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This is a follow-up to my “Expectations are the Enemy of Love” Maravilla Love story (10/13/2019 – Recognizing that expectations are the enemy of love is a pretty highfalutin idea. I am at a point people call me a senior citizen. This love story is about my efforts at finding love throughout the years and in some cases navigating around some expectations as if they were barriers on a highway.

Growing up in the ‘all you need is love’ era, that ideal is what I sought through life, but I quickly found that this was not as easy as it sounds. Over the years, I encountered long periods where I felt lost during my search for love, until I realized that before you can find love, you need to know what love is.

At the heart of romantic love is the coming together of two people, and as a young man I approached this union with a mixture of ignorance and expectations. Of course, being young, ignorance came naturally, but the expectations were foisted upon me by family and society.

Getting rid of ignorance is easy, but it means you have to admit that you don’t know what you are doing. This goes against the grain of social expectations that the male is always in charge and always knows what he is doing. (Don’t give me ‘this is the 21st century and this is old school! This is just the way it is, one of the so-called rules of the gender…)

So, first, a young man needs to recognize they are stupid. They need to put aside all their fears and expectations, so they can prepare to open up. Learning what it takes to be with a woman (or whomever is your preference) is complicated! The underlying realization is that the biggest barrier to happiness is you – not the other person!

Yes, breaking up is hard to do, but it happens. This is not the end of the world, but your greatest opportunity to learn more about your short-comings as a partner. In looking back at the women that I befriended over the years, they were all great people. I would have been fortunate to have become life-partners with any of them. Each had their challenges (they were not perfect, just like me), but they were wonderful women.

Of course, I blew it many times! I was far from understanding that love required openness and sacrifice; the idea that everything had to be the way I like it was no longer viable. I had to vanquish my arrogant ignorance and learn! Maybe I did… My wife, the stubbornest woman of all, tells me that I still have a lot to learn, but there is some wisdom in her words. (See, more sacrifice!) You can never stop learning to love…

There is one last thing to remember, patience, but that is for another Maravilla love letter!

-Andrew, New Hampshire

Being marvelous and being brave means you’re willing to believe in the wonder of who you are and take the risks you need to take to Bloom Breathe BE Be authentically YOU Break the mold Expand Evolve Flourish Grow Heal Fail Learn Live Thrive Transform Triumph Trust Succeed .