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Sex + Relationships

Experiment Hate-Love: Building an Enemies to Lovers Relationship

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Edited by: Mohan Rajagopal


To establish a relationship with your rival or enemy with reference to the lives of fictional characters.


“And the single last thing in my head: that I like him better than I’ve ever liked anyone and that of all the things he’s ever done to me, making me like him so much is by far the worst.” – Holly Black, The Wicked King.

This quote sums up how an enemies-to-lovers relationship progresses. Ever since I read books with that trope, I found a shrine built in my brain for it. The whole rollercoaster of two people who are extremely alike or vastly different engaging in arguments and coming to work together (grudgingly), and then the sudden horrifying realization that they actually like each other, screams perfection to me. If anyone wants to accuse me of adoring the enemies-to-lovers trope only because I want someone to look at my flaws before my strengths and to still love me, go right ahead.

But, though I practically forced all my friends to watch Pride and Prejudice, I wanted to blend fiction and real-life to appreciate the trope in its full glory. So, I decided I would concoct a plan to build a real-life enemies-to-lovers relationship. This isn’t even on the top ten of my crazy ideas, trust me. So, I present my report on how you can get your rival/enemy to fall for you.

Materials Used:

  1. A natural disregard for your already overthinking and imaginative self.
  2. A person whom you don’t get along with, who has the following traits:
    • Likes to argue for the fun of it.
    • Competitive.
    • A smile that makes you feel the sea churning in your stomach. Is it disgust? Is it attraction?
    • Charming, but should seem obnoxious to you.
  3. Books with enemies-to-lovers trope and Gorgeous by Taylor Swift on repeat. 
  4. Sarcasm and eye-rolling skills.


  1. Don’t choose your enemy. Let the enemy choose you. Identify why you feel the urge to pick fights with them. Ensure that both of you have the same social circles. This helps in progressing the relationship in the future. Forced-but-not-forced proximity enforces that they’ll be ‘not out of sight, not out of mind’.
  2. Choose your words carefully. In case an argument with your rival begins, make sure you have a comeback for everything they say! Preparing with your best friend the day before might help. Swearing is overrated. So, come up with creative insults that get stuck in their head when you dedicate it to them. Examples include rotten papaya, devil’s rat, dark-circled cow, demon-possessed housefly. Kindly convert them into regional languages for maximum effect.
  3. Be sure to win anything you compete against them in. Once you succeed, taunt them and smirk to make them work harder. Nothing says I love you like making them work for their future. 
  4. Let. Them. Not. Know. Peace. Make them complain so much about you to all their friends that everyone who has heard of the feud starts asking you to be nice. Torment them so much that you haunt their nightmares. You might want to slap some sense into them, but stick to respectful arguing. No bullying, please.
  5. Then, try to stop hating them because you’ll suddenly be handed a group project from the gods that *only* you two can work on together.
  6. Constantly banter while working together till it leads to one epic fight. *Boom*. If they apologize (something they would’ve never done before) and you manage to work together again, you’re already in too deep, my friend.
  7. Slowly, an alliance should be formed. But, would you like to continue till you become both their daydreams and nightmares?


  1. You’ll feel seen, as it would be easy to talk to them. Case in point: they already know your worst traits. What’s going to make them hate you more?
  2. The rest of your crushes will look like highly favourable options but you’re only going to think of illogical plans to make their eyes light up in anger. You may turn into an attention-seeking monster. [Only for them, though :)]
  3. Your best friends would’ve figured out your bad decisions by now; don’t let that stop you!

Error Analysis:

  1. Make sure your self-confidence is consistently high. The trust issues that this experiment may cause will affect the results.
  2. Ensure that you don’t actually fall for them. This. Is. An. Experiment. (Unless you end up liking them. Congratulations! You’re the Chosen One.)


Love? Does love make you feel ill, like you’re being tossed about on a stormy sea? Does it steal your sleep and make you feel like your insides are on fire?” – Sandhya Menon, Of Curses and Kisses.

Following this experiment, I cannot, unfortunately, come to a definitive conclusion. One could say that I don’t hate them anymore, but do I like the person who inspired me to write a lab report on falling for your rival at 2 AM, sleep-deprived and waxing poetry? No. Definitely not.

Harshini Dhiyaa is a Physics Major in dependent relationship with poetry. She can be found daydreaming fake scenarios and has a penchant for getting too excited whenever there is a plot twist in anything.
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