How young is too young to be in love? Some may say 20, 16 or 13. How about three years old? Laura and Matt’s story might have you rethinking those age limits. This couple met in preschool, where Matt declared his love for Laura and promised he would marry her someday. Fast forward a couple of decades and he fulfilled that promise. (Read the whole story here.)

I love this story because I love love. Romance makes me so happy. The fairytale makes me smile. The idea of true love is my favorite. And guess what? I believe in it. The fairytale, the happily ever after, the rainbows and sunshine. I believe in it. No, it’s not perfect and that sky isn’t full of rainbows everyday or every year. But the idea of having romance and true love, that is real and amazing.

I was one of those people who was “too young” to be in love, definitely too young to be married, and completely way too young to be married after only knowing him for one year. Here’s what I heard over and over again (usually from strangers)–
“You’re only a baby!”
“Why would you want to settle down already?”
“Just move in together and see if it’ll work out”
“You can’t be sure, you’re too young”
“Why the rush?”
“Don’t you want to be young and crazy for a while?”
Here’s my response–
“No, I’m not a baby, I’ve always wanted to be married and have a family. This is not settling, it’s my dream. I don’t agree with living together before marriage. I am totally sure, I was on the first day I met him. I’m not rushed, I’m excited. I can be young and crazy with my husband. Oh, and mind your own business.”
Fast forward 15 years, I am still sure of those answers as I was when I was 18 and engaged.

A quick internet search will reveal that many young people are wondering, “Can I be in love?” It’s a popular question, even many adults wonder if it’s “puppy love” or the real thing? And what is the difference anyway? When my five-year old says he loves his friend, is that real love?

love: as defined by google
1. an intense feeling of deep affection.
“babies fill parents with intense feelings of love”
synonyms: deep affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, attachment, endearment; More
2. a person or thing that one loves.
“she was the love of his life”
synonyms: beloved, loved one, love of one’s life, dear, dearest, dear one, darling, sweetheart, sweet, angel, honey; More
feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).
“do you love me?”
synonyms: care very much for, feel deep affection for, hold very dear, adore, think the world of, be devoted to, dote on, idolize, worship

I would argue that true love isn’t a feeling or an attachment. It’s an action. To love someone means to serve them, to care for them, to submit to them, to encourage them. Sure, you feel it. . . sometimes. But most of the time, it’s a decision to love. It’s saying, “Yes, I can get up early and take care of the kids.” even when you seriously need to sleep. It’s dropping everything to bring me lunch because I forgot it at home and don’t have time to go pick something up. It’s cleaning up your puke in the middle of the night when you couldn’t make it to the bathroom. It’s watching babies exit my body and enter the world, and still thinking I’m sexy. It’s not talking about you to other people because I respect you too much.

Puppy love, young love– whatever you want to call it– is beautiful. The feeling of a high, of being in the clouds, obsessed with that person, it doesn’t last. Although there are moments, days, weeks, years of that. Maybe that puppy love starts when you’re three, maybe at 23 or 33; that doesn’t matter. The highs come and go. But the action of love can be forever. It’s unconditional and permanent. It’s “no matter what” and for always. True love chooses to be faithful. It chooses to see the good and ignore the yuck. It chooses to pick up the pieces and not say “I told you so.” It forgives. It supports. It compliments. It’s forever.

Hannah Carpenter

I am simply a crazy and stressed homeschool mom living in Ohio. I have five amazing kids and one incredible husband who still loves me after 15 years. Most importantly, I am a daughter of the King who is trying to honor Him everyday through my parenting, teaching, art and writing.