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A dyadic assessment of how couples indicate their commitment to each other


  • The author thanks Rhoda Cummings, Cleborne Maddox, Steve Harlow, Deborah Ballard-Reisch, Bill Evans, and the anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier version of the paper. I presented portions of this paper at the 2006 International Association for Relationship Research conference, Reythmno, Crete, Greece.

Daniel J. Weigel, University of Nevada, Cooperative Extension and Department of Human Development and Family Studies, 5305 Mill Street, Reno, NV 89502, e-mail:


This study investigated the behaviors couples use to indicate their commitment in romantic relationships and explored the complex ways in which these behaviors are interconnected. Survey data were collected from 121 romantically involved couples in the United States. Dyadic analysis of the data revealed that the greater the levels of commitment, the more frequent the use of certain behaviors to indicate commitment. In addition, couples were similar in their use of the indicators, tended to project their self-perceptions onto their partners, and had a degree of accuracy in perceiving their partners’ use of indicators. The research sheds light on some of the complex ways intimate couples experience and express commitment in the everyday lives.