Love Mexican Style

I had the pleasure to connect with a few couples here in Mérida and learn more about their love story. Just like me, they found love Mexican style. It was interesting to discover how quickly everyone met – either online or once they arrived. Love Mexican Style is how people cross paths at just the right time with the right circumstances. In celebration of Valentine’s Day 2022, here’s more about them.

Love Mexican Style:  Brian and Joel

Q: How long have each of you been in Mérida?
Brian:  Since September

Q:  How long were you here before you met?
Brian:  We met in Oaxaca City in December a year ago

Q:  What were the circumstances of how you met (where, when, how did it happen)?
Brian: I was in Zipolite, working remotely and writing my book. The phone service and internet went down one day. I had 9 clients scheduled. So I had to add them on top of my normal practice of 48 clients a week. Two days later the phone service and wifi went down again. Unfortunately, I had to add 8 clients I had scheduled that day on top of my already overloaded schedule.

When service was restored, I purchased a flight to leave that day for Oaxaca City so I could have stable wifi. The day I arrived, I met Joel. (I went for stable wifi and found a stable relationship!) Extending my trip for a total of 10 weeks, I finally went back to LA for 6 weeks. Joel and I stayed in touch and reconnected in Puerto Vallarta, before coming to Mérida for a month last June.

At that point it was crystal clear for me. I was done, Done and DONE with the Un-united State of America. So, I flew back to California and got my affairs in order. Joel and I reunited in Mérida this past September.

Q:  How long have you been together?
Brian:  13 months

Q:  Are you married or living together?
Brian:  Living together

Q:  What is a challenge you’ve had to overcome?
Brian:  I thought that I would have a more difficult time with the transition but Joel has. Although his English is really quite good, he feels the frustration that many of us expats do. We can’t speak as quickly and fluently in Spanish. Joel can’t speak as quickly as he’d like to in English.

He also finds the Yucatecan accent challenging. I would imagine it is like an American in Scotland. He and I both want me to increase my Spanish speaking skills. But, I haven’t had the bandwidth with work and finishing my book. And, even if I took immersion classes 5 days a week, it would take me a solid year before my Spanish skills would meet his English skills.

Q:  What brings the most joy from your relationship?
Brian: Built-in translation services aside, Joel does nothing but elevate my experience in all areas of my life. I would have had an entirely different experience moving to Mexico if had done so solo. Change is always challenging. My partnership softens the sharp edges, expands my field of vision, and the way that I engage in the world.

Love Mexican Style:  Roberta and Fernando

Roberta:  On April 2, 2019, my friend, Eenid, asked me to meet her for coffee at one of her favorite vegan restaurants in Garcia Gineres. So I went, cheerfully, to meet her. While we were there, a man entered and said, “Buenos dias.” He sat down, ordered, ate, and asked for his check. All the while, I watched him out of the corner of my eye.

Being newly relocated from the U.S. to Mérida on January 29, 2019, I was eager to make new friends. I especially wanted to know more Yucatecan people as it’s the cultural exchange that brings excitement, discovery and newness to life.

As this gent was leaving, I called to him to help me with a Spanish translation. He sauntered over to our table and mischievously
said, “If you want me to help you, we have to marry.” We all laughed. And that was the beginning. The three of us began to talk. I learned his name was Fernando. He invited us to hear his band performing on April 11th at Dante Libreria.

I was excited about the invitation. On April 11, three friends and I went to the concert. Wow! The songs were all in English; rock and roll from the 70’s. Fernando was on the drums and was singing. My friends and I were enthralled, of course.

Then, he meandered through the crowd of about 125 people, greeting friends and then reached us. It was all so exciting! His white peasant style, sexy shirt was wet with sweat when he hugged me. We were all so excited to see him, to be there, and to experience this surprisingly good concert.

Three days later, Fernando called me for a date. By mid May 2019, we were living together…and the romance continues.

Fernando:  I remember when I met Roberta, I did not think that our relationship would reach what we are experiencing today. I am very happy with her because she is a person with a huge heart. As if that were not enough, she’s also very pretty, and I like that. I love her!

Love Mexican Style:  Harriet and Tin

Q:  How long have each of you been in Mérida?
Harriet:  Tin has been in Merida for about 15 years and I’ve been here for just over 5 years now.

Q:  How long were you here before you met?
Harriet:  We met literally the first week that I was in Mérida!

Q:  What were the circumstances of how you met (where, when, how did it happen)?
Harriet:  I came to teach at an English academy and the teachers all went on a cantina tour about a week into being in Mérida. It wasn’t a super boozy pub crawl. It was just a great way to see some of the local establishments, learn about the history of the city and have some interesting drinks.

