The Investment Model of Commitment
- they meet and do not frustrate our needs (e.g., for intimacy, fun. security, excitement etc.),
- they are more attractive than other potential relationships or ways of spending our time
- the breakup of the relationship would lead us to lose valuable resources (like time, money, housing, fun activities, or being part of a family or social group).
Sometimes we stay in relationships that are not so satisfying because we would lose too much by leaving or because we don’t have any better alternatives. Or we leave relatively satisfying relationships because a more attractive (or resource-rich) alternative partner appears.
The Forecast Model of Commitment
This model suggests that our expectations of how happy we will be with our partner in the future determine how committed we are to our relationships, over and above the three previously mentioned factors.
In other words, if we are going through a challenging stage in the relationship (e.g., having a new baby or a difficult teenager, financial stress, fighting, or one partner needing to work all the time), we are more likely to stay if we think the relationship will improve and bring us happiness in the future. We are more willing to invest effort and make sacrifices if we see the potential for future gain. But if we think things won’t improve or we don’t see long-term happiness with our partner, we are less likely to invest or to behave in ways that help the relationship. We may think about whether our partner wants the same things in life that we do, what type of parent they would make, whether we would continue to have fun together, and so on.