in: Dating & Relationships

Is “Fear of Missing Out” Really Just Fear of Commitment?

Are you on the hunt for the next thrill, date, or message? FOMO can be a fear of commitment, and Dr. Kristen Hick knows how to open hearts to love again.

Greener pastures. A better fit for your “list.” A more “suitable” partner.

No matter what you call him or her, or the general idea, that “perfect fit” keeps you looking, searching and living anywhere but in the present moment and in your present relationship.

Some might say this is simply a case of your relationship skills getting honed, and you will realize that there is a better match out there for you when you are ready for it.

Or is it?

I’m here to say that I think it has more to do with the bewildering plethora of typically superficial online dating sites, social mixers, matchmaking events, etc., surrounding us at all times. The next special him or her is a just a swipe away. And so you keep swiping, emailing, texting, looking…

But, at some point, don’t you have to ask yourself, “What am I really doing?” And even more importantly, “Why am I doing this?”


The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is not only a condition that leads to over-scheduled, depleting—albeit fun-filled—weekends. It is also a condition running rampant in the Denver dating scene, as well as in many other metropolitan cities.

FOMO lends itself to never going on that fourth date, prolonging the relationship status convo for months and months to make sure there is no one better out there, or jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire as soon as things become less than easy or comfortable.

Does this sound familiar? Wonder where it comes from?

Origins of FOMO

There are many origins of the Fear of Missing Out…

  • Family expectations about whom you should or shouldn’t date, love and/or marry.
  • Cultural messages about what it means to be a man/woman or what a relationship should or shouldn’t look like.
  • Fairytales and Romantic Comedies.
  • Ego, feeling you deserve a partner who earns more, can take care of you, will look better to your friends and family, etc.
  • Electronic access to more and more potential partners (this is a big one!)
  • Fear of vulnerability, often at the core of relationship fears.

How is FOMO Getting in the Way of You Finding Love?

Put simply, if you never give someone a real chance—and no, I don’t mean just anyone, but a someone in whom you are genuinely interested. You never get the opportunity to get to the core of a person, to really know them, and to let them really know you.

This is a scary process in and of itself. Committing means that you give one person, yourself. And then give that potential relationship a chance to grow without fearing that you are missing out on finding the next best person. You know, that fictional better person who’s bound to come along if you keep swiping, liking and winking.

Fighting FOMO with Fearlessness

If you’re just joining us, we’re taking a year-long look at the role fear plays in dating and establishing and maintaining relationships. Fear, of many things,  plays a role in single, dating and relationship life.

What we’ve uncovered is that fear is an entangled part of getting close, and staying close, to a special someone. As part of this process, I’ve challenged readers to practice fearlessness: the act of facing, exploring, and conquering fears, in various facets of relationships.

So. It’s time to ask yourself, and answer truthfully. How is the “fear of missing out” affecting your quest for love?


To catch you up on Dr. Hick’s Guide to Living Fearless in 2015, we’ve covered the “how-to” basicshow to love yourselfdating fearlesslyhow to rise in love and most recently, how to take a fearless look at your relationships in order to renew them.


[image: via shutterstock]

About the Author:

Kristen Hick

Kristen Hick, Psy.D. is a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in the area of awakened dating and healthy relationships. She is the founder of Center for Shared Insight, a private psychotherapy practice in Denver where she and her clients focus on Individual Relationship Therapy. Dr. Hick’s expertise lies in helping individuals create healthy, meaningful, and loving relationships with others through healing, strengthening and transforming their most essential relationship, with themselves. When not helping clients fulfill their personal relationship goals, she enjoys the Colorado outdoors, capturing life through photography, practicing yoga and hopes to one day manage her first unassisted headstand. You can connect with Dr. Hick on her site, Facebook or Google+


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