Miley Cyrus is used to being precocious -- for better or for worse.
In the September issue of Marie Claire, on stands August 14, the 19-year-old singer, actress and Disney alum defends her considerably young engagement to Liam Hemsworth, who is all of 22 himself.
"Life is too short not to be with the person you want to be with," she says of her marriage plans with the Australian actor, with whom she fell in love while making 2009's The Last Song. And, the Hannah Montana star points out, don't expect the twosome to actually walk down the aisle anytime soon.
"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," she says. "And we want to have a long engagement."
Still, she admits that that Hemsworth's proposal, which went down at their shared L.A.-area home was a "complete surprise."
Also a surprise? The one-of-a-kind vintage engagement ring -- three-and-a-half carats, designed by Neil Lane -- with which Hemsworth popped the question.
"I had no input," Cyrus says. "We'd been kind of talking about getting engaged . . . I saw it online at one point and thought it was really pretty."
"I just love that it's old and has a story," Cyrus tells Marie Claire. "And I'm happy because it doesn't look like anything else I wear."
Why do she and her Hunger Games hunk work? "Liam and I have a really good relationship," the "Can't Be Tamed" singer explains. "Neither of us is super-jealous. We know each other and would never do anything to hurt each other."