Workplace Romances on the Example of Partner Selection Among Teacher-Couples - Student Teachers’ Perceptions

Mari Mikkola, Roope Salonen, Kaarina Määttä, Satu Uusiautti


Romantic relationships in workplaces have remained unexplored from the lovers’ perspective even though the research on love, partner selection, and workplace romances is relatively extensive. The purpose of this study is to contribute an analysis of partner selection among colleagues, and student teachers were selected as an interesting target group because of the special nature of teachers’ work. Two research questions were set for the study: how do teacher-couples start their relationship and what factors explain partner selection among them according to student teachers’ perceptions and experiences? The purpose was to describe their opinions on why teacher-marriages are so common, how love begins, and what combines teachers. The data were collected in the form of essays through an email that was addressed to the members of Finnish student organizations in colleges of education. Altogether 32 replies were received. The essays were analyzed with a theory-based approach by categorizing answers into six pre-determined categories. The purpose was to find out how partner selection among teachers corresponded to the select types of partner selection. Homogamy and completion-based partner selection appeared the most common. In addition, teachers’ role as emotional educators is pointed out and discussed in the light of the results of this study.

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