What Is Pistanthrophobia And How Do You Get Over It?

Do you tend to fall in love quite easily (and frequently), and yet, every time, you find you've fallen into a pit of despair where you are constantly living in fear that your lover is lying to you, cheating on you, and 100 percent likely to hurt you? Well, that latter statement is true in that your attachment to your partner is creating the hurt, but the pain is coming from you and your pistanthrophobia — a big word for a common problem which Her Way defines as "an enormous fear of trusting people because of awful past experiences." 

The Good Men Project goes on to explain that pistanthrophobia is something that you bring on every date you go on after a bad break-up, and it may explain why bad break-ups seem to be more the rule than the exception when it comes to your love life since you're setting yourself up to fail.

What are some common symptoms of pistanthrophobia?

If you suffer from pistanthrophobia, you have a tendency to overthink and to analyze every single interaction with your lover. What did this word mean, that look, and the amount of time it took to return each text? 

You may feel afraid that you are not good enough for your partner, so of course they will be looking elsewhere for an upgrade, and you will definitely let your jealousy run rampant and quite possibly resort to some inappropriate checking-up, monitoring, and plain old spying in order to confirm your suspicions. 

In so doing, you may well create a self-fulfilling prophecy, because your negativity and fear can make you rather unpleasant to be around.

How can you overcome your pistanthrophobia?

The Date Mix says that you must learn to start each new relationship afresh and realize that the person in front of you is not your ex and is not going to act in the exact same way. The only thing each new relationship has in common with the last one is you — and if you are committed to getting past your negative mindset, then there is no need for past problems to keep following you around. 

You'll need to work pretty hard to change your thought patterns and adopt positive — or even reasonable — explanations instead of automatically leaping to a worst-case scenario: "They didn't pick up the phone because they hate, me, they're breaking up with me, and they are, in fact, in bed with somebody new right this minute!" instead of "They didn't pick up the phone because they are sleeping, driving, or in the shower."

If your pistanthrophobia is firmly entrenched, it may be too difficult to overcome on your own, but there's no shame in seeking out therapy. A good counselor can help you to identify your past patterns and any thinking errors you may have fallen into and will teach you techniques you can use to challenge negative thoughts and break out of old habits. Once you are able to learn to trust, then you will finally be ready to have a relationship that makes you happy instead of miserable.