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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) that people raise when thinking about taking part in the Enduring Love? project.

Am I eligible to take part?

There are many different kinds of intimate relationship and so we welcome diversity in couple relationship experience. We are interested in talking to some couples who have children and others who don’t. It doesn’t matter whether you live together in the same household, across different households, or live-apart-together (LAT). We want to involve couples who are married or in a civil partnership and those who are co-habiting. You may be in a committed but more casually-defined relationship. You could be in a monogamous relationship or part of open or non-monogamous relationships in which other people feature significantly.

As you can see, we are not trying to standardize the couple relationship into one model and in the interviews we would want you to talk about how you sustain close, loving relationships with people beyond the couple, including children, parents, friends and lovers.

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What's in it for us?

Most of us are so busy getting on with everyday life that we don’t have time to sit back and think about what makes our relationships tick and what we do to make them work! You may think your couple relationship is the same as everyone else’s or maybe that it’s one of a kind. Do you actively try and do things like your friends and family? Have you been determined to take a different approach – and if so, in what ways and why? Taking part in relationship research gives you the opportunity to reflect on such questions.

Taking part also means you will be involved in important research that will reflect on the state of couple relationships and and examine whether prompted daily interventions help to improve relationship quality. The information collected and the picture which emerges will then be used to inform relationship support and education services and the development of relationship and family policies. It is no exaggeration to say that your contribution is invaluable for the success of the project; in fact the project cannot work without your time and commitment. The majority of people who take part in relationship research such as this say that it’s been a rewarding and even enjoyable experience.

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What counts as a long-term relationship?

In the Enduring Love? project we did not want to prescribe what constitutes a long-term relationship – it’s up to you to define. What feels like a long-term relationship may depend on your personal circumstances, the duration of relationships that you see around you, and your age. It’s relative! The only restriction is that you must be above 18 years of age.

For the Paired evaluation, the length and type of relationship will be factored into our analysis but it is not a criteria that determines participation in the project.

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As the research is on couple relationships, do both of us have to take part?

For the Enduring Love? project, we want to collect information from both people in the relationship. This was an important dimension for the project, not because we want to cross-check what you’ve both said against each other and work out ‘who’s telling the truth’. That’s not the point of the study - and it’s not possible either! We want to get both perspectives to see how couples manage to sustain their relationship, and this requires hearing what you both have to say.

For the Enduring Love project, you’ll be interviewed together and apart. What you say in the couple interview will obviously be known to both of you, but what you say in the individual interview will be totally confidential. Nothing will be divulged to your partner in any way.

For the Paired evaluation project, your survey responses and interview will be completed by you alone. We will not link to or share this information with your partner even if you are paired as a couple in the app.

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What if one of us wants to withdraw from the project half way through?

You or your partner has the right to withdraw from the research projects at any time. We will respect your decision and will not make any attempt to coerce you to stay involved. If the other person wants to continue with the research, then we will complete all methods with them. To monitor the research process, we may ask why you or your partner left the project. If you do withdraw, then we will not use any information that you have given to us unless you give permission to do so. We will destroy all of the material relating to you and your involvement with the project at any time if asked to do so.

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How much time will I need to spend on the project?

Taking part in the Enduring Love? project involved participants to actively think about the project for about one month and during this time the researcher visited couples several times. This may seem quite a long period of time but you will need time to complete the different methods and you will also find that having a bit of time to reflect on what you said in between interviews is helpful. It will enable you think through some of the things that you’ve talked about. You may have recalled an event which is particularly relevant that previously slipped your mind, or you may want to add more detail to something that you’ve talked about, or may want to clarify a point or perhaps even change your mind about something. The amount of time which the researcher will spend with each couple may vary slightly, but generally speaking we expect that we will visit most couples between 3-5 times. All visits will be arranged at your convenience and we will do our utmost to be as flexible in making appointments on days and at times that work for you.

After this research period we will keep in touch with you, to let you know how things are progressing. There may be a considerable gap between the intensive research period and the end of the project so if you want to keep up to date with how it’s all going you can visit the website. The research blog will detail what we’ve been up to and all the research highlights.

For the Paired evaluation study, the time that you'll spend on the project is much smaller. The survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete. Follow-up online/telephone interviews will be 30-45 minutes in duration. No preparatory work is required outside of these two points in time.

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If we agree to take part in the study, what happens next?

If you want to take part in either the Enduring Love? project or Paired evaluation, then you will start by completing a research questionnaire. This includes questions that are usually included on most Equal Opportunities forms, covering topics such as information about your age, gender, sexuality, relationship status, and number of dependent relatives. This will enable us to see if certain opinions on relationships can be matche