Have you heard of “choice addiction?” It is the paradox caused by an abundance of choice. Rather than leading to happiness, more choices seem to lead to never ending angst over which choice is “best” instead.

In relationships and especially marriage, choice addiction can lead to a dangerously dissatisfied non-committal attitude long after a commitment was supposedly made. Other options are considered after the door is supposed to be closed.

I have watched women endlessly go around and around in their own mind, questioning the choice she’s made in a mate, wondering if he was the right choice, wondering if there is a better choice? Meanwhile such internal strife ironically is what destroys any hope of living in and enjoying the moment.

Serial monogamy, casual relationships, and no-fault divorce just add to the choices. When social norms looked down upon such practices, women were more likely to choose thoughtfully and then embrace the choice she’d made, making the best of her situation. Today women are encouraged almost to walk away over the slightest dissatisfaction, to seek a “better” choice.

Choice addiction is an illusion. More choice, unending choice, and choice churn don’t lead to happiness. There is no magical, mystical “perfect” choice. In fact the best choice of all seems to be to accept and embrace a choice once made. To ignore and dismiss any further choices.

So if you find yourself slipping into the choice addiction mindset,  remember — more choice isn’t necessarily better. And that every choice, even the best choices, include ups and downs, pros and cons, and pluses and minuses.

Studies show that it’s actually easier to find happiness and satisfaction when choice is limited versus when choice is abundant. In the current anything goes world, it may be those who choose not to consider their other choices who find  the greatest contentment and joy in life.

Let those who have ears hear.

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