Jurassic Park debate: were Ellie and Sam a couple?

I was shocked to find out that there is a raging debate about Sam Neil and Laura Dern’s characters in Jurassic Park: were they actually a couple in the first film, or not?

I remember walking away from the film as a kid assuming they were together, but there’s nothing in the film that actually outright stated that were. Of course, we know that the franchise has put them together since, but given the source material does not put them together as a couple, and there’s no confirmation, our minds filled in a blank during the first film in a way that we perhaps weren’t supposed to.

An example of some of the debate here:


I admit, I actually like the film better without a romantic subplot. Instead, you get to put yourselves in the shoes of two co-workers escaping their life’s work.