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Romeo Beckham, Mia Regan and a Defence of Young Love

In Defence of Young Love, Let's Cut Romeo Beckham and Mia Regan Some Slack

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Romeo Beckham and Mia Regan attend The Fashion Awards 2023 presented by Pandora at the Royal Albert Hall on December 04, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/Getty Images)
Image Source: Dominic Lipinski/Getty

This April, I'll celebrate my fifth anniversary with my partner, who I met when I was 17. I'm 22 now and can proudly say that my five years of dating have been sweet, bar the usual ups and downs you'd expect from a pair of young people navigating the change from teenage years to adulthood together. But whether it's because of my age or how long I've been with my boyfriend, throughout my relationship I've been met with an unusual amount of advice — and most of it, I haven't even asked for.

This week, Romeo Beckham split with his girlfriend of five years, Mia Regan, both aged 21, and the internet was full of degrading comments about their relationship and judgements about their young love. The disparaging comments about what two people so young knew about love were something I've become familiar with over the years.

Three years into my relationship, I was working as a receptionist when a male colleague in his late 20s came over to share his thoughts on the future of my romance. He told me that my first and current relationship would be my first love, but that it wouldn't last, and my second would be my true love that "just goes wrong", while my third relationship would be "who I stick with".

And this 'wise' advice just kept coming. One woman told me not to tie myself down and to "live [my] life a little bit more," while another male colleague (who was in a 10-year relationship) simply couldn't grasp why I had chosen to embark on a long-term relationship, telling me it was "a shame" I had "given up" a fun, single life.

It was clear that my ex-colleagues, especially those in their late 20s to early 30s, were concerned about how much fun I was missing out on. Looking back, I worry that I didn't make it obvious that their 'advice' was going in one ear and out the other, because I didn't ask for it — and didn't need it.

People always seem shocked to know I was so young when I met my partner and ever since we passed the two-year mark it feels like the unsolicited advice has been rolling in. To be honest, it's always felt jarring. It's not that I expected praise, but to be constantly reminded that I could be "missing out" made me feel doubtful, but what I'm 'missing out' on? TBC.

I have a fruitful social life, I regularly see my friends and go out for nights out and girls holidays. The trajectory of my life hasn't changed as much as my ex-colleagues claimed it would.

Image Source: Mia Regan/InstagramImage Source: Romeo Beckham/Instagram

Another two years later, I'm still with my boyfriend and the backlash to Beckham and Regan's relationship hits a nerve. The comments about the news were phrases I was already so familiar with.

One commenter wrote on Facebook: "He's a kid! Let him play the field. Too many young people getting into serious relationships." Another shared their advice for Romeo, writing: "He's just a kid, have fun, live your life, don't marry till your 40," before a third chimed in: "He's too young for a permanent partnership" and "they're young, they'll move on".

Don't get me wrong, committing to a relationship is a huge decision, there's no doubt about it, but their decision to amicably part ways is mature enough and proves that they are way more emotionally intelligent than people give them credit for. Furthermore, if age is such a big deal, let's cut them some slack. Although young, their feelings and relationship were valid and I know all too well that advice claiming otherwise can be hurtful and cast an unnecessary cloud of doubt over a situation that has probably already been well thought out.

They appeared to be close friends as well as lovers and have documented their adventures together, quickly becoming a couple that many were rooting for. And perhaps it's telling that across TikTok - a younger platform - their breakup statement has mostly been praised for being "respectful", "graceful" and "mature".


The way this makes me ship them more #beckham #loveislanduk #romeobeckham

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As long as you're comfortable, genuinely happy with your partner, but able to maintain a balance so you're able to live your life AND be in a relationship (an important factor my mum has never let me lose sight of), then I think young love can be pretty beneficial. For me, it's been comforting knowing that my boyfriend is navigating the world on a similar timeline to me.

For example, we both experienced university at the same time, albeit separately, and are now getting to grips with adulthood together; getting our first jobs, grappling with savings, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

I love that I have someone close to me, specifically on a romantic level, who's able to see how I've grown over the years, what's changed for the better and what I could work on. There's as much depth to our relationship as there'd be for an older couple, and it's only now that we're in our 20s that people's doubt in our relationship seems to have faded, but it's been a tricky climb to the top.

I've tried not to let advice from those who didn't care about either of us affect me too much. But when problems did arise, I had to determine that I wanted a solution because of the love we share and not just to prove a point to the naysayers.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography/Lauren Gordon

Dating expert, founder of FeedMeFemale and Head of Content for Luud Health, Hope Flynn told POPSUGAR UK that 71% of her online community say they wish they hadn't stayed in their first relationship for as long as they did. But if you are a young person in a long-term relationship and feeling disrespected, Flynn advises that while you can "listen to those around you who care," you should be mindful not to feel forced to live by their advice and to ultimately "follow what feels right for you".

It's also important to consider the flipside. My agemates are constantly asked by older family members whether they have a partner yet, or if they plan on having a family of their own sometime soon, often with a side eye and a cough to indicate that they'd better get cracking. So what do you want from young people? Should they commit to a partner or live a single grand life out of fear of missing out?

Let's stop assuming that young people are naive and haven't put thought into their romantic lives, especially at this "tender" time in life. We're constantly told time is of the essence, so let's not waste it giving advice where it isn't wanted.

Lauren Gordon is the editorial coordinator at POPSUGAR UK, where she creates lifestyle and identity content. Lauren has a degree in journalism from University of the Arts London and previously worked as a showbiz and TV reporter at The Mirror US. Lauren specialises in pop culture, hair and beauty, focusing on trends, sharing in-depth tutorials, and highlighting hidden gems in the beauty industry.

Image Sources: Getty / Dominic Lipinski and POPSUGAR Photography / Lauren Gordon
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