Im styling a flyout menu. Im going to style the active link and the hover state, and im wondering if it could be confusing to have them styled in the same way?
For me, the logical connection between the two would justify making both :hover and :active states looking the same, since 'hover' state shows the implied look of the element once it's been clicked.
The only confusion I could think of, is when the visitor hovers an element next to an active one. But then again - hover state is attached to a mouse cursor, which is in nearly constant movement, followed by your sight, and therefore you can observe the changes it makes, making the confusion quite unlikely to happen.
Going off from the philosophical tone however, if you truly wish to distinguish somehow between the two, I'd suggest introducing a single difference in styling between 'hover' and 'active'.
As an example making hover element's background color different from :link state, while :active having both background and font color different.