Ages: 29 and 28
Relationship Length: 5 years
Race/Ethnicity: Black and white
Ben and Sara might be some of the last people on Earth who can say they met organically — and at a baseball game, no less — watching the Washington Nationals play in 2016. While enjoying America's pastime, they discovered they also enjoyed each other's company.
"I had never even been to a Little League game or anything," Sara said.
They met in the height of the 2016 US election chaos, so avoiding a conversation about race relations in America wasn't an option.
"I think at the beginning of our relationship there were many difficult conversations," Ben said. "I think the difficulty was empathy, listening, showing up for your partner, putting them first — the things everybody has to deal with — but the subject matter was race because it’s America and Sara’s Black and I’m white."
Sara says they grew up with very different life experiences, and it took some time to learn to see the world from the other person's perspective.
"It was really difficult at first to feel like I might say something and Ben wouldn’t immediately understand what I meant," she says. "So I think he would push me a lot at the beginning of our relationship, and I think it was out of love — him trying to understand better."
That same level of comfort that comes from guarding yourself also extended to Sara's family, who she says was a bit hesitant at first to know what to say around Ben.
"There’s a level of comfort and security in being in an all-Black space," she said. "And I think at first with my siblings they were like, 'We don’t want to offend Ben if we say the wrong thing.'”
"Now they just troll me with their white guy jokes," Ben added.
One of the most frustrating parts for Sara and Ben about their relationship is having to constantly prove to others that they are a couple.
"We'll be like this," Ben says, snuggling up to Sara. "And waiters will still ask like, 'Do you want separate checks?'"