Pandemic Sparks Engagement for Nashville Couple

Jennifer Sheridan and Sabrina Torres to Tie the Knot

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Sabrina Torres and Jennifer Sheridan

“After almost seven years together, we’ve decided to get married in the fall, so it looks like COVID-19 hasn’t hurt our relationship,” said filmmaker Jennifer Sheridan. “We apparently really like each other.”

Sex, a love life, and a social life have been more difficult to access, facilitate or, in some cases, even think about since COVID-19 sent us all to our rooms, and everyone in the LGBTQ+ community is dealing with it all in their own way.

Maintaining that love life has proven quite the dilemma recently for Sheridan and her now-fiancé, entrepreneur Sabrina Torres. The couple has four children, in addition to a roommate. Both Sheridan and Torres said there are people in their house all the time, and they don’t have the opportunities for privacy they did before COVID-19.

“Sometimes it feels like we have to make complex charts and graphs to figure out how to find a way to be alone,” Sheridan said.

The couple is in agreement that they don’t have sex nearly as often as they’d like, but that they’re always thinking of ways to make the most of the time they have.

“It’s definitely okay to be a little creative, we just have to make sure we’re quick, too,” Torres said with a laugh.

As for their social life, both Sheridan and Torres say they miss their friends, but they have made a conscious effort to have virtual cocktails once or twice a week with different people. That part hasn’t been so bad.

“We’re stuck at home with the people we love most in the world,” Sheridan said. “It could be worse.”

The couple said the hardest part for them is trying not to make every minute of the day about work or the kids. Torres is particularly busy with her social media marketing and sales business. The couple has an agreement with each other to stop talking about work at 9 p.m. every night and to go sit on the porch for a while or watch some television. They said it’s really given them a chance to reconnect with each other.

“At first, it was hard to be on the same page about the significance of the situation,” Sheridan said. “One of us [referring to herself] was very serious about planning for isolation from the beginning, and it definitely impacted our relationship.”

The two say there were some heated arguments about what they call “stupid things,” like whether they needed to buy a big freezer or how to best to make sure they had the exact foods the kids would eat.

“Thankfully, nobody ended up sleeping on the couch,” Torres said. “We always talked it out and this whole situation has reinforced for us that we can always compromise.”

The unknowns presented by pandemic life can be stressful, but the couple said they’re thriving in spite of it. As for their wedding…

“The ceremony might be just us and a Justice of the Peace via Zoom, but we can’t wait,” Sheridan said. “Sabrina will probably figure out a way to broadcast it all online, and that’s fine, whatever makes her happy.”

This article has been supported by a grant from the Facebook Journalism Project for COVID-19 coverage.

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Brian Sullivan is a reporter for Out & About Nashville. He has served nearly 2 decades in the television industry, with over 20 years experience as a print and broadcast journalist. Sullivan is an Emmy Award Winning producer, writer, lobbyist, activist and marketing strategist. He is active in several campaigns raising awareness in addiction treatment, equality and mental healthcare. He received recognition as a Nashville Emerging Leader of the Year at the NELA Awards. He is an Executive Board Member of the Prevention Alliance of Tennessee, a member of DrugFree Wilco, the Williamson County Anti-Drug Coalition, the Memphis Area Prevention Alliance, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Facing Addiction, Fed Up!, the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Center for Nonprofit Management, Music City Theatre Company, LGBTQI Nashvillians of Faith, Covenant of the Cross Ministries, Human Rights Campaign, HRC Nashville, Team Friendly Tennessee, Tennessee Equality Project, Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, Wilson County Anti-Drug Coalition, National Fraternal Order of Police, the Nashville Filmmakers Guild and is an ordained Minister. Sullivan is a proud donor of the Memphis Hope House, Nashville Cares, Covenant Cupboard Food Pantry, and Second Harvest Food Bank. He has worked extensively on projects with several major networks including Fox News Network, CNN, Time Magazine, Washington Post, New York Times, Inside Edition and Mic.