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

What’s your earliest memory of each other?

Doris: I’d just moved to Canada for school in 2022 and got this apartment two weeks in. It was a two-bed and she happened to be my housemate. She’d moved in the day before me. When I came in alone with my luggage, she received me so warmly. She helped me bring my stuff in. Her aunty, who lived in a different province, was there for the weekend, and they both helped me unpack and settle in. 

Lase: That long weekend, we talked on and off — about our plans, short and long-term, and agreed it was wild that we both came from Lagos. 

She’s such an open sharer, and our rapport was great from day one. I knew I was lucky to have her as a housemate. All my friends who’d japa to different parts of Canada always complained about their housemates. Either they were like ghosts or they were just problematic. That’s how I was deceived into thinking I wouldn’t be as lonely in Canada as people warned. 

Doris: By Monday, her aunt was gone, we had to start attending classes straight away, and the loneliness set in properly.

Tell me about the loneliness

Doris: We spent most of the day in school, and we weren’t studying the same course, so we hardly saw each other. Also, we had to find jobs quickly, so we constantly went for open calls and interviews in those early days. 

Lase: We weren’t in a popular province, so not many other Nigerians were in school. The other foreigners weren’t giving “approachable”, so everyone just kept to themselves. You tried to learn what you could from the lecturers and you went to your house; that was it. 

At home, we were too tired to even chat, especially when we both got jobs the next week.

Doris: We spent most of what we made on bills and groceries/toiletries. So, on weekends, it was more sleep, small gisting and doom-scrolling on TikTok. There was no one to visit, no fun place to go. It was school, work, bed and repeat. The holidays were worse; no school or work.

For several months, we only saw or talked to each other. This was in sharp contrast with my life in Lagos. I still dream about my active social life pre-japa to this day.

Did things ever get better?

Lase: Yes, but I think it’s because we got used to it, not that things got that much more fun. We go out more now, though.

Doris: We moved down to Alberta in late 2023, after our graduation. That helped us find our tribe and expanded our social activities a lot. Yet we could still go weeks without seeing anyone but ourselves and some work colleagues — we both work hybrid.

Lase: We got so close, very early on, that we did everything together. As far as 2022, the year we met, we’d sleep in the same bed just so we could gist longer and escape loneliness. In Alberta, we just continued on with that habit.

When did you realise you liked each other beyond friendship?

Doris: When we started talking about our forced celibacy. 

This was still in 2022. We discovered we were both fairly sexually active in Lagos. Having to stay off sex because there was simply no time or opportunities to find love post-japa was jarring.

Lase: Five months in, it suddenly hit me that I wasn’t having any sex on top of being lonely, and I felt so physically uncomfortable. I’ve never even thought of myself as not being able to do without sex. But I was losing my mind. I think it was the celibacy combined with the loneliness, homesickness and general anxiety about a completely new phase in my life. Talking it out with her really helped me stay sane.

Doris: One day, we started talking about how we weren’t getting any, and one day again, we tried to make out in bed. It felt good, and we went on from there.

Did you know you were gay before then?

Doris: No.

Lase: Nope.

Doris: I’d say I’m sex-fluid.

Lase: If we have to have labels. 

We’re both open-minded, making it easier to notice the attraction between us and act on it.

But it sounds more like you acted out of necessity than attraction

Lase: It seemed platonic at first because that’s just the default way we’re socialised to approach people of your gender. But as we got closer and started talking about everything, and sleeping in the same bed even though we had separate rooms, I started to identify that we were getting more romantic and sexual. 

If we were of opposite genders, we would immediately know we liked each other once things like that started to happen, so why do we ignore the signs when it comes to the same gender?

Doris: I’d been attracted to women in the past, but I’d never thought to act on that attraction until now. So, I guess I see what you mean by necessity. Regardless, the attraction was there. When we made out the first time, it was the most amazing thing ever. It felt like some well-deserved delayed gratification.

What happened after that first makeout? Did you become official?

Doris: No. First, we made out a lot without really talking about why we were doing it and if we should be getting intimate. But we were a lot happier once that started.

Lase: It wasn’t until we had sex some weeks later that we talked about what we were to each other. We weren’t really in a hurry to put labels. I think we also didn’t need to because our individual priorities were to find our feet in this new society we found ourselves in. So we were thinking about passing our master’s, getting a better job and then an even better job to pay for everything we needed to secure our continued stay in Canada. 

Doris: So we were just fine with being each other’s source of companionship and release for the time being. We had the talk and decided we cared a lot about each other, and that was it. We decided to focus on graduating well.

