutral. After swiping through for a while, you can see your matches, with a percentage score based on your mutual dislikes.

There are currently 2,000 trending topics, from Donald Trump to fedoras to marmite. Eventually, users will be able to add their own topics.

Most people enjoy a good moan: eavesdrop on any conversation and there is a good chance the people involved will be venting their anger about something, bonding over a shared hatred of Harry Potter, opera or a particular colleague at work.

And there is scientific evidence that Hater’s creator is on to something.

In 2006, Jennifer Bosson, a social psychologist at the University of South Florida, examined how people bond via shared negative feelings towards others.

She asked participants in one study to list one thing they liked and one thing they disliked about a fictitious character named Brad. They were then told that they would meet someone who either liked or disliked the same thing about Brad.

The study found that people who expected to meet a stranger felt closer to this person when they believed that they shared a negative attitude about Brad. Bosson says that it is not that we enjoy disliking people, but just that we ‘enjoy meeting people who dislike the same people’.

Is it hate, not love, that makes the world go round?

Hate story

Yes it is, say some. Some of the most enjoyable conversations involve two people venting their hatred of something. It draws people together against a common enemy. And it goes beyond romance: football fans are united by dislike of their rivals. Political groupings form out of dislike for opposing views. Who knows? Your might find your soulmate if you discover a shared hatred of golf.

Rubbish! say others. Ranting may be fun occasionally, but it becomes tedious. There is a reason why people advise you not to be too miserable on a date: and that is because it shows that you view the world in a positive light. Hate divides; love unites. Love of each other, love of country, love of pizza or love of film.

You Decide

  1. Hate or love: which unites the world?
  2. Is it bad to moan about things?

Activities

  1. Design your own dating website or application. What unique features does it have?
  2. Write 500 words starting ‘I hate…’

Some People Say...

“Love is an electric blanket with somebody else in control of the switch.”

Cathy Carlyle

What do you think?

Q & A

Why does this matter to me?
The question of whether love or hate unites us more delves deep into human psychology. Most of us spend a great deal of time thinking about why we hate things. So it is interesting to consider whether this makes you unhappy, or whether venting your dislike of something is a cathartic experience we all need.
Isn’t online dating a bit tragic?
One in five relationships in the UK now starts on the internet. Regardless of whether you think they’re good or bad, it is undeniable that technology is having a dramatic impact on our love lives. Tinder has quickly become one of the world’s most downloaded apps. It receives well over one billion swipes every day. But some are saying that Hater could end up rivalling it.

Word Watch

Goldman Sachs
One of the biggest companies in the world, Goldman Sachs is an American multinational finance company that engages in investment banking and other services. It was hit hard by the 2008 economic crisis and was subsequently rescued as part of a huge US government bailout.
Tinder
Launched by Callum Dykes in 2012, Tinder has revolutionised the online dating market. However, its critics see it as shallow and judgmental, as people select potential partners based largely on their looks.
Fedoras
A felt hat with a wide brim. The height of the hat’s popularity came between the 1920s and the 1950s. The singer Frank Sinatra was rarely seen without one. The hat has seen a surge in popularity in recent years.
Marmite
The ultimate love-hate product. The yeast extract spread with its sticky texture, dark colour and salty taste has, thanks to its British marketing campaign of ‘Love it or hate it’, become a by-word for things that split opinion.

Subjects

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