So if you’ve been following me, you know I enjoy traveling alone. Every trip is a unique experience leaving an indelible impression on my mind. So while in the beautiful city of Toronto, Canada, I met a very handsome India native in the hotel lobby one evening. In search of something hot to drink, he was disappointed to find the cafe had closed. I offered him several packets of my green tea, which is a ‘must have’ everywhere I go. He later returned the gesture with an invitation to dinner at a five-star restaurant.
Over a sumptuous meal, the 41-year-old engineer—who had been living in Toronto for over 16 years—revealed to me his plans to leave his wife. There’s had been an arranged (not forced) marriage established from their childhood. Now in his maturity, he felt shortchanged and wanted the option to choose his partner.
“Do you see the statistics on marriage in America?” I asked, as a debate over arranged marriages vs. love marriages ensued. The romantic, sensationalized beginning of a marriage soon fades for most with no more chance of surviving than arranged marriages, I argued. In fact, most people find in the end, their so called soul-mate was not a suitable match at all. Not convinced? Watch a season or two of Investigation Discovery (ID) or 48 hours, I advised.
When it comes to matters of the heart, some would say arranged (not forced) marriages may not be ideal. Maybe not, I added, but to have four adults of the same culture–same values, religion and financial status–groom their children to be lifelong companions is an advantage. While there are no guarantees, I applaud the effort of adults not leaving the love lives of their offspring to chance.
Listening intently to his argument, while valid, I knew he was also in the throes of andropause. Yes, the midlife malaise, also known as male menopause. Like so many other men, he had not a clue about the transitional time and the physiological change he was undergoing. So I interjected what I’ve come to know about Men Entering the Zone, offering him a different perspective.
“Go home,” I insisted, finally. The grass always looks greener on the other side. Starting a new family, career or purchasing those ‘boy toys’ won’t bring the old man back. Resist not the hand of time, I reminded him and embrace your maturity, Set a new, purposeful standard going into your second adulthood. It’s the season to become the better, wiser you.
We ended the evening at a posh Toronto nightclub where I enjoyed myself immensely. We laughed and danced into the early morning hours and then returned to our rooms. He texted me the next day with a message that read: “Thank you for not spoiling me.”
Canada’s largest city of Toronto is a global destination with a diverse population of nearly 3 million people. While it ranks one of the most livable cities in the world; it’s also a good place for open, honest communication.