What is the fear of love called, or how to get rid of philophobia?

An endless series of passions, sexual partners, or, conversely, complete isolation and a pristine biography of relationships. It would seem that these are two completely opposite phenomena, characteristics of radically different people, but they have something in common. And this something is fear of love, fear of relationships. Or in the language of experts - philophobia. Like any other fear, this feeling arises from a negative forecast of the development of events, sometimes completely unfounded.

Types of phobias

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Philophobia is a disease that prevents a person from adequately relating to his own feelings. In a very real sense, the disease relates specifically to the problem of creating a couple. There are other types of philophobia, closely related to the fear of experiencing tender feelings and becoming emotionally attached to an object. Possible types:

  • Fear of loving a person, becoming attached to him. This is often associated with mistrust, a pathological expectation of betrayal, ridicule or lies.
  • Fear of having children, thereby avoiding creating a strong emotional connection with them.
  • Fear of having pets due to the fact that their life expectancy is shorter than that of a human, which will inevitably lead to the experience of loss.

Experienced pain of loss

How to treat fear of new relationships

To get rid of intimate phobia, first of all, you need to admit that such a problem exists, as well as the desire to get rid of it.
The second step is to identify the cause. For example, if it is hidden in an inferiority complex, it is worth contacting a specialist who will help you regain self-confidence and develop a strong belief in your uniqueness. If you don’t want to see a psychologist, it’s quite possible to overcome the complex on your own. To help - yoga, meditation, affirmations, reading books in which the authors share their personal success stories. Communication, friendship, and joint visits to various places also give good results.

If the fear of starting a relationship lies in health problems, you should start with an examination and subsequent treatment.

Causes of fear of falling in love

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Fear of attachment to another person can develop at any age. Often it starts from childhood, if the mother does not give the proper amount of love to her children. A child who was sent to kindergarten early experiences a moral shock. It seems to him that his parents don’t love him and want to give him to strangers forever.

Attention! To prevent the development of mental disorders, it is necessary to talk with the child, explain to him every significant event in his life: going to kindergarten is a necessary measure that will allow parents to earn money. Under no circumstances should you frighten children with the phrase: “If you behave badly, I will never take you out of kindergarten!”

A child's attachment to his mother is the first strong feeling that every person experiences. Children growing up in boarding schools and orphanages trust others less than those who grew up in families. From childhood they know about competition, favorites and self-preservation. The realization that the closest person (mother) was able to leave them in infancy to the mercy of fate gives rise to the development of thoughts about one’s own imperfection, which lead to far-fetched inferiority complexes. This becomes a determining factor for the emergence of philophobia.

Childhood psychological trauma

It is possible to develop a mental disorder in adulthood after receiving moral trauma from the person you love. Most often, the reason is separation from the chosen one, which led to depression and deprived of common sense. Betrayal does not have to be the root cause of separation. Even with a so-called peaceful breakup, when one of the partners understands that the relationship has exhausted itself, the other may not agree with this, as a result of which he experiences a severe psychological shock that kills the person’s faith in a bright future with someone else.

Philophobia, which creates a fear of having children, is much more common in women than in men. This is due, first of all, to psychological trauma resulting from a miscarriage, stillbirth or loss of a child of any age. The pathological fear of experiencing such a loss again terrifies a person. The psyche protects itself from stress by refusing further attempts to have children.

Among men, the fear of falling in love develops after an unsuccessful first experience of building a relationship, especially if the chosen one refused with ridicule and made public a personal conversation with a failed partner.

Attention! In adolescence, children are prone to maximalism. Girls try to make guys fall in love with them and often brag to each other about the number of fans they have, which, of course, hurts young people, and can cause phobia in the most susceptible ones.

Rape is the reason why the victim loses faith in people and sees potential abusers around him. Without the help of an experienced psychologist, it will not be possible to solve the problem on your own.

Reasons for being afraid to love

Unsubstantiated fears of imaginary future betrayal, loss of freedom and personal space, dependence on a partner force a person to prohibit himself from showing tenderness and sincere feelings towards the opposite sex. Of the two evils, loneliness seems to be the lesser. But is it? And is love evil? To come to the answers, it is worth understanding the reasons for this illogical, but, unfortunately, very common phenomenon.

The main reasons for the development of phobic disorder:

  • Childhood. A person gets his first relationship experience in his family. As a spectator, he is introduced to this concept by looking at his parents. Harmony between mom and dad lays the first postulate in a young head: loving is pleasant. If the home atmosphere sparks with scandals, humiliation, physical violence, adultery, the child grows up with a distorted picture of the world. An incomplete family also leaves its mark: offended single mothers, with their victim position, instill in their daughters a phobia of love and distrust of men. In adulthood, such people see danger in starting a family.
  • First love. The flurry of emotions that overtakes you for the first time can be overwhelming. Feelings previously unknown are remembered for a lifetime. And if the relationship ends, then there is a risk of spending a considerable part of your life, going through short affairs in search of “no less degree”. Or a painful breakup causes a fear of falling in love again.
  • Overprotective parents. Having escaped from the tenacious embrace of his parents, a person carefully protects his boundaries and freedom. When a loving, caring soul mate appears in his life, his mother emerges in the subconscious with her “I believe” that does not tolerate objections. Psychologist-hypnologist Nikita Valerievich Baturin encounters such unconscious projections in his practice. The client cannot explain his fear of love. In the process of complete immersion, childhood memories of total control by parents emerge.
  • Tendency to idealize a partner. In our youth, we tend to idealize our parents, movie stars, or characters from our favorite books. And we fantasize that our partner will be as flawless as the idol on the poster. However, when returning from filming or touring, these idols also throw their socks around, burp loudly and forget to congratulate their mother-in-law on her birthday. There are no ideal people; there is no point in wasting time searching for or training a victim who does not yet meet the given criteria.
  • Low self-esteem. The fear of failure in intimacy, in a material matter, or not matching up with your partner forces you to break off relationships or not start them at all. Often this is also a greeting from childhood, when criticism, neglect and devaluation were part of upbringing.
  • Pragmatism and dryness. It is impossible to plan feelings, just like the development of relationships. Perfectionists do not stay in a relationship because of their tendency to optimize and remake their partner. Endless nagging and inflated demands will nullify even the strongest feelings.
  • Sexual, physical or emotional abuse. Unexamined sad facts in the biography lead to the fact that any rapprochement raises the fear of history repeating itself. A potential aggressor is seen in any person who shows interest. The fear of experiencing this horror again overpowers the prospect of a happy life.
  • Negative experiences from past relationships. After the pain caused, the betrayal experienced, the fear of loving becomes a kind of guarantee that this will not happen again. But is it worth putting everyone under the same brush?

Symptoms of the disease

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You can recognize philophobia and understand what it is by paying attention to a person’s behavior in society. Most often, people who are afraid of falling in love prefer:

  • a hermit lifestyle or, on the contrary, too random a choice of companies;
  • every possible avoidance of situations in which a philophobe might be left alone with someone;
  • a harsh and often rude manner of communicating with a potential object of love.

How do the signs appear?

In a group, such people avoid dialogues with the opposite sex, are withdrawn or unfriendly. They are unable to empathize with the grief of others, since they do not want to delve into other people's affairs. There is practically no emotional involvement in any activity. Because of their fear of falling in love, such individuals resemble robots. They cope well with their responsibilities, often stay at work the longest, do not complain about overtime, and refuse to celebrate birthdays in the team or attend corporate events.

The heart is closed to feelings

Since philophobia is the fear of something that is difficult for a normal person to do without (sincere feelings), those suffering from the disease choose an unattractive person as a sexual partner, often even with a repulsive appearance, which, in their opinion, will not allow them to become emotionally attached, but will provide the opportunity to satisfy your physiological needs.

Additional Information. In this case, another mental deviation may develop, associated with the perversity of fantasies, which give rise to the habit of using people for one’s own purposes, without paying attention to their feelings.

Features of the character and behavior of patients

A person may not know what philophobia is, but still be a philophobe. Understanding the diagnosis requires self-analysis and identification of relationship problems. As a rule, patients who are afraid to love their family members subconsciously turn into tyrants, voicing the shortcomings of everyone who lives with them, thereby offending and forming a specific attitude towards themselves.

Treatment of fear of love

This phobia causes a conflict between desire and fear of love. A person wants to solve this problem, but does not even know what it is called.

  • The first step in overcoming a problem is to identify the causes. The primary source of fear will indicate which path to follow. Here it would be useful to work together with a psychologist.
  • You need to give yourself the right to make mistakes without setting high expectations. Girls deprive themselves of the opportunity for happiness when they mentally live through all the stages of a relationship and imagine their unsuccessful outcome in advance. The guy was still buying flowers at the kiosk, but she was already imagining how things wouldn’t work out for them, and didn’t come to the meeting. Learn to be in the moment.
  • Working on self-esteem. This includes constant self-development to realize one’s value and significance, and parallel processing of childhood traumas with a specialist, for example, with the psychologist-hypnologist Nikita Valerievich Baturin. In your free time, practice appropriate meditations. Pay attention to yourself, study your desires.
  • Work through your fears: loving is not as scary as being alone. Spend your potential and energy on your loved one, not on servicing your fears.
  • Overcome your perfectionism and stop searching for the ideal. A targeted search for shortcomings while ignoring the strengths of your partner will lead you in circles.

Self-attention and openness will bring you closer to the world around you. Over time, trusting close relationships will no longer frighten you with their unknowns. Be happy!

How to overcome the fear of falling in love

Treatment methods do not depend on how people call the fear of falling in love. Psychologists always begin their work by recognizing that there is a problem. To do this, you need to independently or with the help of a specialist define your attitude towards people.


When realizing the fear of falling in love, a person can delve into the memories of his life, analyze every unpleasant situation that has ever arisen in his communication with others. Having analyzed unsuccessful life experiences and circumstances from the height of your age, it is important to understand that not everything in life happens according to an unsuccessful scenario. Everyone is given the natural ability to forgive and forget, which means that this problem can be dealt with alone.

Help from a psychologist

If you cannot cope with the fear of love on your own, an experienced psychologist will help you call everything by its proper name and find solutions. Often, specialists resort to anonymous trainings where they conduct classes with patients. In severe cases, individual hypnosis is used.

Hypnosis treatment

Only by understanding yourself will you be able to return your self-esteem to the proper level, not be afraid to trust your loved ones and improve your quality of life. Do not forget that the world does not consist of only villains, there are much more sympathetic and kind-hearted people around.

What does an neglected phobia lead to?

To be loved and to love is a natural human need. This is important for full and comprehensive self-realization and finding harmony. Denial and avoidance do not make the patient happy; the pain of the past does not subside. Most philophobes deny this; they create their own individual world in which they are comfortable and safe.

The inability to build trusting relationships also affects the sphere of friendships. Along with this comes the awareness of uselessness, unhappiness, and loneliness. And casual acquaintances and superficial communication further enhance the feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness of life.

Philophobe: what is he like?

A person who has philophobia (this is what psychology calls fear of close relationships) does not necessarily have to look gloomy and unhappy. Some people really prefer to be alone with their thoughts and devote themselves entirely to work. Others love company, friendly meetings and entertainment. Fear of relationships turns some women into nymphomaniacs, and men into womanizers who always take the initiative, constantly look for new experiences and change sexual partners without regret. Sometimes people with a phobia refuse sexual relations so that animal instincts do not prevent them from conquering the peaks.

An ordinary person cannot diagnose a fear of relationships. Some philophobes try to become invisible to the opposite sex by being overweight and unkempt, while other people take pleasure in taking care of their own bodies, taking care of their appearance and spending money on beautiful clothes. Often people who are afraid of falling in love abandon their family and children, or vice versa, get married and turn into exemplary fathers and mothers.

Philophobes choose different paths and behavior patterns, but they are all united by the inability to trust the opposite sex. They will never blindly fulfill their partner’s requests and will dissolve in their other half, making their husband or wife the center of their universe. For some, fear of close relationships is a gift that makes them invulnerable and strong, but for others, such a disorder becomes a punishment that prevents them from being happy.

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