'Gamophob"> 'Gamophob"/>

Gamophobia - Where the very thought of the altar gives an altered state of mind

  • By Sanjay Akolkar

To some extent, every person is a little anxious when it comes to marriage or commitment. For one, there is always the danger of a relationship going sour, and since we have but one life, that can be a little inconvenient and fill one with misery. So fear of commitment is not necessarily from limiting one's sexual possibilities down to one person.

Emotional investment in a relationship, along with the physical intimacy, is also a part of the territory. A failed marriage or relationship still has some social stigma attached to it and looking at the divorce rates that are on the rise in these times, it is quite natural to feel some anxiety while committing to a relationship. Yes, this normally happens to men a lot! While a man's concern about commitment can be as kosher as stated above, it can also be a mental condition called "gamophobia."

"Gamo" is Greek for marriage and phobia is the corresponding fear. Thus, you are said to be a "gamophobic" if you have severe anxiety by just thinking about matrimony and commitment to one single person. It can fill the gamophobic with thoughts ranging from utter dread as he / she feels that the relationship can only go in one direction – all the way down!

The gamophobic actually feels the partner encroaching in on his personal space, feeling trapped and being held captive. This might go on to manifest physically in the form of :

  1. Nervousness and irritability.
  2. Profuse sweating.
  3. Fear of intimacy.
  4. Anger.
  5. Mood swings.

The gamophobic thus ruins all his chances or sabotages his relationships by actually treating the other person as one would treat a foe or an enemy. It is a state of utter despair, as overnight the man can find himself greatly bewildered by the ferocity of his antipathy and might never have a second chance if he lets this condition go untreated.

A certified psychologist or behavioral expert might be of great help, who through a long process, might help identify the person's real need. If a person un-consciously desires to remain single, then no matter what he might try to portray, there is really very little anyone can do in that matter.

It’s just that the gamophobics are probably not aware of those mental undercurrents or disposition, or chances are that they have been severely hurt in the past due to painful break-ups. At times even self-esteem issues could resurface in the form of gamophobia and hold everyone to ransom. If a person believes that he doesn’t deserve happiness or is fatalistic about relationships, then chances are that he is going to suffer from some anxiety about forming and maintaining relationships. When it comes to the real thing, i.e., engagement or marriage, then the mask slips and the terrors are unleashed in the form of gamophobia.

No matter how advanced a form of gamophobia one might be suffering from, if you have the perseverance and the simple truth in mind -that humans can thrive only on the basis of their relationships, then the gamophobic could well become the "gamechanger" by creating successful relationships and hopefully not too many of the intimate, sexual nature.