How to take part
If you and your partner might be interested in participating in this project, please do get in touch via the contacts page of this website. I will be very pleased to answer any questions which arise for couples who are thinking of taking part and I will also ask couples to answer some preliminary questions from me by email; the answers to these help me to recruit a balanced range of participants.
If you and your partner agreed to participate in this project we would meet for an interview lasting up to two hours. Interviews are usually in London but if that is not convenient I may be able to travel to your home. I would ask to record the meeting and to have both of you consent to my use of your story in an anonymised fashion. I transcribe the recording myself and exclude all names and identifying details. Most of the material will be used to contribute to my general understanding, whilst specific verbatim extracts will be used as quotations. There will be an opportunity for couples to ask for their own words not to be quoted in the published book or to withdraw from the project entirely.
The interviews are loosely structured and I give you the headings in advance so that you have a sense of what to expect. In my experience couples who are secure with each other find the interview very interesting and say that they find it a valuable opportunity for reflection. If either of you feel uncomfortable with the material covered during our meeting, you are of course free to terminate the interview at any point. If any couple find that the process stirs up questions which they want to address, I will provide suggestions of where they can access counselling. The interview with me is for research and is not therapy. For this reason it could be unhelpful for couples who are going through difficulties and I would discourage them from taking part. If I felt that the process of an interview could be unhelpful to a couple I would not proceed but would offer appropriate contacts.
Current Recruitment - Couples Wanted
At present I am particularly interested in speaking to couples of all ages and types who met by family arrangement, through some kind of dating service or via a gradual pragmatic process of friendship.
At present I am not looking to recruit more heterosexual couples who met through an intense romance though I would like to interview more same sex couples who met in this way.
It is important that a couple have been together at least five years, that both partners are interested in participating and that both find the relationship fulfilling.
Whoever you are, thank you for reading about my research and thank you for your interest. Interviews are generally booked some time in advance.