Sophie*, 23, and Ife*, 24, have been dating for two years. Today on Love Life, they talk about meeting at a cyber cafe, falling for each other because they lived together and finding themselves in a polyamorous relationship.
How did you two meet?
Sophie: We met at the cyber cafe I was working at in 2017.
Ife: I always went to the cafe to print material for the school I worked at as a secretary. Whenever we had anything to print at school, I took it to their cyber cafe. I liked her the moment I saw her. After a couple of visits, I figured out she worked there. I would stop at the cyber cafe to chill with the workers after work. I tried to get her attention, but she never laughed at my jokes.
Ahn ahn, Sophie.
Sophie: LOL. She didn’t talk to me. She was instead gisting with my colleague. One day, I jumped into a conversation she was having with him and that’s how we started talking. I knew she had been trying to catch my attention but I guess I was shy.
Ife: We exchanged numbers in the name of work. When I was done for the day, I’d ask if she was at the cafe. If she wasn’t, she asked me to wait for her. We remained friends until I went to school the next year.
And then what happened?
Ife: Nothing much. I started classes and got a boyfriend. I rarely went home, so we didn’t see each other until she came to join me in my school in 2019.
Was it planned?
Sophie: Not really. The year Ife went to school, I applied to Uniport but they didn’t give me admission. The next year, I applied to her school and got in. I didn’t have a place to stay, so I asked if I could stay with her and she agreed.
What was living together like?
Ife: When she came, we were still friends. It was nice having her around. We did everything together. She cleaned, I cooked. We ate together and sometimes went to school together.
Sophie: Then one night in March, I made a move. I caressed her and asked if that was okay. She said yes. We made out that night.
We didn’t talk about it the next day but at night, it happened again. The day after that, we had sex. This continued for three more nights before she said we needed to discuss it. She reminded me that she had a boyfriend, and I said I was okay that. We agreed to continue having sex with no strings attached.
Ife: Until she caught feelings.
Was that a problem?
Ife: Well, she started getting jealous. I would go and see my boyfriend and she won’t be able to sleep. I liked her. I had always liked her, but I also liked my boyfriend and I told her this.
Sophie, how did you feel?
Sophie: After a while, I wanted her to myself. I couldn’t confront her, but lowkey, I was angry with her. Before she went home for the Christmas holiday in 2019, she told me she loved me. I loved her too, but it was hard to believe her. During the holidays, I’d call and she wouldn’t pick up immediately. she would call me later when her boyfriend was not there. I was so annoyed. I kept wondering if she was playing with me.
Ife: On my end, it wasn’t easy. I was in love with both of them and was trying to figure out how to manage this when my boyfriend found out about Sophie. I woke up to see him crying one night and then saw that he had read my texts. I took a minute to gather myself in the bathroom before I let him confront me. I told him the truth — I wanted to be with two of them.
I had never dated a woman, so I was excited about Sophie, but my boyfriend had been good to me and I wasn’t ready to let him go.
How did you resolve this?
Ife: I had a series of conversations with him and eventually he agreed I could date both of them.
What was that like?
Ife: Sophie was always angry. She made sure I picked her calls whenever I was with him. I cried a lot that period because Sophie didn’t want to believe that I loved her the way I always said I did.
Sophie: Your actions showed otherwise. I couldn’t believe you. I felt like you were prioritising him over me. I always asked you who you loved more, but you would say you couldn’t answer the question.
Ife: Because I loved you both differently. My boyfriend also felt threatened by my relationship with Sophie.
Sophie: So he started threatening to tell her mom.
Ife: He didn’t do it, but it took a toll on me.
Sophie: And she still didn’t break up with him. You see why I didn’t believe her?
Ife: I couldn’t just leave him. I would tell him I didn’t want to see him again, but he would show up at my house. My parents were cool with him, so I couldn’t drive him away. One time, he sent a message saying he wanted to commit suicide. I had to go and see him. I spent some time with him but then he became aggressive. He’d get angry I was picking Sophie’s call when I was in his house. One day, he tried to slap me. That’s when I decided to let him go for good. This was in February 2020.
What happened next?
Ife: Sophie and I became exclusive partners.
What was that like?
Sophie: It was hard to forget everything and settle in an exclusive relationship with her. I felt like she would still pick him over me if he came back. I mean, she stayed with him even after he threatened to tell her mum about us. Plus she still had his pictures on her phone. I didn’t believe her for the first few weeks but eventually, I realised that she had become more committed to our relationship.
Sophie: For example, she started apologising when she did something wrong. Before, I would be the one to apologise, even when she did something wrong to me. When we became exclusive, she started telling me about her whereabouts. She would even tell me beforehand and try to make sure I was okay with it.
I love communication a lot and Ife didn’t like to talk about things. She believed that time would solve it without talking about it. That changed too.
Ife, was this deliberate?
Ife: Yes. I knew I wanted to be with her for a long time and I needed her to trust me, so I tried to be better for her.
What has the relationship been like?
Ife: It’s been God actually because the things we went through before we became exclusive were enough to tear us apart but we stayed together. She was very patient with me. I don’t think anyone else would have stayed with me. I appreciate her for that. I like to show my appreciation by taking care of her. I cook for her and when something is wrong with her, I make sure I get to the bottom of it.
Sophie: Things are much better now that it’s just us. I don’t have to worry about anyone else. I know things are going to get better as we grow in love.
Aww. What’s the best part of the relationship?
Sophie: It’s the friendship between us. I think that’s what kept us together through those tough times. We were friends before we became partners.
Ife: To be honest, it’s the same for me. Our friendship makes the relationship stronger.
What’s your favourite thing about each other?
Ife: Her patience. She rarely gets angry to the point of violence except when you hurt someone she loves. One time, Sophie and I went out for lunch. We had to cross Oshodi expressway and you know how busy it gets. Just as I was about to cross onto the pavement, a bus brushed my leg. Sophie saw that and rushed the bus driver with a blow. I had never seen her like that but the bus could have hit me that day. I feel safe being with her. She’s like this even with her family and her friends. I admire her for it.
Sophie: Ife is a kind person. She can be wicked oh, but she has a kind heart. If Ife is in a position to help you, she wouldn’t hesitate to do it.
Also, I love her body so much — every part of it is a delight plus she is an amazing cook.
Rate your relationship on a scale of 1 to 10.
Sophie: 8, because we have been through a lot together and I know things are only going to get better with time.
Ife: 8 too, for the same reasons. Every minute I spend with her, I learn more about her and I know it’s her I want to do life with.