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Enduring Love?

Project outline

The Enduring Love? research project is an exciting development in the study of personal and family lives in contemporary Britain. Much recent policy, academic and professional research has focused on the causes and effects of relationship breakdown, but many heterosexual and LGBT couples also remain together for significant periods of time. In some ways, then, these couples appear to sit outside a growing tendency towards serial or transitory relationships. To understand more about couples who stay together, our research will focus on the meanings and everyday experiences of long-term relationships. However we will not be presupposing that such relationships are uniformly loving or straightforwardly associated with contentment. The project will rather be concerned with what helps people sustain relationships and how cultural myths, such as finding ‘the one’ and living ‘happily-ever-after’, are understood and reconciled by adult couples whose own relationships may fall short of these romantic ideals.

iTunes audio

In a collection of audio and video podcasts, couples reflect on love and commitment, the effect of children, and the 'relationship work' which they do to sustain their relationships.

Listen to the programmes now

The Enduring Love? Couple Relationships in the 21st Century project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC RES-062-23-3056).


  • Dr Jacqui Gabb (left) and Dr Janet Fink (right) The Open University

    Enduring Love? Couple Relationships in the 21st Century

    At an event at the British Library, London, on 14th January 2014, keystudy findings were launched alongside wider discussion on making research count, why relationship research matters

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  • Hunter image

    Enduring Love? Findings, Dialogue, Future Directions

    To hear the study's findings and critical debate about the scope and relevance of relationship research by leading contributors in the field, you are warmly invited to join us at this end of project celebratory event.

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  • Couples living apart together

    About 10% of adults in Britain today are in a relationship but not living with their partner. On 26 May 2013, Jacqui Gabb was invited to respond to findings of an ESRC-funded research project on the phenomenon of "living apart together" (LAT).

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