Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
Murphy, 25 and Susan, 22 have been together for almost five years. This week on Zikoko’s Love Life, they talk about dating by accident, breaking up at least three times, and getting engaged.
What’s your earliest memory of each other
Susan: We met in 2018 because of a friend. I was going through tough times emotionally and asked this friend if she knew anyone that’d be free to hang out during the school holidays.
She had a friend that was coming to Warri for an internship who needed a tour guide. I agreed and she gave him my number. When he texted me, I replied, “Hey stranger,” and he said, “I like you already”.
Murphy: A tour guide that doesn’t know work. When I asked for a tour guide, I just wanted someone to show me around. I heard there was a zoo in Warri ,and I wanted to see it. Would you believe I actually never saw the zoo? The only place she took me to was Shoprite.
Susan: My mummy didn’t let me go out.
Susan, you agreed to be a tour guide knowing your mother doesn’t let you go out? How were you going to do your work?
Susan: In my defence, I just wanted a friend to keep me company. At the time, my mum didn’t trust anyone with my safety, so I always had to be in the house by 6 p.m. There was no way I was going to take him to fun places and still be back home on time.
That’s why our first meeting happened at the mall.
Looking back at it, I could have been talking to a ghost or a serial killer becuase I didn’t even know what he looked like. I just trusted my friend to not put me in the hands of an evil person.
Murphy: She passed me, and when she came back, she asked if I was the person she was supposed to see. I just started laughing. I wasn’t sure it was her the first time. I thought if she was the one, she’d call my number.
After that time, I started hanging out with her almost every day after work.
Susan: It was every day o. Not almost.
Who is lying?
Murphy: Work would close by 5 p.m. and we’d hang out till her mum started calling her to come home. I enjoyed her company and I didn’t have a lot of friends, so I spent all my time with her.
Susan: At the time, it wasn’t romance. We were not together and had only been talking for a month, but I knew he was someone I could rely on. He didn’t try to get information or be nosy. He would just be there.
I remember when I wanted to get a new phone and didn’t have enough money to pay for what I wanted. He was with me while I was trying to strike a deal with the person buying the phone for me.
That’s how he just sent me his salary for the month, which was the balance for me to buy the phone. He told me that if I wanted to pay back, I could. If I didn’t, I shouldn’t. To date, he hasn’t asked me for the money.
AH! In Buhari’s Nigeria? A whole one-month salary!?
Susan: I like to believe he did it because he’s a good person.
Murphy: Well, she needed the money, and I don’t think I thought too much about sending her ₦35k.
Susan: After he sent me the money, I carried him to meet my mother so that if anything happened to me, she could see the boy that gave me the money for the phone.
Murphy: So that’s why you took me to your house? I thought you just wanted to show me your place.
Susan: Ehn… anyhow.
So, when did you both realise you had feelings for each other?
Murphy: In September of 2018, which was three months after we met, I realised I liked her. Meanwhile, this babe was asking me to set her up with someone where I worked because I worked in Chevron. Women.
Anyways, one day while I was viewing her WhatsApp status, she posted a screenshot of a message of a guy trying to ask her out. The message wasn’t constructed well, and it just wasn’t looking great. I felt I could do better, so I reconstructed the message and sent it to her. She replied with a yes, so I was very happy.
Susan: That yes was by accident o. I was having a conversation with my best friend and she asked me a yes or no question. As I wanted to reply her, his message came in and I ended up sending the yes to him.
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Wow. All that message reconstruction for what?
Susan: I tried to delete it after, but he uses GBWhatsApp, so he saw the message. That’s how I entered the relationship.
Murphy: Just for me to wake up the next day to a breakup message.
You didn’t tell him it was an accident?
Susan: I didn’t. He was so happy, and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. But later that night, I realised I didn’t want to be in a relationship, so I sent him a breakup message. He didn’t talk to me for the whole day.
Murphy:I couldn’t do anything at work. I was distracted for the whole day. It was so bad even my boss noticed. ___
Susan: I missed him so much because he was the only friend I spoke to constantly, so in the evening, I called him and told him the breakup message was a prank and he shouldn’t be angry with me. That’s how I entered the relationship again.
Murphy: When she called me, I was happy because yes, I was going to be with this person I really liked. Behold, a couple of months later, she broke up with me again.
What did he do this time?
Murphy: Help me ask her because I don’t even understand how it happened. To make matters worse, she’d resumed school at the time and was ill, so I left Warri to Abraka to go and see her. Just for me to get broken up with.
Susan: It was evil spirit. But honestly, I felt bad. I didn’t think I was treating him well in our relationship because I was still struggling with the feelings I had in my previous relationship. He was with me a 100% and I felt I didn’t return the energy. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. When I told him we should break up, he said we should work it out and talk. By evening, we had gotten back together again.
So, Susan, when did you realise you liked him?
Susan: The very last time I tried to break up with him in November of that same year. He had come to see me in school and seeing his face made me feel like I didn’t deserve him. He had been nothing but kind to me, but I felt scared to go through with it because the last relationship I had before him was a very toxic one. I felt I hadn’t healed enough. When I brought it up, he actually agreed we should breakup. He was tired of trying to convince me to be with him, and if I felt it wasn’t going to work, that’s it.
