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Miley Cyrus is defending herself from critics who think she is too young to be thinking about marriage.
The singer-actress, 19, in May became engaged to The Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth, whom she met in 2009 on the set of The Last Song.
“Life is too short not to be with the person you want to be with,” she says in the September issue of Marie Claire. “I don’t really care about the wedding or the piece of paper as much as I do the promise we’ve made to each other. And we want to have a long engagement.”
She declined to talk about how Hemsworth, 22, proposed, though she did say at happened at the 8,000-square-foot house that they share in California’s San Fernando Valley (Cyrus’ family previously lived there before relocating two doors down).
Cyrus, who is working on a fourth album, added that Hemsworth, who hails from Australia, gets along well with her family.
“When he first moved to America, he didn’t have any family here, so our family became his,” she said. “This [house] is where all our memories are being made.”
She did admit that the proposal was a “complete surprise” to her and her family. She also said she didn’t have any say in the 3.5-carat Neil Lane diamond ring, set in a yellow-gold band, that Hemsworth picked out for her.
“I had no input,” Cyrus said. “We’d been kind of talking about [getting engaged], and I saw something like it online at one point and thought it was really pretty, but I usually wear rose gold. I just love that it’s old and has a story. And I’m happy because it doesn’t look like anything else I wear.”
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