I was criticized for marrying my college sweetheart at 19. 25 years later we are still together.

Couple posing for a photo
The couple on their honeymoon.Courtesy of the author
  • My then-boyfriend proposed when I was 18 and he was 21.

  • He asked my parents first, and while they had questions, they gave their blessing.

  • We've been together for 25 years and have three kids together.

I was a sophomore in college, and my then-boyfriend proposed to me in front of my best friends in a room in the student center. They had a cake ready, and we celebrated together. There was no official photographer. No perfect outfit. Just a proposal from a 21-year-old to an 18-year-old to spend their lives together.

I had barely decided on my major before I decided who to marry.

If it sounds crazy, maybe it was. We were just kids. Our friends didn't quite see the rush, but they thought it was cute. It was the adults in our life that were more hesitant. We knew it was a big decision, a life-altering one, and having my parents on board was important to us. Before he officially asked me, we sat down with them. He asked for their blessing. They had questions.

It was never about whether we knew we were right for one another. It was all about logistics. Why now? Where would we live? How would we pay for things as full-time college students? And the biggest question: How would we finish college?

They were all valid, and we answered thoughtfully. We had a plan. And a backup. My parents listened, and they gave their blessing.

Not everyone was as supportive

It wasn't our friends that struggled. It was our parents' friends, our grandparents, aunts and uncles, grown-ups full of life experience and wisdom who were concerned. Their questions were different. Why get married? Why don't we just live together? Why now?

And the biggest question asked in whispered tones when they thought we didn't hear: Is she pregnant? Not that it should matter, but I wasn't.

Couple cutting cake
The couple after their engagement.Courtesy of the author

We were just two kids who knew we wanted to grow together instead of apart — and we didn't see the point in waiting.

We tied the knot a month shy of my 19th birthday.

After a two-month engagement, we had a formal wedding with 250 family and friends there to celebrate. I give all of those questioning adults credit because they showed up. They put all their worries and concerns aside to support two kids in love, even when they didn't think it was the right idea. Maybe this is what love really looks like, asking questions and loving anyway.

He's still the one

We celebrate our 25th anniversary this month. Twenty-five years of figuring out who we are as individuals and as a couple. Twenty-five years of trials and celebrations, of growing and changing. And we did it all together.

Now we have three kids. Our oldest is 18, and I look at her and wonder how I would feel if she wanted to get married. If I'm being honest, I'd have questions. But I hope I'd show up and love her well.

When people find out how young we were, they can't believe it. Their eyes hold all the questions that people asked us. And my response is always the same: Getting married young isn't right for everyone, but it was right for us.

Read the original article on Insider