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Gamophobia: The Fear of Marriage and Commitment

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Wondering why there are a lot of people who don’t want to get married? Well, do that no more because the answer is: most of these people fear commitment. They are Gamophobic. In the Greek language, Gamo means marriage and Phobos means phobia. Gamophobia is known to being parallel to fear of death. A Gamophobic doesn’t necessarily have to be with more than one romantic partner in life. He or she can remain with one person and still be afraid of marriage. Most Gamophobics would rather die as bachelors. Gamophobia appears to happen to men more than women because of how they are viewed as the providers of families and that causes men to fear commitment. By applying Maslow’s theory of human motivation (1943), Gamophobia is triggered in a person through the need for self-fulfilment, self-esteem and Belongingness.

Maslow’s theory (1943) is a five-tier model of human needs, often displayed in a pyramid. It has five important levels for human needs. First comes psychological needs: water, food, shelter. Second, safety needs for security and survival. Third, Belongingness and love needs: Family, friends, and love partner. Fourth, Esteem needs: confidence, prestige, and self-love. Fifth, Self-actualization: accomplishments, talents and hobbies. These are the pivotal factors of every person’s life (McLeod, 2018).

How could a person possibly fear marriage? What is the cause of it? Gamophobia’s main causes are personal insecurity, related distressful incident, or depression. Insecurities make people feel bad about themselves. It makes them believe they will never find a loyal love partner; therefore it triggers the fear of commitment. Distressful incidents can be a reason why people fear marriage and commitment. People who grew with divorced parents are more likely to dislike marriage and fear commitment. Marriage failure is an example of a distressful incident that would make one fear of commitment. Gamophobia can also be caused by depression. A depressed individual would be willing to marry but would still be anxious to go through the process. That happens because of a lack of self-confidence and sexual-confidence. The negative side of marriage and commitment would stick to one’s thoughts for a long time. It traumatizes a person into hating commitment.

Gamophobics need a feeling of love and belongingness. Maslow states in his theory that we all need intimacy, love, and affection (Maslow, 1943). Gamophobics tend to overthink how their life is going to be with a significant other. Some think they can’t be with only one love partner so they end up cheating. Other Gamophobics fear being cheated on. They aren’t emotionally available for marriage yet they want to be loved. Some fear commitment yet they want to get married as long as it’s successful. The problem is no one knows whether a wedding is going to keep two love partners together forever. Gamophobics never believe in happily ever after. Gamophobics need to understand that love does exist. They need to understand that there have been quite many examples of happily married couples. People can change their perception about commitment if they surround themselves with such happily married couples (Schilling, 2019, Para. 4).

Confidence and self-love are pivotal for a successful relationship but without them, people will go through relationship failures, which triggers the Gamophobia. Maslow had to categories for esteem needs: esteem for oneself and desire for reputation. In this case, a Gamophobic needs esteem for oneself (McLeod, 2018, Para.14). Insecurities can be damaging to one’s love life because of low-self esteem. Insecure people don’t believe that anyone is capable of loving them forever because they don’t love themselves enough.

A person can get over the fear of marriage and commitment with the following steps. First, Trust in self. With confidence and courage, this too shall pass. Second of all, think positively. Gamophobics should surround themselves with happy couples and see how they deal with commitment. Third of all, Face the fear. A Gamophobic can do that by finding the root of fear then eliminate that phobia by committing in a relationship. If these don’t work out then going to therapy is great. Medications might be a part of healing from this phobia (Maharjan, 2019, Para. 9).

Gamophobia is a fear that can be overcome with time. The reason of its occurrence is low self-esteem, depression, or distressful incidents. It connects to belongingness and esteem needs according to Maslow’s theory. Luckily, every problem has a solution and the way to get over this fear is to simply face it with confidence.  

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