How young love ages

June 4, 2020

Illustration+by+Kaylynn+Myles+%2F+Warrior+Life

Illustration by Kaylynn Myles / Warrior Life

Dear diary,

I met a boy.

It was during lunchtime back in seventh grade. I was leaning against a wall with my friends when I saw him running across the blacktop.

He was wearing a red shirt, blue jeans, and some old, worn-out black Vans. His hair was long and curly. It covered his eyes as he chased his friends across the blacktop.

Carrying himself with confidence he smiled at his friends as he gave them a handshake and a pat on the back.

Oh, what a smile he had. It was contagious.

We became friends for about a year before feelings began developing… at least for him. I had liked him during that year of our “friendship.”

It wasn’t until Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 when he walked me home because he wanted to confess his feelings towards me. I thought he was going to ask me out, but he didn’t.

I let a couple of days pass before we saw each other again. It wasn’t until Feb. 2 that he asked me out during our friend’s birthday party right as they started singing the Happy Birthday song.

“Will you be my girlfriend?” he asked.

I nodded yes.

I was 13-years-old and he was 14.

Jump forward seven years later, now 20 and him 21, we are still together.

Seven. Years.

Young love. That’s what it was supposed to be, right?

You fall in love at 13, break up and go into high school or college to meet someone else. Then laugh about the old relationships and say, “Wow, I dated that guy?”

That was the plan. Living a teenage life.

I was young and in love, but still believed it was only temporary. Everyone told me it wouldn’t last because we were young. He was 14 and I was 13, and it made sense we were going to end at some point in our teenage years.

“Aren’t you tired of him,” friends say. “You’re too young to be in love, you should go out there and meet new people.”

I believed it. I was too young to be in love. Forever with this guy? No honey, I don’t think so.

So I broke up with him 3 years into the relationship.

The breakup only lasted 24 hours.

Why end it if we were happy? A part of us feared we were just used to each other, but that’s when we realized we were growing up and it was ok if we didn’t agree on everything. We were growing up as two individuals, together.

He was my best friend and we got along so well it felt right. But for a long time, I struggled, wondering if I missed out on a lot of fun experiences my friends were going through.

That didn’t necessarily mean I needed to be hooking up with other people, it just meant I wanted to live without worrying about someone else.

I wanted to focus on myself and grow by myself and make mistakes without worrying about hurting my partner.

I wanted freedom.

And for a long time, it was a struggle, but I did not want to walk away from what we had.

Will I never be single again?

It was always a thought, but as I get older I am not scared of what’s to come.

“You guys are still together?” friends say. “Break up or get married already.”

I just laugh it off and say “Oh haha no, not yet on marriage.”

Marriage, kids, moving in together. Those topics were just conversations, but never something we took seriously. I have been dating him since I was 13 and I don’t plan on marrying him or having kids with him anytime soon. I am more worried about what college to transfer to.

Now that we are older, we have talked about those next steps. We talk about the upcoming years and our plans of one day moving in together.

Today, 78% of young Americans between the age of 18 and 29 believe it’s acceptable for an unmarried couple to live together, even if they don’t plan to get married, according to Pew Research Center, a research center that informs the public on issues, trends, etc., through data research.

As we continue to discuss the next steps, we are still at an age where we have the liberty to move around and have fun. We could travel and work and go to school wherever we want. We do not want to hold each other back from our dreams.

Is he “the one?”

I could see a forever with him, but I can also see our lives heading in different directions.

I still feel too young to be planning these things out, but a relationship is a serious thing. Though we might not be young teenagers anymore, it feels like we still have a long way to conquer our goals within our personal lives.

We are in no rush to get married or to have kids, but our time together has been a long time, so it feels as if we have to make things more serious quicker.

As time continues, I have learned to not care about what others think of how young we got together and the time we have been together. It’s okay to fall in love young, and it’s okay to take our time as we continue to grow.

He is my best friend and regardless of what the future holds, I can say I am happy being with him.

Until next time,

Roseana