Have you heard of a love-related phobia called philophobia? Love is strange yet dense and beautiful affection that afflicts us all at some point or the other. In fact, it can be considered the strongest of all human emotions. Yet, it is associated with a list of phobias. I know it is weird to know that there can be love phobias but that they do exist
For people who don’t know what phobia entails, it’s an illogical fear of something like water or elevation, or even a habit like going outside. It is nothing to be ashamed of but at the same time, dealing with it requires careful consideration and guidance from a mental health professional. We listed down some of them, to help you gain an insight into what love phobias look like and how they manifest. In case you are afflicted by one of these, it would help you understand your triggers and reactions much better.
13 Types Of Love Phobias You Never Know About
Do you have a fear of falling in love? Or are you simply a curious soul trying to find out if there is a phobia of love? We’re here to help you find the answers you’ve been looking for and also ameliorate any anxieties that you might possess regarding the subject. Phobias can often bring out the worst kind of reactions in anybody.
It is important to be able to gauge such signs beforehand and prepare for them. If you have a friend you might think is afflicted with the fear of rejection or any other philophobia, get help for them as well. They might be lonely and wish for a kind ear. Or if lately, you’ve been seeing a lot of toxic signs in your partner, it is possible that they have some kind of philophobia too.
Let us assuage all doubts regarding fear of love with this list of 13 types of love phobias that you never knew or thought of. For instance, do you know what is the fear of never finding love called? It’s anuptaphobia. Fasten your seatbelts because this is going to be a helluva ride. Also, a kind note before you proceed – all that you would read post this point are just definitions and some suggestions as to tackling them.
If you or someone you know is afflicted with any of the following phobias, it is best to seek an expert opinion. Bonobology’s panel of skilled and experienced counselors is here for you if you’re looking for help in tackling such issues. Meanwhile, let’s take a deeper look at some of the lesser-known love-related phobias:
1. Philophobia – The fear of falling in love
Do you feel horrible thinking about being in love? Do you feel that emotional attachment or emotional intimacy is something to avoid? If yes, you might be afflicted with philophobia. This is one of the most unique ones under this category. It basically means that you are afraid of falling in love with the wrong person.
The very idea of it makes your heart beat faster and not in a good way. Life without love is a terrifying notion for most but for you, the fear of falling in love supersedes every other feeling that you might have.
How to live with philophobia
Philophobia mostly stems from traumatic experiences in previous relationships and the crippling fear of rejection. You can work toward overcoming this fear by convincing yourself that one bad incident from the past doesn’t define your entire love life or all your future potential partners. Keep it low-key but give yourself a chance to start dating again.
Related Reading: 9 Signs Of Commitment Issues And 5 Ways To Deal With It
2. Pistanthrophobia – The fear of getting hurt in a relationship
Similar to philophobia in nature but slightly different in its manifestation. Pistanthrophobia is the fear that you would get hurt by your spouse or your partner in a relationship. It is actually one of the more common phobias related to love but it often does not present too strongly. But for some folks, it does, and that is where the fear of falling in love begins to dominate their decision-making in relationships.
If you feel that love would always lead to heartbreak, it is important to understand that this can be an anxiety disorder, one that is characterized as persistent and irrational. It can also be triggered by a previous painful experience and take an ugly turn if neglected. But do not worry. It is not uncommon. According to a study, almost 12.5% of Americans suffer from any one type of specific phobia like pistanthrophobia. You are not alone, not by a long shot.
How to live with pistanthrophobia
It is important that you understand the implications of this phobia and take the necessary steps to quell it. The major symptom of this pistanthrophobia is withdrawal from deep, meaningful conversations with a romantic partner. Basically, you can’t let your guard down and open up to someone. That should be your point of action when you are trying to work on this issue.
3. Philemaphobia – The fear of saliva
After reading this one, I am sure you would wonder, “How is philemaphobia a phobia of love?” It is a disorder where you develop an unreasonable fear of saliva or more precisely mouth germs. It can impede you from passionately kissing your partner and hence prove to be one of the strongest love phobias out there. Some people are disgusted by the idea of germs residing in others’ mouths while others feel revolted by the idea of an exchange of saliva between two people.
How to live with philemaphobia
In both cases, what it finally does is instill in you the fear of falling in love. If your fear is on the lower end of the spectrum, gaining more experience and habituating yourself to the idea of kissing might do wonders for you. But like other phobias listed here, make sure to talk to a therapist about it and get a customized treatment plan.
