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Philophobia: Here's what it means to be afraid of falling in love, what to do

It is a natural feeling if you are cautious about falling in love after a messy breakup but getting afraid of falling in love could be a condition.

Confused couple

Philophobi is a condition where someone experiences fear of falling in love or being in love.

While it might not be classified as a diagnosable mental disorder in itself, it can significantly impact a person’s emotional well-being and relationships. It’s important to recognise that what is considered “normal” can vary from person to person.

People have unique experiences and perspectives, and their reactions to love and relationships can differ. Some people might naturally feel more cautious or apprehensive about falling in love due to their personal history, beliefs, or temperament.

However, if the fear of falling in love becomes excessive, pervasive, and interferes with a person’s daily functioning or quality of life, it might be beneficial to seek professional support.

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  • Self-reflection

Don’t be in a rush, just take time to understand your fear and its underlying causes. Explore past experiences, beliefs, and any negative thought patterns that contribute to your fear of falling in love, suggests the expert. Self-reflection can help to increase self-awareness and provide a starting point for addressing your fears.

  • Challenge negative beliefs

Identify and challenge any negative beliefs you hold about love, relationships, or yourself. Replace these beliefs with more positive and realistic thoughts. Cognitive-behavioural therapy techniques can be effective in reshaping negative thinking patterns.

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  • Gradual exposure

Gradually expose yourself to situations that involve love and relationships. Start by engaging in low-risk social interactions and gradually work your way toward more intimate connections. This gradual exposure allows you to build confidence and challenge your fear in a controlled manner.

  • Focus on self-love and self-care

Prioritise self-care activities that nurture your well-being and self-esteem. Engage in hobbies that you like, practice self-compassion and cultivate a positive relationship with yourself. Building a strong foundation of self-love can make it easier to open up to love from others.

  • Set realistic expectations
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Understand that no relationship is perfect, and everyone has their flaws and challenges. Set realistic expectations for love and relationships, acknowledging that they require effort, compromise, and growth from both partners.

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