Beyond relationships or friendship, commitmentphobia can extend into any area of your life. When, on Monday morning, a friend asks you to see a movie that Saturday night, you feel a surge of panic. What if something better comes up?you think, not wanting to limit your options. You might be stuck in a dead-end job and routinely peruse job postings, but find that you’re unable to apply for fear that you’ll get trapped in a position you hate. Or you have five goals but don’t want to take action on any of them in case they’re not the right ones or because you’re afraid of failing. You even find it difficult to decide on what to order in restaurants and are often plagued with buyer’s remorse, wishing you’d ordered what your friend did instead.
Any commitment made represents a door closed on all the other options. And what if you make the wrong choice? But the fear of picking the wrong plan, job, goal—or person—only results in complete stagnation. Keeping your options open may seem enticing, but what it really means is that at the end of the day, you’ll wind up with no options at all.