Love Life: Being Polyamorous Didn’t Stop My Jealousy

September 22, 2022

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

The subjects of this week’s Love Life are Jaymes*(23) and Seyi*(20), a polyamorous couple who got together five days after they started talking. Since then, they’ve had to deal with one of them being outed as queer, navigating multiple relationships and the jealousy it comes with. 

Tell me how both of you started talking

Jaymes: We met on Twitter. I’d seen Seyi fighting all over the timeline, but I never messaged them until at the beginning of 2021 when they tweeted something that made me worry about them. 

Seyi: What do you mean “fighting”?

Jaymes: If anyone talked anyhow about women or queer people, you were there to help them press reset on their brain. 

Seyi: I was doing it out of the goodness of my heart. It was community service, thankless work. 

Jaymes: Yes, baby. Well done. 

After I messaged them on Twitter, it’s not like we spoke constantly. We only talked to each other when we remembered. And I only remembered when I saw them behaving like an agbero on my timeline. 

Seyi: You’re very rude, you know? I’m a sweet and kind person. 

Jaymes: Of course. 

LMAO. If the talking wasn’t consistent, how did you start dating?

Jaymes: Well, we started talking consistently in March of 2021. I don’t even remember why. I just know we spent five hours on the phone during our first proper interaction, talking. 

Seyi: And this was what we did for the next five days. We spent 11-14 hours on the phone each day. When we weren’t on the phone, we were texting. 

Were you people unemployed? 

Seyi: Yes, but I also had classes. We texted while I was in class. 

Jaymes: On the fifth day, asking them out just fell from my mouth. They agreed, but it cost me ₦20k. 

How? 

Seyi: He lost a bet with his friends on how long he could last before he asked me out.

Jaymes: I have a track record of asking people out almost immediately after we start consistently talking. After the first day I spent hours on the phone with Seyi, I told my friends about them, and my friends told me I’d behave like I always do. I said this was different, so we all put money on it. I’d win if I could make it till the time they set without asking Seyi out. I didn’t. 

How much time did they set? 

Seyi: Seven days.

Jaymes: Looking back at it, it was a very stupid decision not to wait for the seven days.

Seyi: Yes, because we could’ve used that money for something. 

Jaymes: I agree. It was worth it though. I lost the money, but I’ve got the most amazing human alive.

Seyi: You’re so sweet. 

But what were you people talking about for five days?

Seyi: He’d sing to me, we’d talk about how our days went,  joke and laugh. Rant about stuff that was unfair, our lives, what we wanted in a partner, etc. We asked all the talking stage questions of what do you like, favourite colour, etc. 

We video-called sometimes and danced. It was the kind of talk that’ll make you sit under your dining table smiling like a goat. That meme of the guy on the bed and holding a broom on the phone was me.

So I knew he would lose the bet. I’d already told my friends and other boyfriend there was someone I liked and might start dating so they won’t be surprised when I did. 

Ah yes, another boyfriend 

Seyi: Yeah, I was in a relationship with someone for a year and some months by the time Jaymes and I started talking. 

RELATED: I Realised I am Polyamorous in 2020

How did that work? 

Seyi: My other boyfriend, Kunle*, and I told each other about the people we liked before getting into a relationship with them. So when I started talking to Jaymes, I told Kunle about it. 

I went from “Hey, I’ve been talking to this person I really like and think I might date” to “This person asked me out, and I said yes” a few days later. That caused a slight problem because Kunle just thought I’d been talking to Jaymes for a long time and kept it from him. When he confronted me about it, I told him the truth. That it happened fast. And I think he accepted that. 

Jaymes, are you also polyamorous? 

Jaymes: Yup. Unlike Seyi, I didn’t have another partner at the time, but there was someone else I was in love with. I’d always known I was capable of loving multiple people at the same time, and that’s why I stopped forcing myself to try and be in monogamous relationships. 

We both understood how we worked, so we hardly had problems with it. But we had some slight issues.

What were the issues? 

Seyi: Well, we stayed in two different states, but there also was the fact that he got outed as queer to his parents. That period was very scary for me because I couldn’t be there him, so I had to rely on calls and texts whenever he had the chance to.

Jaymes: Add the fact that I’d gotten diagnosed with schizophrenia towards the end of 2020 and the outing led to multiple psychotic breaks. I was dealing with that, changing schools and being cut off from my parents. 