4. Gamophobia – The fear of marrying somebody
By now you already know the answer to the question – is there a phobia of love? But you may not know the spectrum on which such phobias operate. For example, gamophobia, like philophobia, is one of the unique types of love phobias. It can make a person feel extremely uncomfortable with the idea of marrying someone. It often impedes one’s ability to make meaningful relationships with a romantic partner or manifest love in one’s life.
It is not just limited to being married; it can also trigger one’s anxiety if one wishes to be committed to another person. If you are afflicted with this disorder, you may find it hard to open up to somebody regarding this.
How to live with gamophobia
Of course, there is cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy by which a therapist helps you deal with the trigger points of gamophobia. It entails talk therapy and realistic tasks to make you comfortable with the idea of committing to someone. Just in case you are trying to overcome this fear on your own, we suggest you look for the root of your insecurities and past traumas and make an attempt to heal from that. It may include moving on without closure or not letting your parents’ bad marriage or your toxic relationships from the past come in the way of you falling in love.
5. Venustraphobia – The fear of women
After having a look at some commitment-centric illogical fears regarding love, we have finally arrived at a gender-specific one. Yes, venustraphobia is the phobia where you do not have the courage to talk to beautiful women. Remember the early version of Rajesh Koothrapalli in The Big Bang Theory? That is what this disorder looks like. It can take away the chance of even starting a conversation with a girl let alone a relationship.
Other types of love phobias stem from some sort of insecurity. This one throws out the rule book and does not allow you to even participate in a verbal tête-à-tête, which can be immensely super frustrating. But if Raj’s journey is anything to go by, this can be overcome as well with proper help and guidance.
How to live with venustraphobia
Low self-esteem turns out to be your biggest enemy on this front. So, in order to improve your love life, you need to start working on yourself first. Another way to overcome these phobia symptoms is by directly facing your fear. If you remember Raj, you must also remember the girl with social anxiety whom he dated, Lucy. She went out of her comfort zone and made herself talk and date people to get over that fear. How about you do something along those lines? Just don’t be too hard on yourself.
Related Reading: What Women Want In A Modern Relationship
6. Chiraptophobia – The fear of being touched
While philophobia and other love-related phobia symptoms limit the affected person’s ability to forge well-rounded relationships, this phobia impedes a person’s ability to enjoy physical intimacy as they abhor the idea of being touched. The human touch is a basic yet fundamental part of a relationship. It goes beyond raw sexuality; it is a form of showing affection and care. This phobia wouldn’t allow you to cozy up to your partner or even think about a marathon ‘Netflix and chill’ session.
How to live with chiraptophobia
If you are suffering from this type of disorder, make sure that you have an open conversation with your loved one regarding this and talk to a counselor as well. Practicing breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques may also help relax your nerves and handle the situation better.
7. Omphalophobia – The fear of belly buttons
Curious about the different kinds of phobias other than the fear of falling in love? We’ve got one word for you: omphalophobia. It is a type of specific phobia. Specific phobias are the ones with a persistent fear that focus on a particular thing rather than a broad spectrum.
Here the focus is on belly buttons or navels. Yes, you read that right. It is truly one of the most distinct forms of love phobias one can come across. Unlike the more common love-related phobias, this one gets in the way of you touching or seeing your belly button or somebody else’s or both. You can understand why this might be an issue in a relationship because physical intimacy/openness is important in a romantic equation.
How to live with omphalophobia
Living with omphalophobia can be disconcerting. I have known someone whose close friends and partner were insensitive about it and poked them to trigger the constant negative thoughts around it. We believe therapy is the best way to go about it.
8. Mysophobia – The fear of germs
Mysophobia turns you into a germaphobe, making you averse to the idea of touching people or giving anyone any type of kisses, or being in unknown spaces. This is similar to philemaphobia, except it concerns more than just kissing. The moment we talk about germophobia, Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory comes to our mind.
I am sure you can relate to his problem of not being able to hug anybody or touch somebody’s glass or drink from a shared bottle and that included his girlfriend too, at least initially. Those are the traits of somebody suffering from phobia symptoms. If you cannot touch your partner, or go visit unknown places where you can stay comfortably, you are bound to have problems in the relationship.
