Human are, by nature, emotional beings. In our day-today life, we feel a vast array of emotions ranging from anger, to happiness and love. In this modern age, many people claim to be afraid of love but most of the time, this turns out to be just a fleeting feeling. However, for some people, this is not the case.
There are some people out there who have a genuine fear of love which, in other words is known as Philophobia. The word is derived from “filos”, the Greek word for “ beloved”. This type of a fear is more commonly seen in women but that does not mean that men do not suffer from this as well. Regardless of what your gender is, if you feel like you are suffering from this phobia, seek help immediately.
Signs and symptoms
Like every other phobia, there are a number of signs and symptoms that can be linked to Philophobia. If you are concerned whether someone you know has this phobia or not, take a look at the list we have prepared below which includes some of the signs and symptoms of Philophobia.
You have trouble opening up to others.
This is not the same as being an introvert. People with Philophobia have difficulty in maintaining any of their relationships no matter how loyal of a person they may be and as a result, these people often resort to avoiding relationships at all costs.
You often find yourself unable to relax.
This is more likely to occur when you are already in a relationship or if you find yourself thinking of one. Uneasiness is often accompanied by palpitations, loss of breath, fatigue, migraines, etc.
You often get panic attacks.
This is related to the previous point. If you suffer from Philophobia you will often find yourself in the need to cry, or run away from your partner no matter how caring and sincere they are. Sometimes, a person with this fear of love will feel extremely dizzy to the point where they will feel like fainting.
The fear of being abandoned is imminent.
A lot of times, the fear of love is backed up an underlying cause. The most common underlying cause is the fear of being abandoned, which makes it really difficult for the victim to fall in love and trust someone in the first place.
Causes and common triggers
The fear of love often stems from past traumatic experiences such as a bad relationship, unloving parents, or even an abusive partner. Children brought up in a family where domestic violence was more prominent are more likely to develop this fear later on in life when they enter adulthood.
Side by side, because of the environment that they were brought up in, they develop several trust issues and even a minor mistake on their partners’ part could lead them to block themselves out completely from other people.
Many a times, people who strongly believe in a certain religion or are brought up in a very strict culture where arranged marriage is more prominent, develop this phobia- whenever they find themselves thinking about the possibilities of falling in love with someone they might not have any scope of getting married to.
Side by side, fear of angering someone superior to them such as God or even the elders in his/her family contributes to the development of Philophobia. As a result, the person in question backs out of all possible scenarios where they think they might have to interact with someone they may develop romantic feelings for.
Nevertheless, upbringing is not the only factor that affects the mental health of a person. Someone who has been in too many failed relationships is also at a high risk of developing a fear of love because of the endless destructive thoughts that invade their minds after every breakup.
Treatment and what you should do
There are a number of methods that you could try in order to combat Philophobia. Some of these include self-help books, hypno-analysis, psychotherapy counselling, etc.
There are a large number of bestselling books from great authors that are based on self-help. These books focus on teaching how to train your mind to ignore the invasive thoughts that occur to you every time you are in a relationship. They also help you build up positive reasoning to counter-argue the negative thoughts.
If you are not comfortable with sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone else, you could opt for these books which can usually be found on the internet at a fairly low price. However, we still advise you to get in touch with a professional no matter how uncomfortable it might make you feel because no matter how many books you may read, no one will be able to come up with a better solution than a professional therapist.
This type of therapy reflects on the various past experiences that may have caused the development of such a phobia in a persons life. If you are thinking of taking this approach to your phobia, be sure you have a strong bond with your therapist.
It would be better if your therapist is someone who you know personally, because that way, the chances of you having a stronger connection with them will be higher and thus, you will feel more at ease when sharing your problems.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT):
In CBT, your therapist will most often ask you to describe and word out your every thought and feeling, especially those linked to your phobia. They will then tell you how to counter the negative feelings with more positive ones and why the negative thoughts are only in your head and will not actually affect you.
These therapies are based more on what your current thoughts are rather than what may have caused such a phobia to grow.
Phobias are extremely harmful and can often turn out to be very severe if left untreated for a long time. If you feel like you may be suffering from Philophobia or any phobia at all, contact your doctor immediately or seek help from your nearest therapist.
A monthly visit to your local therapist will not only identify a phobia (if you have any) in its early stages, but it will also help raise awareness of those around you. We hope this article came to your aid, thank you for reading until the very end!