Commitment in same-sex relationships: A qualitative analysis of couples' conversations

Sharon Scales Rostosky, Ellen D.B. Riggle, Michael G. Dudley, Margaret Laurie Comer Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Theoretical constructs and meanings of relational commitment for same-sex couples have typically been generalized from heterosexual relationships. Same-sex couples, however, face a unique set of challenges in constructing committed relationships. To expand our knowledge of the meaning of commitment, same-sex couples described their lived experiences in defining and creating a committed relationship. Transcripts of the conversations of 14 same-sex couples (7 male and 7 female couples) were subjected to analysis using the Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) method (Hill, Thompson, and Williams, 1997). Seven domains emerged, revealing that these same-sex couples constructed the meaning of commitment through comparisons, costs, intra-couple differences, investments, personal and relationship values and ideals, rewards, and sexual boundaries. Unique aspects of commitment are discussed as well as the implications of these findings for future research and service delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-223
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 11 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research study was funded by the American Psychological Foundation’s Wayne F. Placek Award (2000) and a 2002 University of Kentucky Summer Faculty Fellowship to the first author.


  • Couples
  • Gay
  • Lesbian
  • Qualitative
  • Relational commitment
  • Sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • General Psychology


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