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What is philophobia?

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

Medical science defines philophobia as an abnormal, unwarranted and persistent fear of falling in love. Its name comes from two Greek roots, “philo” meaning love and “phobia” meaning fear of. This fear of love isn’t merely a distressing emotional condition; it can result in actual physical symptoms, and may even heighten a person’s alienation from family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.

Every human relationship requires a certain amount of emotional involvement, but people who suffer from philophobia are often unable to make this connection. Philophobics may start by avoiding close contact with members of the opposite sex, and then become so sensitized to emotional reactions that they begin to avoid all people.

In addition, philophobia produces a distinct set of physical symptoms. Philophobia symptoms can range from nervousness or restlessness in the presence of the opposite sex, to feelings of absolute dread at the prospect of meeting someone. In its most extreme cases, philophobia can cause full-blown panic attacks: sweating, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea and an intense need to escape from the presence of the potential lover.

As with all phobias, psychiatrists and psychologists aren’t in 100% agreement on what sets off philophobia. Sometimes a person dwells on bitter memories of past relationships that didn’t go well or that ended badly, whether romantic or familial. Or the sufferer may have an intense fear of rejection and avoids relationships as a way to avoid the embarrassment of being refused by a potential lover. Others may have gone through an acrimonious divorce and be convinced that falling in love again will only lead to another painful divorce or breakup.

While these are examples of some of the experiences held in common by people who suffer from philophobia, no verified connection has been drawn between these intense episodes and the onset of the condition. What is known for sure is that people who go through bad romances or relationships are able to bounce back, while others find themselves trapped in a psychological situation that eventually keeps them separated from other people. A more thorough discussion of the causes of philophobia.

Fortunately, people who suffer from philophobia can get treatment. Counseling, behavioral therapy, and medication have all been proven to be effective phobia treatments when used well. The patient and his or her therapist must together determine which therapies are right and in which combinations. See our page about possible philophobia treatments.

Ed. note: These articles were written by a professional researcher, and not a psychologist. If you feel you can improve anything, please write in. And never take anything you read on the internet as qualified medical information.


  1. Me Me

    Wow crazy I feel this so much. The thought of someone loving me scares me and the thought of me loving them back is even worse when you love someone you rely on them and they on you. If you rely on something and you lose it it’s like losing a limb. I am fiercely self reliant and do not ever rely on one person financially emotionally or spiritually I have once and it hurt like hell when we were over even as I knew it was for the best I do not wish to be weak but wonder if there is a flaw in my personality I see no reason to be codependent when there are so many things to do and see in life why just spend them with one person. Culturally this is not how people are but I am more like a wolf I can run with a pack or alone and I like it that way. But I worry my greatest strength may be my greatest weakness

    • kim kim

      i was in love with my best friend he broke my heart … im afraid to let people in i feel weak and scard at the mear though of me falling in love again i will never let anyone hurt me again

      • Shadow of You Shadow of You

        I glad for you as now you re strong and stand to loving again.. he s the luckiest guy.. I’m proud of you for taking those steps. I’m proud of you for being you and working to rise to the best you inside of you.. Im happy for you..

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      Reading your thoughts felt like reading myself there. I have not been through a complete relationship, before we broke apart. Now after that I feel I just can’t have anyone come so close to me. When I meet new people, it hardly takes me time to get close to them, but then like a bucket of cold water falls upon me, I withdraw. I move away so that they have no chance to get anymore closer and hurt me. I lose that person and it also upsets me but I console myself that it’s for the best and move on.

      • G. B. G. B.

        I see everything has already been said, so no need to tell my story.
        It’s a shame that people whom we ardently want in our life actually manage to leave such long-term scars.

      • Anonymous Anonymous

        That’s exactly how I feel. The moment I feel like someone’s interested in me I start avoiding them and sometimes even flee miles away literally. I have lied million times of being a relationship just to get out of a potential future relationship. I don’t know why. And recently I have indeed come to a stupid realisation that even all the men I have dated have been either foreigners or living many states away. And of course it never went for more than 1 date. It was all fine until I flawed. I started talking online to one such guy who I knew was definitely not my time. He was an asshole frankly speaking. Still is. 4 years and no matter how many times i break it to him that I just don’t want to talk to him he just wouldn’t listen. He just keeps on finding his way in my life. And all I want is solitude.

  2. I think its also the anime’s fault. making us see things in a different perspective , making us different as well.sorry still love anime.

    • Mary Mary

      Lol… Now i know why im like this xD its because watching too much anime… But i still love anime too

  3. Damn how to treat this .. give your e-mail address and chat me.anyone.I’m male.

  4. Anonymous Anonymous

    wow, I am in total shock that i finally found out what is wrong with me. I dont do love at All! when I feel like I love a person I get very sick to my stomach i get bad aniexty and actually want to throw up from the thought of being in love. Once I guy i loved told me he loved me and I broke up with him. Anyone who falls in love with me I break up with because I refuse to fall in love. Causes me to feel vunerable. How do I fix this!?

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      I just read your thoughts in my opionion you need to find someone who doesn’t need to hear the word love you don’t need to express the word love overtime your feeling may allow you and the other to say the words love to me means you will do what is necessary for the other not to hurt or suffer in any way again it’s my opinion and it’s from living for 59 years what I see and what I experianced

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      Same here.. is that real philophobia what im and youre experiencing or what? 🙁
      This at first didnt bother me at all i was just “ok its just maybe bcs i dont love him”
      But the same exact feeling came to me when i almost encountered little-crossed-friend-line relationships with other guys, and when the guy started to show he cared to me or behave a little bit my body reacts in a way that others find strange.. i felt nauseous and stuffs, i even panicked and (im so embarassed to say this) felt like i didnt wanna know him anymore :'(

      • Anonymous Anonymous

        Yesh!! That’s exactly it.. i’ve been wondering wht’s up since i’ve been feeling so too and only sstarted to really notice these symptons… like when i have an interest in a guy, i start to approach him and become friends then when he starts showing more care than usual or started to be interested in me too.. i juz want to avoid him and juz runnn… even though i was the one that started it all…

  5. atleast now I know what’s wrong with me by how do I fix this

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      Love yourself first and after that you realize what is the best and what you deserve

      • Anonymous Anonymous

        Yuh,it’s true before you love others love yourself first and know yourself better.

      • Pitti Pitti

        Loving yourself is as hard as kissing your own lips. Listen to: The spectrum of love by Alan Watts

  6. The real me The real me

    From an early age I had this panicking feelings inside me when it comes to love.
    Whenever I have intimate relationship with someone on the internet or real life.
    It feels like I’m always fading away,like its a bit too much for me.
    Side affects are: stomach act and fling guilt.
    So I decided to explore and drew hearts. But… I couldn’t feel any satisfaction in it.
    I do know how to love,I do know how to be loyal,but I just can’t be with someone that intimated. So thank you,I know myself better then I’ve ever had.

  7. Anonymous Anonymous


  8. i didn’t knw that i waz like this before,but now i know sins i read this ,now i know wht couses philophobia and its meaning:-)

  9. Anonymous Anonymous

    Now I understand why my ex boyfriend do these things , we have been loving each other for 1 year , but. We broke up after a months , because he had to go to USA , and I wanted to move 3 months later .
    He just arguing with me , but he told me I always been loving you ! What should I do , I love him I want to take him back ?

  10. boss princess boss princess

    i have thiis feeling that i want to take my ex-boyfriend back to me but i’m scared he might just reject me.what should i do?

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      If he reject you,so reject him also! That it means that your ex- boyfriend reject you, there’s no love at all..

  11. Anonymous Anonymous

    mine sill rejects me and i keep trying honestly

  12. Anonymous Anonymous

    Sometimes…psychology can be “mans” worst enemy.
    “For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Cor ‭2:11‬ ‭

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      God is the first person that gives us LOVE! Even though we can’t see him but he always there at our side waiting for us to call him. Through prayer we can communicate and know more what is really the true love of GOD to us.

  13. me me

    wow! i read this and now i suspect i suffer this phobia. its just i love my family and friend but never love someone beyond that. i can admire and having crush with someone, but when i know he also interested with me really scare me, and sometime it also can change my feeling from having crush to hate. its not that like i dont want, but couldnt. just having the idea loving someone other than my family and friend scare me. maybe its also anime and manga fault. hermm…. i dont know.

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      Same here. I had crush on someone, once! But the thought of having serious relationship, was unbearable. I did enjoy accompany from opposite sex, but once they want to move forward or take it to the next level, I’ll cut them off. Back then I don’t understand why. I keep saying to myself that I’m not ready, but now I know..the idea of love or commitment, just..argh…
      maybe its because anime/manga fault!

  14. I'm scared I'm scared

    I’m at the age where everyone my age is falling in love and starting to have boyfriends all the time. The thought of love scared me so so so so much. I fell in love this year and I hate myself for it. I feel guilty, hate, anxious, irritated, and just….well, scared. I don’t want to feel this way, but I do. I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve told a close friend an he doesn’t know what to tell me. I’ve never been in love before. I want to cry and tell myself everything will be alright at the same time. He tells be to fight my fears, but it doesn’t work like that. I don’t know what to do anymore….I’ve given up. One I found out love is my main fear I started to accept it about found it was called Philophobia. I accept my fear, no matter how painful it is…

  15. unknown unknown

    Damn! I This is so me.

  16. max max

    I think I also have this disses coz I’m sweating when I have to approach a girl and I really need help. Where can I found it I’m starting get worried

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      Your sweating because your not really in love with that girl. Your only toying her.

      • Anonymous Anonymous


  17. Anonymous Anonymous

    I have also this kind of fear. A fear of falling in love with someone, I can’t understand my feelings. One day there’s a suitor of mine,he tell me that he had crush of me then I feel nervous and irritate. Since I’m a students at that time.I thought that it can only ruin my studies. So, what I did was reject him.I feel bad of what I did at that time.And I thank god for what I have now !

  18. Scott Scott

    I definitely have this. Ive been in one relationship my whole life which was really hard for me. I cried 4 times in 3 weeks just from the emotional stress and anxiety it was causing me. In the past whenever i liked someone and they felt the same, i just couldnt be around them. Once it caused me to shake, get a headache feel nautious, and lightheaded, and one time, it turned me into a completely different person. I couldnt even talk to them.

  19. Anonymous Anonymous

    I am sure that I am not the only one who had suffered watching their parents fight, but when I was about six years old or so, I saw my father arguing with my mother at a kitchen when it was midnight. He suddenly pulled out a knife and threatened my mother. But my mother repeatedly yelled at him to stab her. After seeing this I chose not to show any interest towards others as I feared that, falling in love would result in me becoming a man I do not want to become. Anyone can disagree with me, but I do not find love as important. You can live alone and still survive.

    • Pin Pin

      I agreed with you

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      This happened with me too. I saw my mother trying to hang herself. I must have been in 3rd or 4th grade. I moved away for highschool and later got to know that my mom had been in hospital because my dad pushed her so hard against the balcony that she had to get stitches on her head. Things don’t change. And I just hate the fact that no matter what I still love both of them unconditionally. I can’t ever be in a relationship. I don’t want such love. I am 22 and never even had my first kiss.

  20. Affected Affected

    I was wondering what was wrong with me, but after I’ve read about this phobia I’m quite sure of what’s happening.

    People find me attractive so easily that I mostly end up hating myself for being open to them – of which is weird!

    I repelled from people who’ve shown great love and care towards me, I just don’t seem to welcome anyone around as I continue to declare my love for solitude.

    Look, I hurt people, from spiritual leaders through friends to women. And the following is so disturbing; my family shown up for festive season, and trust me, within just days I was pissed that they’ve intruded my company. I would wake, brush my teeth, eat breakfast and disappear from their sight. As I’m typing this, I can’t wait for them to announce their departure!

    I wish I can get help sooner as I believe this is not the way one should be living.
    I also want to be a family man and people’s man!

    Please attach me a link for help recommendations in South Africa, Pretoria. Thanks

  21. ka ka

    I feel exhausted about my feelings

  22. ka ka

    How can i love when I have nothing to give

  23. Philiphobic guy Philiphobic guy

    OMG! All of these details match my current afflictions and symptoms. I wish I never I could just live some place far away from civilization so that I never ever get close with another person.

  24. Anonymous Anonymous

    I just realized i might have philophobia when i realized the person i like might like me. I started to have a panic attack , the problem is i still have a crush on them and the counteracting feelings are driving me insane. I want a relationship but the thought of being in one scares me.

  25. Anonymous Anonymous

    My age:-16
    Last year a girl changed my life. Being 3 years younger to me, she makes me feel butterflies in my stomach everytime I see her and heart races like anything. Pleasure centres of my brain get activated upon talking with her even if it is for a minute. But the only problem is that I made a mistake. One year back, I told one of my friend about her and he leaked it in the whole friend circle. Obviously, she got to know and she felt bad that because of me she faced public embarrassment… So she didn’t talk to me for months…. And now the relation between 2 of us is a lil better but not so good and I know she will never understand the value of my feelings… But I can’t get over no matter how hard I try…. I can’t be angry at her for more than a week… And this makes me suffer from philophobia… Either God should make my pair with her or else I think I would not be able to emotionally attatch myself to anyone..
    P.S don’t go by my age… My feelings are very strong…

  26. Anonymous Anonymous

    Yep. I legit HATE myself. I’m angry and tense all the time. Lol it sucks but its comfortable and I’m too stuck to change.

  27. Mary Mary

    I’m someone who falls in love so easily but everything crumbled with my last boyfriend. He was a cheat, liar, words cannot even describe how he is. Since then, when I fall in love, I discover I want to be used and that has made me to be philophobic. The latest was the last guy I fell in love with recently. He’s been caring and since I don’t like being intimate until I’m sure of who he is, I thought he loved me the same way I love him. I was heartbroken yesterday when I saw some pictures in my colleague’s phone on how intimate they are. This has really made me to stand my ground; to be philophobic.

  28. Rita Rita

    I’m afraid of attachment even to my relatives it starts when my mom’s passed away 2 years ago .. i feel like all of them will leave me so ive decided to live alone i dont have friends i lost them because im afraid that someday they will leave me like my mom im afraid of falling inlove i feel like crazy what should i do??

  29. Anoyamas Anoyamas

    Hey not all is like this but most people fear of love and are afraid their partner going to live that is why we advoide date and girls for maters we know how to we choose not go into this subject i used to have a girl friend 3 year ago she broke up with me cuz her mom i am this way my friends say i am afraid i know their right i just don’t know how to trust Christian they both were Christian i kind of feel like i was adbandon by some Christian

  30. JC JC

    I think I’m afraid of falling in love, the last person I was in love with battled cancer and sadly to say she passed away from it. One of the hardest things I had to do was sit by her side as she passed away & there was nothing I could. My fear comes from falling in love & a chance of having to go do that again. It was extremely hard losing the one i loved especially because she was only 20 & I don’t know if I could it all again if I had to. I pushed a lot of family & friends away because they try to get me to open up.

  31. Lily Lily

    I am afraid of being close to anyone. Because I dated my best friend. He moved. And he broke my heart.

  32. Mufamadi Mashudu Mufamadi Mashudu

    Philophobia is also caused by seeing your parents fighting and then broke parent bad-mouthing the other and because the child is destroyed,she fears love and told herself not to fall in love to avoid hurting the kids and finding herself in a fight.

  33. Wow wee oo wee! Wow wee oo wee!

    yeh ‘philophobia’ is just a label. yeh, I experienced all the parent’s fightin’ stuff.
    when youre an adult, you move on. DONT let
    your past steal or take your present.
    the more I’ve lived, the more I realize I’m normal. I am nor will I ever be a victim.
    I live life now on my terms. I won’t be second to anybody.

