The former Dawson's Creek actress has been single since splitting from ex-husband Tom Cruise last June and while she is keen to start seeing new guys, she doesn't want to lose her new-found freedom.
A source said: "Katie's in a dilemma, because she wants to date but is concerned where it could lead to from there.
"She's worried that if she commits herself fully to another man, she will have to give up the freedom she's enjoying so much at the moment. As a single woman, she has no one controlling her nowadays, telling her what to do or who to see and she absolutely loves it!
"However, at the same time, she also misses being with someone special to share experiences with and she doesn't want to be alone for the rest of her life."
Katie currently spends most of her time with the couple's six-year-old daughter, Suri, and while she loves being with her, she knows it's important for her to have other important people in her life.
The source added to RadarOnline.com: "Katie's got Suri for the time being, and she is her best friend, but she does eventually want to find a man she can be that close with as well. She's just a little nervous and cautious about relationships still right now."