Let's talk about Philophobia, the fear of falling in love.

in psychology •  last year

In the past few days we have been discussing the subjects of love and phobias.


Today, I want to share with you another phobia, the phobia of love.

What is Philophobia?

Philophobia is the fear of love or of becoming emotionally connected with another person. | Source

Philophobia is the fear of emotional attachment; fear of being in, or falling in love. | Source

This phobia consists in nothing more than a mental disorder that causes the person to be afraid when thinking about getting involved with another individual on a sentimental way. It is a condition that makes the person scared of a situation, but not because of what happens in that situation but because of what goes on in the person’s mind when he/she starts thinking about judgments and expectations.

This is not quite a fear of loving, it is rather a fear of the expectations there might be, it could be seen, as a fear of romantic failure.

When we are on a relationship (without taking into account the stage of said relationship), we begin a process in which our ideas start to take form and start growing in our mind.

We can see that from the first date we have with someone. From that moment, we start to think things like:

  • Will she/he like me or not?
  • Would she/he like to have a second date with me again?
  • Would I have liked him/her?
  • Did I talked too much or too little?

All these thoughts are based on something that we want to fulfill, on a goal that is present in our thoughts, on expectations that we feel even before we really get to know that person.

These expectations are created because our mind might tend to start fantasizing if we don’t take proper control of it.

In fact, many people start a relationship and after a certain time begin to experience certain changes caused by their feelings of insecurity and doubt, which can end up with them finishing the relationship and avoiding the path they were building with the partner.

We always face new situations in our life based on what we want to achieve, that is, the goal we have in mind, which also is the only thing justifying our actions.

If we have a date with someone, from that first moment we go with a desire, with an intention, with a goal to achieve, with certain expectations to fulfill.

You may wonder what's wrong with that?

Well, at that precise moment our relationship with that person becomes a total suffering because a mental task begins in which we judge that person and the relationship we have, depending on whether the person meets these expectations or not.

It is as if we judge the present based on what is supposed to happen in our future. And of course, that future can end up being very similar or totally different than what we think. It can end up being a good future, than we enjoy a lot, or a not so good one that makes us wonder if we are happy or not, or even a bad one that makes us want to change it with all our energy when we realize we are not happy.

And all of this happens without that supposed future that we ourselves imagine, being real as of yet.

Some symptoms of this condition are:

  • Extreme anxiety and nervousness of falling in love or getting in relationship
  • Suppressing inner feelings as much as possible
  • Complete avoidance of places where couples are found such as parks and movie theaters
    *Avoiding Marriage and others’ wedding ceremonies as well
  • Isolation from external world due to the fear of falling in love. Source

Anticipating what is going to happen

Normally this phobia is a problem that uses our expectations and the ideas we have about the person and our relationship, to judge whether the moments we are going to share is beneficial to us or not.

And here is where we have a serious problem. The moment we deviate from the reality we are living and get into the world of our thoughts and fantasies, we lose control over that reality, we lose control over ourselves.

In other words, we distort reality and make it up in a certain way based on our thoughts, which in turn are the result from our past experiences, and if those experiences have not been very good, this will turn our present into a sort of clone of said past, making it happen all over again.

The problem is not the present we are living with our partner, but the future that we think we will have if we keep going. Either because we are afraid that it does not look compatible with what we think or because it is so beautiful that at some point it might break and we suffer because of it.

And while we overthink, our reality is getting lost in our mental fog without us doing anything to live it, appreciate it, study it or enjoy it.

And we waste our energies in this overthinking, until those thoughts are what cause us fear and not our reality. In the end people suffering from this phobia end up surrendering to this fear for things they have simply thought, when actually there really is nothing to fear.

If a person had any past relationship failure such as divorce, it can strongly cause philophobia in a person. Philophobia can also be a result of an upbringing where the person saw ups and down in parents’ relationship as a child. | Source

In the end, it does not matter what we are really feeling for that person or how wonderful it all is, because by seeing everything through the filter of fear, we will be distorting that moment and the perception of what we have around us.

Then the only action left is to get away from that person by telling to ourselves that it was necessary for our own good, without even taking the time to verify if the person was actually worth it.

Final thoughts

In order to control this phobia, it is necessary to go little by little, preventing our thoughts and expectations from influencing our reality in such an extreme way.

If there is something that we are imagining, we should analyze it and see if it coincides 100% with our present moment, and if not then we should discard it, because it is simply an useless thought that tries to take us to another world different from the one we am living now.

Fear should not be endured, nor be fought nor ignored, instead it should be controlled and subjected to reality to see if it is real or not. If it is, then perfect because it is designed for that, to make us enter a state of alert in order to increase our chances of survival. If the fear is not real, then let it remain there so that it starts to diminish itself, living a reality in which it can not influence us

Have you ever experienced something similar to this phobia?


healthline - philophobia


healthtopia -philophobia

Image sources
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I think most of the people had this fear once in different amounts in their life because most of us had at least one unsuccessful and ending relationship in our past. But sensitive people are effected by it strongly.. So as you mention we have to control it..


As you said, not everyone is affected by this, and it varies depending on the person. Either way, anyone can control these things if they really want and start to study the subject.

Good article. I suffered from this as a young adult. Didn't want many people close to me in case they found out 'the real me' - which turned out to be not that bad anyway lol

Good, on point article.


Haha well good thing you end up overcoming this!

I dated someone who I thought might have had this phobia. After swearing he would never get married because of all messy divorces he'd seen, he's on his third marriage now. The two before with the same woman!


That’s crazy! Sometimes it’s really hard to understand why there are so many divorces. It wasn’t like that a few years ago