Perfect love, we know, casteth out fear. But so do several other things—ignorance, alcohol, passion, presumption, and stupidity. It is very desirable that we should all advance to that perfection of love in which we shall fear no longer; but it is very undesirable, until we have reached that stage, that we should allow any inferior agent to cast out our fear.
The perfect love he is writing about is the love of God shown through Christ. Anything else is an artificial, temporary solution that is no solution at all. Don’t settle for anything less than the real thing.