The Dubious Case of Love
I love love. I love the word ‘love’. I love everything that has to do with love.
Sometimes I think I was born to find true love. To keep believing that it exists in a world where it sometimes feels like love has faded.
At the same time, it is the thing that scares me the most.
I am scared to never find love, to never be loved.
There is a word for this, it is called Philophobia: the fear of love.
This fear is not only the fear of never being loved, but also the fear of loving others.
It doesn’t mean people with Philophobia are incapable of loving, but when they do, they can experience extreme anxiety.
The best remedy is exposure therapy, where you learn how to become more open to love.
This fear often stems from traumatic childhood experiences. A parent that left, a child that never received attention from their family, or growing up in a household where your caregivers didn’t love one another at all.
If your caregivers couldn’t love you, then who will?
Philophobia is often a defense mechanism. If you never have feelings for someone, you won’t have to experience heartache and pain.
But if we never experience the lows, how can we know what the highs feel like?
People who do know what the highs feel like and constantly chase this high, are the ones who suffer from the condition called pathological love, also known as an addiction, to love.
This addiction is a behavioral addiction, meaning an unhealthy dependence is created. Whereas Philophobia can cause loneliness, the biggest fear of people addicted to love is being left alone. They will do anything to prevent this from happening. Putting endless amount of effort into finding a relationship, spending hours at the gym working on their appearance, and researching the hobbies of their love interest.
However, after they ‘won’ this person over, this rush they feel will quickly fade and this will drive them towards a new someone.
All to feel the high of falling in love once again. To find the person that will finally make them feel whole again.
The problem is that they are only attracted to the experience and not to the person. This often results in obsessive and uncontrollable behavior towards their partner.
Pathological love: Is it love or just an illusion?
At first, it works. A person likes you; they find you beautiful, they want to sleep with you. You made it. You are worthy. But this feeling will fade. And you desperately start searching for it again. Soon, you will become dependent on it.
An addiction is born.
This addiction arises from self-rejection. Endlessly searching for validation from others. A low self-esteem that might have been raised from trauma or a certain upbringing.
You will probably recognize yourself in aspects of both.
But everything can always be fixed, even if you might have a bit of a rougher start than others.
As with everything in life, it is important to find a balance between the extremes.
A way to be able to overcome these conditions would be to go to Cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as talk therapy. It will make you become aware of certain thoughts you have, and it will make you question whether they are credible.
Even if you only experience mild symptoms from the above-mentioned conditions, therapy can be beneficial to everyone.
We should learn that our thoughts and fears often might not be true.
Start questioning yourself where your thoughts come from and are they true?
Because we are loveable.