Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
Tobi* (27) and Dami* (36) dated for three years and have been married for one. They talk about how the age gap doesn’t affect them, deciding their marriage is a forever arrangement and placing Jesus at the centre of it.
What’s your earliest memory of each other?
Tobi: Is it weird that I can’t pinpoint a moment? I just know I became active in my campus fellowship sometime in 2014. I was in 300 level, and Dami was one of the senior friends of the fellowship who’d visit my campus to train us. In fact, he was a popular jingo; everyone knew him. I’m a quiet person, and I tend to avoid people who’re all over the place. I made a somewhat deliberate effort not to be part of those who wanted to be close to him.
Dami: LOL. Hard girl. Mine was around 2016. Tobi had taken up a senior executive role in the fellowship, and we needed to work together for a conference. Omo, this madam wrote a planning outline, and I was like, “This girl is very smart”. She still doesn’t understand why it was a big deal, but I’ve never seen anyone write something so perfectly.
Screaming in “efiko love”. What happened after that?
Tobi: We started talking, majorly about fellowship matters, but he soon became my friend. I realised he was just social in our fellowship circle. He has his quiet moments.
Dami: We were just friends for about two years. When I say this babe is smart, she really is. One time, I was helping her read for a test, and she gave me her notes to confirm her correct answers. She basically read out everything in the note, verbatim. When I didn’t ask a question correctly, she’d correct me and even tell me what the next line should be.
Mad o. When did you realise you loved each other?
Dami: Early 2018, I realised I wasn’t just fond of her; I actually saw myself doing life with her. And as Christians, I had no intention of asking her out to “see how it goes”. I had to be sure. So I prayed and felt strongly in my heart to go ahead, so I officially asked her in December 2018.
Tobi: I was somehow expecting it because God already laid it on my heart. — I’m not sure how to explain this, but if you have a relationship with God, you know when he’s speaking with you. I didn’t hear a loud voice say, “He’s the one” o. I just knew God was leading me in his direction. So, I said yes.
I’m not sure I stopped to consider that he was about nine years older than me. I knew about the age gap when we were still friends, but I didn’t remember it till we started dating. It just randomly occurred to me one day like, “This guy is a senior man o”.
Wait. Nine years?
Tobi: I used to jokingly call him “old man”, but honestly, the age gap is just that — a gap. It’s even from Twitter I realised being with much older guys can be somewhat problematic, with all the stories about them being controlling. He’s just a regular guy. Nine-year age gap or not, I can’t imagine being with anyone else. I sometimes have to explain memes to him, though.
Dami: Ah. See finish.
What about you, Dami? Does the age gap affect your relationship?
Dami: It doesn’t. She’s very mature. She even acts like a mum, always looking out for me, making sure I don’t forget things — which I do, a lot. She’s been a great support, even before we got married. I also can’t imagine being married to anyone but her.
About marriage. How did it happen?
Tobi: We knew we’d eventually get married, but I definitely wasn’t expecting him to do a full-on proposal with all the works. He proposed at my family house in front of our family and friends on Valentine’s Day, 2021. I wanted to enter the ground.
Dami: She was even running away. But she eventually settled down and came back to say yes.
Tobi: It’s your fault for doing the most public proposal ever. We got married in August of the same year.
How’s married life?
Dami: I love it! I’ve just about “my wife’d” everyone around me to death, but I can’t help it. Have you seen my wife?
Tobi: LMAO. Stop.
It’s been great. I’d say we complement each other. He loves public displays of affection, which I protest but secretly love too. He’s happy to share in household chores. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who loves going to the market as he does. I don’t think I even know the current price of palm oil.
Dami: Let’s not forget the maths thing.
Tobi: Lol. Yes. He’s great with mathematics — he used to organise tutorials — and I’m just grateful our future children won’t have to be begging our neighbours to teach them quantitative reasoning. My smartness no reach maths side, abeg.
Do you guys argue at all?
Dami: Yes, of course. But we’ve made it a rule never to raise our voices at each other, hang up the phone angrily or walk away.
Tobi: It can be tricky, especially when you feel wronged, but I’ve learnt two things. One, this is a forever arrangement. If you like, jump up and down in anger for two hours, you still have a lifetime with this person. It’s better to fight with them than to fight them.
Two, don’t let your anger make you forget yourself. I know Dami appreciates respect, so I can’t say because I’m angry, I start calling him names. Sure, you can apologise after the anger dissipates, but the deed has been done.
Dami: You see why I carry this madam on my head?
LMAO. How would you rate your love life on a scale of 1 to 10?
Dami: 10. We’re a work in progress, but Jesus is the centre of our home. We can only go up from here.
Tobi: 10 too. He’s my person. It also doesn’t hurt that he knows just when to buy me shawarma and ice cream.
NEXT READ: Love Life: We Bonded Over Our Love for Music