Murphy: A king that knows his worth.
Susan: He sha gave me a whole speech while a James Arthur’s song Naked was playing on MTV base. It felt like the whole song was about us.
Murphy: That song annoys me so much.
Susan: Every time we hear that song now, he gives me dirty looks. When he slept off, I started thinking about how much I actually loved him.
Murphy: Past tense?
Susan: Baby, love. How much I love this person and didn’t want a life without him in it. So, when he woke up, I started confessing all my feelings to him. I told him how I’d ask him out this time if he wanted me to and I’d go on dates and everything. He was now blushing.
LMAO. Murphy, did you love her?
Murphy: From the first month after we started dating. I’m someone that knows what I want unlike Susan.
Susan: Please, abeg o.
Murphy: So, I knew she was who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. She’s smart, ambitious, pretty, etc. Honestly, she’s everything I want in a woman. That’s why I kept trying. I wanted to have it in the back of my mind that I tried everything possible to make sure it worked out. I’m happy I tried and we’re where we are today.
So what was dating like after everyone’s head had calmed down?
Murphy: I was having a great time. We were friends before we started dating, and I think that greatly influenced how easy the relationship was after she calmed down.
Susan: I’m a smitten babe. I am in love with him completely. Dating him is the best decision of my life, and I am grateful every day I get to spend life with him. The only small issue we had was having to deal with different versions of long-distance for a while.
Murphy: After my internship, I moved back to Benin City while she was still in Delta state. So, seeing her was about a two-hour drive. I graduated in 2019, but she was still in school, so whenever I wanted to see her, I had to lie to my parents I had a job to do in Delta state.
Susan: I travelled to him a few times too, but because I was still a student, my schedule was less predictable. We could have impromptu tests or assignments to submit. I liked school and I liked to keep my grades up, so he travelled more.
Murphy: Then last year, 2021, I moved out of my parent’s house. When looking for a place to stay, I had a few things to consider. I didn’t want a place that would stress me as much as Benin did in terms of random police checkpoints and the likes, and I wanted a safe place.
Susan: He first wanted to go to Lagos but then I don’t like Lagos. It wasn’t a place I wanted to live. So he moved to Abuja.
Murphy: In August. And she joined me in November.
Susan: I moved once I graduated and started house hunting. It was my first time in this sort of committed relationship, and I didn’t want to encroach on his space. I stayed for like three months looking for a house when my mother just told me that I was deceiving myself house hunting.
Murphy: I was trying to help her look for the house even though I didn’t want to.
Susan: Whenever he stopped helping me look for a house, I’d make it a big deal. That he doesn’t want me to find my own place and all of that. Eventually, I too realised I was deceiving myself and it made no sense to live separately because I would’ve just been wasting money on rent.
Tell me about the proposal
Murphy: Well, I decided I was going to propose to her in May in Dubai. I’d told my friends and we’d booked our flights. After announcing to my friends, I realised I actually hadn’t told her parents I wanted to marry their daughter. So, we had to move our trip so we could see each other’s families.
The biggest issue with the proposal is that Susan is very nosy. She’s always asking what I’m doing and where I’m doing it. The day I was to get the ring and propose, we had to lie to her so she wouldn’t suspect anything. We thank God for a successful engagement.
Susan: I’m ashamed of myself because he outsmarted me. I had no clue what was going on. We travel regularly, so I just thought it was a regular trip. Plus, he told me he didn’t plan on getting married soon, so I forgot about it.
We had discussed marriage a couple of times and had even picked the name of our first daughter, but it’s not something I was in a hurry to do.
Congratulations. Now that you’re engaged, do you think anything has changed?
Susan: Nothing honestly. Right now, I feel loved.
M: You no dey feel loved before?
Susan: It has doubled. I don’t just find him as annoying anymore. Now, he’s just cute.
Murphy: Nothing has changed for me. At least, she can’t do me anyhow because she no fit komot again.
So, when do you think the wedding will be?
Murphy: I’d like to say a year from now. We wanted to do it January 2023, but we don’t think that’s enough time. We want to be able to plan it very well. One thing that’s shocked me is how many things there are to do. Ah ah.
Susan: Since the engagement, we’ve not actively planned anything and that’s why we want to move it.
Murphy: We don’t have a wedding planner because we heard they’re expensive. We believe in ourselves that we’re planners by heart.
I will come back to check if you’ve budged and gotten a wedding planner
Murphy: Hopefully we won’t o.
Susan: By the Grace of God, we’ll be fine. I’m not scared of anything happening because I don’t think there’s anything that can make me say I don’t want to go through with it.
On a scale of 1-10, how’d you rate your love life?
Murphy: It’s a 10 for me. I love her.
Susan: If someone checks all the boxes of something you need in a person, then it’s a 10. M checks all the boxes and then even brings some extra to it. Before him, I didn’t know someone could be so intentional about another person, but here he is. My walking bag of joy.