What is gamophobia and how can it be overcome?

Gamophobia is a problem that usually ends up being misunderstood. It has to do with the fear of marriage, but it is not a whim. What does it consist of?

Last update: 07 February, 2022

Gamophobia is an excessive fear of commitment or marriage. In this case, It’s not about passing nervousness that invades someone when he is about to join his life to that of another person. It consists of excessive anxiety that can be accompanied by panic attacks.

Like other phobias, there is a fear that goes beyond the limits of rationality. And although it seems baseless, it becomes so intense that it becomes paralyzing. The person may even experience panic just by seeing a partner pull out. Why is this happening? This time we tell you all about it.

How is gamophobia expressed?

The main characteristic of gamophobia is the irrational fear of marriage. This is accompanied by another series of traits that are typical of people with this disorder. Such manifestations are the following.

intense emotional response

The usual thing is that the symptoms of gamophobia are unleashed when the affected person is faced with a situation in which they are asked to consider marriage as an option. However, as we saw before, it can also take place at the mere idea of ​​getting married or seeing another couple who does. This causes erratic or disorderly behavior, incomprehensible to others.

there is no justification

Those who suffer from this disorder do not have the ability to explain why. If they are asked, they do not find the causes of their behavior or try to minimize it. They often claim that it is a trait of their personality, but that it does not really cause them any problems.


They also often try to avoid any situation, and even conversation, associated with marriage. They also avoid looking at images associated with it. If they are forced to expose themselves to this, they may have a panic attack. Their fear provokes a feeling of guilt and shame.

physical manifestations

The anguish and anxiety they experience when facing situations associated with marriage are usually reflected in a series of physical reactionslike the following:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Sensation of being choked.
  • Chest pain.
  • Fading.
  • dizziness
  • Digestive problems.
  • Feeling of numbness.
  • Elevation of blood pressure.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Pallor.
  • Sickness.
Gamophobia manifests itself with an irrational fear of the idea of ​​marriage. It can lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression.

What causes gamophobia?

As usual, phobias form during early childhood, although it is also possible that they are activated after a difficult experience in adulthood. The latter is the most common in the case of gamophobia. In any case, its possible triggers are the ones mentioned below.

parental model

When the parents’ relationship has been very conflictive or has led to traumatic situations, such as domestic violence or a problematic divorce, it is possible that one of the effects on the children is gamophobia. These childhood experiences can leave a lot of pain and, at the same time, fear of living a similar situation.

Complex love experiences

Sometimes a love relationship can also become an experience of suffering that leaves deep marks on a person. If this situation is not worked out and closed, it may trigger an unfounded fear of new commitments.

Low self-esteem

If the person has a negative opinion about himself, at the same time the conviction is created that he cannot be loved by anyone. Consequently, her insecurity is activated in love situations and she tends to run away from commitments.

emotional immaturity

Some people resist growing up and taking on the responsibilities that come with adult life. For this reason, they reject all kinds of commitment and, instead, seek ephemeral affective experiences that give them pleasure, without generating limits or long-term agreements.

dysfunctional attachment

When a person has been overprotected, manipulated or subdued by their family of origin, it is most likely that they consider themselves incapable of assuming a loving commitment. These are people who are emotionally dependent on their parents —or other family members—, and this link is stronger than any other they intend to establish.

Social pressure

Traditionally, men are believed to be the economic providers in marriage. When there is not enough solvency, It is possible that this factor ends up generating a great fear of marriage. In the case of women, there is sometimes pressure to have children, which can lead to reluctance to commit.

How can you overcome gamophobia?

To overcome gamophobia, the first thing to do is recognize that you have the problem. The usual thing is that people fill themselves with pretexts or make excuses, but that they do not recognize their fear of marriage. Therefore, this step is not so easy to take.

After identifying that there really is a psychological problem, what follows is to receive the help of a professional. There are different types of therapy that can help in these cases, as we will see below.

exposure therapy

This is a behavioral psychotherapy that is usually very effective in treating gamophobia. As part of this process, the patient is helped to rationalize the reasons behind their fear of marriage. Likewise, he is trained so that he manages to manage the manifestations of anxiety. Little by little, he is exposed to what he fears and helped to overcome it.

cognitive therapy

This type of psychotherapy focuses more on identifying, analyzing, and correcting misconceptions about marriage. The psychologist promotes and facilitates the process for the patient to achieve build more realistic and healthy ideas around the union.

Cognitive therapy is a useful tool to begin to overcome the fear of marriage.

psychodynamic therapy

This type of therapy is based on open and free conversation about the person’s feelings. The objective is to thoroughly analyze the emotions so that the patient himself elaborates the previous experiences and, in this way, manages to close the traumatic cycles.


In general, medication does not serve to overcome the phobia as such. However, in some extreme cases can help moderate reactions caused by gamophobia and to stabilize mood, partially. For this reason, some doctors prescribe anxiolytics or antidepressants in these cases.

When to seek professional help?

Marriage should be a free choice, as is the decision to remain single. Therefore, the fact of not wanting to get married is not in itself a problem. What is a problem is that the fear of commitment is greater than the desire to contract it.

If a person you feel like you want to get married, but you are very afraid of doing it, the right thing to do is to seek professional help. It is also a good idea to go to a consultation if you are unable to establish significant relationships or run away every time there is such a possibility.

If being single lasts a long time and this causes dissatisfaction, you have to do an exercise in honesty with yourself. If there are no clear answers, it is most likely that help is needed to understand the situation and overcome it.

What can I do if my partner suffers from gamophobia?

Gamophobia is not a whim, but a problem. Some maintain relationships for many years, but when it comes to formalizing the marriage they panic. This does not mean that the relationship is not valuable. Rather, it assumes the existence of a phobia to overcome.

If the other person presents that difficulty, you have to see if he has any intention of overcoming it or not. If he has it, he should be encouraged to do psychotherapy. The two of you can even do couples therapy to further examine the problem.

If the other has obvious signs that he has a problem, but has no intention of exploring it, let alone overcoming it, a decision will have to be made. The relationship is continued without marriage or it is decided to cut the bond.

What to remember about gamophobia?

Gamophobia is a condition that is often associated with anxiety and depression problems, as well as traumatic experiences. Therefore, it cannot be addressed as a fear of marriage, without more. This being the case, it should never be overlooked.

This means that therapy is not only intended to help a person take the final step towards marriage. The central purpose is to recover the balance in an aspect in which it has been lost.so that a fuller life is achieved.

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