How to live with mysophobia
Different stress and anxiety relaxing techniques might help you face this fear. Try to cut down on alcohol consumption or smoking habits before you go for medication. Support and mutual understanding of your loved ones are also important.
Related Reading: 5 Romantic Indoor Date Ideas To Keep Things Spicy
9. Agoraphobia – The fear of open spaces
‘Agora’ is the Greek word for the central, public space in a city. The roots of much of our modern way of life can be traced back to the Greeks, so it is not unusual that a love phobia would be connected to it somehow.
Is there a phobia of love that is not scary? Well, definitely not this one. Agoraphobia is the fear of public places. You simply cannot bring yourself to a public date or even go out for a movie or even try to go shopping together. If you cannot engage in outdoor activities with your partner, it would be difficult to have a relationship with them.
How to live with agoraphobia
If you focus on healing from your social anxiety, relationship insecurities, and any other underlying issues like drug addiction, it can, in turn, reduce your fear of open spaces.
10. Ithyphallophobia – The fear of an erect penis
Coming back to other love-related phobias that are gender-specific, here is an interesting one. Ithyphallophobia is the fear of the phallus, or to put it more simply, the erect penis. You do not like the sight of it and you definitely don’t get turned on by it, which can set you down the path of a sexless relationship if you’re into men.
How to live with ithyphallophobia
It is great if you do not feel attracted to men but if you do, you would require some form of professional guidance in order to get through this. Love-related phobias make you lonely unless you take measures to address or manage this condition.
11. Arrhenphobia – The fear of men
Here’s another gender-specific version of venustraphobia. Like we talked about a phobia that targets women, this one targets men. Arrhenphobia is a specific type of phobia of love that visualizes men as the macro-target of dislike. You are suffering from this disorder if you feel uncomfortable about all men and you abhor connections with any of them. It can be triggered by a painful experience in your past relationships or it can develop without prior context as well.
How to live with arrhenphobia
Like most other phobias related to love, the fear of men is treatable with cognitive therapy and different exposure techniques that a licensed professional can guide you through.
12. Cibophobia – The fear of dining out
Is there a phobia of love related to eating? Yes, my reader, you are finally at that point. Dating involves a lot of going out, and exploring wonderful delicacies together. In fact, it is one of the best bonding activities and is also one of the fun things to do as a couple.
But imagine if you are scared of going out for dinner because you think somebody would poison your food. That is Cibophobia. Much like pistanthrophobia, it plays on your trust issues and makes you doubt every morsel of food from an unknown place. It is an extremely disconcerting form of love phobia.
How to live with cibophobia
Of course, it would have been ideal if you could avoid all sorts of undercooked food, leftovers, and dishes prepared by others (not under your supervision). But since you are trying to overcome this phobia, perhaps take baby steps each day and start with a small order of fries and a shake from a neighborhood diner.
Related Reading: 5 Reasons Why Women Are Attracted To Men Who Cook
13. Sarmassophobia – The fear of foreplay
Persistent fears related to love aren’t always limited to the fear of falling in love. They can also be related to sexual experiences. One such is sarmassophobia or the fear of foreplay. Foreplay is an important element for establishing consent and building desire. For a majority of couples, it is fundamental to the idea of having a wholesome sexual relationship. And this love-related phobia puts a dampener on that.
How to live with sarmassophobia
The fear of foreplay can lead to philophobia or pistanthrophobia if left untreated. If you do not get excited at the idea of a good foreplay before getting into the main act, talk it out with your partner. At the same time, it’s vital that you meet with a sex therapist to get to the root of the issue and figure out how to manage/overcome this fear.
- Love phobias exists on a vast spectrum, ranging from fear of commitment, falling in love and being dumped to aversion to physical proximity owing to triggers like fear of germs or genitals that can impede intimacy
- Most of the phobias related to love are treatable through cognitive therapy and exposure techniques
- It’s important for you to acknowledge the issue to get help
- Love and support from your partner and loved ones can be immensely helpful in coping with love phobias
- If your problem hasn’t reached an extreme level, you can try the ‘face your fear’ technique and give yourself a chance to see the beautiful world beyond your fear
These are the most common and uncommon types of love-related phobias that have the potential to wreak havoc on your romantic life. The motive of this article was not to scare you; it was only to help you understand your own issues and also help somebody else identify theirs. After all, self-awareness is crucial to be able to deal with these fears, and hopefully, conquer them.