The Growth of Love

are those skins dry, honey?Girl loves boy. Boy loves girl. But before they take that next step, they might want to ask these questions from Dr. Keller’s Love, Courtship, Marriage.

1928: The Growth of Love

The young woman studies a certain young man who is paying her a great deal of attention, and intuitively she asks herself the same questions that the cave woman asked. Is this man strong and brave? If other men come to the cave, will he be willing to fight them and be able to win? Can he hunt so there will always be a lot of meat to eat? Will he provide the family with skins and fire and cattle to milk? Will he be kind to the baby? Is he the kind of a man that will stay in the cave at night? Is he a one woman or a many woman man? Is he healthy or sick? What kind of a tribe did he come from? Was his father good to the women and children? Has he ever been able to save any skins and accumulate any cattle and grain and dried fish? Is he a spender or a saver? Last of all, does he really desire me so much that he wants me for all of his life? or will he be tired of me when I have the first baby?

While she is by his side in the automobile he is asking himself a similar set of questions about her. The fact that they are going sixty miles an hour does not keep him from thinking. Is this woman strong and true? If I am away from the cave and other men come, will she fight them or love them? If I bring meat and food home, will she be able to cook them so they taste good and their eating makes me strong to hunt some more? Or shall I have a constant pain inside? Will she be able to cook like mother does? (Better stop asking that, young man, or trouble will begin!) Will she be willing and able to keep the fire burning and make the butter and see that the skins are dry and clean? When I come back from the hunt, will she be in the cave or running around, talking to that red headed woman? Will she want to have babies and can she take care of a baby so that it will not die? Is she a one man woman? Would she rather be home than anywhere else? What kind of woman was her mother ~ how about her tribe? If I accumulate property, will she be able to care for it? Finally, do I want her for a wife? Or shall I be sick of her and she of me a few months after we are married?

When young people begin to ask themselves such questions, they are in love. Not the love of adolescence, but the love of approaching maturity. There is something deeper than a simple friendship and good comradeship developing between a young man and woman when they begin to look more deeply into each other’s personalities and go past the stage of looks and automobiles. They are preparing for real life.

Source: Keller, David H. Love, Courtship, Marriage. New York: Roman Publishing Company, 1928.
~ pp. 25-27 ~