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5 Questions with Essence Atkins on Pregnancy, Marriage and Finding Love Online

The actress opens up about her pregnancy, marriage, and finding love online.
Essence Atkins is celebrating two major milestones this year. Not only did she recently celebrate her 2nd wedding anniversary to hubby Jaime Mendez, she’s also expecting her first baby at 39.

Despite the baby, the mommy-to-be is keeping busy. She just wrapped a full season’s taping of TBS’ ‘Are We There Yet?’ While filming the show, the actress and production crew were creative in hiding her belly to maintain her character’s role.

In a candid interview with ESSENCE.COM, Essence opens up about her pregnancy, marriage and dispelling the age-old assumption that finding love online is silly.

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ESSENCE.com: Congrats! How did you find out you were pregnant?
ESSENCE ATKINS: It’s funny, we weren’t trying, I just looked in the mirror one morning at my body and it looked different. My breasts were bigger, I stood in front of my husband and said, “Honey, I think I’m pregnant.”

ESSENCE.com: How has pregnancy changed your life?
ATKINS: I didn’t have any morning sickness, everything has been extremely well. The only thing I changed was that I stopped working out. All of our friends are like, “You guys are just getting started while our [kids] are off to college,” but it’s like I lived my life, I’ve taken trips to Paris for just 30 hours and came back, I’ve popped bottles, I’ve done it all, now I’m just ready and looking forward to being a mom.

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ESSENCE.com: Do you know if you are having a boy or girl?
ATKINS: Yes, but I’m not saying (laughs).

ESSENCE.com: You recently celebrated your two-year anniversary. What do you love most about marriage?
ATKINS: I have never been so in love before in my life. There’s nothing that I like least about it. I can sit in silence with him, we can do everything together. Everything is just really really easy and that’s how it is suppose to be.

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ESSENCE.com: You met your husband online. What led you to Match.com?
ATKINS: I put myself in the frame of mind where I wasn’t going to waste any more time. I met my husband at 36; a lot of people have questioned it like, “she’s so desperate.” I didn’t want to waste any more time. After 35, I felt like I’d been in these relationships, some were great, some weren’t so great, but they weren’t right partnerships. So I did this inventory, I’m not going to just settle for anyone, and at this point I don’t have anymore time to waste if I wanted to have children.

I started realizing that when I went out on dates, that if this person wasn’t partner potential, to just stop at two dates, or a date. What online dating did was offer me the opportunity to go out with a bunch of different people from different industries, I really didn’t want to limit myself with people who are in the entertainment industry. I wanted to date outside of the business but I didn’t have a network outside of the industry in L.A. I felt like going through the online system, it gave me permission to go out with someone once or twice and say, “you know it was really nice meeting you but I don’t feel any romantic chemistry,” and everyone just kind of accepts that as ‘OK, thank you.’

Congratulations to Essence and Jaime!