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Fear of love or commitment

Fear of love or commitment

Fear of love or commitment

The fear of love or commitment, or philophobia as some call it, is a form of anxiety that manifests itself in different measures and degrees, and which basically consists of an excessive fear of the person to intimacy, to be vulnerable, to be emotionally hurt. It is generally accompanied by significant insecurity and a lack of self-esteem, and it is not surprising because the fear of love implies a deep distrust of the other. In the most serious cases, it generates true panic attacks, with distressing feelings associated with gastrointestinal disorders, arrhythmias, tachycardia, sweats, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, tremors ..., but, above all, the urgent need to abandon everything before the situation.

People with fear of love, despite their desire to have a partner, only manage to establish brief, superficial and / or conflicting relationships. Unaware of their emotional difficulties, they blame all their problems on the "defects" of the other, they sabotage their relationships with arguments and altercations, they confuse sex with love, fall in love with unreachable or problematic people, etc. And, with the help of these unconscious strategies, they stay "at a distance" from the other party for some time ... until they generally run away or completely break the relationship. Why is all this happening?

We must remember, once again, that our ability to trust others, to bond, to love, we acquired - internalized - in the first years of our lives. Forever. As was our type and degree of attachment with our mother (or caregiver) and, later, with our father and / or other close caregivers, so will our future attachments with people, with the world. And above all, with our partners. For this reason, the greater our childhood bonding deficits or conflicts, the greater our difficulties to relate, to become intimate and empathize. To abandon our protective narcissism.


The fear of love does not come, therefore, as many claim, only from traumatic experiences with previous partners. This is perfectly natural, but also transient, in an emotionally healthy person. The true fear of love is something much deeper and unconscious. It is part of a personality that never learned to bond, and generates a painful conflict and failure in all the intimate relationships that the person establishes. In the most extreme cases, there is a kind of phobia, of the subject's emotional "autism", a protective unconscious indifference to others.

But there are also, unfortunately, two social issues that, for decades, have helped to reinforce this problem:

One of them is the consumerist mentality, the "use and throw away" society, where everything immediately bores us and we must replace it instantly. The ephemeral society where everything changes and moves quickly: nurseries, divorces, teachers, classmates, activities, fashions, products, technologies, friends, jobs ... In a world like this, where only the satisfaction of moment and the future is uncertain, why keep or commit to anything or anyone? On the other hand, disconnected people are better consumers than those who fill their hearts with affection ... Why, then, join a single couple, if we can change it every year, or every month, or every week ...?

The other problem is the myth that "everyone must find the love of their life" to be happy. This is how they obsessively repeat it to us in movies, advertising, literature, etc. However, this belief confuses thousands of people who, without being aware of their individual difficulties, establish all kinds of cheating relationships, always doomed to failure. Because they never wanted them and did not dare to resist social pressures, nor did they understand that couple relationships are not obligatory or accessible to everyone.

These two factors contribute, from my point of view, to seriously hinder people's love potential - and freedom.

But does all this have a remedy? Can fear of love be "cured"? In my opinion, the only possibility of improvement is that the person becomes fully aware of the different causes of their problem and alleviates them through maturational psychotherapies that strengthen their personality, allow them to acquire more confidence and security and, therefore, learn to relate. in a more relaxed and happy way. This will bring you well-being not only in the couple, but in all aspects of your life.

However, preventing this painful and growing drama can only be achieved with much more humane and affection-based parenting and educational methods. That is, not in control, in "good manners", social fitness, intellectual performance, economic success, consumerism, limitless satisfaction, but, above all, in LOVE.

Because if human beings do not grow with love, how can they then TRUST others and LOVE THEM?

No one has ever been able to give what they have never received.


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