How do we Love? Do Gender, Age, "Passion Status" and "Control" Really Matter?: Highlights from the Questionnaire "Being in Love"


  • Marta Reis Social Adventure Team & CMDT-LA/UNL Faculty of Human Kinetics/ University of Lisbon Estrada da Costa, 1495-688 Cruz Quebrada Portugal
  • Lúcia Ramiro
  • Margarida Gaspar de Matos


being in love, attachment (companionate love), lust (sexual desire), attraction (passionate love), Portuguese adult


Being in love is a powerful emotional state and a cross-cultural universal. The first aim of the present study was to validate the Portuguese version of Helen Fisher‘s questionnaire ― Being in Love (2004). The second aim of this study was to explore possible differences between gender, age group, present versus past passion and being versus not being in control of one’s feelings while in love. The sample included female (78.9%) and male (21.1%) adult participants (N=394; age in years: M =32.1; SD =9.9). Results showed that the total sample mentioned having ever been in love, the majority of the sample reported having a present passion, not being in control of one’s feelings, not being attracted to more than one person at the same time and not being married nor living with a partner. Results also showed that women reported more frequently both current and past passion. Men more frequently mentioned feeling attracted to more than one person at the same time. Men showed higher mean values for lust (sexual desire) and younger people (18-24 years old) showed higher mean values for attraction (passionate love) than other age groups. Regarding differences between present/past passion and being/not being in control of one’s feelings, people who have a present passion showed higher mean values (than those who reported having a past passion) in relation to attachment (companionate love), and people who reported not controlling one’s feelings showed higher mean values regarding the Being in Love Scale overall as well as in the attraction (passionate love) subscale. In general, the results of the analysis of the psychometric properties of the Portuguese version of Helen Fisher‘s questionnaire ― Being in Love (2004) - are satisfactory in the Portuguese context; therefore they allow for its applicability when studying how Portuguese people experience intimate relationships.



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How to Cite

Reis, M., Ramiro, L., & de Matos, M. G. (2014). How do we Love? Do Gender, Age, "Passion Status" and "Control" Really Matter?: Highlights from the Questionnaire "Being in Love". Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Studies, 2(4). Retrieved from