Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
Jola, 25, and Oyin, 26, have been dating for a year. Today on Love Life, they talk about meeting on Twitter, becoming friends and talking for nine months before starting a relationship where they still haven’t had a fight.
What’s your earliest memory of each other?
Jola: I don’t remember how we ended up on each other’s timelines, but we used to interact in 2020.
Oyin: I took a social media break around that time. When I returned in May, it was her birthday so I slid into her DM to wish her a happy birthday.
After that, we started exchanging DMs. We didn’t talk about anything in particular — I’m a friendly person, and I found her interesting to talk to.
Some weeks later, someone made a tweet saying, “Send your man money for lunch.” I tagged her on the tweet as a joke and this babe actually sent me money. I told her I had to propose to her even though I didn’t have a ring. She laughed about it and we fell into an endless conversation.
That led you two to start dating?
Oyin: Nopes. I had just gotten out of a relationship in April 2020 and wasn’t ready to start dating again. My head wasn’t in that zone at all, but I liked talking to Jola. I made this clear to her and she was fine with it.
Jola: As for me, I already knew that I wanted to marry him. When he told me that he didn’t want to be in a relationship. I didn’t mind as long I got to talk to him.
We got quite close — we’d talk to each other every day until we slept off, exchange voice notes and call each other frequently. He’s a funny guy and we crack each other up, so I really enjoyed talking to him. In January I got a job in Lagos, so we promised each other we’d always make time to see on Tuesdays. He lives about 20 minutes away from me.
Interesting. And you two were not dating yet?
Oyin: Nopes, but I’d realised I was in love with her. I don’t remember the exact moment, but I found myself thinking over and over, “I really like talking to this person.”
Jola: After nine months. . .
Oyin: LOL. I got tired of the streets and she was the only one I wanted to be with, so I asked her out.
Tell me how he asked you out.
Jola: One Tuesday in March 2021, I went to his house as usual. At the door, he told me not to take off my wig because he made a video and he wanted to record my reaction to it. I agreed. When the song, Unthinkable came on, I became suspicious because it’s a song we both like. The video was an animated play on the lyrics of the song. When the part, “I was wondering maybe,” came up, Oyin popped the question, asking if I’d like to be his girlfriend. I love that he took his time to plan the whole thing. Of course, I said yes.
That’s so cute. You two had been talking for nine months before you started dating. Did anything change when the relationship started?
Oyin: Nothing really. Our friendship continued and we remain guys till today. The only thing that changed is that Jola left me in this country. I mean I knew she was going to move, but it wasn’t a big deal when we weren’t a couple.
Jola: Yeah. To manage the distance, we text all the time and video call as often as we can. Aside from that, everything else is perfect. We feel like we’re married to each other.
Oyin: We’re each other’s person and invest a lot into each other’s growth. We function as a unit — anything one person does makes room for the other person. I never feel alone. I know I have a dependable partner. Because of that, the relationship has been easy. I know people say relationships require a lot of work, but Jola makes it easy to be with her.
Jola: Yes. Oyin is the definition of sweetness. That’s how he’s been from the first time we spoke. I like that he’s always there, like my voice of reasoning.
Oyin: Voice of reason, babe.
Jola: You see, he’s also my English teacher. Being with him has been the best thing ever. In past relationships, conversations scared me because of how they could turn out, but with Oyin, that changed. When something comes up, we sit and discuss it like friends.
Do you know we’ve never fought?
Jola: Yup and I used to think it was abnormal, but now, I don’t think I have to suffer to show that our relationship is valid. It’s already bad enough that I’m Nigerian and the government is steady giving me gbas gbos. I cannot carry it inside relationship again abeg.
I feel you.
Jola: Oyin is my safe haven, and I’m very comfortable in it. He pushes me to be the best version of myself. Forget love oh, I really like him as a person. We’ve been through some changes together, yet our love for each other remains.
Tell me about those changes.
Oyin: When we became friends, she was a master’s student in France taking her courses online because of the pandemic. Now, she works in the UK as an account executive. I got a better job. I love that we push each other to do better. We’re always trying to do more for the other person.
So for real, no fights, ever?
Oyin: Maybe in the future, we’ll fight.
Jola: Please, let’s not foresee something we’ve not done. We currently argue about things, but it always ends in either a compromise or one of us doing whatever they want.
Does that work?
Oyin: Yes, that’s the way we handle things. It also helps that we’re both open-minded so when we talk about things, we try to see it from the other person’s point of view.
That makes sense. What’s one thing that attracts you both to each other?
Jola: He’s very sweet. This is a quality I wanted in a partner before I met him. Oyin is sweet not just to me but to those around him. Even his friends say he’s a really kind person — he writes them these letters which I think are very cute.
Oyin: She’s also a sweet and kind person. I believe Jola’s personality was made for mine. You know when you go to the market and you don’t know what you’re looking for but you know you want something. Then you find it and it fits like a glove. That’s how I feel about her.
Sweet. What’s the best part of the relationship?
Oyin: LOL. It used to be being in the same space with her, but she lives in the UK now.
Jola: I miss that too. There’s this level of peace and contentment I feel when I’m with you.
Aww. Rate this relationship on a scale of one to ten.
Jola: I rate it 9.9999 because we’re perfect, but as everyone says, there’s always room for improvement.
Oyin: It’s a 10 for me because I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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