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Seventies Sweethearts: 50 Found Photos of Young Love in the Early 1970s

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Amid massive societal upheaval, love kept on truckin’ in the 1970s. It was an interesting time to be in a relationship: the sexual revolution was in full swing and feminism had hit the mainstream. Vietnam, Watergate, a sputtering economy and a variety of unhappy events created  a climate of uncertainty and unrest for the largest generation by far, the Baby Boomers.  Let’s have a look at these anonymous couples from our stack of found photos.  Most of these happy lovebirds are in their sixties now (a disturbing thought) – but here they are when they were young.

 

001_1971 dressed to kill

(1) Dated 1971. Almost all of these photos are from the early 70s; however, without dates on many of these found photos, there’s likely quite a few towards the disco-end of the decade.

(2) This poor sap is getting less attention than the weenie dog.  Time to kick things up a notch.

028_the heyday of paneling

(3) Back in the golden age of wood paneling and neck scarves.. and when choices for glasses were pitifully sparse.  In 1970, you either looked like John Lennon or Buddy Holly – those were your choices.

037_His shoes are so awesome it's frightening.

(4) Ah, the era of the white dress shoes.  They’d be the butt of jokes in Christmas Vacation a couple decades later; but in 1970, they were tops.

(5) Needless to say, the miniskirt was the thing to wear in the early 1970s.

031_1974

(7) Pre-dance (or pre-wedding) in 1974

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(8) It looks like, for this particular ‘glamour shot’, they used fan for a windy effect.  It worked for her hair – for him, not so much.

(9) The girls had their miniskirts – but the guys had the mighty 70s shirt collar.  It was a majestic thing to behold.

couples

(10)-(11)  For more pictures of 70s lovebirds, check out: Teen Romance Done Awkwardly: 1970s Couples Photographs; a few of them wound up here.

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(12) Your traditional straight-laced white middle class couple in the early seventies.  But this was often just a show for school or work, which often required you to look respectable. But you never knew – beneath every fine upstanding couple could lurk the dreaded hippie…

032_hippie vs. straight laced

(14) Which is the better look?

028

(15) I’ve seen too many horror movies – A couple in the woods, with a knife stuck menacingly in the watermelon.  This girl should probably run for her  life.

(16) She is a little “over proud” by her man’s biceps.

043_1 (found photo) young couple

(17)  This lad’s expression suggests he has high hopes for tonight… I wonder if it actually went the way he’s envisioning it.

048_Young Love

(18) He’s got the white belt and the brand new polyester button-down – clearly, we have the makings of a schoolyard super stud.

(19) “Love, Who Needs It?”… by 1970 we’d come a long way from “Love Is All You Need”

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(20) He looks like a young Mark Ruffalo. Am I crazy?

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(21) – (22) Both ladies sporting the floral mini with big white collar.  Not a bad look IMHO.

(23) Technically not a “found photo” – more a publicity shot.  It’s from 1970 – can you identify who they are?

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(24)-(25)

018_Four on a couch

(26) I love this one because there’s clearly so much undiscovered backstory going on here.  Is this a double date?  There’s the happy couple in the middle… then there’s the guy and gal set up on a blind date sitting at opposite ends of the couch awkwardly.  Just a theory.

070_(found photo) dated 1970

(27) – (28) Dated 1970

072_(found photo) 1974 photo of couple and a sheaf of wheat

(29) Dated 1974… clearly during the Fall

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(30) This dude is rocking that ascot with authority.

(31) The poor guy in the background wishes he had a girlfriend.

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(32) You’re a rich girl, and you’ve gone too far, ’cause you know it don’t matter anyway.  You can rely on the old man’s money…

(33)  Remember when high school band and majorette uniforms had hemlines that simply couldn’t go any higher?  The good old days.

 

073_(found photo)

(34) Now this is just downright humiliating.  Given his dress and her handbag – these two are clearly on a date, or headed to a dance.  Then mom interferes and causes much mortification.  I don’t know that this is happening, but I think it’s a safe bet.

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(35) Playing chess – probably not what she had in mind for the evening, but she’ll make it through somehow.

(36) There’s no date on this picture, but given the shag carpet, gaudy decor, and her miniskirt – I think we can safely place this in the early 70s.

094_(found photo) wedding

(37) Don’t get me wrong – it’s healthy for guys to have a good, close relationship with their mom… but there’s a limit.  (Actually, this is probably just an innocent wedding photo – but it’s funner to imagine there’s some tawdry drama instead.)

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(38) Words cannot describe how awesome this is.

124

(39) March 1972 – It’s about time we spotted a lava lamp.

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(40) Well, that’s one way to get her.  I won’t judge.

(41) Methinks it may be time to be a gentleman and take the lady home.

 

055_swingers

(42) 70s Swingers

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(43) – (44)  Nope – these aren’t the same couple.  Just the same hair.

075_reunited 'cause it feels so good

(45) Even those terrible pants won’t get in the way of this burning love.

(46) Hey- who’s the couple here? It looks like the portly fellow is muscling in on the other boy’s woman.  Should he play nice, or is it time to step up?

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(47) I love how they both have a zit at almost the exact location on their foreheads.  Ah… the joys of being a teenager.

082

(48) He’s covering himself.  Nice move – wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.

(49) I’m not real sure what’s going on here. On the one hand it looks disturbing, and on the other… well, also disturbing.

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(50) And so we’ve reached the end.  This couple is now in their sixties, probably with grandchildren and looking to retire.  The days of miniskirts and plaid bell-bottoms are long, long behind them.  But not forgotten.

 

  • njguy54

    If you lived through the 70s as either a child or adult, somewhere, someone has at least one photo of you wearing some god-awful outfit that you couldn’t pay someone to wear today.

  • hithere55

    I love 60s/70s style!

  • Keen Mustard

    Number 23 is Jane Seymour and her fiance Michael Attenborough (son of Richard).

    • Yeoman Lowbrow

      Ding! Correct! Proceed to the next round.

  • David

    The Dating Game theme song should be playing in the background.

  • David F. Strauss

    Technically speaking, some of those are mini-dresses. 41 looks like she’s got a serious run in her stocking.

  • Cee

    As long as you didn’t wind up hogtied and gagged in the back of a van or a car trunk, dating was pretty decent then.

    • njguy54

      Hey, different strokes for different folks…

  • AlanOne7

    Maybe I’m getting old, but sometimes I miss when women wore skirts and were well-groomed (no tattoos or huge piercings, only a handful of people in jeans).
    Men with long hair was a fad that thankfully died.