The first bar was La Negrita and that’s where Tin and I met. He was one of the two guys giving the tour and the only one who spoke English. I decided immediately that he was an interesting guy to know. He seemed really enthusiastic about Mérida life, could recommend lots of interesting places and was lovely and welcoming!

Q:  How long have you been together?
Harriet:  We’ve been together for about 5 years now.

Q:  Are you married or living together?
Harriet:  We’re not married but we live together. We rent a nice house in Francisco de Montejo which has enough space for our 3 cats. It’s also large enough for friends and family to come and stay. As we both started working from home when the pandemic started, we created space for an office too. It’s the perfect location for us at the moment though I do miss living closer to the centre.

Q:  What is a challenge you’ve had to overcome?
Harriet:  We have had to get used to living in each other’s company 24/7 over the pandemic. Before that we almost had opposite timetables. He would work 9 to 5. I would teach in the morning and the evening. Suddenly, we were not only spending more time together but working in the same environment. The pandemic also challenged us in terms of finances. Therefore, we’ve had to make big decisions regarding work and travel. Tin’s company Concierge Mérida has taken off due to his hard work. Now, I teach completely online to students all over the world. It’s been a weird two years but we’ve made it work.

Q:  What brings the most joy from your relationship?
Harriet:  We have both said that we are at our best in our relationship when we are achieving something together. This is quite vague. However, we work really well when we are traveling together, cooking together, making work or business decisions together. The pandemic was hard for us because we both felt quite stuck but we’re coming out the other side and living our lives together again.

Harriet:  Aside from covid, the hardest thing is the language barrier. Not between us but between me and his family and friends. Learning Spanish is challenging and it can be hard when surrounded by Spanish speakers. Luckily we have a supportive group of family and friends who are patient and understanding.

Love Mexican Style:  Bety and Edward

Edward:  Hola, I’m Edward from Michigan. In my preparation for retirement in Mérida Mexico beginning March 28, 2021, I joined numerous Facebook sites designed for Ex-Pats moving to Mérida. I gathered as much information possible and picked numerous locals’ brains to collect info to help make my move as smooth as possible. I began my research starting around September of 2020. One of the Mérida FB pages I joined was Mérida’s Singles Over 40. This is where I met this wonderful lady who lived in Mérida who spoke very good English which was a plus since my Spanish is unfortunately very limited.

Bety:  Hola, I am Bety from Cabo San Lucas. After working very hard all my life, I reached a point where I needed to live every moment. Honestly, I had never felt true love. Therefore, I did not want to die without feeling it. So, I asked this request with all my heart to the universe. I decided to move, transfer my business, sold my car, rented out my house and started traveling. I had traveled for a year and a half and was in Bacalar when the pandemic began. At that time, I decided to move to Mérida.

The first night I slept in Mérida, I found so much peace and so much harmony. I said to myself, “Here is where I will find love.” Well, I was in Mérida about a year and a half when a friend told me about a FB page to meet people. However, I didn’t feel very encouraged. But my friend said try it because he had met nice people. I joined the group.

In the post where I introduced myself, Edward was the first one who communicated with me. By messages on the first day, we scheduled a Zoom call the next day. (I felt and realized that he is true Love, but of course I didn’t tell him.) 😊

Edward: After FB messages, we turned to ZOOM calls. We spent a great deal of time getting to know each other. Bety offered to help me locate and book a local AirBnB. I wanted to spend my first month in Mérida getting to know the lay of the land and tp look for a more permanent rental. I believe we began our communications in early December. This grew after our information gathering to something deeper. Learning about each others family, future goals, our love for travel and the importance of our families in our lives created a deeper bond. I don’t think it was either of our intent to fall in love but fall in love we did.

Bety: After communicating every day, we realized we had fallen in love. On February 4, 2021, Edward asked me to be his girlfriend in a more formal relationship. On that same day he published it on FB. I had never put any relationship status on social media because there are all my family and friends. For me, this was a way to express myself as I am. I don’t want to hide anything and said WUAOO!! I loved that he did it.

Three days later he asked me to visit him in Michigan, to be with him during the last month he was going to live there. OMG!! My family went crazy.  They told me I was going to go with someone I didn’t know and wasn’t thinking things through. I told them, “Exactly! I’m not thinking, I’m being guided by my heart.” So, I left on February 19, 2021. It was our first date and the same time we started living together.

Edward: I wanted Bety to experience Michigan and the Detroit area where I come from. I flew her up and we spent the month of February together. Her first experience with snow! It was then that I decided to retire at the end of March and join Bety in Mérida.

Bety: It has been a process from less to more, where we have overcome several obstacles. However, the most important thing is that love grows every day a little more. Taking care of it, each one of us is always doing our best to keep it that way. After 6 months, on July 4, 2021, during a trip to Chiapas, he proposed marriage. With the waterfalls of Agua Azul in the background, it was super beautiful and romantic. Of course I said, “Siiiiiiii!”

