Merriam-Webster defines a phobia as "an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation." Phobia symptoms can include shortness of breath or dry mouth but can also be more serious—like vomiting, chest pain, and a racing heart. Some people even lose the ability to speak when they are faced with their phobias. Phobias basically bring about some of the most intense panic attacks you'll ever experience.
There are some pretty strange phobias out there—you might wonder how someone could possibly be scared of certain things or ideas—like the phobia of wet dreams called oneirogmophobia. (Yes, you read that right.) There are actually people who have a paralyzing fear of wet dreams.
And while, to people without phobias, they can seem weird and a little funny, it's a major struggle for people dealing with them in everyday life. Phobias can get in the way of all kinds of things—not the least of which is a fulfilling romantic relationship. I know a woman who has a serious fear of kissing—called philemaphobia. Because of it, she hasn't been on a date in two years and has had more than one failed relationship—all because she just can't bring herself to kiss her significant other. She has an obsession with oral hygiene, so she will ask a potential beau when he brushed his teeth last. She also brushes her own teeth about five times a day.
A kissing phobia isn't the only irrational fear that can mess up your romantic life. There are actually a surprising amount of phobias that can take a toll on relationships. Beginning with philemaphobia, let's discuss some of the other love-related fears you might not know about.