Fear of Love: Causes, Symptoms, Acceptance, Advice

The fear of love , of love or of falling in love, is known by the medical or scientific term as Philosophobia . The word comes from the Greek “phylos” which means “lover or beloved”. This phobia is more common in women than in men. The condition can greatly affect a person’s life to the point that it becomes difficult to commit or form healthy relationships. So they make the decision not to face fear and live apart from love

When the fear of love appears, it is very common for people to develop a feeling of attachment, be it psychological or emotional. When it comes to unusual fears , philophobia certainly ranks high on the list . This phobia is often known to have cultural or religious roots, where the person may have been committed to an arranged marriage and is therefore afraid of falling in love.

It is believed that Queen Elizabeth of England could have been a philosophobic. She loved and allowed various suitors to court her, but things never led to marriage or engagement. The experts analyzed the case, concluding that an event experienced in his childhood, directly related to his mother, aroused those fears related to love. Especially because of the sad ending where his father was pointed out as the author of what happened.

Causes of fear to love

It is scientifically proven that philophobia is an unjustified and irrational fear of falling in love. Once this fear is generated it causes severe emotional turmoil in people’s minds. Undoubtedly, in many cases the person suffers when falling in love, so they create a barrier and fear originates:

  • Some unpleasant experiences in the passage of the patient, can trigger the reaction philophobia, verified by the specialists who treat this type of cases.
  • Parents’ divorce, seeing them fight or separate, or witnessing domestic violence in childhood may be responsible for this phobia.
  • Many cultures and religions prohibit romantic love or relationships between men and women as illicit under certain circumstances.
  • The cultural and religious effect generates severe changes in individuals, which generate a lot of anxiety and panic of feeling love, because they fear being excluded by society.
  • Failure in previous relationships is a determining factor in terms of fear of loving for a new failure, it is created by negative thoughts that do not help to overcome the phobia.
  • People who are overly anxious or nervous may be more prone to it.
  • The causes will vary depending on the situations that each person has to live, each case represents a new experience.


Not all people who suffer from philophobia have the same symptoms, these can vary depending on the person. The first thing to know:

  1. Nerves
  2. Anxiety
  3. Restlessness
  4. Heart rate
  5. Accelerated breathing
  6. Weakening
  • Some people are so afraid of love that they cannot open up to anyone.
  • They have committed relationships, but they can’t keep any of them.
  • They only manage to be well, if the person with whom they share a love relationship responds affirmatively.
  • This results in insecurity, anxiety most of the time.
  • Negative symptoms can be dangerous, since they lean towards extremes, they can be possessive or detached as a complement in the love relationship.
  • One also experiences severe anxiety due to the pressures of commitment: restlessness, shallow breathing, rapid heart rate, nausea, chest pains, etc. are some of the physical symptoms that can be attributed to philophobia.
  • Panic and anxiety attacks are also common. These can be excruciating, as the patient often feels dizzy, or has the urge to run away, cry, shake, or sweat profusely, or even feel as if they are passing out.
  • Therefore, the fear of love phobia can be very debilitating for the sufferer.


It is important that people determine when the fear started, what were the reasons that led them to be vulnerable in the presence of love, among some of the questions that can be asked to determine it are:

  1. Did the vulnerability appear after a traumatic breakup?
  2. Was your last partner too clingy or not loving enough?
  3. Identifying the time frame in which you were disappointed in love is important to help you combat your fears.

It is very common that our fears are not caused by our own mistakes, most of the cases we take the experiences of people close to us and we create our own fear of loving. The specialists assure that in many of3 the cases begin with the parents, for example, if they divorced and this was a difficult process or with close relatives, it is very likely that you develop that fear of love or commitment.

You have to know what fears.

  • When we say that we fear love, often love itself is not the source of concern.
  • We usually mean that we are worried about some negative outcomes that are possible if we allow ourselves to love.
  • It is recommended to do a self-reflection, to discover that we are afraid of love or of losing our freedom and independence.
  • Asking for help is never too much, talk to close friends and family and ask for advice.

Don’t get ahead of the facts

  • Generally people tend to anticipate the facts and ask unnecessary questions that increase anxiety and fear. Like for example what would happen if I do this? If I make this decision, that will not help at all.
  • It is important that you know that these questions will not help you at all, because the negative side will always come out.
  • Change the meaning of the question, think positive, do not reject the opportunity to discover what you are afraid of, without anticipating that you will be hurt, that you are going to suffer.
  • Let things happen and resolve as situations arise.