In the meantime, what was your relationship?

Doris: It was a lot of talking, supporting and picking after each other, literally splitting everything down the middle, from bills to food and money in general. 

Lase: And lots of sex. It made everything better when we could be home after a long day and give each other orgasms for days.

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What happened after graduation?

Doris: The dynamic changed. So, to begin with, while we were in Aurora (Canada), we hardly went out together. Our relationship was within the confines of our small student apartment. When we moved to Calgary, Alberta, we started going out in the open as a couple, and it felt like this big glare was on us. 

Lase: It felt like literally stepping out of the closet.

Doris: We were compelled to come straight with ourselves and decide we wanted to be committed to each other. But that hasn’t come without its struggles.

Tell me about them

Doris: The major one is that I’m a thick hot babe, and Lase is quite petite… so there’ve been instances when I’ve been mistaken for her mum. And that’s just crazy because we’re the same age. It’s happened so many times, and it does put a strain on our otherwise perfect relationship.

Lase: Canadian locals are wild because I just can’t understand how they can all make such a mistake. They see two women looking intimate, and because one is bigger than the other, they just assume she’s the mum?

Doris: It also doesn’t help that I’m much darker. 

But how do you handle this assumption so it doesn’t affect how you feel about each other?

Doris: We actually go out less these days. I know we shouldn’t hide, but sometimes, it’s just easier.
Lase: We don’t talk about it so much because I’m scared it’s a sore point for both of us, but for her most especially. I just give her space to express how she feels about it and listen.

Doris: Besides that, it’s been bliss. We have the coolest small group of friends from our neighbourhood and workplaces. Like I said earlier, we’ve found our tribe, and we’re all pretty like-minded. I love the freedom we have to love and be present for each other through major milestones.

You haven’t mentioned much about your family 

Lase: You know how alienating Canada can be. I have cousins here, but they’re all in Toronto and Ottawa. One’s in Winnipeg — I mentioned her mum helped me settle in earlier. Doris and I are actually planning a trip to Toronto this summer, so we’ll hopefully get to unite with them soon. 

But so far, social media is how I keep up with my family. My parents are in the UK now, and with the time difference, it’s been hard to keep up regular communication.

Doris: My parents are still in Lagos, but it’s the same time zone issue. They gave up on me at least a year ago. We try our best to have video calls most important holidays or birthdays. Same with my siblings who are in different parts of Nigeria.

I’ve introduced Lase as my housemate and best friend; they love her.

Lase: Yeah. Nobody knows we’re dating except our Alberta friends.

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Do you ever plan to tell your family?

Doris: Honestly, no. Except we have to.

Lase: They’ve started putting marriage pressure on me, but I’ve hinted that I may never get married. And that might be what ends up happening. Because me I don’t like stress.

Doris: I think we’ll just go with the flow. We’re perfectly happy the way we are now. But who knows? We’ve started talking about whether we want to have kids or not. We’ve also started thinking about the legal aspects of our relationship. Things like what would happen in the case of emergencies, when we’re not legally bound?

Lase: We might just elope and have a civil union. Who knows?

Have you had any major fights yet?

Doris: You know what? No.

Lase: Maybe little arguments, but none that I can even talk about because I can’t remember what might’ve caused them.

Doris: Actually, we had one some days ago. 

I wanted to stop by a SubWay outlet to grab some food on my way home, and I asked if she wanted anything. She said yes and told me what she wanted. I got home and gave it to her, and she said she didn’t want it anymore.

Ah. Explain yourself, Lase

Lase: She went and got food for only me. I asked where hers was, and she said she’d changed her mind about getting for herself. How would I sit and eat alone? I only wanted it because you said you were getting some. I didn’t want you eating alone, and I’d start feeling long throat.

Doris: That’s still so annoying. Like, I told you I didn’t know that’s what you had in mind, and you still didn’t eat the food.

Do you know that food still sits in our fridge to this day? Which is just a joke because we know trash SubWay doesn’t last a day.

Lase: This wasn’t a serious fight sha. Just one of those little arguments.

Doris: Hmm.

Hmm. How’d you rate your Love Life on a scale of 1 to 10?

Lase: A sweet 8. We could do this forever.

Doris: I can actually see it. Two cantankerous 80-year-old cat ladies still giving each other the best orgasms every night. I’m dying of laughter.

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.

For more on public discrimination against one-half of a couple, read this: Love Life: We Strongly Believe in Different Religions



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