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Cheryl Cole Marries Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini: Why Their 'Whirlwind Romance' Is None Of Our Business

14/07/2014 17:07 BST | Updated 13/09/2014 10:59 BST

Cheryl Cole announced her marriage to her French boyfriend, Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, this weekend by posting a picture of her wedding ring on Instagram.

But while many rushed to congratulate the star on her recent nuptials - some 83K likes (and counting) - others are shaking heads and raising eyebrows over the couples' apparent 'whirlwind romance'.

*Whispers* After all, they've known each other for just three months.

"First that bum tattoo and now this," they'll say. "She can't be thinking straight."

But since does when such an announcement, where two people declare their love for each other, invite such scathing remarks?

For me there are two root causes for narrow-mindedness.

Firstly, the media coverage.

Not only do headlines point glaringly at the Cheryl and Jean-Bernard's short courtship, but they invariably - and unfairly - drag up Cheryl's relationship history, including her marriage to unfaithful Ashley Cole whom she divorced in 2010.

Admittedly her past relationships are far from irrelevant - but to paste them just inches below the announcement of her wedding is a nasty low blow.

The second cause of the nation's hesitancy over Cheryl's news? Our obsession with the institution of marriage and 'doing things properly'.

The 'normal' or 'traditional' way of going about a relationship is as follows:

Boy meets girl -> boy and girl move in together -> boy proposes -> girl flaps about wedding details for 18 months -> couple tie the knot -> babies are born.

Of course, it isn't so straight-forward. Each stage comes with pressure to move up to the next level.

I have friends who, at 26, have just bought a property together. Before they've even redecorating they've been ambushed with questions: "When are you getting engaged?", "Is she pregnant yet?", "When are you moving out to the suburbs?"

In reality there is no magic formula when it comes to Happily Ever After.

Many who have followed protocol (see above) to the letter have had failed marriages or estranged children - I can name countless examples, as I'm sure you can.

And no amount of snap judgements is going to change that. People just do the best they can with the hand they are dealt, some act on a whim, others plan meticulously - neither are guaranteed to last the distance.

My parents know this too well.

I was six when they got married, my younger brother was two. To this day - yes, in 2014 - people are shocked to hear that we were born "outside of wedlock", as if we're characters in a Brontë novel.

My parents met at school. They were childhood sweethearts and have been together for the best part of 40 years.

They certainly didn't follow protocol when it came to marriage - I was a 'surprise' and they didn't want a shotgun wedding - but I'd challenge anyone to find a happier, more solid couple.

Which brings me back to Cheryl. The only person who can comment on her happiness or readiness for marriage is her.

So let's end with the caption for her announcement, which should shut most people up.

"I usually do not discuss my personal life but to stop the speculation I want to share my happy news. Jean-Bernard and I married on 7/7/14. We are very happy and excited to move forward with our lives together."