A fear of love, called philophobia, can adversely affect your ability and willingness to be in a meaningful relationship. Fear of falling in love can be caused by a painful breakup, divorce or abandonment, or even rejection as a child or adult. This phobia can be overcome with psychotherapy (talk therapy).
What is philophobia?
Philophobia is a fear of love. People with philophobia fear loving so much that it is difficult or impossible to build and maintain loving relationships. Philos is the Greek word that means loving or being loved. Phobos (fear) is the Greek word.
Many believe Queen Elizabeth I of England was photophobic. She was not married and became the Virgin Queen.
What is a Phobia?
Phobias are one of the most common anxiety disorders. Phobias are extreme fears that people have of things that don’t usually harm them. Philophobia is one type of phobia. Fear of falling in love can lead to photophobia.
What is the prevalence of philophobia?
It is difficult to know how many people suffer from a particular phobia like philophobia. This fear may be hidden or not recognized by many people. However, we know that approximately 1 in 10 Americans and 1 in 5 teens will experience a specific phobia disorder at one time or another.
Who is at greatest risk of philophobia?
A phobia disorder is more common in those who are born female (DFAB). Risk factors include:
- Family history Watching someone else struggle with anxiety or fear may increase your chances of having the same fears.
- Genetics Research suggests that some people are more susceptible to anxiety disorders and other phobias.
- Other Phobias: It is common to have more than 1 phobia. A person who fears love can also fear rejection, commitment, or abandonment.
What is the reason I fear to love?
People often trace their fears and phobias back to traumatizing childhood experiences. Philophobia can be a protective response. You can reduce your chances of suffering heartache or pain by not allowing yourself to feel love for someone.
These are some potential philophobia triggers:
- Previous relationships that were difficult: Children who have experienced an argumentative divorce, parent death, abandonment, or child cruelty might find it hard to love others. Adults who have experienced infidelity, divorce, or abuse, as well as abandonment, may experience the same.
- Fears of abandonment or rejection: Losing a parent as a child could lead to fear of falling in love. Fear of rejection from friends or partners can lead to a fear of love in adults.
- Religious or cultural pressures: Some cultures have arranged marriages without much, if any, consideration of love. Because you don’t have control over your partner, you may be afraid of loving others. If their religion or culture is against the relationship, someone who is LGBTQ+ might fear losing love.
- Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder (DSED) A child that doesn’t get attention, love, validation, and validation from a trusted source or parent may fear love. These children are more comfortable connecting with strangers than they are with their loved ones. DSED is a form of reactive attachment disorder.
It is natural to want to avoid pain. Problems can arise when your fear of loving someone causes you mental or physical distress or impedes your ability to build relationships. It should be easy to love and give. If you are afraid of love, philophobia can make your world lonely.