Dear Adults, “You’re Just Too Young to Understand” Is Not a Valid Excuse for Love

I fell in love at 14 years old, with an older boy in my art class. Nearly 5 years later and we are still joined at the hip. He knows me like the back of his own hand and he has seen me flourish from an awkward, insecure freshman, to the strong, independent, self-loving woman I am today.

But with a relationship that has lasted this long, we both get a lot of negative feedback. Though there are plenty of people who think we are “adorable,” there are those who, for some reason, think it is their place to weigh in on our relationship. There has been the raised eyebrow, the eye-boggling and the scoffs that a 19-year-old has been in a relationship for 4 years. Perhaps it is because these adults cannot picture themselves at 19 being in a committed relationship. Most of them can’t even imagine it for themselves at 30 years old. And that’s fine.

What is not fine is telling me that I am too young to know what love is, or too young to be “tied down” or that, at this age, I should solely be working on myself and not on a relationship.

While all of this is reasonable enough, it is clear that people believe that being in a relationship limits or traps you and prevents you from growing as an individual. If that is the case, it is likely that they were never in a healthy relationship.

Though I do not have everything figured out, I know that I am happy. Uncertainty is a part of life and committing yourself to forever at 19 is unrealistic. But what I know is that this relationship does not hold me back. I can be myself with someone and he pushes me to make every aspect of my life better. I am at peace with myself and this relationship and I do envision a future where we are together forever.

Though it seems mind-blowing to many, please don’t tell me that I am too young or too naive to know what love is. Love is bringing him food when he’s sick, love is introducing her to that anime that has changed his life and he wants it to change hers as well. Love is reading each other poems and books and constructing cosmos and dreams and future goals together. Love is letting go for the other’s own good, even when it breaks your own heart.

Love is not measured by a clock. 12 or 92, love occurs at any age, to anyone. Do not try to criticize or limit love just because you do not understand what someone else is feeling.

Adults will try to limit you in many aspects of your life by saying that we are too young to understand, without realizing that life does not have an age limit.

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