I’m so sorry. That’s a lot for one person 

Jaymes: It’s mostly all right now, but then? Because my parents cut me off,  I didn’t have my medication, which made me very paranoid. I believed everyone was out to get me, Seyi included.

I don’t know how they were able to cope, but I do know if not for my patient and magnificent friends and partner, I might’ve lost it.

I’d call at odd hours because I had severe nightmares. At one point, I felt bad for Seyi. I figured it was too much to make one person deal with and that I was detrimental to their life and wellbeing, so I broke up with them. 

RELATED: 7 Nigerians Talk About Being in Love With Someone With a Mental Illness

Seyi: When he broke up with me, I didn’t feel bad about it. I knew and understood why he thought what he did. All that mattered to me was that he knew he was safe. 

Jaymes: After I told them I wanted us to break up via text, I wanted to take it back immediately, but I was in school and the network randomly disappeared

When I eventually got to them, I told them I wanted us to get back together. The breakup lasted for a total of 12 hours, but it took us at least a week before we stopped walking on eggshells around each other.  

How long were you both together when the outing happened? 

Seyi: Six months, so it was fairly early into the relationship. 

Jaymes: I’m grateful for them in my life because they supported me through everything. I started freelancing to make some money, and Seyi tried to make sure I got my medication and was taking them. I’d skip some days to try to drag the drugs out for longer though. 

Seyi, and you did all this while navigating a second relationship? 

Seyi: Yeah, navigating both relationships was okay for a while. Kunle and I had both been in and out of relationships while dating each other, so we knew how the dynamic worked. But things kind of got rocky when Jaymes came to Lagos. 

RELATED: Love Life: She’s Polyamorous but I’m Not

Why? 

Seyi: I thought since I had a partner, Kunle, whom I regularly saw one partner when I was in Lagos, it was okay to spend more time with the one I hardly saw. But that didn’t work. They both felt I was giving the other person more attention, and it was extremely stressful. 

Jaymes: I knew they were trying their best, but there were two incidents in which the three of us would be at the same event and I just felt jealous. 

I didn’t have issues with Kunle personally, we were actually pretty cool. It’s just that I wasn’t going to be in the same physical location as my partner again till heaven knows when. I wanted to savour every moment and spend as much time with them as I could, but I still had to share that with someone else. 

How did you navigate the jealousy?

Jaymes: Well, I’d been jealous before. Whenever they hung out, I’d feel bad because all I had were calls and texts. I wanted to just hold their hand or go on a physical date with them. 

As time passed, I was more comfortable speaking about how I felt. They reminded me that us not being in the same places didn’t mean they loved me less or didn’t want to hang out with me. They listened and didn’t judge me for being jealous. We’d talk about all of the things we’d do when we meet, have our long ass calls, and most times, sleep on the phone.

So when I was in Lagos, we talked through it. They’d listen, reassure me and ask questions about how I felt and things that made me upset. They’re amazing. That’s why when they and Kunle broke up eight months after we started dating, I wanted to be as there for them as possible. 

RELATED: Love Life: We Didn’t Need Phones, We Had Love

Seyi, why did you and Kunle break up? 

Seyi: The reasons were a lot. He said the distance was hard for him. Meanwhile, he was in Ikeja and I was in Yaba. He also said he wanted to be monogamous and that I never sexted him. It was a lot of nonsense. 

Jaymes: If I was in Lagos, I’d have put Kunle in a hospital. I even contemplated travelling just to come and fight. He was so stupid. 

Seyi: I’m really glad Jaymes was there for me. He was so good to me. Letting me rant, ranting with me, listening, reassuring me and dealing with the insecurities the breakup caused. I didn’t stop being heartbroken, but I recovered enough to focus on the person I was still dating. 

Glad you both have each other. Any new relationships? 

Seyi: None from me. I don’t think I have the mental and physical energy to date anyone right now else. 

Jaymes: I started dating someone new last week. 

Rate your love life on a scale of 1-10

Seyi: 8. Minus one for distance and the other because, sometimes, we have issues communicating how we feel to one another, but we’re working on it.

Jaymes: 8.5

Seyi: Na wa. Where did the .5 come from? 

Jaymes: It’s jara now. Despite the difficulties we’ve had, I learnt what love without fear means. It’s safe to be all of who I am without hiding, shrinking or being scared to say how I feel.

RELATED: Love Life: Telling Our Parents Made Our Relationship Easy

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