Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
Tobi*, 21, and Elizabeth*, 19, have known each other for eleven months and dated for five. For today’s Love Life, they talk about being queer, managing a relationship where only one person is polyamorous, and leaving their exes for each other.
What’s your earliest memory of each other?
Elizabeth: My earliest memory of Tobi was when they called me on the phone. They told me I sound like MTN customer care because I pick my calls with “Yello,” and that made me laugh so hard. It was the funniest thing I had heard all day. They’re not funny, but sometimes they try.
Tobi: I’m funny, stop spreading fake news. Mine was actually the first time we met. I was doing my internship at the time, and I randomly mentioned to her that I was hungry. She showed up at my office with food.
I remember this particular day because I accidentally gave her the wrong directions and she looked so mad when she finally got there. I will not be forgetting that soon.
Elizabeth: Knowing Tobi now, I now understand that they have no sense of direction, but they’re adorable. I mean, I got to their workplace all mad but I saw them and I was like, “How can I be mad at this one?”
Elizabeth, you keep using they/them pronouns. Is that intentional?
Elizabeth: Yes. Tobi is non-binary — a gender identity that is neither exclusively masculine or feminine. Gender is not as binary as the world views it. There are men, women, and people who genuinely do not conform. Tobi can explain better.
Tobi: I think gender is a capitalist concept created to sell more blue and pink clothes. I personally prefer purple. Also, asking me about my gender and pronouns is a terrible idea because I’ll just say I’m stardust and I don’t exist and keep things moving.
Forgive my naivety, but if they are non-binary and you are a woman, what is the proper term for your relationship?
Tobi: Proper term?
Elizabeth: Babe, do you know what I just hacked? We’re straight. I mean, we are both dating opposite genders. OMG! Are we straight?
Tobi: Ew, please.
LMAO. What is going on here?
Elizabeth: A bisexual woman and a pansexual non-binary person decided to date. That’s legit it.
Tobi: Yup, we’re partners.
About being partners, what does a day in this relationship look like?
Elizabeth: Omo. There’s no dynamic, just vibes and InshaAllah.
Tobi: Oh shut up. That’s how we started being a thing. She said, “I just want to vibe oh. Nothing more.” But here we are. I’m not complaining though.
Elizabeth: Ah. You had a girlfriend abi woman of interest. What was I supposed to do? I had a girlfriend too and I didn’t plan on falling in love, but you were so sweet. You kept texting and calling me; it was only natural that I caught feelings.
Elizabeth, you caught feelings first?
Well, I told them I love them first, but as a friend. I was like, “I love you” and they went silent as hell, so I tacked on “…as a friend.”
LMAO. Good save.
Tobi: Lizzy, this is not how I remember things oh. ‘
Elizabeth: Are you calling me a liar?
Tobi: I would just like to say that I’ve never been that confused in my life. She said, “I love you, but like I love all my friends.”
Elizabeth: But, don’t I?
Tobi: Well, during the early stage, you kept texting me. Babe, we literally had a 9-hour phone call.
Elizabeth: But you were the one that called na. Talking about how you needed me to keep you company until you got home.
9 HOURS? Are y’all rich-rich?
Tobi: Please, dear, it was a WhatsApp call.
Elizabeth: Honestly, that day you used me.
Tobi: I don’t regret it.
Wait. Do either of you currently have other partners right now?
Tobi: Not yet.
Elizabeth: Yet? You have someone you have your eyes on? Pray tell, is their ass fat? Tobi will swear that I’m sleeping with half of Lagos and quarter of Benin city, but they’re the real hoe.
Tobi: But, aren’t you?
Elizabeth: I plead the fifth.
How long have you guys been together?
Elizabeth: Five months, but we were “talking” for seven months. We met on Twitter in December 2019. Tobi had a woman and I had a girlfriend. So, we were just friends. Then my ex broke up with me and the spirit of hoeing took over. I went over to their place for four days and then we kept… talking.
Elizabeth: Want us to say what really happened when I was at yours? It’s love life not sex life, dear.
LMAO. Wait, all this happened when Tobi still had a girl?
Elizabeth: Yes. We confessed to having feelings for each other and they said they still loved that woman.
So, when you guys started dating, was “that woman” still in the picture?
Tobi: Nah, she wasn’t.
Elizabeth: So, she didn’t even know we were dating until like two weeks after we’d started. Tobi was scared to hurt her feelings.
Tobi: Which was silly because she was never really open about what she wanted from me.
Elizabeth: You didn’t know how mean she was to you. You really loved her. I’m really sorry it had to end.
Tobi, I thought “that woman” was your girlfriend.
Tobi: Not to my knowledge, no.
Elizabeth: She wasn’t their girlfriend. They were a thing. It’s complicated.