Find a partner who values ​​you

  • If you are afraid of love, then it makes sense to seek love from someone who values ​​the things you do.
  • If your real problem with love is that you think that falling in love means losing your freedom, then you need to find someone who values ​​their own freedom and does not impose yours on you.
  • If it’s commitment that concerns you, then you can test the waters with someone who is just looking for someone to date and see where the relationship goes from there.
  • It is important to note that finding this person may take some time.
  • Don’t set time limits or expectations for finding this person. If you fear love, then you should let it come naturally to you.
  • Forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do will not help you fix your fear and is unfair to the other person.

Ask yourself if it’s love that worries you so much

  • Many times we can project stressors from other areas of life into our love lives.
  • For example, if you are overloaded or failing on a project at school or at work, then perhaps you are not really afraid of love and commitment, but rather you are afraid of failing at something.
  • Honestly examine why you think you are afraid of love and see if it is really love that scares you or if it could be a stressor from somewhere else in your life.

How love can benefit you

  • Love is something that brings joy, happiness, and security.
  • It’s a positive aspect of life that we put a lot of weight on, so it’s often helpful to ask yourself how love in the abstract can benefit you.
  • Try to write down all the ways that falling in love could be positive for you, such as companionship, physical intimacy, spiritual health, and so on.
  • Then weigh your list against your fears.
  • Think of this exercise as a one-sided “pros and cons” list.
  • If you are honest with yourself, you will likely find that the positive side of your list far outweighs the negative.

Know your fears

Look at your past: 

  • Make memory , remember and organize the events we have lived loving help us defend ourselves in the present and work in loving fear.
  • You can make a healthy comparison of your old and recent relationships, to work on your fears, only knowing what your fears are, it will be easier to resolve that love matter.
  • Especially if the relationship came to an end, it is essential that you analyze what the failures were, so as not to repeat it in future relationships.
  • What issues remain / continue to be raised?
  • In what way could we be pushing / have we pushed love? What thoughts inspired these actions?
  • What did we say to each other the last time we provoked our partner, started a fight, acted cold, rejected a loved one, declined an invitation, ignored or suppressed affection, paid a compliment, etc.?

Reviewing ourselves internally, discovering our thoughts and being self-critical will allow us to create patterns of behavior and an external link with the situations experienced, to overcome fears in love. We can see how our own defenses work systematically to protect ourselves from love. We may notice that we have trouble being recognized by our partner or that we feel angry when he or she trusts us. We can feel repelled by a loving look or feel insecure or rejected quickly.

Stop listening to your inner critic

  • Try to recognize that little voice in your head that gives you information like, “He doesn’t really love you. Do not be silly.
  • Move before it hurts you.
  • Think about how this critical inner voice trains you to avoid feeling intimate or vulnerable. He’s just manipulating you.
  • Don’t let her get to know the real you.
  • You can not trust anyone”. Think about how he humiliates you and others, damaging your confidence.
  • You are too ugly, fat, poor, uncomfortable to have a relationship.
  • Nobody will be interested.
  • Do not let negative thoughts take over you, this will prevent you from starting another love relationship.
  • It will allow you to separate and act against their damaging directives. Remember that letting go of your inner critic means letting go of an old identity that, while unpleasant, may also feel safe in its familiarity.
  • Breaking away from this criticism will arouse anxiety, but it poses a battle well worth fighting.

Face and fix

  • The most important thing is to recognize and deal with the problem.
  • Avoid falling into loneliness, taking refuge in those activities that make you feel protected, only when you are away from other people.
  • Even if they make us feel lonely, dissatisfied, or hardened against love, we return to our defenses like a heavy blanket that protects us from the world.
  • Our defenses, no matter how seductive they may sound, are not our friends.
  • They are there to prevent us from reaching our goals.

It may have felt threatening, even dangerous, opening up to someone as a child or showing our feelings in our family, but these same defenses are no longer constructive for us in our current relationships. Perhaps pretending that we didn’t care helped protect us from the pain of feeling neglected or invisible, yet that very attitude will make it difficult to accept the loving feelings that are extended to us today.


  • It is important to control the anxiety attacks that are experienced due to the phobia.
  • Medications can be prescribed; however, these are not a permanent solution.
  • One must rely on other therapies that offer a long-term cure.
  • The behavioral therapy , meditation, neurolinguistic patterns, etc., are some of the tried and tested means to definitively overcome the Filofobia.
  • There are many ways to overcome the fear of falling in love with the phobia.
  • Self-help books, talk therapy, psychotherapy , hypnoanalysis, etc. are some effective methods that have shown proven results.
  • There are also various online and offline forums or support groups that can encourage an individual to open up about their fears about love and commitment.

Georgia Tarrant
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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.