1956: Why Do I Love You?

In preparation for my Valentine’s Day talk at the Library of Congress (see the press release for more information), I’ve started to research exerpts of advice about love. I’ve posted quite a bit over the years on the topic, but hope to find some fresh material for the talk.

To whet your appetite (it is a talk focusing on love and food, after all), here’s a little something from Evelyn Millis Duvall’s Facts of Life and Love for Teen-Agers from 1956:

Lovers frequently wonder why they love each other. The strange power of love baffles them. They ask each other, “Why do I love you?” This is a good question and it can be answered, at least in part. There are real reasons that one person loves another. As these reasons are understood, the love quite often grows stronger still. Only if the attraction is not love at all but merely a passing fancy, will it weaken as it is understood.

We love each other oftentimes because we meet each other’s needs. Janice is effervescent and flighty. She loves Dan partly because he is always so calm and stable. He loves her partly because she is so peppy and full of life. They are good for each other, in that each meets some real need in the other.

As we satisfy each other’s need for response and belongingness, we give our love a chance to grow stronger still. W all need to feel that we are wanted, that we are desirable, and that other people like to have us around. When two persons give each other this sense of being someone special, then each strengthens the love feeling in the other.

Aww, how sweet!