When it comes to understanding the fate of any given relationship, I’d argue that knowing something about a couple’s commitment level, or their attachment to each other and long-term perspective on the relationship, is critical (see our previous article on predicting breakup here). Beyond predictions about staying together versus breaking up, commitment is also associated with all sorts of positive relationship outcomes (see our previous article on 5 Reasons Commitment is Good For Your Relationship). But how is commitment built in a relationship? More than 30 years of research on this topic has identified three pillars that form the foundation of commitment in relationships.
Entries in investment model (12)
Imagine that you get a great job offer, complete with an excellent salary, flexible hours and numerous promotion opportunities. The only problem is that this job offer is in a city far away from where you and your partner currently live. Thus, your partner has to choose whether or not to uproot for you, leaving her or his own job and friends behind and starting over with you in this new city. What would be the consequences of your partner making this choice? In particular, beyond the consequences this would have for your partner, how would you feel about your partner making this sacrifice for you?
I'm currently in a long-term relationship where, after a difficult year of dealing with depression, my partner has claimed to have fallen "out" of love. However, she tells me that she is committed to trying to make things work. Is this feeling really something that can be regained over time? Or is now a point where one has to make the decision to love the person they're with?
Thank you for your question. Your experience is not uncommon, and the answer lies in a number of articles about love that have previously appeared on Science of Relationships (e.g., My partner has been less affectionate lately, what gives?). Love is defined in so many different ways—it sounds as if your partner does love you, just not in the way that she used to.
Now that the summer is coming to a close, young adults are fervidly preparing for their transition to college (though they may be more excited about leaving their parents’ house). College, of course, offers incoming students many social novelties: independence, new friends, all-nighters to cram for finals, and perhaps even new “temptations” around campus (you may very well find yourself checking out the facebook page of the person in the next dorm). But what if you are entering the ivy-covered walls while still involved in a relationship with your high school sweetheart? Should you break up with your romantic partner, or should you maintain the relationship?
As someone who is fascinated by all things “decision making-y” in relationships, I was really excited to attend a symposium this morning on how people’s commitment to their relationships can change over time. One talk in particular, by Sara Blanch and colleagues, was about how people make that critical, early relationship choice to agree to be exclusive with their partners.
Breaking Up with Your Job: Mad Men Demonstrates What Work Relationships and Romantic Relationships Have in Common
In a recent episode of Mad Men, Peggy was seriously thinking about jumping ship from SCDP to another company. In case you’re not completely caught up with the show yet, I won’t tell you want she ended up choosing, but you can see how this could be a very difficult decision for her or for anyone contemplating leaving a job. On the one hand, Peggy likely holds some resentment for her boss and her coworkers, given that she has not always been treated fairly at SCDP; this dissatisfaction may motivate her to look elsewhere. On the other hand, as we know, breaking up is hard to do. What about all of the time and energy that she has put into the company over the years? And what about her loyalty to Don?
Until recently, my wife never understood my fascination with fantasy football. Specifically, she wondered how I could make fun of the other “players” in my league (i.e., my friends) without them getting mad at me. I rarely see these friends because we live in different states, and she likes to point out that it may be a better idea to be nice to one another. Perhaps many of you are just like my wife, wondering what in the world is wrong with your boyfriends/fiancés/husbands (at least in terms of our obsession with fantasy football.
We like to write about “fun” studies here at S of R, but it’s important to tackle more serious issues from time to time. One of the more “darker” aspects of relationships is when they turn violent. Clearly, we’d like to enable the victims of abuse to break free from their relationships. Surprisingly, however, the abused often return to their violent partners. When they are on the verge of getting out, why do victims of violence return to abusive relationships?
In two earlier posts, I began analyzing the marriage between Homer and Marge Simpson, one of America’s most enduring fictional TV couples. As reviewed in those posts, predicting the stability of any relationship can be done via application of the Investment Model,1 which states that commitment between partners derives from three sources: (1) satisfaction, (2) dependence (based on perceived alternatives), and (3) investment level.2 In this final installment, we’ll complete the analysis with the last variable, investments.
Recently, "a new study" showing that facebook is increasingly given as a reason for divorce has been making its way around the internet. Does Facebook cause cheating and divorce?
In an earlier post, I began analyzing the marriage between Homer & Marge Simpson, one of America’s most enduring fictional TV couples. As mentioned then, analyzing the stability of any relationship can be done via application of the Investment Model,1 which states that commitment between partners derives from three sources: (1) satisfaction, (2) dependence (based on perceived alternatives), and (3) investment level.2 Whereas Part 1 of this series focused on Satisfaction, in Part 2 we move on to the second variable: Dependence.
One of America’s most enduring fictional TV couples is Homer and Marge Simpson – The Simpsons have been on the air for over twenty years. Is their marriage a model example of how to make a long-term relationship endure, or is it an example of what not to do?