Psychology Topic: Mate Switching

Source: D’Arienzo Psychological Group

Psychology Topic: Mate Switching

Mate switching is a short-term mating strategy. It is defined as leaving one mating relationship and re-mating with another partner. People create many reasons to justify leaving one partner for another. Some of these reasons are validated with cheating.


Given the implication of the visual, what would be a reason(s) why you would mate switch?

Mate switching is discussed within my book titled Toxic Encounters: Why People Pursue Rebound Relationships, Part I. I explore the concept using psychology scholarship. The following represent sample mate switching strategies partners use to determine if exiting the relationship becomes necessary:

  • Monitor their current mating relationship for both benefits and costs.
  • Evaluate alternative potential mates while mated.
  • Circumvent the guarding tactics from a current mate.
  • Engage in extra-pair infidelity.
  • Deploy exit strategies.
  • Switch to a new partner.

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


Arnocky, S. (2018). Self-perceived mate value, facial attractiveness, and mate preferences: Do desirable men want it all? Evolutionary Psychology, 1-8. Retrieved from

Buss, D. M., Goetz, C., Duntley, J. D., Asao, K., & Conroy-Beam, D. (2017). The mate switching hypothesis. Psychology and Individual Differences, 104, 143-149. Retrieved from

Spielmann, Stephanie S., MacDonald, Geoff and Anne E. Wilson. “On the Rebound: Focusing on Someone New Helps Anxiously Attached Individuals Let Go of Ex-Partners.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. October 2009 35: 1382-1394. 22 Jul. 2009. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.

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

Thank you for visiting my site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: