BIRMINGHAM, AL—Nearly 14 months after he said "I do" to his new wife Karen, attorney Robert Diehl, 36, told reporters that he finally feels ready to return to the dating world.
"For a long time, I wasn't there yet," Diehl said Monday. "After the wedding, all I wanted was to be alone with my wife. I couldn't even look at another woman without comparing her to Karen. But now, I'm finally ready to take a deep breath and throw myself back into the dating pool."
Diehl began dating Karen Gurnett in June 2000, and they married on Aug. 16, 2003. Although it has been more than 14 months since Diehl has been with a woman other than Gurnett, he expressed confidence that he'll be able to "get back out there and mix it up."
"Sure, it's going to be rough for a while," Diehl said. "But I can't let fear hold me back. I know that once I'm back in the saddle, it'll feel perfectly natural."
In addition to the emotional difficulties associated with starting to date again, Diehl said his marital responsibilities leave him with little free time.
"This past year has been an incredible drain on my time, energy, and emotions," Diehl said. "Now that Karen and I have unwrapped all the gifts, opened a joint checking account, and bought a house, I finally have some time to focus on me—on what I want. And what I want right now is hot, attachment-free sex with young, good-looking women."
Diehl said his wife's recent decision to travel to Atlanta led him to ask himself what he was waiting for.
"I have two choices—either ask that cute girl from my gym for a date, or sit at home feeling sorry for myself while Karen's out of town on business next weekend," Diehl said. "I'm through with wallowing in my own misery."
Diehl credits his male friends with providing the support he needed to motivate himself to get out and date again.
"My buddies have been great," Diehl said. "I was feeling like I had nothing to offer a woman, being married and all. But my friends encouraged me to ditch the negative attitude. I'm still young, and, according to the guys, nothing attracts pussy like a young, successful guy with a wedding ring."
Joel Brentmacher, who served as best man at Diehl's wedding, said it was hard to watch his friend endure such a difficult time.
"Rob used to be such a ladies' man," Brentmacher said. "It had to be a huge blow to him when his single life ended. We hated to see him closing himself off to all the other women in Birmingham and the surrounding counties just because he found a wife. But we gave him time and didn't pressure him. We knew he had to come back on the scene when he felt he was ready."
Although Diehl expressed excitement about dating again, he said he plans to "play it smart."
"There are so many good-looking women out there. I'd love to spend my lunch hour in a hotel room with all of them," Diehl said. "If I were 18 again, I might try. But I'm more mature now, and I have some experience under my belt. I'm going to ease into things. The best course of action is to take this thing one mistress at a time."
Diehl said his wife, whom he "will always love with all [his] heart," will be in his thoughts as he ventures out into the dating world.
"Over these past few months, I've had time to do some really serious thinking about Karen," Diehl said. "I think I have it all straight in my mind as to how I'll be able to cheat on her without her catching me."
"I have to take the whole thing slow, though," Diehl added. "I don't want to get hurt, and Karen would kill me if she ever found out."