Perhaps the most unique aspect of the LFI is the Spirituality scale. Some have questioned the relevance of this scale in the investigation of love within intimate relationships. The argument has been presented that loving another human being has little to do with one’s spiritual views. This argument is typically presented by those who do not feel a strong spiritual component in their lives. I would agree with the argument that one’s spiritual “views” are probably not always predictive of how an individual will behave in a close loving relationship. Although one’s beliefs do determine, to some extent, how one will act.
It is critical to note, however, that the LFI does not solely attempt to measure beliefs, but rather one’s behavior and inner psychological-spiritual experience. Herein lies the differences and the value of this particular scale. The Spirituality scale also addresses one’s actual experience of feeling expanded states of love, one’s feelings about serving others, and one’s connection to the innermost Self.
It is suggested here that a valuable connection exists between one’s ability to love another human being and one’s sense of feeling filled with a greater, expansive love that may be expressed in service for others. Spiritual transformative teachings typically address the development process that occurs as one moves from states of personal love to more expanded states of universal love (Wilber, 1982). The latter state of consciousness becomes more inclusive.
If an individual responds in the affirmative to “I feel sacred realms of love and bliss, ” and “Sometimes I feel so much love that I can hardly contain it,” then it suggested that greater capacities for personal love are also available. It is important to consider other scale scores as well.
A high spirituality score does not guarantee and healthy, well integrated loving individual. A high spirituality scale score along with other high scale scores does suggests something more, however, than other scale scores being elevated without the Spirituality scale being elevated. The latter type of individual might bring a greater dimension of love and a fuller sense of one’s own Being to the relationship.
It is relevant to note that the research with couples responding to the LFI and the Spanier Dyadic Adjustment Scale, a measure of marital adjustment, showed a significant difference between adjusted and non-adjusted couples on a majority of the LFI scales, including the Spirituality scale. (Mann, R., 1991) Well adjusted couples scored significantly higher on the Spirituality scale than non-adjusted couples. In the larger national sample, married couples scored significantly higher on the Spirituality scale than single individuals who have never been married. (Mann, R. and Braun-Smith, 1990b ). Patricia D. Roth (1988) also found a significant positive relationship between marital adjustment and spirituality. These results clearly indicate that spirituality is worthy of inclusion in a measure related to one’s ability to intimately relate to another human being. In addition, one’s belief about the nature of life, the underlying purpose of existence, and one’s place in that purpose also seems relevant to how an individual will treat another human being in the most intimate circumstances. For example, if an individual strongly believes that life is an opportunity for personal development, he/she might be more available and willing to spend the time necessary for problem solving and intimate personal relating. It is true that such a belief alone does not guarantee anything, other LFI scales would also have to be elevated such as Intimacy, Sensitivity, Psychological Adjustment, and Trust to strongly suggest a well developed capacity for successful intimate relating. The Spiritual scale does provide another piece of useful information in the complex issue of love within intimate personal relationships.