Dear Doctor NerdLove,
I am currently in the process of ending a 4-year relationship that has been a marriage for the past year. I am confident in my decision to end the marriage; we have been drifting apart, the sex is rare and uninteresting, we have fundamentally different interests and values, we have different attitudes towards our careers, and I feel she’s holding me back in terms of my attempts to eat healthier, exercise more and improve myself (I ask her to help me eat better, she buys two tubs of ice cream; etc.).
Perhaps most importantly, where I used to care for her in the past I only feel cold emptiness and an urgent desire to get away. I don’t love her anymore, she’s been feeling unfulfilled and alone, and we should both be looking for people we work better with.
That said, in my country, there are legal issues with divorce – namely, I need to wait 12 months after our separation before the divorce can be finalized and I can be officially not-married again (there are no kids, cars, houses, etc – we are both still mostly-jobless students). That seems like a long time. Once she has moved out and I am a de facto bachelor again, I am worried about how to interact with women I may be interest in in the next 12 months. What is the proper etiquette? A one-night-stand doesn’t need to know, I assume, but what about dates I meet online? What about women I meet more than once? When should I tell someone I’m into that I’m still legally married and waiting for the divorce to be granted next year?
Or should I just sit down and prepare myself for 12 months of celibacy? Is that the right thing to do? I’m really confused and unsure of what I should be doing with my life.
Thanks for your time, and any advice you can give me.