This study explores the phenomenon of commitment in romantic relationships, the motivation behind it and how people view the sustainability of a relationship. The study was carried out on youth of Karachi their ages ranging from 18-24 years. A pilot study in the form of a focus group comprising of 5 participants was conducted to gather some views on the factors involved in a
committed relationship. The resulting discussion led to the construction of a questionnaire and a focus group criterion to conduct the study. After a pilot a focus group was conducted on a sample of 7 males and 7 females who were selected from various departments of the University of Karachi. 13 were single and one was married, which albeit not a factor that was controlled, did lead to some very relevant views being exchanged between the participants on commitment and why men’s and women’s behavior changed after they got into a committed relationship or even marriage. Aspects such as basis of a romantic relationship, factors that make a relationship successful, role of commitment, significance of the knowledge that the partner is committed to one, role of family, friends, and role of religion in the level of commitment are discussed. Content analysis was carried out on the data that was collected from the two focus groups. Understanding and trust were considered as the most important features of a romantic relationship and for it to be successful. Religion and parents were considered as factors that would affect the level of commitment in a relationship. Parallels are drawn between Robert Sternberg’s triangular theory of love and the evolutionary perspective, how understanding and commitment are two of the most intrinsic factors that keep a couple together and how both these units pertain to the survival of the human race. The point that arises here is that commitment in romantic relationships where there is chance of procreation, maybe genetically coded in man and woman as fundamental to the propagation of the human race.
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Copyright (c) 2011 Prof. Dr. Qudsia Tariq, Ms Erum Riaz