What is Philophobia?
One of the most common fears is Philophobia which is being afraid of falling in love. According to Health Guidance, 250,000 people are affected by this fear. People with this fear are afraid of romantic love or forming an emotional attachment. This can co-exist with having anxiety or depression. It is important to allow love into your life in order to feel good about yourself and to have someone there for you when you need them.
Reasons Why Someone is Afraid to Fall in Love
There are many reasons why someone will not let love into their life. It can be from a previous traumatic experience like if you have been divorced, cheated on, or if seeing your parents get divorced makes you not believe in love. Some believe that Queen Elizabeth never had a romantic commitment or marriage after seeing her mother and cousin get executed for love with the execution followed through by her father. There are also certain cultures where falling in love is considered sinful where arranged marriage is the law and can be brutally punished if you marry the one you love. Some suffer from depression which makes them less confident in themselves and feel they cannot have a trusting connection with someone. Others prefer to live in isolation to avoid getting hurt if they get close to someone.
Symptoms of Philophobia
Symptoms of philophobia are when people suffer from extreme anxiety and nervousness of falling in love or being in a committed relationship. You can avoid places where couples would be like the park or the movie theater. Even if you are in love with someone, you will suppress those feelings because you do not trust them or you are afraid of getting hurt. You could also avoid marriage and other people’s wedding ceremonies. There are physical symptoms of the fear of falling in love such as getting shaky, having trouble breathing, a racing heartbeat, sweating nausea, numbness and fainting.
- Anxiety and nervousness at the though of love or relationships
- Avoidance of places where couples go
- Emotional suppression of affection or loving feelings when they arise
- Avoiding weddings or anniversary celebrations
It may even come as a surprise to those who are experiencing this phobia that there is a term for what they are going through. The fear of falling in love is often overshadowed as a mental health concern for other process addictions such as love or sex addiction, which we also treat at Cottonwood.
If these symptoms occur for over six months, there is treatment available to help you accept love. For example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help recognize thoughts from anxiety and what could be creating the phobia. Regular sessions can change your outlook on love as well as build a positive behavior towards love. Exposure therapy can replicate romantic dates or interaction with someone, as well as showing romantic movies, to see how you will react. Antidepressants can help control sad and helpless feelings. Accepting love is natural and nothing to fear.