Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
Fiyin, 25, and Jide, 27, have been dating for three months. This week on Love Life, they talk about meeting through a mutual friend, the fight that made them stop talking for six months and the journey to finding each other again.
What’s your earliest memory of each other?
Jide: In June 2020, my friend, Bisola, said she had a sister she thought I’d get along with. They were part of a sisterhood of five friends who met each other in their first year of university and have been friends since. She shared the girl’s handle, so I went through her Twitter and found pictures from some hangout she’d had sometime before the lockdown. She looked really nice so I followed her.
Fiyin: Bisola already told me he’d text so it wasn’t a surprise when he did. He seemed very comfortable from the first text. It wasn’t awkward, and I didn’t have to do too much to carry the conversation because he always had something to say that I could respond to and build on. It was a relief for me.
Gist me. What did you two talk about that first day?
Fiyin: It was just getting-to-know-you topics. Family, school, age, life, etc.
Jide: We took a bunch of personality tests together. The funny thing was we kept getting very similar results even though our personalities seemed different. For example, I’m more social than she is. She has crazy social anxiety, so she hated calls, especially video calls. Those had to be scheduled ahead cos she had to mentally prepare.
Fiyin: Then, we saw each other for the first time.
Tell me about it
Fiyin: It was sometime in August 2021. We had planned to hang out the next day but I was on the island with my friends, so he came by on his way home from work to say hi.
Jide: I wanted to break the ice before our first date. I was really excited and was even counting down. I was also anxious as hell. I smoked and drank beforehand, to reduce my nerves. When I saw her, it was nice. She looked beautiful. We hugged and just kept talking like we had known each other for ages.
Fiyin: I was really nervous. Meeting people for the first time or even after a long while does that to me — I would rather just text — but this was good. We were both nervous so it made me a little comfortable. We were just smiling throughout; it was funny and a little awkward. But I wasn’t as nervous when we saw the next day. After that, we kept talking on the phone and saw each other a couple of times until December when we parted ways.
Fiyin: He had some habits I wasn’t comfortable with — smoking and drinking heavily. I told myself we weren’t dating so they shouldn’t bother me, but as we got closer, I realised I couldn’t be with him if he didn’t give them up. This kept weighing on me until the last week of December when I decided to tell him. By then, we had been talking for six months.
I called him one night, and after the usual pleasantries, I brought up the issue. He didn’t say anything for about three minutes. When I realised he wasn’t going to talk at all, I ended the call.
Jide: I know she had a right to her opinion about my smoking and drinking, but it hurt and felt like rejection. I’d been very open about how I lived my life with her, so it was weird that it came up after six months. I did what I do best — I clammed up and literally curled into a ball. Was it a good response? Maybe not.
Fiyin: I woke up the next day expecting a text in response to what I said, but there was none.
So I just assumed that was the end of whatever we were doing.
Oh wow. How did you two end up on Zikoko’s Love Life?
Fiyin: After the first three months went by, I reached out to him to say hi.
Jide: I asked her why she didn’t tell me how she felt earlier. She told me she thought she’d be comfortable with it over time, but she wasn’t so she decided to tell me before we went further with what we were doing.
Fiyin: I apologised and said I was no longer upset, but I was lying. I was particularly upset he didn’t apologise for ghosting me after such a serious conversation, so I kept my distance again. I muted his account, but sometimes, I’d miss him and send a message I’d immediately regret. He’d reply, but he wasn’t saying what I wanted to hear, so after a while I stopped texting him. That’s when he started reaching out.
Jide: One day, I sent a text on WhatsApp, asking how she was, and this babe asked me what happened. I said I was just checking up on a friend and she said we weren’t friends.
Fiyin: I also told him why we couldn’t be friends just yet. Ghosting is one of the worst things anyone I care about can do to me. It took a lot of effort to discuss those things with him, and he didn’t even give me any response. It was really crazy for me to have talked to him consistently for six months, and then, stopped abruptly. It took a while to get over it. He still didn’t apologise, but it felt good to tell him off.
Jide: I wished her well and didn’t talk to her again until her birthday. I wished her a good one and she did the same when it was my turn.
Fiyin: I felt like it was the least I could do, but I’d also started to feel less animosity towards him. In January 2022, we bumped into each other at South, a bar in Lagos.
Jide: I was so nervous about seeing her that I drank two small bottles of bitters and two cups of their famous long Island just for good measure. I ended up going to meet Bisola a few times to shout, “it’s not fair”, in her ear because it seemed like I was the only one having a hard time.
