Love Life: The Day We Started Dating Is the Day I Stopped Smoking

February 10, 2022

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

Naomi, 27, and Chiby, 28, have been dating for two years. Today on Love Life, they talk about meeting in secondary school, remaining friends and finding love in each other at South.

Love Life: Chiby and Naomi

What’s your earliest memory of each other? 

Chiby: We attended the same secondary school in 2009. I joined the school in SS 3, and she was in SS 1. 

Naomi: He used to come to my class to chill with the guys. We said hi to each other whenever we saw each other, but didn’t have any conversation until one day after school. We were alone in the class talking when he tried to kiss me. 

Chiby: She always tells this story, but I don’t remember the kiss. 

Naomi: You sha tried to kiss me and I pushed you away. It didn’t happen again and we continued to say hi to each other until he went to university in 2010.

Did you stay in touch?

Chiby: Yeah. We followed each other on Twitter. 

Naomi: He used to come for me on the timeline. He’d call me a midget or laugh at something I am saying. 

I loved the attention and began looking forward to it. If a week went by without him entering my mentions, I’d be worried. 

Chiby: LOL. I liked teasing her. It was my way of staying in touch. We exchanged DMs a couple of times, but that didn’t stick until 2018 when we lost a mutual friend in an accident. She texted me about the accident and we exchanged numbers while planning for the burial. From there, we started talking more. 

Hmm. Just talk? 

Chiby: Yea. In January 2019, I invited her to Sabor for an event my friend was having. 

Naomi: I was supposed to have a date that day but the guy and I were undecided about where to go. After Chiby invited me, I decided to have the date at Sabor because I wanted to see Chiby. We had been texting since we lost our friend, and it felt nice, but we hadn’t seen each other since then. 

After exchanging pleasantries with Chiby at Sabor, he left to be with his friends so I could have my date, but I couldn’t stop looking out for him in the room. The guy I was with even noticed that I wasn’t paying attention to him, and whatever we had died that day. 

Chiby: After that day, I invited her to South Social, a weekly Friday night party I started with my friend. She came for the first one. It was nice to see her again. She looked and smelled nice. By this time, I knew I was attracted to her but I wasn’t sure if I liked her. We hung out throughout the party. At some point that night, we sat on the swing outside and shared a cigarette. We talked about who we were both seeing at the time. I was single and so was she. I think that’s when I started thinking of her romantically, but I didn’t act on it.  

In March, we ran into each other at a Socialiga event. We — me, her and her friends — hung out throughout the event. Nothing serious as well. 

A few weeks after that event, I saw a missed call from her. When I called her back, she said, “Do you know who this is?” and I was like, “Duh. I have your number saved.” From that day, we started talking and texting every day.

I invited her to South Social again. She came looking as hot and amazing as always. I tried dancing with her but she didn’t seem into it. I wasn’t sure if it was because she didn’t like me or because she was shy so I asked her if she liked me.

What did she say? 

Naomi: I said I didn’t know. I always wanted to talk to him, but wasn’t sure if that meant I wanted a relationship. I told him this, and he said he had no problem with it so we continued dancing. 

By 2 a.m., after dancing all night, we were chilling at a cosy corner in the restaurant when he kissed me. He’s a good kisser and his lips are very soft so I didn’t want it to stop. We made out for about an hour. The whole night felt magical. 

After that night, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I wanted to talk to him all the time. Over the phone, we’d tell each other how our days went. We’d talk late into the night until one of us fell asleep.I knew I was falling in love with him. 

He asked me out on a picnic date a week after the kiss, and it felt like the universe was answering me. I had always wanted to go on a picnic date. I thought he was the perfect man. I even told someone at my office that I’d found my husband. 

Chiby: The truth is I had seen her Instagram post about wanting to go on a picnic date months before that. I told my best friend that I liked Naomi and wanted to do something special for her so she helped me plan the date. I cooked, got wine and found us a nice spot. We went on the date a week after the kiss at South. 

Naomi: He showed up with a rose that day. I was so excited and shy that I couldn’t even eat anything. We talked and drank wine under a shade. It felt like something out of a movie. 

Chiby: That day made me sure that I wanted to be with her. You know when you meet someone, and you’re like, “This is right. This is who you’re meant to be with.” That has never happened to me before. She came over to my house the next day. I live with my aunt and I had never told her about any of the girls I dated but I told her about Naomi. She liked her when they met and that made me happy. Naomi and I ate then played FIFA together in my room. It was a nice day for me. We saw each other almost every day that week. On Saturday, I asked if she wanted to hang out with me and my friends at the beach. 

