A Letter To Anyone Who Has Ever Shamed Me For Being In Love In My 20s

by Liz C.

Somewhere swirling around in our generation is the popular idea that you can't simultaneously be an individual and be in love, especially when you are young.

This is just plain untrue.

Yes, your twenties are a time to experience life to the fullest, to try new things and to learn about who you are. This does not mean that you have to avoid love in the process.

Ever since I was in high school, I have been in and out of relationships, and I can tell you firsthand, they're a great way to learn about yourself. As long as you have the balls to listen to your intuition, you can grow through the process of having a significant other. Not to say that this is reason enough to always be in a relationship, but it is a learning process that can take more than one try to get right.

Many people in our generation have this preconceived notion that by dating someone or falling in love, you are losing your freedom. They say: "Well do you really want to be tied down?" and "You know that you are moving really fast right?" But the deeply-rooted romantic in me has held on to love as something to be sought after and held in high regard.

So here is an open letter to the people who have opposed me in one of the most challenging and rewarding undertakings of my life.

Dear Shamers,

Yes, I am aware that I am in my 20s. And yes, I have found myself truly and deeply in love with a man that makes me smile just thinking about him, and who is helping me become a better person. I found a pillow fighter, breakfast maker, travel companion, sex god, life coach and best friend all rolled into one.

I am aware that you think that love is something in the vague future, and the fears of dependance, failure and rejection loom in your mind. I realize that you have not found what I have yet, but I implore you to stop love-shaming others in our generation.

You see love is something that kicks up out of nowhere and settles into your mind, body and soul. You can't control it, and when you have really found it, you don't really want to. It's the good kind of loss of control. It's freeing in an entirely different way than being single. I am grateful that you care enough about me to voice your opinion on the subject, but please don't. If you can see how happy this man makes me then that should be enough for you.

In our culture of the easy hookup, the drunken mess around and the bullsh*t relationship, true love is something to be cherished and not scorned. You may think that I am an idealist, or delusional, but I promise you that it's out there. I know it's hard to see couples that aren't being realistic about the future or their situation, but they don't need you to tell them that, they will figure that out on their own.

Lastly, I hope that you find a love like this someday. Something that will make you believe that there is a love that won't tie you down, in your 20s or ever.