DEAR ABBY: Is 16 too young to know you're truly in love? My boyfriend, "Miles," and I both feel that we're truly in love and want to spend the rest of our lives together. We realize that it will be a few years at the least before we can marry, but we're willing to wait.
My older sister laughs at me when I say that I know I'm in love. She says I am way too young, and I need to be older and more mature -- like she is -- to understand. She's 17 1/2, so she's really not that much older.
I have a large picture of Miles in our room, and when she has friends over, she points at it and says, "That's Judy's true love forever," and they all laugh about it. Can you be truly in love at my age? -- JUDY IN BIRMINGHAM, ALA.
DEAR JUDY: Yes, it is possible to be truly in love at 16. However, at 16 you are still maturing emotionally and intellectually.
The problem with making a lifetime commitment at this age -- although some people have done it -- is that both of you are still "growing" as individuals. Not all people grow at the same rate, and their interests often diverge. Does this mean the couple is not truly in love? No. But it does mean that it's better to be older before making a promise to stay with someone "forever."
That said, your sister is wrong to belittle and ridicule your feelings. And for her to do so is a reflection of her own immaturity.