Edward: To say we had a whirlwind romance would be and understatement. After our ZOOM meetings and then meeting face to face in February, we married in Las Vegas on October 12th. Just prior to our getting married, we purchased a house and just completed renovations to turn this house into our home. We’ve traveled a great deal in order for us to spend time with each others children, my granddaughter Bety’s lovely family. We both share the love for travel and are visiting much of the local area. Also, in and around Mexico City where much of her family reside.

We’re currently planning a European Cruise for September and other beautiful cities Mexico has to offer. We collect city magnets everywhere we go. Our plan is to cover the entire front of our refrigerator with all of our stops. 😊 I do need to continue work on learning Spanish but having Bety with me makes it less urgent. It’s less of an issue but I do need to put more emphasis on learning Spanish. We look forward to many years together in this wonderfully warm and vibrant city, making new friends and enjoying our family time.

Bety: I feel very grateful and blessed to have Edward in my life. For me, he is the true love of my soul. I love everything about him. When I look at him, I feel him, I admire him, and I respect him at all times. Not because someone imposes it on me, but because it is born from my heart. When we got married in Las Vegas, it was just the two of us. It was very intimate and romantic.

We are going to celebrate a year together on February 4, 2022, and we are going to hold another wedding ceremony and party in Cuernavaca to celebrate our love with family and friends. It has been the most beautiful year of my life, full of incredible experiences and a lot of Love. I have to faith that it will be for all our lives together forever.

A Golden Rule: “Always give what you want to receive. So, give much love so that you receive infinite love. Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.”

Infinite graces, blessings, and with love, Bety and Edward

Love Mexican Style:  Amy and Angel

Amy Jones & Angel Rodriguez of Life in Merida & Merida Retirement Tours

Q: How long have each of you been in Mérida?
Amy:  I arrived in Mérida on December 25th, 2019.
Angel:  I’ve been in Mérida for 29 years.

How long were you here before you met?
Amy:  I was only in Mérida for four days before I met Angel.

Q:  What were the circumstances of how you met (where, when, how did it happen)?
Amy:  I was having lunch and writing at La Tratto in Santa Lucia Park (minding my own business…smile). I had a very nice waiter but toward the middle of my meal, the waiters changed. Angel became my waiter and was very chatty wanting to know more about me and if I needed someone to show me around the city. Really, at that time, I couldn’t be bothered as I was just wanting to write and relax a bit. Love Mexican style never, ever crossed my mind.

Angel:  I’ll never forget, it was the last Sunday of 2019 (December 29), to be exact between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm. I was waiting tables at La Tratto in Santa Lucia at table number #71.

Pretending to be her new waiter to talk to her, I wanted to find out a little more about her. I was curious to see if she would look at me. She was working on her computer, so I wanted to see if I could distract her to flirt a little. Even so, she wasn’t as interested in meeting me as I was in meeting her.

At that time, I couldn’t imagine the world I was about to enter; a wonderful and beautiful world, also frustrating at times.

Q:  How long have you been together?
Amy:  Just over 2 years.

Angel:  After 2 years and two months, I am delighted I met her.

Q:  Are you married or living together?
Amy:  We were married in October 2021.

Q:  What is a challenge you’ve had to overcome?
Amy:  We have learned over time when we have a disagreement or need to discuss something very serious, we need to type it into google translate vs. trying to speak in English or Spanish. Angel’s English is so much better than my Spanish and that’s been a saving grace. But we know when we need to fully express ourselves, it needs to be in our native language or important things get lost in translation.

Angel:  The fusion of two very different worlds, cultures, customs, types of thinking and, not to mention, the language barrier, which often brings me to the point of despair. In addition, logic works differently for both. However, sometimes we manage to connect – like reading each other’s minds. It is extremely rewarding, but other times we just hit the wall. It is a life of constant challenges which do not allow me to “rest on my laurels”.

Q:  What brings the most joy from your relationship?
Amy:  For me, it is the companionship, having someone I can trust, who is reliable. Angel is all of these things and so much more. I was alone for many years and having Angel in my life enhances it beyond measure. For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a true partnership, love match, and someone I can count on for anything. Angel is an exceptional partner.

Angel:  The greatest joy and satisfaction of my relationship with her is being able to be myself, without filters or ties to profiles. As myself, she accepts me as I am, nothing more nothing less. The possibility and openness of learning countless things that in other circumstances would take me much longer. To be a better person day after day. I practice my patience and control of emotions, every day.

Final Thoughts on Love Mexican Style

If you or someone you know is in a relationship (expat and local) who would like to contribute their story to the Love Mexican Style article, please send me an email: