Can close romantic relationships last? The commitment of partners in married and cohabitant couples
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Institute of Psychology, University of Lodz, Poland
Submission date: 2019-02-03
Final revision date: 2019-05-14
Acceptance date: 2019-05-16
Online publication date: 2019-06-19
Publication date: 2019-11-04
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2019;7(3):203-211
Western studies indicate the significance of commitment in close emotional relationships. Interpersonal com-mitment is regarded as a process which is indispensable for building and strengthening close relationships, and is associated with the continuation of relationships between happy or unhappy partners. With this in mind, interpersonal commitment is an important topic for analysis. A theory by Stanley and Markman served as the inspiration for conducting studies on the commitment of partners in permanent relationships in Poland.

Participants and procedure:
The results for 260 couples (160 marriages and 100 cohabiting couples) were finally submitted for analysis. All the participants (N = 520) were aged from 19 to 68 (M = 33.01, SD = 11.16). The mean ages of the participants were 31.98 years (SD = 10.95) for women and 34.03 years (SD = 11.30) for men. The Interpersonal Commit-ment Questionnaire (KZI) was used to analyse the perception of the relationships; this is the Polish version of the Commitment Inventory by Stanley and Markman.

The present findings indicate that marriages tend to portend better than cohabitations. The permanence of mar-riage is based on dedication, reflecting the significance of the relationship, and constraint commitment, which regards concern for the partner’s well-being. The latter may hinder partners, especially men, from leaving the relationship.

Studies conducted in Poland tend to produce very similar results to those performed in the US concerning the level of commitment by partners in cohabiting relationships. It may be concluded that the type of commitment is specified more closely by the form of the relationship rather than the socio-cultural conditions in which the cou-ples live.

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