The topic of how young Nigerians navigate romantic relationships with their earnings is a minefield of hot takes. In Love Currency, we get into what relationships across income brackets look like in different Nigerian cities.
Derrick* shares his love of food with his partner by taking her on regular restaurant dates. In this article, he tells us they dealt with long distance in their relationship, their ritual Sunday dates and how Prisca helps him better with money.
What takes the most money in your relationship?
Food. I like food a lot, so we go to restaurants on most of our dates.
What’s the most you’ve spent on a restaurant date?
Our go-to restaurant is Circa, and we spend about ₦40k on our dinner dates.
Let’s take it back to how you two met
We met on the streets of WhatsApp in 2019. A mutual friend had posted Prisca’s picture, and I asked for her number and got it. But I waited for three months before I texted her.
I didn’t just feel like it at the time. I guess Prisca got tired of waiting because she texted our friend to tell her that I never reached out. When our mutual friend reached out to me, I decided to text Prisca.
Our conversations at the start were mainly one-word texts until one day when I shared a post about pain and how God comes through on my status. She responded to it, and that was the icebreaker. We started talking about scriptures, and from there, we became friends.
However, our new friendship was on and off. She’d disappear on me and reappear after a few months. This happened for the first time in July 2020. We didn’t speak until November when she reached out to tell me she’d gotten a job and was moving out of Lagos.
She went off in early 2021 again and we didn’t talk until July — I reached out this time to wish her a happy birthday.
All this time, did you guys meet?
Yes, we did. I’d visited her at her office twice when I was around the area. She’d also met me on two occasions at my uncle’s house, which was close to her place on the mainland.
In 2020, we went out on a friendship date to get Pizza i. But there were still COVID restrictions, and the restaurant wouldn’t let us in because we had only one facemask. We took turns wearing the mask to enter, place our order and then pay. We spent the rest of the afternoon under the sun, gisting and eating pizza.
So how did your friendship evolve into a relationship??
In November 2021, she came to Lagos to see me. During that visit, I asked her out because it was clear we had developed feelings. She said she needed time to think about it. Two weeks after, she said yes. She’d returned to Ilorin where she worked and lived though.
So you’re in a long-distance relationship?
We were, but she moved back to Lagos in July 2022. Then, we’d do video calls every night and travel to see each other at least once every four months. Sometimes she’d visit; other times, I would.
How were your Ilorin visits?
The place is dry, so there are not a lot of options. Still, every day after she closed from work, we’d drive to the mall or restaurant to buy food. The average budget for that is between ₦8k – ₦20k.
Interesting. What happens when she comes to Lagos?
I usually get her a dress and shoes, because she rarely travels with enough clothes.
We haven’t done these in a while even though even we both live in the same city. Between work and our busy schedules, we try to make room for a new experience we could try together. Sometimes, it’s movie night at home. Other times it could be playing games at night. We’ve also started this Sunday ritual where we visit a small restaurant. The average spend is about ₦10k – ₦15k.
How do you celebrate special occasions?
We don’t care much about Valentine’s, but we try to celebrate our birthdays together. For her birthday in 2022, I got her an Adidas shoe which cost about ₦32k, two cakes and gifted her ₦40k to complete her money for a wristwatch.
I also surprised her that day. She was out for her birthday dinner with her friends, and I showed up with the gifts I had gotten her.
Do you give her money?
Occasionally. One online trend told people to ask their partners for ₦100k, and that’s what she did. She asked me, and I sent it to her.
Odogwu! Do you have conversations about money?
Yes. When we started dating, I used to be so reckless with money and struggled with saving, but she helped me. I’d send her about ₦500k to hold for me every month. I still do it now.
So she’s better with money?
Do you have a financial safety net?
I have some shares which my dad left for me. And my savings is currently over ₦4m.
What’s your ideal financial future as a couple?
My long-term goal is to get my PhD and become a professor teaching people about tech or co-founding a startup. We will also start investing in real estate, stocks, and startups.
Interested in talking about how money moves in your relationship? If yes, click here