Emma Johnson, 30, an event manager, and Nic Powell, 29, a project manager, both from Warwick, were on their second date when lockdown started. They’ve been together ever since.
“I’d been online dating for two years but, before Nic, everything had lacked that sparky feeling. Nic and I matched on Bumble and our first date was March 21. We’d planned a country walk with my dog, Herbie, followed by a pub – but it was the day the pubs were forced to close, so we went to Nic’s instead for Aperol spritz in the garden. We laughed and chatted the whole time, he was lovely to Herbie – and I fancied him as well. It just felt different.
Nic invited me back for dinner on the Sunday – with Herbie – and we were watching telly when Boris Johnson announced complete lockdown. We were enjoying each other’s company so much, this was a crazy time anyway, so we decided to throw out the rule book and spend lockdown together. My house wasn’t far, so we used both places. It would be sink or swim.
From day one, we had the everyday, unglamorous stuff – the washing-up, the food shops, putting the bins out – but it felt really natural. We were put on furlough on the same day. At one point, it looked like I was going to be made redundant, and Nic was so supportive and positive. The way he dealt with it brought us closer.
Sometimes we felt guilty for having such a lovely time in the middle of a pandemic. We’d walk the dog, watch the sunsets, set up picnics in the garden, make sushi – and we never ever stopped talking.”
“Initially, friends and family asked a lot of questions, like ‘are you rushing into things?’ but they were just looking out for us. Since lockdown has eased and we’ve been able to meet everyone, they’ve seen how we are together and they are all very happy for us.
The fact we have now rented my place out and are looking to sell Emma’s to buy somewhere together shows how I feel about her. If it wasn’t for the pandemic would we have moved as fast as we have? Probably not – but would I do it again? Absolutely! It’s a cliché but I think when you know, you know. Personally, I will always look back on 2020 as a great year!”
“I really don’t want to meet someone wearing a mask and standing two metres away” – Natalie Shedden, 51 teacher