Captivating Couples: Meet The Couples Who Stole Our Hearts This Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Photo courtesy of Niecey Nash’s Instagram, @NieceyNash1.

Niecey & Jessica — Ventura County, California

Niecy Nash, Actress, comedian
Jessica Betts, Singer-songwriter

Niecey Nash came out last year in an Instagram post shared ‘round the web: a photo of her wedding day. The actress married Jessica Betts, a singer-songwriter, on August 29th at their home in Ventura County, California in a safe and “rustic affair” including custom face masks decorated with “#LoveWins” and personal hand sanitizers. On August 31st, the two both posted a wedding photo to their respective Instagrams. “Mrs. Carol Denise Betts @jessicabettsmusic #LoveWins,” read the caption of Nash’s photo, referencing her legal name and new surname.

The two first connected on social media in 2015, though Nash was married to ex-husband Jay Tucker at that time. The two became friends, but Nash told People Magazine that she “never saw her as someone [she] would date.” However, after Nash announced her split from Tucker in October of 2019, something shifted for the actress. “I loved her before I was in love with her because she is such a special human being,” Nash told People Magazine. “We began to see each other in a way we never had before. Sometimes you get so broken by love, you run from it. But I’ve learned that you should always hold space for magic because it can happen at any time.”

Niecey has been working on a number of shows this past year, including Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever” and Hulu’s “Mrs. America.” She also signed on for her own daytime talk show with CBS at the end of 2020. But mostly, she’s been looking forward to life with her wife Betts. “I’ve got my feet up, I’m looking at the ocean and I’ve got the greatest love of my life in my peripheral,” says Nash. “I couldn’t be happier.”

Photo by Sarah Wasko.

Sarah & Nina — East Bay Area

Sarah Wasko, Freelance designer/video producer
Nina Mast, Public policy grad student at UC Berkeley and a research consultant

Despite working on opposite sides of a Washington, D.C. nonprofit, Sarah and Nina didn’t let distance stop them from meeting at the end of 2016. Things really began heating up at a mutual friend’s birthday party in 2017. That night, the two started with a high-five and ended with their first kiss. From there, it was a natural progression: bagels the next morning, a moving-in later that year, and then a move to New York. It’s almost as if their path was set from the start, but Sarah says it’s how they treat each other that makes everything click. “We can be our full selves around each other,” says Sarah. “We don’t get tired of being together and experiencing new things together. It’s easy to envision a future together.”

One experience that they’ve already conquered together is raising a child — well, a four-legged and furry one. Named Cade (but lovingly referred to as Baby), the semi-feral cat showed up on their Washington, D.C. porch one day, and the rest was history. “She didn’t let us come near her in the beginning, and we worked really hard to gain her trust,” Sarah says. “She lived mostly outside until we brought her to New York last summer. She now greets us at the door like a dog and is a full-blown lap cat. She’s loving her new lifestyle.”

Taking care of a cat together was a true bonding experience, but Sarah and Nina also strive daily to grow their connections with themselves and each other. Their relationship isn’t hard work, though. In fact, Sarah rejects that entire mindset. “Our relationship is easy because we don’t play games with each other, we communicate, we don’t harbor resentments, and we enjoy each other’s company,” she says. “Being alone together comes with a genuine feeling of catharsis. We have a lot of fun and give each other space to just be really silly.”

This last year has brought a lot of challenges for the couple, but also new opportunities, like moving cross-country from Brooklyn to the East Bay Area. But, says Nina, the pair are grateful to have each other during such uncertain times. “Of all the challenges of the past year, our relationship has been the easiest and least stressful part,” says Nina. And their cat Cade? “We’ve gotten closer to her, too,” says Nina, “and are increasingly convinced she’s a human in a cat body.”

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