Finding Bliss When You Don’t Expect It

On Black Love: It wasn't love at first sight for this writer and his wife, and then fate intervened.

Anslem Samuel Rocque and his wife, Starrene (courtesy of Anslem Samuel Rocque)
Anslem Samuel Rocque and his wife, Starrene (courtesy of Anslem Samuel Rocque)

Although Starr and I spent a lot of time together, there was never a conversation about exclusivity. I wasn’t sure if she exercised her option to see other people, but I certainly did. I was a career bachelor with a penchant for disappearing, and it was during these gaps in time that I would go out with other women. Although Starr and I had a strong connection, because of our age difference I never took her seriously as someone I saw myself being in a long-term relationship with.

It wasn’t intentional, but another woman captured my heart. Telling Starr wasn’t something I was looking forward to, but it had to be done. The feelings I had for this other woman were something I had to explore, and if this new relationship had any shot at working, I couldn’t have any distractions. So on a mild October night, I took Starr to a BBQ restaurant near Madison Square Garden to break the news (and her heart) over buffalo wings and margaritas. 

After almost a decade of being single, I was finally ready to commit — just not to the woman sitting across from me. It was a tough pill for Starr to swallow, but she had no choice in the matter. I didn’t want to hurt her, since we’d shared many great moments, but I had to listen to my heart, and it was telling me that I needed to take a shot at love in another woman’s arms.

We can’t help who we fall in love with or when. Starr learned that the hard way, and eventually I did as well. After several months of courtship, my new relationship came to a head. As much as I cared for this new woman, the fact was that we came from completely different backgrounds, and our lifestyles didn’t mesh together as seamlessly as I had imagined. As quickly as my love affair started, it came to an abrupt end. 

I was heartbroken.

It’s always a blow to the ego when someone you really care about rejects you. In the wake of the breakup, I found myself in an emotional slump. I threw myself back in the dating ring to distract myself from my feelings, but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to give anyone my undivided attention. I existed as a fractured soul floating from place to place, until fate intervened.

Anslem Samuel Rocque has been a music and entertainment journalist for more than 14 years and has held editorial positions at publications ranging from The Source and XXL to Black Enterprise and The Ave, where he was the founding editor-in-chief. He is the creator of the award-winning relationship blog Naked With Socks On and co-creator of, where he and his wife, Starrene, muse about the inner workings of a marriage in progress.