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.

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Dinma* (27)  met her husband Nnamdi* (34) for the first time a few days before their court wedding in 2021. In this article, she tells us about Nnamdi asking her to marry him four months after they started talking, planning their wedding together online and how they manage the distance and time difference in their marriage now. 

Occupation and location 

Medical doctor living in Enugu

Average monthly income 

I earn ₦210k as a junior staff working at the hospital. 

Relationship expenses

Valentine gift: ₦50k

Foodstuff: ₦20k

Perfume: ₦33k

Christmas gift: ₦50k

How did you meet your husband? 

In 2020, I had an online store while I was in med school. Sometime in December, I received a DM from a guy who wanted to get a wristwatch. He kept negotiating,  trying to bring the price down, and I sent him a voice note to ask him why he was pricing so much when he wasn’t even living in Nigeria. I knew this because I had checked his page. After nearly an hour of back-and-forth banter, we settled for ₦20k. 

When I reached out to him the following day to ask for his delivery details, he told me to take the watch as my Christmas gift. We spoke briefly, and he asked some questions about me and what I did. 

From there to love? 

Oh no. The guy that texted me was the elder brother of the man that’d later become my husband. My husband texted the week after and said he’d gotten my handle from his brother. When I reached out to the brother, he confirmed it and said I didn’t have to continue the conversation if I wasn’t comfortable with it. But it wasn’t a big deal, so we started texting, gisting about life and making jokes — we really hit it off. 

So you knew the brother was matchmaking you? 

I’m an online vendor, so I try to be nice to people. It wasn’t the first time a customer had gifted me something, so I didn’t think much of it. 

After texting for a couple of days, the trail went cold, and we didn’t talk for a week. The next time he reached out in January, it was to wish me a happy birthday. His birthday was two weeks after mine, but I forgot to text him. So he texted me again, and I felt bad for missing his birthday. After that, we decided to move to WhatsApp.

Did that help? 

Definitely. We started talking frequently because we enjoyed each other’s company; the time difference wasn’t even a problem because of my sleeping schedule — I picked up a habit of sleeping in the evenings and waking up at 2 a.m. in med school.  

In the space of four months, things had gotten serious. We’d realised how much we had in common, and I’d even told my mum about him. He was sure he wanted to marry me, but I didn’t want to think of marriage until I graduated from med school. So I tried to keep things light. 

Very valid 

In April, he became more serious about his intention to marry me. He wanted his father to meet my parents since they lived in Awka. Although I agreed to this, I made it clear that I still needed to think about it and hadn’t committed to marrying him. After a month of thinking about it, I agreed to marry him but on one condition. 

What was it? 

I was going to be fresh out of med school and unemployed. I didn’t have any money to assist with the financial burden of the wedding. I needed him to understand what he was getting into, but he assured me he was sure about his decision and didn’t mind funding the wedding. 

You didn’t mind the long distance?

I’ve always been in long-distance relationships, so I honestly didn’t care about that. I knew he would visit, and I’d join him eventually. But in the meantime, video calls would have to do.

Aww. How was the wedding preparation? 

We did most of the planning over the internet, finding and vetting vendors together. My mum and sister did, the market runs. We spent about ₦6.5m on our wedding even though the initial budget was ₦4m. 

It was an exhausting period because I was simultaneously planning for my final exams in November the whole time. My dad even called me one day to remind me I had never failed an exam before, so if I failed this, he’d know it was because of the wedding, and we’d cancel it. 

Shame wouldn’t let me continue with the wedding if I failed because all my in-laws already called me  “doctor”. 

LOL. Let’s thank God then 

We had the court wedding in December 2021, a day before my induction. The traditional wedding and white wedding came three days and one week later. 

Very interesting lineup 

I also met my husband for the first time in November 2021.

How did that go? 

My mum called that day to ask me how I felt finally meeting him. If I needed her to come pick me up or if he was what I’d wanted because it wasn’t too late to call off the wedding. 


I told her he was everything I had imagined and more. 

God when. How did you guys spend time together? 

We didn’t spend alone time together because we needed to prepare for the big day. He also had to return to Canada by January 2022, so we didn’t have much time. There’s really nothing to do in the city — just hotels, bars and lounges. So for my birthday, we went out for drinks with his friends. 

What about gifts? 

He’s typically not someone who buys gifts. So I usually have to tell him what I want, and he’ll send the money for me to get it. Also, his dad had passed a few days before my birthday, so it wasn’t the time for celebrations. 

Do you buy him gifts? 

I try to get him something whenever I’m shipping things to him. One time I bought and added snails to the foodstuff we were sending. This cost ₦20k. Another time, I got him perfume, which was ₦33k. 

For Valentine’s in 2022, I reached out to his friend in Canada, who helped me buy a sweatshirt, a pair of shoes, jeans and a card. I selected the things I wanted via video call at the store and also sent him the message to be written on the card. Everything cost a little over ₦50k. And for Christmas last year, I made him an engraved cufflink with his name and a customised Igbo traditional fan; they cost around ₦50k. 

So you never go on dates? 

Not really. Whenever he’s around in December, he’s always trying to visit everyone, so we spend most of our time with others. Out of 10 dates, only two would be solo, and I’d always ask for us to stay indoors, eat and just gist because I don’t like being outside. 

Fair enough. Do you have conversations about money? 

We do. We even agreed to open a joint account that he’d be funding mostly till I got a better-paying job, but we didn’t have time to go to the bank the last time he was around. 

He knows I earn a decent salary, and can comfortably take care of my feeding, electricity and fuel bills, he assists with the heavy bills like rent and car maintenance. So whenever he doesn’t have money or has other financial commitments, he tells me, so I can prepare to cut costs for that period.

Wait, what car? 

Oh, he got me a car in May 2022 because he said he wanted me to learn how to drive before joining him in Canada. 

Oshey. Is that happening soon? 

Very. I should be with him in less than two months now. 

What’s your ideal financial future as a couple? 

Billionaire onye ji cash. We’re both hustlers, so apart from our careers, we’ll have a business bringing in money — maybe an importation business.  

Do you have a financial safety net? 

My husband’s money is our money, and my money is my money, so even though I enjoy spending his, I’m very prudent with money. I save ₦50k every month from my salary as an emergency fund. I’ve been working at the job for a year, so I have ₦600k in the account.

ALSO READ: What She Said: I’ve Been in a Long-Distance Marriage for 11 Years

If you’re interested in talking about how money moves in your relationship, this is a good place to start.


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