Fiyin: After that day at South, Bisola asked me to give him another chance, so I told her she could tell him to reach out to me if he wanted.
Jide: I set up a call, and we talked about everything that happened between us. I got the clarity I needed, which helped our relationship. We resumed chatting every day after that conversation. Around that time, I had a job fair and it turned out she was volunteering there so we decided we’d go to the beach after the whole thing.
Fiyin: And then, he came late to pick me up. Man, I was mad. I didn’t want to go again, but I went with him to get food.
Jide: I just kept saying sorry. After we got food, we stayed in the car and talked a bit. It was pretty nice because I eventually got over my nervousness, turned on the charm and she was smiling again. We were talking when I noticed she was wearing merch of an anime show I was watching. I asked her for it, and she agreed to give it to me. While she was taking it off, we got so close. She held me and whispered in my ear, “This doesn’t mean anything,” and kissed me.
Fiyin: It turned out to be quite the make out sesion. He followed me to me here I was staying at the time and we spent some time together, just talking about everything.
Jide: I left the house at about 4 a.m. with the biggest smile on my face. That night rekindled what we had. We continued talking and making out time to see each other every so often. In April, I asked her to be my girlfriend. I was waiting for the perfect moment, but when I saw her, I realised there was no such thing. I told her this and asked her to date me.
Fiyin: I said yes and here we are…
It’s about time. How has the relationship been so far?
Fiyin: It’s been just three months, but it feels like we’ve been together for longer. We talk every single day and we see as often as we can. I usually feel like I can’t say how I feel because I’m not sure how people would react. But I don’t feel that way with him. No matter what the issue is, I’m comfortable enough to express myself without overthinking it. It’s a safe space for me, and to be honest, it took a lot of intentional work between us.
We try to make sure the other person feels comfortable when expressing how they feel, even when it feels like an attack. We also try to communicate in a way that isn’t antagonising. He cares about me and my growth, especially in my career, and he shows it as often as he can. I love that he’s friends with most of my closest friends — it makes my life much easier. He tries to make life easier for me however he can. It’s been great really.
Jide: I agree. The relationship we’re building now is worth the separation however painful it was. It feels like both of us grew during our time apart and the growth helped with shape our lives today. This is the first time anybody has ever made me feel like a good boyfriend. Alpha male vibes are good and all, but I’d rather be vulnerable with my person. I struggled so much with my mental health in the past, so it’s such a good feeling when you’re safe. Fiyin makes me feel safe. I’m in awe of how much she cares about me, and I want to keep being a good partner to her.
Another thing is we have amazing chemistry, right from the talking stage. We’re so attracted to each other, but the friendship we’ve built is what makes it worth it.
Sweet! Do you two fight?
Fiyin: We haven’t had any serious fight yet. Just minor disagreements and we usually end up seeing the other person’s point or we just agree to disagree. The only significant disagreement we’ve had was about relocation. We both want to, but at different times. We always have very serious conversations about it, and it’s quite stressful to think about. But we’re currently trying to find a way around it. The good thing is we never end the day on bad terms, especially him. I’m always ready to go to bed annoyed, but he doesn’t allow it.
Jide: I grew up with anger issues, and I’ve had to do a lot of work on it. I also have hypertension, so I know it’s not worth holding back on things that can be cleared up with a conversation.
Nice! I’m curious about what attracts you to each other?
Jide: Apart from the fact that she’s really cute, she’s also very smart. Yesterday, I met her uncle and he spent about five minutes talking about how smart my girl is and praying that I’ll be smart enough for her.
Fiyin: For me, it’s his smile. There’s a way he smiles up to his eyes that gets me going. I like how nice he is, not just to me, but also to my friends, and even to random people. He is super empathetic. There’s a way he gets upset over other people’s suffering that I adore. I used to think I was empathetic, but he is way above me. It’s amusing sometimes, but I really love that about him.
Rate this relationship on a scale of 1 – 10
Fiyin: I’d rate it a 10 based on the quality of our communication and how intentional we are about the relationship. There’s always room for improvement, but it’s still a 10 for me.
Jide: It’s a 10 for me as well. What we have is something special. It has weathered many storms and keeps gathering steam. There are highs and lows with every relationship, but I’d like to say we’re doing pretty great. We care about each other, and that makes all the difference.
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