Ah. Should we have invited her here?
Elizabeth: That one is a separate love life interview. Now that I think about it, the first few weeks of our relationship was kinda weird. They loved her and I didn’t mind. So, they felt guilty for still loving her, but I got it. I got that people can love more than one person at a time.
Are you both polyamorous?
Elizabeth: I am the only polyamorous one in this relationship (the practice of engaging in multiple sexual and romantic relationships with the consent of all the people involved).
Tobi: Yep. She’s poly and I’m obviously not as monogamous as I thought.
Elizabeth: LMAO. I’ve broken you.
How does Tobi feel about this?
Elizabeth: They’re learning to adjust. I come to talk to them about people I like. They are my gossip buddy. If I like a woman or I want to suck dick or fuck a man, Tobi is the first person to know.
Omo. Tobi, How do you handle jealousy?
Tobi: That’s how I realised that I love her. She started to really like this one person and omo, my brain shifted. I was actually losing my mind. But now, we don’t know that jealousy person anymore, I think I manage that better than I used to.
Elizabeth: I remember that person. I couldn’t even bring her up without Tobi shutting down. Funny thing is, I don’t even talk to them anymore.
Tobi: So, there’s no way to feel about it, I love her. I want her to have everything, including men if she so wishes, but I hope not.
Elizabeth: I hope not too. I can’t imagine dating a man. Unless it’s that man.
Elizabeth: Our man.
Tobi: Hmm. God really does create bright and beautiful things.
Elizabeth: There’s a man we both consider beautiful and he has hit on both of us on separate occasions. That was before we started dating though. I think we should pay him a visit soon.
Elizabeth, if you decide to get into another relationship, how do you decide which one to give priority?
Elizabeth: I love all my partners in different ways. There isn’t really a scale of preference as much as it is different units of measurement for each person. For some, it’s the laughter and vibes, for others, it’s purely sexual. With Tobi, it’s more intense and intentional.
Ah. Lizzy nuggets.
Elizabeth: LMAO. I tell Tobi that I accidentally fell in love with them, but I choose to stay in love. It’s like I didn’t have a choice when I fell but the ground feels comfy, so I’m staying for as long as they’d have me. We die here.
Tobi: I agree.
What does ‘long term’ look like for both of you?
Elizabeth: A nice apartment, two dogs, three cats, one rabbit, one snake, an aquarium, one parrot and 11 children.
Tobi: One cat.
Am I getting punk’d?
Elizabeth: Tobi wants 11 kids.
Tobi: I wanted 10 but 11 works, I guess.
Elizabeth: I don’t want any biological children so we can adopt. The thought of having kids with Tobi seems very nice.
Better have money-money. Kids are not cheap.
Elizabeth: Capitalism is a social construct and money is a useless thing. We’ll have a farm and I’ll make fresh bread and jam.
Tobi: The plan is to have money.
Elizabeth: Babe, you want to have money-money?
Tobi: Yes na. Do you want those kids to suffer?
Elizabeth: What happened to our “eat the rich” plan? Babe, you know the idea of wealth stresses me out.
Tobi: I know, I know.
So, you want to be poor and have 11 kids?
Elizabeth: Not poor. In a functional society, you can afford 11 kids. I want to live in a society that makes it easy for me to have 11 kids.
Tobi: Basically not Nigeria.
Elizabeth: Yes. plus, we have 6-10 years for these plans, so we still have time.
Tobi: We do, babes.
This is so cute. Do y’all even fight?
Elizabeth: We do, but it’s mostly misunderstandings.
Tobi: Miscommunication, more like.
Elizabeth: Yeah. So we try to communicate our feelings more, and then give room to feel upset and sad. We talk a lot of stuff out. However, an issue we haven’t been able to move on from is the fact that they eat semo. Can you imagine my life with a human who eats semo?
OMG. Gross. Are you okay?
Elizabeth: God, it’s irritating. Their one flaw.
Tobi: Babe, you eat plantain and pancakes with sardine.
Elizabeth: Tobi is very picky with food.
Tobi: No. I have a refined palate.
Elizabeth: Yes. Sureeee. Let’s call it that.
Tobi: We have such different tastes in food and music.
Tobi: LMAO. I told her to listen to Queen and she said they make her fall asleep.
Elizabeth: Babe, Lil Kesh >>>> Freddie Mercury.
Tobi: Wow. Fuck you.
Elizabeth: Okay, but when though?
OKAY! Is this the only relationship problem you have?
Elizabeth: My problem is, I asked them to spit in my mouth and they hesitated.
Elizabeth: LMAO. What’s the issue?
Tobi, blink twice if you need Zikoko to intervene.
I’m blinking oh. Send the help.
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