Sunday, May 1, 2011

How Old Is Old Enough to Love?

About a year ago I met a young lady who had just graduated from high school and was still a virgin. I had the pleasure of recently seeing her again and she informed me that she was engaged and that she was still a virgin. She shared with me how she is head over heels in love with a young man who was currently deployed. I smiled as she gushed about her feelings for him, his love for her and the fact that he completely respects her and her decision not to have sex until marriage. She said he never even brings up the idea of them having sex in conversation. They are planning to get married sometime next year. Ain’t love grand!!

But she also shared with me that she has people telling her that she was too young to get married and that she “has not lived” yet. She told me that her previous relationship ended after three years because the young man got tired of waiting on her to have sex with him. She thought she knew what being in love felt like until she met her fiancĂ©e and what they have outshines anything she has felt before. However, the skeptics were still in her ear. I could tell she was tired of having to explain herself and her decision to get married at 20.

I quickly informed her that if she truly believed that marrying the amazing man she described to me was truly what she wanted to do, then she should. That kind of man doesn’t come along everyday. I know men who won’t wait three months to have sex, let alone a year or more. And as a woman who “has lived” and done the alone adult thing, gotten my education, secured a job, done some traveling, made a little money---I say I have enjoyed my life but having someone wonderful to share the joys of life with can make each moment a little sweeter. If she loves this man and wants to spend her days with him there’s nothing wrong with that. They can spend their days living and loving together. When did love get an age limit? I understand that her skeptics mean well but they won’t be the ones kicking themselves if she lets this man pass and five years from now when she’s still single and has encountered more than her fair share of losers, and probably lost her virginity to a man she doesn’t even want to marry she’ll wish she had snatched up that winner.

I remember love when it was all fresh and new and vibrant before myself and thousands of other singles out there got kicked in the head by bad choices, love gone wrong, people who didn’t value us and relationships or marriages that just didn’t work out for one reason or another. I still smile when I think of my college sweetheart, and I still value what he gave me. There was a time when I wasn’t skeptical of every man who came my way, and I still believed that rushing to see the love of my life after class or my part-time job was the highlight of my day. Fast forward more than a decade when bills, the job and other responsibilities come first and He—when I have a He—often has to wait. Yeah, I make time for him but other things may take precedence. I don’t live in a pre-paid dorm; I have a mortgage. My parent didn’t give me the car I drive so it’s not paid off. I have little people and family members in my life who NEED ME in order to maintain balance in there existence. Now, I have much more to worry about than finals, my sorority and looking cute when I step out onto the yard. When you’re young (and if you are with the right person) that’s the time when love can truly show itself at its purest because there are fewer distractions.  But most of all you probably haven’t been hurt repeatedly by what was supposed to be love so there are no walls that need to be dismantled or trust that has to be earned in order to let you know that it’s okay to love again. I still believe in love. I still think love is beautiful, but I’m a lot more careful about who I choose to love. I know a lot of others who are too.

When you’re young and still somewhat innocent is the perfect time to love and be loved. This young lady truly believes she is ready so why are other people trying to place doubts in her head. So, I wish her and her husband to be this time to learn what love is truly all about. And to her marital skeptics I say she is living—she is living surrounded in love. Something we should all be able to do.

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