Psychology, Relationships

Philophobia | The Fear of Love | Causes | Symptoms | Treatment

Love can be one of the most beautiful emotions that may inspire us to strive for a better future or drive us into facing the darkness that lies dormant within. Nonetheless, it’s a transformative experience.

Many of us have one thing common amongst us – “A Story to Share.” Heartache inflicted by someone’s lingering interest, emotional unavailability or “no faith in love” persona.

It’s natural to have some apprehension around love, but some are genuinely terrified about this idea. They fear to let go of their control, allowing someone into their personal space or investing long term, which may obstruct their individuality, freedom, and sole reality.

Philophobia is a baffling and irrational dread of falling in love, and this overpowering feeling can hinder your life. This term originates from the Greek words “Philo,” meaning love and “Phobos” meaning intense fear.

Causes for Philophobia

  1. This behaviour may be rooted in a traumatic childhood where one or both parents were unable to attend to the child’s needs. As a result, the child nurtured oneself to adulthood, but the inner scar never healed. If you faced deep hurt or abandonment as a kid, there might be some resistance to getting close to someone who may do the same.
  1. Bitterness prevailing from past events may play a vital role in your restraint from tangling into another bond; There might be a fear of rejection & embarrassment that may stop you from investing in the relationship.
  1. The fear of getting hurt again or separation from a loved one may be an added cause for the disdain towards commitment and marriage.
  1. There may be some religious and cultural views that forbid love.
  1. Early loss of a caregiver, a close connection – a sibling or friend to demise; This sudden trauma may be the cause for the twisted judgment correlating emotion to suffering & loss.

11 Signs of Philophobia

Signs may vary from person to person; some may exhibit severity disrupting their lives, while others may conceal the clues, living normally – few common symptoms to discern when thinking about falling in love or being in love. 

  1. Your emotional baggage from the past impacts your present. You can’t let go & replay the events on the loop, the thought of commitment freaks you out.
  1. You are all fired up during the initial phases of the connection. Once you notice growing affection from your special one, you may run for your life and never see them again.
  1. Even if you try to stay in a relationship, your fear of losing your companion distorts your judgement and worsens the situation leading to a dead end.
  1. You love the idea of being in love but aren’t thrilled about the heavy lifting involved and desire a fast forward to the “Happily Ever After.”
  1. Inability to maintain consistent emotions for your partner. One moment you are so in love, while the next minute, you find yourself doubting your decision.
  1. You feel trapped every time you step into a relationship, buried beneath the fear of losing control or disappointing the other person.
  1. You think everyone’s out to get you and paralyzed by the fear of your broken heart.
  1. You don’t trust people easily. Opening up to someone and building a profound connection is something you can’t picture yourself succeeding at.
  1. You only enjoy the physical element of the relationship; emotional investment isn’t your cup of tea.
  1. You enjoy your single life way too much to bother with emotions.
  1. You don’t feel worthy of love, or anyone could love you sincerely without wanting something in return.

Treating Philophobia

Depending on the severity of the condition, the physician may suggest taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications to alleviate or control the symptoms. 

The other effective option is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): a traditional talk (psychotherapy) administered by a certified mental health counsellor. 

CBT focuses on examining and switching dysfunctional cognitive responses (e.g. thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes), improving emotional control, and promoting personal coping mechanisms that target solving current concerns.

Remember, Philophobia is like any other fear. Don’t let this limit you from living your life and enjoying your relationships. It would be best if you gave yourself enough time to process those emotions.

Everything will fall in place with time and effort; don’t ever blame yourself without understanding the triggers for your behaviour.

I wish I could

I wish I could:

let go of me.

Hold on to you.

Hold you high up above myself and my fears.

I need you.

Admit your effect on me.

Enjoy my effect on you.

Believe the gentle honesty in your eyes.

Hope for that white picket fence.

Get giddy for that diamond ring.

Be right to me, but most of all, be true to you.

Be everything you had ever dreamed of.

I know I won’t:

reach for your arm when you turn to walk away.

Wait patiently by the telephone for your call.

Admit I was wrong.

Shed a tear in front of you.

I know you are

better than I.