Essence Atkins - Essence Atkins Proud She Found Love Online
Pregnant actress Essence Atkins turned to a dating website to meet a man after deciding she "didn't want to waste any more time" in dead-end relationships.
The former Smart Guy star, 39, met her now-husband Jaime Mendez online, and she's opened up about what prompted her to search the web for love.
She tells Essence.com, "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.
"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 realising 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 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'."
The couple is now expecting its first child together, due on Christmas Day (25Dec11).