From psychologist of "Thalpos Kalamatas" Evi Tsikrikou.
Phobias are an anxiety disorder, which is characterized by intense, persistent and absurd fear. It is estimated that more than a hundred phobias affect humans in modern societies, which experts are often called upon to face. There are many different forms of phobia. Some are well-known, such as claustrophobia, agoraphobia, and some others not, as they are uncommon to most of people. It seems to be “invented” a phobia almost for anything, and as funny and absurd as it sounds, the affected suffer from them.
Such a phobia is Gamophobia, the fear of marriage and commitment. A person affected by this phobia may like or even love someone, but as soon as his or her partner responds positively and seeks commitment, then the individual reacts negatively and there is even the possibility of loosing any erotic feelings he used to have. Gamophobia appears to be more common to men because of the personal, economical, and social risks that are associated with marriage, coupled with the stereotyped role of husband in society, "the one who provides the goods to the family".
This phobia, like any other specific phobia, can be caused by a strong negative experience of the past, like "traumatic" experiences created in the suffering person to such an extent, which lead it to fear commitments. The personal insecurity of the affected individual can also be a factor in the appearance of this phobia, as in a marriage he does not just share a relationship but shares all his personal, social, legal and financial items. In other words, he is at risk and feels vulnerable. Fear of marriage and commitment can also be supported by depressed circumstances. A person may really be willing to marry, but the thought of going through this process terrifies him. Lack of self-confidence, poor self-image, lack of sexual trust and other forms of depression can also cause one person to stay away from marriage and commitment.
Although, it’s important not to confuse the individual who is not interested in commitment and is happy with the lifestyle he has chosen, with those who are forced to remain alone - and feel a constant sense of "unfulfilled" – rather than confront their feelings of fear (and the cause of them), which is causing him a future commitment.
It is also important that gamophobia is not confused with Philophobia. In the second case, the person avoids falling in love or creating any kind of emotional ties with anyone, even if he has feelings for someone, ending up in an isolated life.
At the opposite of Gamophobia, we find Anuptaphobia, the phobia of staying alone. Most people, as studies show, do not want to end up alone in life, but for some of them even the though of being alone causes them intense anxiety, fear and panic. These people remain in dysfunctional relationships for fear of loneliness, they are constantly thinking of marriage, love and future, they feel inadequate, they cannot spend their free time alone, and in some cases they do not appear at marriages. This type of phobia appears to be more common to women and similar to gamophobia, its causes are the same, they result from a combination of external circumstances (traumatic experiences) and internal predispositions (like, low self-esteem).
These phobias, like the majority of phobias, are social phobias and they have been created within society and rely on stereotypes which mainly concern the role of the sexes within it. Social phobias have more complex causes that are not completely known at present. It is important for the personal happiness of the suffering person, with the help of a specialist if necessary, to confront and understand his phobia and then to fight it, so that his or her personal life is a result of choice rather than way of escape.