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There are many factors that determine whether a relationship is successful or not but one research study focused on four factors which help to predict investment in a relationship. This isn’t to say that a relationship with these things can’t fail, it just means that the investment is greater and it is associated with more positive outcomes.
- Size of their investment – The social worlds overlap with tons of overlap in family and friends makes it much less likely. Think about the couple that has been together since high school or maybe their families were closely connected. Another example of investment can be financial. Financial connections to one another person like buying a house, starting a business, etcetera can also be factors that increase connection.
- Persistence – What is your philosophy on commitment? What was your parents marriage like? What has your commitment to previous relationships been like? Is this one different and why? What is your value system around marriage? If an individual has strong persistence in relationships, it tends to also mean they don’t let difficult issues sit. They work through problems with their partner.
- Comparison level for alternatives – Devaluing vs over valuing or more simply put, comparison shopping in relationships. Examples of this include people who are constantly comparing their partner to others in their lives and valuing the positive traits of that comparison over their partner. This can be a slippery slope as this can grow into feelings about a coworker or a friend which can begin the process of an emotional affair.
- Commitment – This is simply put as being with someone no matter what. You mean it when you say through sickness and in health in marriage. This can be tough for some to stomach as both people change in relationships and marriage. Sometimes these changes are for the better, sometimes they are more challenging. Those who highly value commitment are in it for the long haul and will work through whatever difficulties may arise. They value their commitment to their partner above all else.
All of the above said, when those things have been weakened, the challenge is to see what an individual can do to work on strengthening their relationship investment — i.e. Stop comparison shopping, increase their persistence and commitment by looking for ways to build it, and looking for opportunities to increase their investment (socially, financially, etc) in the relationship. If areas are weak, they can be rebuilt. This often becomes a goal in couples counseling. If you would like to learn more about couples counseling, contact us to make a counseling appointment. Want to learn more tips on relationships? You can read Why Time is Important in Relationships and How Do You Know If Your Relationship Will Last?
Pro tip: Curious about ways to build trust in a relationship?