Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
Ore, 28, and Lekan, 30, got engaged last year after dating for about a year. Today on Love Life, they talk about meeting in church as teenagers, reconnecting as adults and how they got God’s confirmation that they are meant to be.
What is your earliest memory of each other?
Ore: In 2006, my family and I moved to Ikorodu. We joined a church there and that’s when I met Lekan. I was 14 at the time. He was 16. We were in the same drama group. I remember texting him all the time on my flip phone.
Lekan: I was already crushing on her. She was in secondary school, and I just finished. I remember I always wanted her to be at our drama meetings. There was a time her mum was taking her to school, and she wore her boarding house wear. I texted her something about her being beautiful. Later when she came back from school, she told me her mum saw the text. I thought I was in trouble, but nothing came out of that.
Ore: LOL! I don’t even remember that.
Lekan: I even asked her out then but she gave a clever response — that she wasn’t ready for a relationship — and I respected it. Shortly after, she and her family moved.
So how did you two become a thing?
Ore: After my family moved out of Ikorodu in 2010, Lekan and I lost contact. We found each other again in 2016 when I was doing my masters in the UK. I was in church one day and his face flashed in my head. I have this habit of checking in on people or praying for them when I think of them. That day, I was wondering why I thought of him, so I went to find him on Facebook. I did, then I messaged him and we chatted. We exchanged numbers afterwards.
He would always text to check up on me and make sure I was doing okay. I wanted to see him when I moved back to Nigeria, but I didn’t want to be the one to initiate it.
Ore: Back then, I felt like our conversations were too casual to try to push for anything more. I thought he wanted us to just be text buds, and I was okay with that.
Lekan: For me, I was wondering what she was thinking. I didn’t know if she was in a relationship or married. We kept in touch from when we reconnected in 2016 till 2019 when I finally decided to let her know my feelings. I told one of my female friends about her, and she advised me to tell her. Her birthday is in June, so I got her office address and sent her gifts. I wrote her a long message asking her out but my friend advised against sending it with the gifts. So I sent her the message two weeks later.
Ore: Before he sent that message, I had felt the need to pay more attention to him in my spirit. When he asked me out. It made sense, but I was sceptical about whether I wanted to date him or not. I liked him as a friend — I liked that he often checked up on me and I loved our conversations. I told him I was going to pray about it.
In the past, I have been in relationships where I would get a red flag from God after praying but would go ahead with the relationships. I didn’t want that to happen with Lekan. I was already in a place of prayer when he asked me out, so I just added it to the things I wanted to talk to God about. On the second day of my prayers, I got a sign but I didn’t trust it because it felt like the sign came because I was already thinking about dating Lekan. I prayed some more and this time, I asked God to give me a sign that this was the right thing to do. I asked for a confirmation from someone I looked up to spiritually.
Sometimes God can be funny because he sent my confirmation through my mum. At the time, I was working at Yaba, so my mum and I used to drive to work together. One day, on our way to work, I asked her if she remembered Lekan. She did and said she knew his mum from the church in Ikorodu. I told her what he said. My mum was surprised because she was praying about the man I would bring home as my husband, and she got an idea of what the man would look like. The description she gave me was exactly like Lekan. It was scarier when she said she had gotten the message a long time ago but didn’t want to share it with me so as to not pressure me.
I still didn’t tell him yes because I have felt more for the guys that I have dated in the past than I did for Lekan at that time. I was asking myself if I could hold the relationship without a little bit of obsession. As I deliberated this, I got another message to write down the things I wanted in a man. I was surprised when I listed 25 things because it wasn’t something I had thought about. I decided that I would date Lekan for a few weeks to see how he is. After a while, I just knew he was meant to be my husband.
Lekan: That lockdown period was great because we got to spend time together. It made it easy to love her. We got engaged last year. We are looking forward to getting married later this year. You know our relationship is long-distance…
Wait, when did that happen?
Ore: It has always been a long-distance relationship. I came back and he left the country. Imagine that?
Lekan: Honestly, it doesn’t even feel like long-distance because we talk a lot — a lot of video calls and texting.
Nice! Now I am curious about how the engagement happened.
Lekan: I was in Nigeria for the holidays.
Ore: I am still beefing him sef. He didn’t kneel down. I told him that he will do it again.
Lekan: LOL! It was a lot of pressure. I even watched YouTube videos to learn the best way to propose. On Christmas Day, I told Ore I wanted to go on a date. At the restaurant, I arranged with the waiters at the buffet to bring the ring at a specific time while one of my relatives would come with a camera to take pictures. When we got there, the restaurant was full, and I became shy. I asked for the ring back and told my relative not to bother. We were sitting when I told Ore I wanted to do something but I couldn’t kneel down.
Ore: I said, “Sure, no problem.” What made it better for me was the fact that he asked. I thought it was sweet.
What is the best part of the relationship?
Ore: We are so aligned, it’s unbelievable. I always tell him he is a better person than I am. I ask him a lot of questions and he always answers. He is a safe space for me.
Lekan: For me, it’s the fact that we are quite similar. I always feel like we were meant to be.
What was your biggest fight about?
Ore: We have disagreements. One time we had an issue, and he noticed I was upset about it. He kept apologising until I snapped and asked why he was still saying sorry. We resolved that issue, but later on, we learned about apology languages and I understood why I was upset that day. Repeat apologies don’t work for me — I want to know that the person is going to change their behaviour. Understanding that has helped us navigate difficult situations.
What’s your favourite thing about each other?
Lekan: I love how ambitious she is.
Ore: I love how selfless he is. I remember when I told him that Uber was eating all of my money, and he said he would send me transportation money monthly. He is always willing to help without expectations.
Rate your relationship on a scale of 1 – 10.
Ore: 10. He is someone my soul loves and I think what we have is beautiful.
Lekan: 9, because I don’t want everything to seem too perfect. I love being in a relationship where you can talk about anything and know that someone is listening to you. When we have disagreements, it’s easy to navigate because we can both see the actions that have been taken. We are both willing to change for the other person.
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