Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.

21st-century arranged marriages, sexless marriages, birthing a child in a bunker during a war and sexuality-bending encounters; these most-loved Love Life stories are a rollercoaster of experiences that’ll have you believing in love, no matter where you’re at in your own journey.

We’re Married But Celibate

This story broke the internet in March because many people cannot even begin to imagine a real relationship, let alone a marriage, without sex. The two asexual subjects of this Love Life, who’ve been married for five years and dated for three, prove that it’s possible, and are still very much in love. Sex for them only happens on New Year’s Day, as a kind of vow renewal, and they’ve since adopted two children.

We Married a Year After He Almost Married My Twin

What do you mean you met the love of your life while dating her twin?! This one is proof that humans will find love no matter what, so don’t give up on your own love life… or the lack of it.

These subjects bonded over being introverted and living in the twin’s extroverted shadow. And most of our readers will never forgive them for that.

I Married Him at 20 to Avoid Sin

Young love at its extreme, these guys married early so their passion wouldn’t lead them astray. But their strong spiritual bond, mutual and parental support, and commitment to allowing each other to be young are particularly heartwarming to read. One can’t help but root for them.

I Was a Puff-Puff Seller, so His Family Believes I Jazzed Him

A love story that begins with plastic bags of puff-puff is one worth going against family for. If you disagree, just ask this couple. They connected over the sweet Naija pastry and a bit of physical attraction, but it evolved into a deeper relationship that spurred them to japa to Dublin together. The funniest bit of this story is a rule they set for when they fight — they have to get naked first.

I Cheated With Him, but I Won’t Cheat on Him

This unconventional love story kicks off in Nigerian Law School with a cheeky nickname, a questionable game and an Abuja escapade. But as their relationship evolves, cheating, cultural differences and parental expectations make their future together unsure at best. If you’re into a healthy dose of unpredictability when it comes to love, this one’s for you.

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We Got Married Without Ever Dating

Did you know parents still arrange their children’s marriages today? They do, and sometimes, it’s even for the best. Thanks to their mothers’ careful plotting since before they were born, these guys fell in love in less than three months of meeting each other. By the third month, they were married. They’re going strong four years later — with a solid “9” rating from both subjects. 

E shock you? Ask your mother to set you up today.

Special: Mina’s Side of the Story

Remember the story about a man and a twin mentioned above? Yeah, well, it went viral, and people had a lot to say. This pushed the twin to come forward and share their perspective on the series of events, and it was the most gracious thing ever. She agrees the whole thing was awkward and even a little upsetting, but she insists no foul play was intended. She’s engaged to someone else and very happy.

I Was Gay Until I Met Her

Kunle and Temi’s journey from chance encounters in a crowded danfo to discovering mutual interests, including Kunle’s openness about his sexuality, is heartwarming. But the highlight is a heartfelt apology over jollof rice, which proves once again that food is a love language. It also helped them figure out how much they love each other. Then there’s their quirky argument over Sallah meat. 

Kunle’s unexpected switch from identifying as gay to being attracted to Temi is fascinating, and perhaps, showcases the complexity of human emotions. While Temi sometimes worries about Kunle being attracted to men again, his honesty about his feelings contributes to the uniqueness of their relationship dynamic.

We’ve Drifted Apart, but Can’t Break Our Engagement

From a family gathering to many casual conversations to co-habitation, early over-sharing caused a strain in their relationship, but this couple still decided to get engaged. Before long, their priorities and interests diverged, conversations dwindled, and they found themselves at a crossroads, contemplating their future. Throw in family interference and differing views on finances and career paths, and you have this complex love story. Not even the subjects themselves know if the relationship will last. All we know is the talking stage has one more point against it here.

We Found Love, Then the Nigerian Civil War Started

Perhaps my favourite Love Life story to write and the oldest subjects Zikoko’s ever interviewed, it began in the 60s when Pius, studying town planning in Budapest, returned to Nigeria and chose Clementine as his wife from two prospective candidates. They had a proxy wedding during nationwide tribal unrest, and Clementine joined Pius in Hungary shortly after. 

This interview captures their experiences during the Biafran War, living — and birthing their first child — in a bunker. Despite the hardships, they survived, had six children and built successful careers. In their retirement, they reflect on their enduring love, navigating societal changes and maintaining a bond after nearly 60 years of marriage. A must-read indeed.

Check back every Thursday by 9 AM for new Love Life stories here. The stories will also be a part of the Ships newsletter, so sign up here.

READ MORE: Love Life: We’re Still Building Our Love After 31 Years



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