  34. Tiky Tiky

    I have many male friends. As soon as i realized that someone have romantic feeling, i immediately cut the ties. And when i try to love someone.. people always tell me that i’m being too cold for some says i’m heartless… and now i’m 7 years single though during that time i’m dating. But never be in serious relationship. 😂

  35. anonymous anonymous

    Once i loved a boy so much that it even hurted but when i had to change the school where we were ,i broke up with him because i felt that i couldnt have a distant relationship but now i regret my decision.
    we were together for about 3 years ,i had others relationships but when things were getting serious i would break up with the boy,i feel like i am lucky because all of them were kind and cared about me but i didnt love them and i didnt want to love them because i think i am not worth it, when things start to get serious i avoid them or be mean with them so they can leave me alone …
    i think i still like my ex but if someone ask me if i want to be with him again,my answer would be no.
    i would say that i just want to know that he is mine,but not physically .
    i can break a heart without regret it,people say that i mean but i think that i am a realistic one
    What’s the propose of getting in a relationship if it always ends.

  36. Anonymous Anonymous

    I really think I have philophobia…whenever I talk to a guy I like and become friends and show intrest after a few days I just avoid him and cry and I don’t even know why.. it’s just so complicated…I wake up in the morning feeling so depressed and anxious that I just want to start crying 😟

  37. Bomb in my heart.... Bomb in my heart....

    I have philophobia… I notice it everytime someone asks me out, for ex. I met a guy and instantly fell for him, he asked me out that night and I said yes,of course. It was two weeks later and I started to lose feelings, I convinced myself that I still love him and so I left him. It was back to school time and I fell for another guy and I had him on my mind 24/7. I knew I was inlove, he asked me out and I said yes. We are currently still going out, but I am losing my feelings. There is someone else that is inlove with me and he was my kindergarden crush. Now I’m thinking that I should leave my boyfriend and be single for a long time, but I’m still growing… How can I ressist falling inlove with somebody and don’t have feelings. I’m 14 years old and I don’t know what to do. If I tell my mother she’ll say I’m overreacting, my father past away, my friends won’t understand, I don’t have money to go to a counsellor( my mother will anyway say no)…. What must I do???

  38. Anonymous Anonymous

    See I’ve never experienced love and don’t intend on it.. I went to the cinema with my friend one time and whilst we were sat in the cinema, he tried to make a move on me, told me we could “work it out, go slowly” well I don’t think I’ve ever jumped out of my seat so fast in my life. I ran to the bathroom and started panicking and it was the worst fleeing in the world- I thought I was gonna vomit. It’s happened a couple of other times (not in the same scenario though) and everytine somebody tries to be in a relationship with me, I feel so sick and I literally shake.. I can’t do it.

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      I meant to put feeling*

  39. Xafi Xafi

    I was so surprise when I’m start to read this,I now I know what was happen to me..I hope I can fall in love again with someone..

  40. Anonymous Anonymous

    Suburb !!!!!!

  41. Anonymous Anonymous

    i also have philophobia. i think its because i had a bad relationship before that my ex-boyf cheated on me and i also have some family issues which makes me hard to believe that love thing. everytime i fall in love with a guy, and i confessed to him, and he started to love me back, i avoided him. i cant even look him in the eye. everytime i saw him or he started a conversation (even chatting in social media) , i feel like i wanna puke. i had a bad feeling and got sick. i hate it. i hate myself. like im playing with his feelings but im not. i just cant control myself. but i think this is the best way. so that i will never get hurt again TT^TT

  42. Anonymous Anonymous

    i think i have also philophobia. It is too hard for me. as i had a relationship which ended very badly and leave a deep scar into me. then life goes on , i thought i got over it. but sometimes after i realize tht something is wrong with me. i can’t let anyone into my life. it makes me uncomfortable horribly. like that love hunts me. after my brkup i tried many times to engage with someone one. But THE THOUGHT of getting into a relationship makes me terribly afraid. I don’t know what to do. sometimes i feel so alone. i need help. T_T

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