Nancy Kalish and colleagues from California State University found it was not just the nostalgia of ageing that made people look for their first love.
The average age of those involved in the reunions was 36.
Mr Turner said that his first marriage was wonderful but his wife, Gwen, died of a heart attack when she was 58. When I saw June again the old feelings came rushing back.
I wasn't going to let her go a second time," he said.
Ms Chapman was 16 when she met Mr Turner at the aircraft factory where they worked.
They became sweethearts and dated for three years before Mr Turner left their home town of Swindon, Wiltshire, to begin his National Service.Letters were exchanged but after a year the two lost touch.Over the next 50 years they both married and were widowed before being reunited last year. Ms Chapman said: "Eric and I met in 1950 and from the moment we began dating I knew we were made for each other.The professor said: "The couples' first love had endured throughout their many years apart, and in the case of widows and widowers, often through very happy intervening marriages.However, given the high extramarital [affairs] rate, married people should be cautioned not to contact a lost love." An example of young love rekindled is provided by June Chapman and Eric Turner.I have been lucky enough to locate (through friends reuinted) a guy that I went to primary and secondary school with.He is married and has a family and I.................Older couples attributed their success to having re-found their soulmates and to increased maturity.Some 55 per cent chose to reunite with someone they loved when they were 17 or younger - their first love - and 29 per cent chose a former sweetheart from late adolescence.The researchers found the most common reason for the initial romance breaking up was parental disapproval, accounting for 25 per cent of cases.Other frequent reasons included "We were too young" (11 per cent), "Moved away" (11 per cent) and "Left to attend school" (7 per cent).