Understanding the Fear of Love (Philophobia)

There are many kinds of phobias, such as emetophobia or fear of vomiting; photophobia or fear of eating or swallowing, present especially in young children; gynophobia or fear of women; or nyctophobia or fear of darkness. But one of the most curious and least known phobias is philophobia, the fear of love. Everyone recognizes in the act of falling in love a way of living an exciting experience, which fills you with life and optimism, but for those who suffer from this disorder is not so.

Philophobia (fear of love) is an anxiety disorder (from the Greek phylum = love, phobia = fear). And, although the causes are unknown, it seems that it may be related to past romantic relationships that have left a deeply painful mark on the individual, such as a divorce or a separation that has lived traumatically.

It may also be because he is used to living single and the new situation frightens him, or that the person has suffered emotional deficiencies during childhood and, as he can say, “the situation overcomes them.”

What is a phobia according to the DSM-V?

The DSM-V is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, so it is important to know what exactly a phobia is. According to this manual, a phobia can be observed when the following requirements are met:

  1. Presence of intense fear or anxiety for a specific object or situation.
  2. The phobic object or situation is actively avoided or resisted with immediate fear or anxiety.
  3. The phobic object or situation is actively avoided or resisted with intense fear or anxiety.
  4. Fear or anxiety is disproportionate with respect to the real danger that the specific object or situation represents and the sociocultural context.
  5. Fear or anxiety or avoidance is persistent and lasts six months or more.
  6. Fear or anxiety or avoidance causes clinically significant discomfort or deterioration in social, work and other important areas.
  7. This alteration is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder.

If we feel identified with these points, we may have a certain aversion to love. But not for that reason the alarms must go off. Ideally, observe and see how far we avoid falling in love with another person. If this leads us to avoid contact and causes us discomfort, it is best to go to a professional to help us.

How does someone who is afraid of love act?

Woman with fear of love

The person who is afraid of love, when he feels that he can return to live a similar or similar situation, crashes, feels an unstoppable fear that prevents him from starting the new relationship. If she feels she is falling in love, panic floods her and rejects the situation. Thus, many times it confuses the couple with whom the courtship was beginning, that before the flight feels rejected, hurt and, depending on their self-esteem, may even feel unwanted or loved by anyone.

philophobia – fear of love

The problem is that those who suffer from philophobia (fear of love) can not avoid these overwhelming feelings when they are in front of the person they are attracted to. Dizziness, vomiting, nausea, tremor, panic attacks and desire to flee are some of the most common manifestations, depending of course on the person.

Given these manifestations, he wants nothing more than to end the situation as soon as possible. And it is that a philosopher suffers a lot and refuses to live one of the most rewarding experiences for the human being: falling in love and living love.

People with philosophers often choose impossible relationships in which they can never fall in love.

fear of love

The person who is afraid of love tends to look for all kinds of defects in the person who attracts them.  He is inclined to look for impossible loves or choose people that they already know in advance who will abandon them. And all to justify themselves and others that if they are not with anyone it is because they do not find the right person.

Does philophobia (fear of love) have treatment?

Specialists recommend that the first thing is to recognize that you are afraid of love and face the situation without fleeing. You have to live the present without thinking about the future, learning that risk is part of life; that each love relationship is unique and unrepeatable and that we may be missing unique experiences.

philophobia – fear of love

It is necessary to assume that the consequences are usually less than we imagined.  Or that in life there are stages and now love has knocked on our door and we must say “yes”, being aware that love may or may not last for a lifetime, but “take it away, I dance it” because that person deserved the sorrow.

They are not the only keys to confront the philosopher. It is also important to inform our relatives or our partner about our problem without shame or fear and go to a psychologist in case we cannot resolve the situation by ourselves.

philophobia – fear of love

fear of love

Life is only learned and enjoyed by living it and if we stay in the anteroom we will never live any experience, be it good or bad. If we manage to overcome our love phobia, we will feel much better with ourselves, our self-esteem will grow and we will probably be happier. Overcoming obstacles and barriers make us stronger and braver.

philophobia – fear of love

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