Finding love in a hopeless place… a pandemic


Owen Rush

LEFT: Olivia Coulter and Zach Sidlow enjoy their vacation in Minneapolis as a new couple. Photo courtesy of Olivia Coulter and Zach Sidlow.
RIGHT: Sydney Rogers-Morrell and David Clark go on a COVID-friendly date with their face masks at the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum. Photo courtesy of Sydney Rogers-Morrell and David Clark.

Rihanna was onto something when she made her 2011 single “We Found Love.”

Fast forward to 2020 and the song still rings true: Finding love in a pandemic can feel quite hopeless. With social distancing encouraged and lots of bars and clubs closed, it is hard to meet people in this climate. Just like in the 2011 single, love still exists in a hopeless place—even now.

This story is true for two Omaha couples: Sydney Rogers-Morrell and David Clark, and Olivia Coulter and Zach Sidlow. These couples have different stories, but both end with finding love in a pandemic. The couples offer advice for singles, based on their own successes.

Sydney and David met on Tinder back in March at the very start of the pandemic. Though they both downloaded the app just to pass time, the two ended up clicking. They both liked politics and the same music. They waited two weeks before meeting, and their first date was a social distanced picnic in a park. Some advice this couple had was to have socially distanced dates and spend time dating yourself first.

Their socially distanced date consisted of Jimmy John’s and Elmwood Park, where they talked for hours. This type of date was COVID-friendly because it took place in the outdoors to prevent exposure to the virus, in comparison to going to a restaurant or a coffee shop.

The couple also talked about spending time to date yourself first. This means learning what dating and relationships look like for each individual. It can be done by talking with other people, going on other dates and seeing what is wanted and needed in one’s own relationship.

“I had spent time searching and finding out what dating looked like for me,” said Rogers-Morrell. “If you are looking for a significant other, an important step might be just seeing what is most important to you and dating before taking the time to settle down.”

Olivia and Zach had a different story. They met back in February at a Grayscale concert and accidentally bumped into each other in a mosh pit, where they exchanged snapchats. The conversations via snapchat became more frequent, which resulted in the beginning of a relationship. The advice this couple had to share was to take time for the small things and to go into the relationship with no expectations.

This couple is already distanced because they live in different cities, so when they do make the hour and a half drive to see one another, it makes it all worth it. The little things for them include Facetiming everyday and playing games, including “UNO.”

“The pandemic has stripped back all the big flashy dates and showed how important the small things are,” Sidlow said.

As for advice, the couple believes that going in without expectations makes dating fun and easy, which is important in times where every day looks different.

Much like the pandemic was unexpected, so was finding love. These couple’s stories prove that there is still an opportunity to find partnership in the midst of COVID-19.