Q Dear Miss Abigail:
How do I know if I’m in love?
A Dear Rocky:
Ah, one of those age-old questions that just never seems to die. At least you should take confort in the fact that you are not alone. Millions of people out there, including this writer, have wondered the same thing at some point in their lives. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I’m going on a hunch that you are a teenager or in your twenties, so I found this passage that seems like it might provide some answers. It’s from the extremely ~ as many old advice books were ~ Christian book titled Youth Looks at Love, written by Letha Scanzoni in 1965.
1965: Puppy Love
Diane and Don were both shy teenagers when they found themselves seated next to one another at a church social. Soon they discovered they enjoyed talking togther and that they felt less self-conscious in crowds when they were with each other.
They began going steady and they liked to do things together. Often they helped one another with homework or even visited one another to help with household chores. One day they washed Don’s father’s car together, another time they took Diane’s small brothers on a picnic while her parents were shopping for some new furniture. Then there were the days they picked cherries and berries at a farm outside of town, so that their mothers would have canning fruit at the lowest prices possible.
Each feels more self-confident when with the other, and they miss one another terribly when apart. They feel they are ‘in love,’ yet realize they are much too young to be sure this is the love on which a successful marriage could be based. Until they are sure one way or the other, they’ll continue their good times and companionship.
This is the love of the early teens. For weeks Jeff and Julie are sure they are in love. Songs like ‘Too Young’ have great appeal for them. They are together constantly: on the phone, in person, passing notes in school, through daydreams (and night dreams, too). Then gradually, or perhaps suddenly, they find their interest in one another is dwindling and a new interest replaces it.
Again, this is normal and nothing to be laughed at. As evangelist Billy Graham has pointed out, ‘Don’t scoff at puppy love. It’s very real to the puppies!’ Yet, like a crush, it is not a love which could make a successful marriage. Ralph G. Eckert speaks of an alert teen-age fellow who observed that puppy love is fine, but if one married just on puppy love ‘he’d probably lead a dog’ life.’
Source: Scanzoni, Letha. Youth Looks at Love. Westwood, N.J.: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1965.
~ pp. 70-71 ~