DEAR ABBY: I enjoyed your advice to "Judy in Birmingham, Ala." (June 11), who wondered if 16 is too young to know you're truly in love. Her letter brought back memories for me.
My wife and I were 16 when we met in homeroom class. She wore my high school ring on a chain around her neck. We went to different colleges and became engaged six years after we met. At age 26, we finally married.
Three children and four grandchildren later, we are still in love at 86. (Not madly, perhaps, but still passionately!) There was never anyone else for either of us.
Yes, Judy, love is wonderful. But a word of advice: Keep your hormones under control until you both are mature.
P.S. Last month, I gave my wife a ring for our 60th wedding anniversary. It has been 70 years since we first met in high school. -- TUTU KANE IN HONOLULU
DEAR TUTU KANE: My congratulations to you both. I advised Judy that she is still maturing, and it is better to be older before promising to stay with someone forever. While you and your wife were lucky, the majority of teenage romances do not end up "happily ever after," as some of my readers shared. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I'm 15, and six months ago my first boyfriend broke up with me for another girl. While we went out we told each other that we were in love. He even said he wanted us to get married. That changed in a matter of days. Please tell "Judy" that what a guy says now might not be what he'll do later. Just make sure you don't do anything you'll regret if the guy leaves. -- KNOWS FROM TENNESSEE
DEAR ABBY: Please tell Judy that 16 is not too young to fall in love. When Gina moved into the house across the street from me, we fell in love almost immediately. I was 14, she was 13. Although we waited to be married until we were 18, I knew we would be together forever. We have just celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary.
Yes, Judy, you can fall in love at 16, but keep in mind that as people grow, they may change, along with their goals and interests. Give yourself time. Keep your options open. You have plenty of time to make a forever kind of commitment. -- GINA'S MAN IN VIRGINIA
DEAR ABBY: Judy should wait until they get older and live life to the fullest. I thought I was in love at 16. I married the guy, but it only lasted five years. We finally realized that we hadn't been able to live our lives like we should have. If Judy and her boyfriend can still stay together, then they should go for it. I wish her well. -- CRYSTAL IN KENTUCKY
DEAR ABBY: I met my husband when he was 17 and I was 15. When he asked me to "go steady," I actually took a steno pad and listed all the pros and cons. We dated through high school, then went to college.
After my first year of college, Pete gave me a diamond, and we began planning our wedding. Our wedding was June 7, 1963. We recently celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary, and we are still very happy together. We raised seven biological children and a foster son, and are now expecting our 13th grandchild.
At 16, there's no need to be in a hurry. Continue to date and develop both as individuals and as a couple. Save sex for marriage. My husband and I are the proof that it can work. -- ANOTHER JUDY, GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.