Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Gay couples, Love, Commitment (Psychology), Interpersonal relations, Quantitative research, Long-term love, Same sex, Non-heterosexual, Homosexual, Romantic love, Companionate love, Relationship satisfaction, Triangle of love, Passion, Intimacy, Commitment, Communication


This study explored how love is experienced in long-term non-heterosexual relationships. This study used the Triangle of Love Scale to assess how reported levels of passion, intimacy, commitment, and relationship satisfaction are experienced at different stages within relationships. In addition, individuals self-reported on factors that potentially impact relationship satisfaction and reported levels of intimacy, passion, and commitment. A sample of 185 non-heterosexual participants who reside in the US, are over the age of 18, and have been in a relationship for two or more years, was obtained. Participants completed an online survey and provided demographic information, completed the Triangle of Love Scale and the Couples Satisfaction Index, and answered open-response questions. Results of this study suggest that (1) people who are older and those in longer relationships reported less passion; (2) certain demographics were found to be related to passion, intimacy, and commitment; and (3) communication is important to the success of relationships. Findings from the study could be used to inform the development of screening tools and targeted interventions for use by clinical social workers and agencies. Recommendations were made to inform future research on love within non-heterosexual relationships.




iii, 103 pages : color illustration. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 68-73)