Did she go? 

Naomi: Yup, even though it was raining. I wore a raincoat to protect myself. 

Chiby: LOL. It was cute. On our way to the beach, my friends were smoking on the boat because it was cold. I pulled out a cigarette to join them but this babe was like,No, you can’t smoke.” Would you believe that that’s how I stopped smoking?

Just like that? 

Naomi: Yup. We celebrate his abstinence on the same day as our anniversary because that’s also when he asked me out.

Interesting. Tell me how that happened. 

Chiby: At the beach, after drinking and playing with everyone else, we were both tipsy. I wanted to spend some alone time with her so I took her to the back of the beach house. We were making out and I stopped to look at her. Her face, her smile, everything looked so beautiful in that moment. I was in awe of how much pleasure I felt just looking at her. That’s when it occurred to me that I could ask her to be my girlfriend. I asked, “What are we doing?” and she was like, “I don’t know.” Then I said, “Will you be my girlfriend?” See, when she said yes, I jumped. 

Naomi: He was so happy he ran to tell his cousin, who was also at the beach. I loved watching him scream, “She said yes! I have a girlfriend.” It was so cute. 

Too cute. How has the relationship been so far?

Chiby: It’s been really beautiful. This relationship has redefined what love is to me. She’s my best friend and it doesn’t mean we don’t have our low points. We do but we understand each other and are able to talk through whatever we go through. I’ve always been a lover boy who writes his partners poems and plans romantic gestures, but with her, I’m more intentional. Every day, I learn how to love her better. We always ask each other how we can improve the relationship and honestly, it’s been an amazing experience for me. 

Naomi: Before Chiby, I always felt like relationships were not my thing. I thought I was going to die single but when I started talking to Chiby, I knew he was exactly the kind of man I wanted to be with. He’s my other half. He feels like an extension of me. I never used to be a romantic person but he brought that side out of me. I’m 100% myself when I am with him. Yes, we have our downtime but even then, I think everything is still perfect. 

Talk about a romantic movie. I’m curious, do you two fight? 

Chiby: Yeah. She has a problem with my drinking, and we fight about it often.  Naomi helped me realise that I have a drinking problem. I can drink three long Islands in 30 minutes. This was fine when I was single and could misbehave without worrying about embarrassing anyone. Now, when I drink, I have to think of how my behaviour reflects on Naomi. 

Naomi: My problem with him is that he doesn’t know his limit. I don’t mind him drinking but he has to know when to stop. 

Chiby: I’m working on it and trying to do better. 

Great, so what’s the best part of the relationship? 

Chiby: Honestly? It’s everything. We spend a lot of time together and do not get tired of each other. I always want her in my space even though I know she’s going to drive me crazy. She has an artistic eye and likes to arrange things to her taste. Whenever she’s in my house, she’s always trying to arrange something. It drives me crazy but I know she means well and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Naomi: LOL. It’s the same for me. Quality time is my love language and we get to spend a lot of time together.

Aww, sweet. What’s your favourite part of each other? 

Chiby: I love that she’s an observant and calculated person. She’s always thinking ahead. We could go out and I’d do or say something wrong, but she won’t address it there to avoid unnecessary escalation. I respect her calmness during conflict. 

Naomi: My favourite part of him is him. There’s never a dull moment with him. I never get bored of him. He loves me in the ways I want to be loved. He wasn’t one of those people I had to teach how to love me. He came ready. 

Na wa for romance. Do you have future plans for each other? 

Chiby: To be honest, I want to marry her. I want to spend the rest of my life with her. Even though I haven’t proposed yet but the plan for me has always been marriage and kids.  

Naomi: I want cats. I feel like bringing children into this world takes away from the relationship. I want to be able to travel around the world and not have to worry about where our children will be. I enjoy being with him and I don’t want anyone to come between us. 

I feel you. Rate your relationship on a scale of one to ten.

Chiby: Easily 11. I enjoy spending time with her so much. She can be walking around, playing music, making noise, but it doesn’t feel like anyone else is in my space. It feels like we’re one person, and I never want to lose her.

Naomi: I never want to lose you too. For me, it’s 10 because he’s everything to me and more. 

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.

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