You are here

  1. Home
  2. About
  3. Aims


The study aims to update and extend sociological knowledge and understandings of long-term adult couple relationships so that policy can speak to the diverse experience and needs of couples in contemporary Britain.

Our analytic foci are gender, generation and parenthood. These three areas therefore make up the organising principles for our primary research aims, which are:

  • To understand how quality and stability are experienced and imagined in long-term relationships.
  • To examine the gendered 'relationship work' that women and men do to stay together.
  • To advance knowledge of how enduring relationships are lived and felt by couples at different generational points in the life course and in the socio-cultural context of shifting discourses on love, ‘marriage’, intimacy and commitment.
  • To interrogate the experience of adult couples, living with and without children, and the impact of family policies and cultural narratives which privilege parenthood and childrearing as part of the life course.

Contact us

For further details on the project and all media enquiries, please contact: 

Principal Investigator

Professor Jacqui Gabb

Chair of Sociology and Intimacy


The Open University
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences and Global Studies
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes