Ana* was working at a hair salon when she first met Tom. At first, Ana was just the hairdresser and Tom the client. But one day, when Ana was joking around with her co-workers, Tom laughed along with them. All of a sudden, Ana realized that Tom actually understood some Spanish (the only language Ana can speak). He had taken Spanish language courses before; he just had never had the opportunity to practice.
During his next visit, Tom started a conversation with Ana, asking about her background. While Ana replied as best she could, she hesitated to ask him any questions in return since he was speaking in English, a language she barely understood. Despite the language-barrier,Tom later used Ana’s boss as a translator to ask Ana if she would like to go out to dinner with him. Ana said yes.
On the night of the dinner, Ana started to regret her decision. She realized that she knew nothing about Tom other than the hairstyle he liked. What was she thinking? He could’ve been a serial killer—but he wasn’t. Their conversation over dinner mostly consisted of simple Spanish words and a lot of smiling. Ana soon knew that if nothing else she could develop a great friendship with Tom.
This friendship lasted for a year. Eventually, Tom asked Ana to help him practice Spanish. By the end of the second year, Tom suggested they consider marriage. Ana politely declined. The pair continued together three more years until Ana (yes, Ana) finally popped the questioned.
The Mexican-Korean/German couple has now been married for five years bringing their total years together to 10. The smiling continues, but it’s now backed up with complex Spanish phrases structured in the kind of romantic banter only true lovers can share.
Lesson: True love can overcome even the most difficult barriers.
* Names have been changed.