At first it will be a huge relief. You’ll have no idea until it actually happens what it’s like to live a life with no one to argue with, and brother, it is sweet. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do this before — just go away by yourself for a while, get back in touch with your essence. You’ll forget that you didn’t do it because you didn’t even have money to buy a banana, forget a man-cave — and you also, like me, took your marriage vows seriously. For now, though, sweet relief.

But soon, there by yourself, the fact that a good part of your life is over and you’re just scraping by will greet you every day; that despite your obvious skills and smarts and ambition, you failed to make your 20s and 30s and 40s into some kind of mighty empire. You’ll discover the world isn’t necessarily rushing to greet older divorced men. You’ll see other guys around your new town, guys who have either divorced or never married, and they in turn will recognize you, noting that you have no one next to you as you shop, get your car fixed, play gigs with your band or visit coffee shops.

These guys have semi-old faces and bodies, and you’ll soon realize with a great shock that you have a semi-old face and body, too. You won’t be in any kind of emotional shape to meet a woman to share your breakfast and your bed right away, either — single available women who don’t have serious emotional problems or substance issues aren’t looking for recently divorced dudes. But even if you had a sweet car, a swank crib and some spending cash, it’d still be rough going. Here’s why.