knowing it’s forever at a young age

People seem to have a lot to say about a girl getting married at 19…the funny thing is, they still seem to have a lot to say about a girl getting married at 24. And 27. And 38.

“You’re so young; you don’t even know yourself yet.”

Erika and Matt at her junior prom, 2009

So at 24, after dating him for over seven years, I said yes, I’ll marry you. Yes, I will spend the next 70-ish (God willing) years only loving you. And when people ask me why so young, I often just tell them something cliché, like “Oh, well, when you know, you know.”

But, why do I even have to explain anything to people? From being 16 to driving around in his quintessential bad-boy car to being 24 and picking out color schemes for a $30,000 party, we’ve been through a lot. I don’t know if most people can say that at 24-years-old, they’ve spent almost 1/3 of their life being in love with the same person.

I knew I was in love with him by the end of our first date. We went to the movies and afterward our hugging in the parking lot turned into swaying back and forth to his rendition of “White Christmas.” It was October.

Just because I’m 24 doesn’t mean I don’t know anything about commitment, that I don’t know anything about myself, and that I don’t know anything about love. Through all of these things, he has never stopped giving me butterflies. Even on the worst days, like when you walk a mile in the rain only to get onto the wrong train, end up in Newark, NJ and an hour late to dinner…and he has a freshly made grilled cheese with complementary mac & cheese on the side waiting for you…that’s love.

He may not kiss and hug me a whole lot in public and he may have stopped writing me love notes like when we were in high school. He might not always remember to offer me a cup of tea when I’m sick and he might not always remember which flowers I like best, but he makes sure I’m always wearing my seat belt and that the door is locked behind us when I come over. He remembers to feed our cat and he doesn’t usually let me pay for dinner. He makes sure we’re on time for church on Sunday and shushes me if I try to talk to him during service.

I usually hate articles like these because single people end up calling complete bullshit and keep scrolling… but it’s not. God’s got a funny way of doing things, and he made me suffer through two long and unhealthy relationships before I could finally see that I deserved better. Then he came into my life. It just so happened that I was only 16 years-old when he did.

But like I said, if it happens when you’re 19, 27, or even 38, people will always have a lot to say about it. Just keep swimming along, and when you find your grilled-cheese-making knight in shining armor, you won’t even hear what they’re saying.

unnamedErika Abrahamsen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Neuroscience  in 2014. She works in pharmaceutical marketing and enjoys the company of cats.

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