Philophobia is the fear of being attached to and feeling loved by other people. Some people are so afraid that the thought of marriage or intimacy can drive them into a panic attack. Or they cannot imagine their life next to another person, so they remain alone for a very long time.
What causes Philophobia
The causes of Philophobia are not always obvious and understandable, even for the person who suffers from it. However, some of the most common facts make people afraid of love.
Relationships in the family of origin
A parent’s divorce or negative relationship can be a major traumatic experience for their child and lead to relationship fear and attachment. This can be affected by any violence or abuse within the walls of the parental home. The relationship with parents and the relationship of parents with each other is the most common reason for fear of falling in love with their children.
People with an anxiety disorder experience constant high levels of anxiety. It appears for several personal reasons and persists for a long time. Since an anxiety disorder can be accompanied by a “set” of fears, Philophobia can also be one of them.
People with anxiety often have low self-esteem, making them afraid to fall in love. They may also think that no one will love them or they don’t deserve it. They are afraid of being rejected, which can also be the reason for the development of Philophobia.
Signs of Philophobia
To understand if you are among those afraid of falling in love, several signs may indicate that you have Philophobia.
You can’t let go of the past
One of the first symptoms of Philophobia is related to past traumas.
Usually, people afraid of falling in love have a lot of emotional baggage from their past relationships. These can be experiences associated with one’s own mistakes or a partner’s actions, moral and physical violence in a relationship, a scandal at parting, or the very fact of breaking up a relationship. These experiences are a heavy burden for them and do not allow them to move on.
To get rid of Philophobia, you will have to work through the past with a psychotherapist or try to let it go on your own.
You can’t open up to others
For those afraid of falling in love, the main fear may not be love in itself but the fact that it is necessary to open up to another person in a relationship. This emotional attachment is established with a partner that scares them. They are afraid of condemnation if they are with someone themselves or cannot do this due to their isolation or closeness of character.
This applies not only to romantic relationships – it is difficult for them to open up to friends, acquaintances, or relatives. At the same time, they may have quite a lot of acquaintances and friends, but such people are unlikely to be able to open their own “I” to them.
You have trust issues
If you were betrayed or “stabbed in the back” by the closest people in the past, you could stop trusting even the closest people.
When you no longer believe that people can be good, you become too cautious, especially in romantic relationships.
One of the signs that you have Philophobia is a trust issue. You think that everyone you meet will hurt you or take advantage of your feelings in one way or another.
Do you appreciate loneliness?
Another sign that you fear falling in love is that you value your loneliness more than anything. Especially if you’ve taken it to the point where you can’t imagine sharing your life with anyone else or completely giving up on love. The last thing you want is to compromise with someone or make sacrifices for the sake of a relationship.
You have your rhythm and habits that you follow, and you are not ready to change them and adapt to someone else.
And the lonely life for them is a comfort zone. It’s something they’re used to, and it’s tough for them to give it up, even if they realize they want to change their life.
Do you feel “caged” while in a relationship?
The thought of having to dedicate yourself to just one person for the rest of your life scares the hell out of you. You can’t imagine being so attached to someone. Not only that, every romantic relationship makes you feel caged or trapped.
Whenever you’re trying to get into a relationship or just thinking about doing it, you feel anxious about whether you’re doing the right thing. You see romantic relationships as something that takes away individuality and freedom, changes as a person.
You like to control your life completely, and emotions and falling in love can deprive you of this opportunity. And the very thought that something like this will happen makes you afraid of relationships and affection.
How to deal with Philophobia
To cope with Philophobia, you can contact a psychotherapist who will help you discover the cause and overcome this fear. However, if this is not possible, you can independently use several ways to deal with this fear.
Analyze the past to find out the cause of Philophobia
Think about your previous relationships. It is necessary to understand when you felt pain, rejection, or other emotions that made you disappointed in love and afraid of affection. And the reason for fear of relationships may be that you lived through negative feelings on your own, without the support of loved ones.
These emotions need to be worked out, and situations let go.
Think about how you feel about yourself
Attitude towards ourselves is the key to how much we can love others. If we are comfortable with ourselves, we feel respect and love for ourselves, we more often find positive traits in others and open up to them. And if we are dissatisfied with ourselves, have low self-esteem, or experienced traumas, this makes us close ourselves off from other people and be afraid of close relationships. Therefore, it is important to work on self-esteem and getting rid of past traumas.
Stop listening to your inner critic
The inner voice that tells us what is good and what is bad may be one of the reasons for fear of love. We can criticize ourselves in our heads and believe that no one will love us because of this. Or remind yourself repeatedly of what was wrong in a previous relationship, which leads to the rejection of new feelings and experiences.
Realize vulnerability isn’t bad
Often, they are afraid to be vulnerable and show it to another person, which, in turn, is associated with the fear that he can use this for personal purposes or deceive. And also afraid that the person they like will not have the same feelings for them.
To stop being afraid of relationships, you need to understand that vulnerability is not bad. This is what makes us human and people in principle. Everyone has something that he is afraid of or carefully hides from others. Therefore, do not be afraid to show true emotions and feelings – this makes others feel closer to us. And coldness and isolation, on the contrary, repels them.