Fear Of A Relationship (Philophobia): Origin, Causes, Consequences, Advice

Fear of a relationship is widespread in people. Many of them live with the permanent fear of having a relationship. In the current era of rapid consumption and accessibility to everything thanks to the Internet, we will even go so far as to say that it is one of the “scourges” of modern societies. Although the fear of commitment can manifest itself in many spheres of an individual’s life, the fear of entering into a love relationship, such as friendship, has concrete repercussions because its effects directly affect the “other” here, the couple, in your feelings and perceptions.

Most common origins

The childhood of fear

  • In many cases, the fear of entering a relationship is ingrained in the individual’s experience, most often in childhood.
  • Many of us suffered the discomfort and suffering of seeing our parents separated or divorced when we were still young.
  • The breakup, sometimes as sharp as broken glass in a child’s life, sometimes harms the child more than the separating couple.
  • And sometimes, you retain the side effects for a long time, the unconscious programming that interferes with your mind that “any relationship is doomed.”
  • In these people, once childhood is over, the trauma is felt from the moment they try to commit themselves to love …, which damages their interpersonal and marital relationships if they manage to weave and maintain them.
  • These tormented individuals unconsciously seek to avoid suffering again at all costs: to live a break would be for them to return to the past, suffer as much or more than before, and see their egos bruised now.
  • A commitment problem may also have arisen due to a neglected injury.
  • For example, the suffering experienced by a child whose father ran away from home when he was very young or that of a young child whose mother fell seriously ill.
  • Because these parents suddenly stopped meeting their son’s emotional needs, he suffered a neglected injury.
  • Later, as adults, they may unconsciously tend to run away from “attachment relationships,” relationships in which they risk being hurt in ways similar to what they have experienced in the past; being abandoned, rejected, abandoned.

The failure

  • The anguish of avoiding commitment can also be a source of a person’s perfectionism or idealism.
  • That’s how it is! Some people tend to over-invest themselves in an adventure that, according to them, should lead them precisely to the fairy tale, to what they had always imagined, and then stop suddenly.
  • They dream and fantasize about a perfect romantic relationship.
  • And when the “relationship” they are in does not develop according to their plans, according to the ideal scenario, or when life and its heavy evidence remind them of reality.
  • When the fear of failure comes to torment them, doubt sets in often.
  • Cut! We stop everything.

To avoid this, to protect ourselves from a breakup that would hurt terribly, we stopped things:

  • “I’d rather be a little disappointed (disappointed) now than collapse later.”
  • This type of behavior also leads them to wait for the “right person constantly”; the desire to feel absolute certainty, the desire to invest only in what corresponds to their criteria of perfection, and the fear of losing someone “better” condemn them to become more mired in expectation, illusion and, inevitably, disappointment.
  • The individual who has such behavior suffers his disappointment and that of the other since his partners are always and still left behind.


  • Other people are simply afraid of feeling trapped in the relationship. These people may have been in suffocating relationships or significantly suffered for various reasons. They fear losing “their freedom” if they return to a romantic relationship.
  • Or perhaps, during childhood, they have been under control and have worn the heavy “chains” of a demanding, abusive, or controlling parent?
  • If you have been attached – literally or figuratively – the intense desire never to be connected again, especially in a romantic relationship or by the opposite sex, influences all your actions and words.

You can also read Fear Of A Person: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment.


  • Sweating
  • Palpitation.
  • Nervousness.
  • Anguish.
  • Fear of meeting that person.

Effects and consequences of fear of commitment

Effects and consequences of fear of commitment

  • There are genuine dangers of never committing… For example, the possibility of being alone, spending life alone, and sabotaging relationships that are going well.
  • Staying in fear in avoidance can even lead an individual directly to social isolation and depression.
  • To be afraid of compromise, like any fear, is to be fearful of “what may happen.”
  • Through this fear, they avoid the “risk of A, B or C” through their behavior and actions.
  • Of course, starting a romantic relationship takes risks, but it is having confidence in yourself and life.
  • The client must realize that choosing to live in a loving relationship and surrender to it is not “losing” anything, much less losing their freedom.
  • When you choose to live everything fully – rooted in the present moment, investing in and respecting your needs – and not running away, you hold the key to “success” in everything.


  • Here are some tips that you can pass on to your clients to help them overcome their fear of commitment:
  • Determine the elements that make up your fear
  • For your clients to overcome their fear of commitment, they must first determine exactly what they are afraid of.
  • What are we afraid of losing? You have to look at your fear and discover your roots in your mind.
  • «When your fear manifests itself, what do you think about it? What image emerges in your
  • head? What are you afraid of?.
  •  It is losing a love relationship (suffering) …, the way
  • Single life … your freedom ?.
  • You must know precisely what scares you because, after all, “commitment” is only a 10-letter word. It is not a high-security prison.

Additional Information

  • No matter what the client is afraid of losing or what they fear experiencing, they must realize that no relationship should cause them to lose their self-esteem, freedom, or independence.
  • A positive and healthy romantic relationship should always promote the satisfaction of individual needs for freedom and independence.
  • If you have experienced relationships characterized by control or dependency in the past, these were undoubtedly not healthy relationships. No relationship based on authority is healthy.
  • Therefore, we must make him realize that a relationship of love, healthy and full of respect for himself and the other is a relationship that is natural, easy to establish.

Practice decision making

  • Overcoming fear of commitment also means making decisions easier.
  • People afraid of commitment often have a hard time committing to all aspects of their lives, constantly oscillating between two possibilities or avoiding making essential decisions.
  • Being indecisive can become a habit over time.
  • But when you make a decision, you commit to yourself and something or someone.
  • If it is difficult for the client to honor your commitment in any decision, you must learn to do so.
  • This can be achieved in several ways, such as simple daily actions/decisions (choosing the restaurant where you dine, entertainment activities, etc.).

Remind him of this:

  • Sometimes the more you study the pros and cons of something, the more you get into it.
  • Confusion.
  • So, learn to make decisions quickly.
  • Without it taking all your energy, he will become used to everything.

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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.

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