Freedom for Puppy Love and Marriage

Puppy Love

[noun]

Romantic love, that a young person feels for someone else, which usually disappears as the young person becomes older. 

An intense but relatively shallow romantic attachment, typically associated with adolescents.

 

…well, that’s what we got when we googled the word Puppy Love from several online dictionaries, but is that all it really is? Our friend Joan has several paragraphs to say about that.

 

Freedom comes in many forms, and its boundary is rather unclear when it comes to personal decision and society’s expectation, for example: in one’s decision on marriage. This is not supporting child marriage and forced marriage, but rather, a piece of experienced-based writing that aims to argue that marriage(s) (above 18 years old), in some case, is a personal decision, and entails both individual and social responsibilities.

This article is a personal reflection of my own journey as a woman who has been raised in Indonesia.

So, here it goes. I married my husband when I was 25 years old. I married him because I love him and I want to be with him for good. We can say that my age was not an age considered ‘too young’ when I decided to marry my husband (based on the standards generally constructed in Indonesia’s society). But, in other parts of society, they judged me because I am regarded too young to bear the (marital) responsibilities. As the old tales say, I am considered too young to know what is good for me. Another judging attack said that I was too young to marry because I never had an experience to live my life as an adult.

One thing for sure, I believe that LOVE, whether it is puppy love or non-puppy/mature love, is similar in a way that both are subjective, that it depends greatly on the individual’s feeling. One cannot argue that, if a person does not love someone, thus that person can’t marry the person that they don’t love. For me personally, the love that I felt for my partner makes me feel secure, happy, and content. Others may feel those ‘butterfly in the stomach, and happy without a reason’, or some other type of tingly feeling. That’s what we feel when we are in love. You want to be with him/her. It’s a beautiful feeling for sure, but is it a ‘good enough’ reason to society when it comes to the decision to marry? Apparently, not!

The part of society who labelled me as: ‘not ready to marry because I am too young’ has their perceptive reason for that. Their viewpoint believes that, my age was too young and not ready for the (marital) responsibilities. Or, their perceptive believes that, since I am still viewed as ‘young’, my feelings are not yet stable, and thus the possibility for staying together with my partner is slim-chance. Sometimes, I wonder why this part of society have those kind of judgements, it made me very uncomfortable! And then, I realized what they were trying to convey was that, according to them: marriage is not about people’s feelings (which are subjective), but more to the responsibilities it entail.

It is true in so many ways that marriage must entails rational decision, but when you think about it: beyond those hard rational decision-making processes and responsibilities, comes the utmost important thing, that is: being happy with your chosen partner. Personally, I am a believer of rational/logic thinking as well, thus at that moment I had the understanding that my partner and I will have some changes and that instability is inevitable. The main question that got me thinking at that time was, will I be able to cope with him? Life would not be as good as I think it would be, because surely life has its ups and downs.

Other questions that popped were: Can I lean on him when it comes tougher? Can he lean on me when he needs me? More importantly, since I am a social person, would I be able to hang out with my friends and not excluding him in some ways? And, in terms of having my own kids, I think a lot to whether my husband is willing to help me to raise our kids. These matters are rational and logical, and all will affect my happiness in the long run. This is the reason, why I came resolute to the conclusion that, what my society say about me is annoying and it made me feel that I was labelled as immature, or even stupid.

However, beyond the society’s judgmental narrative, I believe that what matters is my happiness! Because after all it is my decision, and I am the one who bear the responsibilities and risks for my personal decision, not society. So, my rationale was: as long as I embrace my reasons as good enough for me, then, might as well just do it for me. Is there any possibility that I might have taken the wrong decision? Yes of course, I am a human being after all. But, beyond that, I am still happy and we both are still happily together. This is what matters the most.

In the end, I understand that puppy love entails responsibilities when it comes to marriage. Beyond, what other say about you and your life, there are rational considerations that will affect your life. But, I also believe that whatever type of love and feelings that you feel is true, when it comes to marriage (above the legal age), love isn’t the sole reason to get married.

For me, the reason why I want to get married is because I want to feel happy, and right now I can say that I am happy with my husband, although life has not always been good for us, but at least we have each other. More importantly, I learned that our society is so diverse, some might kudos me for my decision to get married at my age, and some condemned me for my decision. It really does not matter at all for me, because I understand my responsibilities and have a content and happy love/feeling for my partner.

Stand tall all of you who believes in love and willing to take risks and be happy!

LoveJoanissue#04