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

Audio: Talking About Our Breakup Helped Us Find Closure

Abeni*, 22, and Ifunanya*, 26, met on Twitter and dated for six months. Today on Love Life, they talk about their relationship and why it ended abruptly even though it was the best one they had both been in. 

What is your earliest memory of each other?

Ifunanya: One day, I was scrolling on Twitter and Abeni posted a screenshot of her Instagram page. She said she was rebranding and we should follow her there. Before then, I didn’t know how I followed her on Twitter. I went to her Instagram and followed her there as well. 

Abeni: I saw a picture of her on Twitter and was like, “Who is this person with this bold energy?” Her picture was giving me life. I think that’s how I followed her on Twitter. 

How did you two go from being followers to friends?

Abeni: It was during the lockdown. I tweeted about yoga and she sent a message that she would like to try it. We decided to do a session together. That night, we got on a FaceTime call. It was supposed to be about yoga, but we ended talking about everything else. That long call became something we did every other day. 

Ifunanya: She’s lying. It was every other hour. We were always talking to each other. I had three crazy jobs at the time, but I still made time to talk to her. At some point, we both knew that we wanted to be in a relationship with each other. On my end, I was asking myself if I was ready to date again. My last relationship had ended so badly I didn’t want to rush into another. I took some time to process my feelings and one day, as soon as I woke up, I texted her, “I am ready”. She didn’t get it. I had to remind her while we were on the phone that I said I was ready. That’s when she realised and we became official. 

What was dating like? 

Abeni: Before we became official, we were already in a serious relationship in my head. But soon after, distance started to tell on us. 

Ifunanya: It was hard. Some days, I would want to talk to my person, but the network would be so bad we wouldn’t be able to have a conversation. We tried regular phone calls, but it wasn’t the same as seeing her face. One time, she fell sick and I was scared it was COVID-19. Communication during that period was hard because she was too tired to call, and I couldn’t travel to see her. I was crying all the time. Another time, I broke down because I was overwhelmed at work and she wasn’t able to comfort me how I would have liked because she lived in a different city. 

Abeni: I think the lack of physical intimacy and consistent communication sort of made our emotional bond stronger for me. After the travel ban was lifted, she visited me twice before we broke up.  

Why did you two break up? 

Abeni: It started with the level of communication on my part. Being in a relationship as intense as what we had was new for me. I felt like I had to do everything in my power to protect her. I always wanted to make her happy. Looking back, I realise that I should have shared what I wanted as well. Instead of communicating what I needed, I would tell myself what I was receiving was okay. For example, I was uncomfortable about how much she talked about her ex. I felt like there were some things about the relationship I needed to know, but at the same time, I didn’t want to know everything. I couldn’t tell her that I didn’t like it. It was as if we were living in different worlds. One day, she called me out on my lack of communication and that’s how the relationship ended. 

How so? 

Ifunanya: Honestly, I didn’t know she was not telling me certain things until the second time I went to see her. She was acting strange. I could tell she wasn’t saying something to me. When I returned home, I asked her what was going on and she reassured me that nothing was wrong. I remember texting my friend about it and she said, “Things can’t be smooth all the time.” I agreed, but in my head, I just knew we were over. 

I got tired of waiting for her to say something other than “I’m fine”, and I called her. I explained how her behaviour in the past week had been affecting me and asked her to please tell me what was wrong. She apologised for not being able to communicate better, then said she had grown tired of the relationship and didn’t want to tell me because she didn’t want to hurt my feelings. I understood being tired, but I didn’t understand why. I tried to talk more about it, but she wasn’t saying much. That period was frustrating for me. 

After three months post-breakup, we talked about it. We didn’t blame each other for our breakup. That conversation made us realise that we both did things along the way that led to our end. We understood that both of us were just trying to represent ourselves. She wanted to be heard as much as I wanted to be heard.

Abeni: That conversation was a breakthrough for us. I was in a good place, and so I was able to take responsibility for my actions. Initially, I was defensive. The conversation made me feel lighter. 

Ifunanya: Same. I felt like it was the first time you really talked to me. I had so much anger towards the breakup, but after that conversation, I was able to let it go. I knew she wouldn’t deliberately hurt me, but at some point, she had to choose herself and that meant hurting me. I just needed her to tell me that. I remember feeling like I was floating for the rest of the day. It was a good place compared to all the pain I had in my heart before. 

What’s the relationship between you two like now? 

Abeni: Last time we had this conversation, we decided we weren’t friends, but we are getting there. Sometimes we are fine having a conversation, but then I see her tweets about her being sexual with other people and I feel a rush of emotions. Ifunanya is someone I carry in my soul. I know she’ll be there, and we can work out a friendship or something in the future. But I love where we are right now. 

Ifunanya: I still can’t follow her on social media. It’s just too much. 

Abeni: LOL. Ifunanya is quite risqué on social media. Funny enough, we send each other funny tweets or Instagram pictures, but I think we will follow each other when we are ready. 

What was the best part about your relationship? 

Abeni: I had never felt love like that before. There were no doubts. It was all softness. Sometimes it felt like it was too good to be true. It was intense yet sweet. I learned a lot about myself being with Ifunanya. She always hyped me and made me feel great. My feelings were validated. She was like my twin, but one I was attracted to. LMAO.

Ifunanya: LMAO. I actually get it. Our synergy as a team was great. We both work in the creative sector. Both of us understood what creating good content takes. While we were together, we both had shitty jobs that took a lot of our time, but we helped each other with it. She would research ideas for my strategy plans. Whenever we created content calendars for the brands we worked for, we would share them with each other so we could recycle the content. I would edit her emails and anything else she wrote. The best part was that when we were physically together, nobody was hounding anybody for staying too long on their phone. We both understood and respected each other’s work. 

What was your favourite thing about each other?

Ifunanya: I love the gap between her front teeth. I hate mine, but I think hers is sexy. I love her face too. She’s a gorgeous person. Abeni, you are a spec. 

Abeni: Thank you. I think everything about your physical appearance is beautiful. Apart from that, there’s a way she carries the people she loves, and I love that about her. I also admire her strength. 

Would you do it again?  

Abeni: To be honest, yes, but I would do certain things differently. 

Ifunanya: Same, but I think we need to be in different places in our lives for it to happen again. 

Rate the relationship you both had on a scale of 1 to 10

Ifunanya: 6. This is the best relationship I have had in my adult life. For me, I feel like there was some growing we should have done before being in a relationship with each other. 

Abeni: 7, because the relationship was great and it’s one I’d never forget, but certain things could have been done differently. It sucks how things ended. 

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