Passionate Love Scale (PLS)


While measures previously existed for companionate love, they did not exist for the more intense passionate love. The passionate love scale (PLS) can be used to explore cross-cultural differences, age differences and gender differences, among others, in passionate love.


Reliability is confirmed in Hatfield and Sprecher (1986), while convergent validity is discussed in several articles (Aron & Henkemeyer, 1995; Hatfield & Sprecher, 1986; Hendrick & Hendrick, 1989; Sprecher & Regan, 1998).

Author of Tool:

Hatfield & Sprecher

Key references:

Hatfield, E., & Sprecher, S. (1986). Measuring passionate love in intimate relations. Journal of Adolescence, 9, 383-410.

Hatfield, E. & Sprecher, S. (l986). Measuring passionate love in intimate relations. Journal of Adolescence, 9, 383-4l0.

Hendrick, C., & Hendrick, S. S. (1989). Research on love: Does it measure up? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 784-794.

Fehr, B. (1988). Prototype analysis of the concepts of love and commitment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 557-579.

Fehr, B., & Russell, J. A. (1991). Concept of love viewed from a prototype perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 425-438.

Primary use / Purpose:

The PLS is a 15 item likert-type questionnaire measuring various components of passionate love (cognitive, affective and behavioural).

Passionate Love Scale (PLS)

Even if superordinate concepts (such as “fruit,” “vehicle,” “sport”) are prototypically organized, basic-level concepts (such as “apple,” “truck,” “hockey”) might be classically defined in terms of individually necessary and jointly sufficient features. A series of 6 studies examined 1 basic-level concept in the domain of emotion, “love,” and found that it is better understood from a prototype than a classical perspective. The natural language concept of “love” has an internal structure and fuzzy borders: Maternal love, romantic love, affection, love of work, self-love, infatuation, and other subtypes of love can be reliably ordered from better to poorer examples of love. In turn, each subtype’s goodness as an example of love (prototypicality) was found to predict various indices of its cognitive processing. Implications for a scientific definition and typology of love are discussed.

We would like to know how you feel (or once felt) about the person you love, or have loved, most passionately. Some common terms for passionate love are romantic love, infatuation, love sickness, or obsessive love.
Please think of the person whom you love most passionately right now. If you are not in love, please think of the last person you loved. If you have never been in love, think of the person you came closest to caring for in that way.
Try to describe the way you felt when your feelings were most intense. Answers range from (1) Not at all true to (9) Definitely true. Whom are you thinking of?

  • Someone I love right now.
  • Someone I once loved.
  • I have never been in love.

not at all true 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 definitely true

  1. Since I’ve been involved with, my emotions have been on a roller coaster.
  2. I would feel deep despair if left me.
  3. sometimes my body trembles with excitement at the sight of
  4. I take delight in studying the movements and angles of ’s body.
  5. Sometimes I feel I can’t control my thought; they are obsessively on.
  6. I feel happy when I am doing something to make happy.
  7. I would rather be with than anyone else.
  8. I’d get jealous if I thought were falling in love with someone else.
  9. No one else could love like I do.
  10. I yearn to know all about.
  11. I want — physically, emotionally, mentally.
  12. I will love forever.
  13. I melt when looking deeply into ’s eyes.
  14. I have an endless appetite for affection from.
  15. For me, is the perfect romantic partner.
  16. is the person who can make me feel the happiest.
  17. I sense my body responding when touches me.
  18. I feel tender toward.
  19. always seems to be on my mind.
  20. If I were separated from for a long time, I would feel intensely lonely.
  21. I sometimes find it difficult to concentrate on work because thoughts of occupy my mind.
  22. I want to know me – my thoughts, my fears, and my hopes.
  23. Knowing that cares about me makes me feel complete.
  24. I eagerly look for signs indicating ’s desire for me.
  25. If were going through a difficult time, I would put away my own concerns to help him/her out.
  26. can make me feel effervescent and bubbly.
  27. In the presence of, I yearn to touch and be touched.
  28. An existence without would be dark and dismal.
  29. I possess a powerful attraction for.
  30. I get extremely depressed when things don’t go right in my relationship with.

Note: Items 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 29, 30 make up the shortened version.


Scoring is either kept continuous or broken into the following classifications (for the 15item shortened version):

  • 106-135 points = Wildly, even recklessly, in love.
  • 86-105 points = Passionate, but less intense.
  • 66-85 points = Occasional bursts of passion.
  • 45-65 points = Tepid, infrequent passion.
  • 15-44 points = The thrill is gone.