Until recently I always felt being practical was my strongest asset. Nowadays, it feels like it is equal parts gift and curse. Being responsible assured that I dodged a lot of the bullets that “statistically cripple” many people in our community. I stayed focused in school. I turned my nose up at the lure of flashy hustlers who preyed on young women in my urban community. I repressed the temptation to experiment with drugs or alcohol. My goal was simple: I wanted to be a happily married career woman and mother. Today I’ve accomplished all of the things I wanted and most women, especially Black, would consider me to be lucky. I have my own business doing something that I am passionate about, beautiful children and a great husband. There’s only one problem: I’m not happy. I feel blessed. I feel successful. I definitely feel envied. Contentment? Not so much. I adore my children and I’m passionate about my career, so you can guess where my issue lies: my marriage. I love my husband. Kevin* is a good man. He’s loyal, successful and has a tremendous sense of duty when it comes to family and community. I accepted his marriage proposal because I knew we loved each other, could depend on each other and would build together. We have. The problem is that my equation for what makes a sustainable marriage left out one important variable: chemistry. Kevin and I are compatible. We share the same life goals, have similar world views and are both generally good people. We listen to each other. We trust each other financially and emotionally. But we don’t have any spark. Truthfully, we never have. I know romantic love goes through various phases and I’m not idealistic enough to believe every day in a marriage should read like a scene from a romantic comedy — but some should, right? Despite the great elements of our marriage every day I crave and wonder about what I don’t have. What would it be like to share my world with a mate with similar interests in pastimes? What would life be like with a man who made my heart sing when he walked into the room or whose smile made me warm inside? What kind of marriage would I have if I didn’t need to always remind myself to kiss my mate? What if my love wasn’t based on his dutifulness but on his mere existence? I love my husband and I appreciate what we have. He is a good man, provider and father. Still I wonder. I know the minutiae of everyday life can make anything lose its luster. Still I wonder. I know I made a good, practical decision for a mate — especially considering how few women get married to great men. Still I wonder. Mostly, I wonder about how to balance feeling happy possessing something that doesn’t feel as right as it looks. Should I have waited for a soul mate instead of moving forward with a wonderful life partner? *name changed Share your thoughts. Is it better to wait for “the one” or to move on with “the best one”?
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