Philophobia Or Fear Of Falling In Love: Why Does It Arise And How Can We Combat It?

Are you afraid of falling in love? Do you suffer from loving others? Philophobia is a psychological pathology suffered by those who are afraid of love. Discover the reason for this condition.

What is philophobia or the fear of falling in love?

Philophobia or fear of love It is the irrational fear of establishing an emotional relationship with another person. This fear of falling in love not only refers to starting a relationship but can also refer to bonds of another type that involve emotions with family, friends, co-workers and other people in the daily environment.

Although for many people starting a new relationship or establishing ties with others represents positive feelings of well-being, people who suffer from philophobia or this fear of loving usually avoid emotional proximity and they tend to isolate themselves, to refuse to meet people and not want to deepen the personal relationships they already have.

Where does the word philophobia come from? what does it mean? What are the causes of love phobia? how to overcome fear to fall in love ? We analyze all these questions and look for the origin of this problem that can cause discomfort.

What is philophobia? Meaning

As is the case with many other phobia names, the term philophobia It comes from the combination of two Greek words, phobia and filos. The first means “fear” and the second “love.” Thus, behind this term is the fear that some people feel about loving others like them.

But before we delve into discovering what is philophobia Let’s look at a simple definition of what we know as a phobia. According to him Campbell’s Psychiatric Dictionary, by Robert J. Campbell, a phobia is an anxiety disorder that reflects excessive, unjustifiable, and irrational fear due to the presence or anticipation of an object or situation. The author adds that exposing yourself to the stimuli of the object of the phobia causes an immediate anxiety response that can turn into a panic attack.

Therefore, those who suffer fear of love or fear of loving They suffer from a type of social phobia that prevents them from connecting emotionally with another person. In this situation, when they begin to bond with someone, instead of feeling excited, they begin to identify them as a threat and this leads to stress and even significant episodes of anxiety. In fact, love is not usually the object of fear, but rather the consequences that it can bring to your life.

For people who suffer from this fear of feeling something for someone, the simple fact of being able to establish a strong emotional bond with another person (or more often, the anticipation of it) causes an irrational fear that causes internal conflicts and deep discomfort that It can have physical consequences. In more extreme cases it leads to avoidance and isolation.

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Although the existence of a specific psychological label regarding this fear of suffering through love is not clear, this behavior is usually related to anxiety disorders and there are usually specific causes that cause it.

On the other hand, this type of fear of a relationship can also exist even when you are in one. The philophobia as a couple It is a problem for both members since it does not allow the relationship to go any further. When you experience the fear of falling in love, behind this threat there are other reasons that are masked and these are generally related to the fear of suffering for love, the fear of commitment or the fear of opening up and feeling vulnerable. The loss of individuality, of control over one’s own life, the fear of emotional dependence, the change in the way of living or having to share emotions with another person are also some of the threats experienced in philophobia as a couple. .

How to live the fear of love: symptoms

Beyond the fact that some people may experience a small and relative vertigo and a slight fear of falling in love or the fear of a relationship, letting themselves be carried away by their feelings or emotionally trusting someone too much, philophobia It means going further. It becomes a problem when this fear of love and its consequences blocks and incapacitates us from carrying out any relationship, whether romantic or friendship. In the most severe cases, the person suffering from it produces states of lack of communication and avoids contacting people in advance and preventively and very deep feelings of loneliness that greatly affect the quality of life.

In the majority of people who suffer from this emotional phobia expressed in their fear of loving, even if this fear is suffered consciously, it is a Defense mechanism uncontrollable.

These are some of the symptoms of philophobia:

  • Stress in situations in which feelings of love or great esteem begin to be experienced.
  • Anxiety facing the idea of ​​falling in love or starting an intimate relationship with another person.
  • Avoidance of personal relationships in which certain emotional ties are established and that these can grow.
  • Sweating, acceleration of heart rate and shortness of breath.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders as nerves in the stomach nausea or lack of appetite.

How do philophobes act?

How do people act when they are afraid of falling in love?

The people that have fear to fall in love They avoid committing themselves or showing their feelings clearly at all costs. Among the most common patterns of people with philophobia with respect to their partner are also the following:

  1. They find excuses not to love: They look for the defects of the person they are getting to know to justify that the relationship cannot move forward as such. In this sense, people with afraid of falling in love or afraid of a relationship They are also interested in relating to people very different from them and with completely opposite life goals, hobbies or values ​​in order to give an easy answer as to why not continue with the relationship.
  2. They fall in love platonically: This fear of suffering for love It makes people constantly bet on platonic crushes or impossible relationships since this way they do not have to get involved due to the difficulty of making them come true.
  3. They look for superficial relationships: Obviously most of people afraid to love They also need their dose of affection. For this reason, they hide behind temporary relationships, many, varied and of different intensities, with little commitment in which they show emotional isolation behind a shield of coldness.
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Causes of philophobia or fear of falling in love

It seems to be a generalized belief that the causes of philophobia lie in a past trauma. He fear to love It is shown as a defense mechanism against the anticipation of pain that was suffered at some point in life and that is not desired to be repeated.

Although there are no studies that confirm this fact, psychology experts affirm that a love, family or friendship relationship that was painfully cut short in the past can cause a person to develop philophobia in the future. Likewise, in this case they mix the fear of suffering for love with the fear of failure, or starting a relationship, getting excited again and having it go wrong. When it comes to love, we have all put into practice self-protection strategies out of fear at some point. Even if it is unconsciously, being hurt is not a dish of good taste for anyone. According to the psychologist, Lisa Firestone, when we talk about fear of falling in love we are referring to:

  • Feeling of vulnerability: Letting ourselves be carried away by our hearts and our feelings means exposing ourselves to a new reality that we are unaware of in the hands of another person for whom we feel something true. In this way, we reveal our vulnerabilities, placing our trust in that person. Deep down, we are letting ourselves be known so much that we are afraid of what that person can do with that personal and intimate information that he now has about us. Therefore, in many cases the fear of having relationships or the fear of feeling something for someone It is preceded by experiences with false or manipulative people.
  • Believing that happiness is not forever: The moment you accept this you will understand that our life is made up of very happy moments and that everyone has sad moments. In the same way, when we care about a person and love him, he can hurt us, sometimes even without meaning to. But that doesn’t mean you have to put barriers to your feelings. It is important for people to hold on to the past that they have a philophobic state try to enjoy the present.
  • Past traumas or bad memories: We all carry a backpack of past experiences, whether in relationships, family or personal relationships. Wounds that, if we have not known how to manage and work on them, can open at any time.
  • Low self-esteem and insecurity: It is very difficult to feel exactly the same and at the same time as your partner. Surely, one of us feels more before the other or is more advanced, because we are different and have had different experiences. For this reason, many people end up experiencing the fear of feeling something for someone since they feel that the other person will not fall in love with them as much because of their low self-esteem.
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Solve each of these aspects that are quite a emotional block to love It is possible through self-knowledge and enjoying good mental health. For this reason, you should go to a professional psychologist if you think you have any problems in these aspects.

How to overcome philophobia?

How to overcome the fear of falling in love?

The first step to overcome philophobia It is deciding to change that situation to live relationships in a different way. From there it is necessary to begin to see what is behind it. He fear to love, as we have already mentioned, hides other fears and worries that end up leading to an anxiety disorder. Finding out the origin that causes this defense mechanism to be activated is an interesting starting point, and then focus on getting rid of those fears by avoiding comparisons, irrational thoughts and creating expectations with the most appropriate techniques.

If you have detected that you are afraid of falling in love and you want to make it disappear so that you can live relationships with complete freedom and without irrational fears, there are some strategies that you can begin to consider. In any case, if you see that this is not enough, it is always better to have the help of a psychologist to guide the process and give you resources to overcome philophobia in a successful way.

  1. Assume that you suffer from philophobia: Everyone has fears and trying to escape from them only makes them more present. The only way to start making them go away is to confront them. In this specific case that means that you let yourself go in relationships to discover what they have in store for you by analyzing the other specific fears that arise. Just assuming your love phobia you will be able to defeat it.
  2. Putting fears into words: This is always a good option. Write about how you experience them, in what situations they appear and with what symptoms your symptoms manifest. fear of feeling something for someone It will help you organize that part of you so you can start fighting it.
  3. Think about the present: Stop imagining what the future of the relationship will be like, creating certain subjective and erroneous expectations that will only increase anxiety. In the case of relationships, we often get carried away by the cognitive bias of self-fulfilling prophecy, through which we anticipate what is going to happen with absolute certainty and based on past experiences. Well, go day by day