You’re not going to marry the boy you start dating at 16.
You’re too young to be that serious.
It won’t last, you’re just a baby.
Just some of the many things I have heard growing up.
I met and started dating my husband when I was 16. I was in 10th grade and infatuated with this boy I met at the mall with Justin Bieber hair. I went home to tell my family and friends about my newfound love, to be greeted with, “You are 16, it may last for a while, but not forever.”
I ignored it all, because I knew deep down it wasn’t just puppy love.
It was a lifetime love.
Two years later, when we graduated high school together, I felt proud. We had made it. But then I was greeted with, “Now your life really starts! It’s hard to keep a relationship you started off with so young during this time.
Again I ignored it because I knew it was real.
A few months after graduation, I found out I was pregnant. I was scared but excited to take on this role with the boy I had loved for the past two years.
But again, I was greeted with, “Be prepared; you may need to do this on your own. Babies are hard on couples, especially so young.”
Again I ignored it. Because I knew we could make it.
A year later, with our 3-month-old baby girl, he proposed to me. I was 19. He was 18.
I was greeted with, “Very happy for you, but do you think this is a good idea? To get married? You two are still so young.”
I ignored it and began wedding planning.
Another year later, when our daughter was one-and-a-half, we had our wedding. It was beautiful.
At the wedding, I heard, “They’re a beautiful couple; I hope it lasts, with them being so young.”
A few weeks after our wedding, I found out I was pregnant with our son. I was elated. I was 20, married, and pregnant with our second child.
I was greeted again with, “Two kids? But you’re so young. You guys are both so young. Are you sure you’re ready?”
I ignored those comments again and continued planning for the arrival of our son.
This year, I will be 26 and we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary.
We have hit many bumps in the road, lost our connection, and gained it back. It has never been easy, but we made it.
I married the boy I met when I was 16 and I’m so glad I ignored all of those comments.
Whether you’re 15 or 50 when you meet the love of your life, you will know right away.
It’s not just puppy love.
This post originally appeared on Caitlin Fladager