Psychology Topic: Mate Retention

Source: D’Arienzo Psychological Group

Psychology Topic: Mate Retention

Psychology Topic: Mate Retention

Mate retention is based upon mate value. There are two types of mate retention behaviors.

Benefit-provisioning mate retention behaviors are behaviors that men largely use to increase relationship satisfaction. Benefit-provisioning mate retention behavior includes compliments, gifts, expendable resources, etc.

Cost-inflicting mate retention behaviors are behaviors that men (and women) inflict on their partners to keep them from leaving the relationship. Cost-inflicting mate retention behavior includes sexual jealousy and limiting a partner’s social contacts.


Given the implication of the visual, what mate retention behavior would you focus on to retain a mate?

Mate retention behaviors is discussed within my book titled Toxic Encounters: Why People Pursue Rebound Relationships, Part I. I explore the concept using psychology scholarship.

Here are some research sources if you are further interested in the concept of mate value. Some sources may require a subscription, but you should be able to locate a source using a keyword search such as “mate retention pdf.”


Miner, E. J., Starratt, V. G., Shackelford, T. K. (2009). It’s not all about her: Men’s mate value and mate retention. Psychology and Individual Differences, 47, 214-218. Retrieved from’s_not_all_about_her_Men’s_mate_value_and_mate_retention

Starratt, V. G., & Shackelford, T. K. (2012). He said, she said: Men’s reports of mate value and mate retention behaviors in intimate relationships. Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 459-462. Retrieved from

Visit and click the “Rebounding” tab to access video lessons and the full bibliography.

Author: Regina Y. Favors

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