Fear of February

I was taught back in elementary that the month of February normally has 28 days or 29 days if it’s a leap year. However, for most of us, there’s one particular day that shines during this month and that’s Feb 14.

Sure. The Heart’s Day is exciting. When I was studying, our campus is full of happy couples celebrating the special day. The green lawn becomes red from afar — a bunch of red roses, balloons, and surprises. An atmosphere of love envelopes the place. Everyone believes in their own versions of forever. I feel glad to watch them from the 3rd floor of our building because it makes me realize that love is what makes everything in this world sweeter, love is what binds two different people, love brings peace, and love gives color to our life.

Sometimes I wonder how incompetent cupid is in piercing the arrow, why is there unrequited love? But nevertheless, that’s not the issue. At the midst of solace, I still think about what love really is.

I am a philophobic. It started when there were succeeding series of events that broke me. I am uncertain of its scientific explanation. My right brain tells me that I love the idea of love and being inlove, however, I have this big fear of diving to it, admitting it, and creating it.

Cupid knows how to do his job and probably it’s also our choice to avoid the arrow that he is trying to ace in our hearts.

Reading through what Philophobia means. The dictionary tells me its basic definition, ‘Philo’ meaning love, ‘phobia’ meaning fear. It’s the fear of love or falling in love. I never attempted to see an expert to seek for medical advice on this, if there’s such. I only read articles, try to make sense of it.

How it feels?

It feels normal yet complicated. Situate yourself in a scenario that you are in a movie shoot. The director gives you the role of the main actor yet you chose to just be part of the audience, standing far from the set and watching how your supposed-to-be-scene takes place. Then after the director declares ‘Pack up!’ you will approach him with hard feelings and ask why you did not play the role! (Eh kasi naman ‘teh. Ikaw rin! Ayaw mo rin subukan! Kaloka.) On your way home, you’ll ask yourself repeatedly, “Why didn’t I want to give it a try? Seems to be okay though.” See. That’s what makes it complicated. You know you want it but you choose to distance 10 steps behind. The irrational fear is holding you back.

What causes the feeling?

I am not generalizing its causes because we all have a unique set of experience. Cliché as it may sound philophobia is caused by succeeding painful events that made you trust love less. It feels like everytime someone will tell you. “I care for you.” you’d tell yourself that you’ve heard that already and the last person who told that to you did not actually mean it.

Unrequited love also plays a big part. You know you are a philophobic but when you tried to put your guards down to give love a try, the other person only shut it down. That event signaled that everytime you’d feel love towards a person, you keep out because at the back of your mind, it’s just another story of unrequited love.

Standards matter. No one’s perfect even me. But sometimes, for a philophobic (I am not saying in general) the set of standards also serves as a barrier for us to love. I mean, I get it. We are here to love people for who they are and not change them. We filter people. We’ve been doing tedious shortlisting not knowing that we’re missing out the right person.

Valentine’s Day for a Philophobic

It’s normal, the only exception is that your friends tease you more for being alone on Feb 14. Feb 14 could be a horrible day for someone who wants to be inlove yet afraid to try. It feels like you are in a jail and someone’s waiting for you outside, but you cannot reach because you are trapped behind the bars and the key to unlock it can’t be found. That kind of feeling. Since you cannot do anything about it at the moment, you choose to stay inside the jail and wait until the key is found. But the question is, even if someone already has the key, how willing are you to free yourself and enjoy the outside world?

My ideal scenario

A person who is philophobic knows how to love and is aware that he can give more than of what is expected (probably that’s also the reason why they are afraid to try, because they know how much of themselves are they willing to give.) There is fear but they also want to love.

The ideal scenario is that for a philophobic, she hopes that if the right person is already around, that guy would man up to get his good intentions straight and tell it to her. She doesn’t want guessing games and mixed signals.

The past experiences might make her believe less about love but she also believes that if the guy is really serious about it, he would make all the effort to make her let go of what’s holding her back and realize that love is one of the greatest things that life offers.

That in the end, there’s no trace of fear because the right person is already here.

What’s next?

Ask yourself. If there’s one thing I realized, it is the reality that we also have to do a self-check. I remember one preaching from a Valentine’s series in church, the pastor said, “If a relationship you are in did not work out, maybe you should also check it with yourself. Maybe you should also adjust.” I think that’s fair enough. The other person might be doing all the efforts to prove to you his love, yet you fail to appreciate it because of your fears. Probably you should also train yourself slowly how to trust that person’s intentions.

It takes time for a heart to trust again.
It also takes courage to jump off.
No one’s on a rush so take it slow.

Manage and moderate what you put in your heart. Whatever you put in there affects your thoughts, discernment, and actions. Be rational.



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