Gnash – “I Hate You, I Love you” (Lyrics Review & Song Meaning)

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There are uplifting songs, happy songs, sad songs and then there are songs like “I hate you, I love you” which has a whole other aura. The song appears on Gnash’s 2016 album ‘us’ and that track just blew up. Why? Because he is unique in his own way. The top comment on YouTube for her music video says “I come here every day… I don’t know why it makes me even more depressed…” and we can very well agree with that. Music isn’t supposed to get you down, but it does when the song is very relevant.

“I Hate You, I Love You” features vocals from Gnash and Olivia O’brien and the music video is directed by Mitchell DeQuilettes.

Watch the clip “I hate you, I love you”


Download the single “I hate you, I love you” on iTunes and Amazon


As Gnash himself explained, this song is about a relationship falling apart. Why? Because another woman has taken her place.

The origins of this song go deeper than Gnash’s album. Olivia O’Brien posted the original track “I Hate You Love You” on her SoundCloud account. You can listen to the original below.

Gnash caught wind of this track and re-recorded it adding his own verses with Olivia.

Gnash’s “I Hate You, I Love You” Lyrics Review

Verse 1 is by Olivia and it’s a shrill start;

I feel used, but I still miss you
And I don’t see the end of this
I just wanna feel your kiss against my lips
And now all this time passes
But I still can’t tell you why
It hurts me every time I see you
Realize how much I need you

Towards the end of a relationship, it is quite inevitable that one of the two will feel used. Usually whoever bonded the most can feel this, but they would still jump at a second chance. They dread coming to the real end of the relationship. It’s not easy to have liked a lot and to get second place when another woman enters.

The song’s hook is fascinating;

i hate you i love you
i hate that i love you
I don’t want to, but I can’t put
no one else above you
i hate you i love you
i hate that i want you
You want her, you need her
And I’ll never be her

Mixed emotions are the color of this song. The girl who was detached to the other woman can’t help but hate him for what he did to her, but at the same time, she can’t forget him. She also hates his mixed feelings. She needs to move on, but she just can’t put another guy in the same place he’s been put. But she has no choice.

There isn’t really another “she” in the photo yet. This “she” is a fictional character that the guy finds appropriate for him. The girl just says she can’t be the person he wants her to be.

Verse 2 is done by Gnash;

I miss you when I can’t sleep
Or right after coffee or right when I can’t eat
I miss you in my front seat

It’s the male side of the story and it’s not as sensitive as the girl’s. He only missed when he can’t sleep. Presumably even with the new girl in his life (there aren’t yet), there are sleepless nights when the old flare lights up his heart. Sleepless nights would follow morning coffee, I guess. So it’s not like he completely erased all his memories. There are still strings in her heart tied to her.

I always have sand in my sweaters
Nights we don’t remember

Gnash himself noted that these lines would refer to dirty adventures on the beach. But it doesn’t have to be a beach. ‘Sand’ could refer to memories and it could mean that there are still memories of her in him.

Do you miss me like I miss you?
I fucked and got attached to you
Friends can break your heart too
And I’m always tired but never of you

Now the guy is backing up too. He says he misses you (but earlier he explained the times when he misses her) and asks if she does too. I think he misses him much more often than sleepless nights and coffee.

The guy slept, and what started as a random fling turned into a full-fledged relationship. An unexpected connection, but nevertheless enriching. Did he consider them “friends”?

If I pulled you on you, you wouldn’t like this shit
Pulled out that reel, but you wouldn’t bite that shit

The first line relates to his situation from a few lines down the verse. Apparently she wants to keep it a secret – “You’re still in love with me, but your friends don’t know that.” Perhaps, a reason that drove him away? Now I am confused about the balance of this relationship. What he means by “shooting you” is that if he treated her the way she treats you, she wouldn’t like it.

The second line says he’s telling the girl these truths, but she’s in no mood to accept any of this.

I type a text, but then I don’t care about that shit
I got these feelings, but you don’t care about that shit

No problem was ever solved by SMS (LOL). He types a whole bunch of stuff he wants to pass on to her, but in the end deletes everything and types “it doesn’t matter” to avoid more problems. Communication is key to any relationship, so I don’t know if his approach helped them at all. He too has feelings (perhaps the things he meant in his lyrics), but is she blatantly ignoring them?

Oh oh, keep it on the low
You’re still in love with me, but your friends don’t know

Rebound? Getting back together can be tricky after a breakup. It usually never works and ends in more heartache. So during this grace period, both, keep it low.

If you wanted me, you would just say so
And if I was you, I’d never let go
I mean no harm, I just miss you on my arm

Seems like there was a lot of “emotional play” in this relationship and the guy fell victim to it. She ignored his feelings and tried to keep him quiet. These are obviously red signs in any relationship.

Wedding bells were just alarms
Caution tape around my heart

That’s a nice word right there. They were talking about marriage from an already sinking ship. Now he has a “watch out!” sign around his heart because he can’t afford to be any more broken.

Have you ever wondered what we could have been?
You said you wouldn’t and you fucking did it
Lie to me, lie with me, get your fucking fix
Now all my drinks and all my feelings are all fucking mixed up

And we return to the title of the song “I hate you, I love you” as the guy goes back to what could be. She lied to him and slept with him too. It was a mess and that’s all that was left of that relationship. He now has the guy who mixes his drinks into a mix of emotions.

There’s always people missing that I shouldn’t miss
Sometimes you gotta burn bridges just to create some distance

The one who hurt you the most is the one who loved you the most at some point. It is therefore common that a complete cleaning of the palette is required to erase their memories. Until that happens, it’s a pain.

“Burning bridges” is a common phrase used to describe the breaking of a connection, in this case the relationship. No ex can have closure until he completely destroys that bridge between them.

I know I control my thoughts and I should stop remembering
But I learned from my father that it’s good to have feelings
When love and trust are gone
I guess it’s progressing
Everyone I do right hurts me
So every lonely night I sing this song

The guy is in shambles. He has his feelings hurt and the only way to stop that is to control his thoughts and stop poking around in the memory lane. When trust disappears from a relationship, you might as well pack up and move on. And all these emotions have this guy who sings this song at night.

Gnash and Olivia join the bridge of “I Hate You, I Love You”;

All alone, I watch you watch her
Like she’s the only girl you’ve ever seen
You don’t care, you never did
You do not care about me
Yeah, all alone, I watch you watch her
She’s the only thing you’ve ever seen
How come you never notice
that you kill me slowly

The two singers mix up this verse but I think it relates more to the guy and comes from the girls’ point of view. I don’t know if this is a real girl they’re talking about or the same fictional role depicted in the hook. But it is clear that the guy has moved on to another “girl” at least in his mind. She says he is killing her slowly, but being in the relationship did the same for the guy. So I can only justify the guy’s decision to quit.

The lyrics of “I hate you, I love you” are pretty awesome and gave us feelings.

To listen

Listen to “I hate you, I love you” on repeat

The song hook repeats once and the song ends and it leaves us with a heavy heart. Almost anyone who has ever been in a relationship can relate to the emotions depicted in this song.

We’d love to hear from you, what you think of “I hate you, I love you” and would love to hear your thoughts on what these lyrics mean.

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