Gamophobia: Fear Of Commitment


The generation nowadays has come up with so many ways to enjoy life. The technology has somehow taught us that there is more to life than getting married and raising a family. In some ways, it is a dream to have no responsibility to anyone but yourself. The thought of living young and free is becoming popular that a lot of people choose to stay unattached. But did you know that there is a fear of commitment? It is called gamophobia.

John Grohol, PsyD. wrote in his article, “Commitment issues in relationships are nothing new. But our understanding of how the fear of commitment for some people can be paralyzing has increased. And while you won’t find “commitment phobia” in any diagnostic manual, it is a very real experience of anxiety and fear.”

What Is Gamophobia?

Gamophobia is the fear of commitment or getting married. It comes from the Greek word Gamo meaning marriage and phobo meaning fear. Many experts put in the idea that the fear of commitment has a slight difference though. People fear it but are in a relationship and living together with their partners.

Marriage is committing yourself to one person for the rest of your life, and the idea of it is what scares people with gamophobia. However, the commitment itself doesn’t. Nevertheless, gamophobia is still considered just the same.


What Are The Symptoms Of Gamophobia?

Gamophobes or people afraid of marriage could experience anxiety, rapid heartbeat, nausea, dizziness, fainting, chest pain, trembling, and panic attacks when they think about marriage or whenever it is brought up. Sometimes, it can make them cry when they are alone with the thought.

Though there are people who just want to be ready before they finally settle down, gamophobes have an exaggerated reaction to it. They may somewhat be overreacting, and sometimes may seem insensitive and immature.



What Is The Cause Of Gamophobia?

Just like other phobias, gamophobia is from past traumatic experiences. It could be from failed relationships they witnessed like the divorce of parents, siblings, friends, or someone close. They must have seen what it’s like and how it impacted the lives of those who experienced it, and as a result, they refuse to start something they fear would end in the same fate too. Often, children who are from divorced parents could develop this kind of fear. Experts also think that gamophobia can be genetic or hereditary.

“People who are terrified of intimacy may not always be, consciously, aware of it. If you grew up in a household in which your parents behaved in ways that were hurtful to each other, to you or to a brother or sister than you may be more afraid of intimacy than you realize,” says Dr. Lynn Friedman, a DC psychologist. 

Is There A Cure For Gamophobia?

Therapies can help gamophobia a great deal. It’s all about finding the right therapist who you will be comfortable with to tell all your hesitations and fears.

  • Hypnotherapy is a complementary or alternative method which uses the patient’s mind to understand the condition and help identify the cause of the problem. If hypnotherapy is successful, it is easier to find a solution or an effective approach for dealing with fear.
  • Behavioral therapy can also be helpful with gamophobia. It provides a better understanding of the person’s activities and how they affect his point of view or perception in life.

“As a general rule,” suggests Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., “self-help is always worth a try. The more you can do for yourself, the more in control you’ll feel—which goes a long way when it comes to phobias and fears.”

Gamophobia may seem ordinary nowadays, but we have to understand that not everyone who doesn’t want to tie the knot has this condition. There are just some who prefer to stay single until they are sure. There are those who choose to take it slow because marriage is not something to be rushed. After all, it is a day and a lifetime.