a single word that fits best with the definition of internal indecisiveness between two very desirable things. Kind of like the word ‘friction’ but even that doesn’t sound quite right.

An example would be “his constant word like friction between going to Paris or London”

  • 2
    Although the word dilemma is more often used for the difficult choices between undesirable alternatives, it can be used the choices between desirable choices as well (as long as the choice itself is difficult).
    – jsw29
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 21:46
  • @jsw29 This is especially true if the choices are exclusive. That is, it's more like you're deciding on not going to London or not going to Paris.
    – No Name
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 22:04
  • There are a number of answers that refer to "Buridan's Ass", but the questions were not the same as this one which asks explicitly for choice between two equally desirable things. That is, this question is not a duplicate of the others.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 22:43

5 Answers 5


I think quandary works quite well here.

Cambridge Dictionary

a state of not being able to decide what to do about a situation in which you are involved:

  • Hmm, I get the feeling that there will be implications with this word. It’s a good one though.
    – iflopushya
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 22:00


swither = to be uncertain about what to do or choose

Cambridge Dictionary

Hence: "his constant swithering between London or Paris"

Merriam Webster states the word to be mainly British dialect. That is consistent with the use I have heard this last 70 years. Google ngram supports MW in showing ten times the British usage compared to the American.

  • In Australia I've never heard it.
    – Peter
    Commented Jan 24, 2021 at 2:41

A choice between two equally good options is called the dilemma of

Buridan's ass.

So it is still referred to as a dilemma, but often stated obliquely (not as a 'thing'), e.g. "You are in the same situation as Buridan's ass."

  • 1
    As your comment below the question acknowledges, this is only a special case of what the question is about. Buridan's thought experiment stipulates that the alternatives are equally good. In most real-life dilemmas, however, the choice is difficult because we suspect that the alternatives are not equally good, after all, but we have no means of figuring out which one is better. In other words, the difficulties in typical real-life cases are due to the lack of knowledge about the alternatives, not to the nature of choosing, which is the focus of Buridan's thought experiment.
    – jsw29
    Commented Jan 24, 2021 at 18:09
  • @jsw29 That is an intriguing philosophical distinction, but it doesn't prevent this term from applying to the OPs situation.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 24, 2021 at 21:07

Did you consider an adjective instead of a noun?

his constant delightful dilemma between going to Paris or London”

A little alliteration always helps too.


The indecisiveness might be covered by vacillation, though this suggests a changing or wavering mind.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.