To my future husband: I know you will be worth the wait!
— Wendy Griffith, Age 53*
Choice addiction is part intoxication with the process of judging suitors, and part fear of missing out on something better. The risk is that a woman can become caught in analysis paralysis while her best real options evaporate. Not all women fall into choice addiction, and for those who do most don’t wallow in this stage forever. Sooner or later, most realize (even if only intuitively) that the rare gem of a man they are so unhurriedly seeking is also being sought out by other women. And once he’s off the market, her next best chance is also being snapped up by another woman who is quicker on the draw. Put bluntly, it eventually dawns on her that:
That bitch is trying to steal my man!
The power in the emotion isn’t in the general shrinking size and quality of the pool of suitors, but the sense that another woman is taking what is rightfully hers. Her thoughts shift from a blissful daydream about the perfect man who is patiently waiting for her to discover him, to the woman on a mission to poach what is hers. Now instead of savoring the power of finding every flaw in an endless stream of suitors, the woman actually starts trying to find her best possible man and march him down the aisle before that other bitch does.
This same kind of analysis paralysis can occur when making other big decisions, like buying a home. Women especially can get stuck looking for a theoretical option that doesn’t exist, rejecting what in reality are their best case choices. Realtor.com has a brilliant marketing campaign tuned perfectly to demolishing real estate choice addiction: