Young Love. I’m Talking Really Young.

we may test and discoverQ Dear Miss Abigail:

I am in fifth grade and I have had a crush on someone ever since third grade. I can’t tell him how I feel. I tried once but he didn’t say anything (probably because he didn’t hear me). This guy is the most popular guy in the whole class. HELP!!!

Signed,
Confused

A Dear Confused:

This madness started in third grade? My dear confused child, relax. You are way too young to be having a crush on a boy for two years without telling him. I waited until I was at least sixteen before my first long-time crush. What follows is a passage from Berharr Macfadden’sWomanhood and Marriage. Perhaps an older friend or parent could read it over and then help sort out how you are really feeling. The excerpt is geared more toward¬†actual boy-girl friendships, but I think it will provide enough food for thought.

And remember, there is plenty of time later for imaginative relationships. Heck, those hopeless crushes can drag all the way into your thirties! At least that’s what my friends are telling me.

1923: Expression of True Love

What is love? It combines the gentle attraction of liking and the steadfast calmness of affection, with frequent intensity of passion, and raises them all to the highest plane of dedication to another’s welfare and happiness.

Much that is called love is not worthy of that name. True love is essentially unselfish, and it is by this touchstone that we may test and discover whether or not that which is offered to us is genuine or spurious.

With this differentiation in mind, we would not call the attraction which children feel for each other, love; it is simply liking, or, if their friendship endures, it becomes affection.

The friendships of children are a valuable part of their life training and should be encouraged, but never should the suggestion be made to these youthful comrades that theirs is a relationship which bears in it any of the elements of sex. The children should be allowed to associate together in all of the self-unconciousness natural to their period of life. It is very advantageous for boys and girls to play together freely, and so lay the foundation for a thorough understanding of each other in their later development.

With the beginning of the adolescent period, there comes an increasing instensity in the emotions which may cause the developing boy and girl to think that they are in love with each other. It is not advisable to laugh at them for their early sentimentality, which is sometimes called ‘puppy love.’ Rather it would be advisable for older friends and guardians to accept the expression of extreme admiration in a very matter-of-fact way, admitting that the individual in question is most attractive, and that it is not strange that the two have formed a very agreeable friendship. By consistantly holding up the ideal of friendship before their eyes, one may be able to preserve for them a beautiful relationship, and may thus enable them to avoid some of the pitfalls of the adolescent period.

Source: Macfadden, Bernarr. Womanhood and Marriage. New York: Macfadden Book Company, Inc.,1923.
~ pp.81-82 ~