Sternberg’s Triangular Love Scale
Which are the strongest components of your love relationship? Intimacy? Passion? Commitment? All three components? Two of them?
To complete the following scale, fill in the blank spaces with the name of one person you love or care deeply about. Then rate your agreement with each of the items by using a nine-point scale in which 1 = “Not at all,” 5 = “moderately,” and 9 = “extremely.” Use points in between to indicate intermediate levels of agreement between these values. Then consult the scoring key.
1. I am actively supportive of ________’s well-being.
2. I have a warm relationship with _________.
3. I am able to count on ___________ in times of need.
4. _________ is able to count on me in times of need.
5. I am willing to share myself and my possessions with ___________.
6. I receive considerable emotional support from __________.
7. I give considerable emotional support to ____________.
8. I communicate well with _____________.
9. I value ____________ in my life.
10.I feel close to ____________.
11.I have a comfortable relationship with ___________.
12.I feel that I really understand ____________.
13.I feel that ___________ really understands me.
14.I feel that I can really trust ___________.
15.I share deeply personal information about myself with __________.
16.Just seeing ____________ excites me.
17.I find myself thinking about ___________ frequently during the day.
18.My relationship with ____________ is very romantic.
19.I find ____________ to be very personally attractive.
20.I idealize ____________.
21.I cannot imagine another person making me as happy as does ___________.
22.I would rather be with __________ than anyone else.
23.There is nothing more important to me than my relationship with __________.
24.I especially like physical contact with ___________.
25.There is something almost “magical” about my relationship with __________.
26.I adore __________.
27.I cannot imagine life without __________.
28.My relationship with ___________ is passionate.
29.When I see romantic movies and read romantic books, I think of ___________.
30.I fantasize about ___________.
31.I know that I care about ___________.
32.I am committed to maintaining my relationship with ___________.
33.Because of my commitment to ___________, I would not let other people come between us.
34.I have confidence in the stability of my relationship with __________.
35.I could not let anything get in the way of my commitment to ____________.
36.I expect my love for ____________ to last for the rest of my life.
37.I will always feel a strong responsibility for __________.
38.I view my commitment to __________ as a solid one.
39.I cannot imagine ending my relationship with __________.
40.I am certain of my love for ___________.
41.I view my relationship with __________ as permanent.
42.I view my relationship with __________ as a good decision.
43.I feel a sense of responsibility toward ___________.
44.I plan to continue my relationship with __________.
45.Even when __________ is hard to deal with, I remain committed to our relationship.
First add your scores for the items on each of the three components – intimacy, passion, and commitment – and divide each total by 15. This will yield an average rating for each subscale. An average rating of 5 on a particular subscale indicates a moderate level of the component represented by the subscale. A higher rating indicates a greater level. A lower rating indicates a lower level. Examining your ratings on these components will give you an idea of the degree to which you perceive your love relationship to be characterized by these three components of love. For example, you might find that passion is stronger than commitment, a pattern that is common in the early stages of an intense romantic relationship. You might find it interesting to complete the questionnaire a few months or perhaps a year from now to see how your feelings about your relationship change over time. You might also ask your partner to complete the scale so that the two of you can compare your respective scores. Comparing your ratings for each component with those of your partner will give you an idea of the degree to which you and your partner see your relationship in a similar way.
Sternberg (1988) reports the results of administering the scale to a sample of 50 men and 51 women (average age of 31 years) from New Haven (Connecticut) area who were either married or currently involved in a close relationship. Average scores for the three components were 7.39 for intimacy, 6.51 for passion, and 7.2 for commitment. High scores (scores representing approximately the top 15 % of scores) were 8.6 for intimacy, 8.2 for passion, and 8.7 for commitment. Low scores (representing the bottom 15% of scores) were 6.2, 4.9, and 5.7 for the three components, respectively. Since romantic ardor might be more difficult to maintain over time, the lower average scores for passion might reflect the length of the relationship in which the people in the sample were involved, which averaged 6.3 years in length. Although you might want to compare your scores against those from this sample, the Sternberg sample was small and most likely does not accurately represent the general population.