I’ve been slowly teaching myself Spanish this year. Much to my practically-minded mother’s dismay, I followed my older brothers’ lead in studying German in high school (and college). A lovely language, but one without as many pragmatic uses as Spanish.
After four years in New York City attending a bilingual church every Sunday and spending time with many native Spanish-speakers, I finally decided I should really learn how to say more than “Lo siento; no hablo español.”
I started with Duolingo, one of my favorite free apps for learning languages, and early on, indulged in the “flirting” lesson. I learned how to say “Hello, handsome” and “you have a very beautiful smile” and “do you come here often?” Knowing that, one it was a global pandemic and I would be going nowhere often and two, that I have enough trouble flirting in my first language, so it was all really a moot point.
But then I got a sentence that really struck me: No necesito leer tus términos y condiciones para aceptarte.
I do not need to read your terms of service to accept you.
It’s been months since that sentence seared into my brain and still I sometimes find myself wondering what it looks like to love like that. But the more I thought about it, it seemed like the most obvious thing in the world.
The last thing I bought that came with wordy instructions was a new phone. I opened the box and plugged in the charger, transferred my contacts and photos and unraveled the new headphones. I tossed the folded how-to guide back into the box and have already misplaced it somewhere in my closet. I was setting something up on my computer the other day and scrolled to the bottom of the terms & conditions before confirming that I’d “read” them and then clicked every box with a traffic light and moved on. I stopped at a coffee shop 2 days ago and told the barista I didn’t need my receipt.
I never read the terms of service. I just accept.
Maybe it’s really that simple. I don’t need the full picture just yet. I don’t need to scan every line. I just need to love.
And I don’t need the warranty. I recognize there isn’t one in affairs of the heart. But I’m still going to love. Fully. Deeply. With no terms or conditions or expectations.
I’m going to love. Because that’s what my heart knows how to do. Love without question, expectation, or guarantee. Love because I love. Love because it just might be the greatest adventure of a lifetime.