Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
Yemisi, 24*, and Kelechi, 28*, have been dating for eight months. Today on Love Life, they talk about how detty December plans got them together, being in a long-distance open relationship where both of them are bisexual and how they learnt to argue better as a couple.
What’s the earliest memory you have of each other?
Yemisi: We went to the same secondary school. He was in SS 1 when I was in JSS 1. I thought he was cute, but we never had a conversation until we found each other on Twitter years later.
Kelechi: In 2019, someone retweeted something she tweeted. Her name looked familiar, so I went to her profile. Puberty was definitely good to her. She looked fine as hell. I followed her, and shortly after, she followed back.
Who sent the first DM?
Kelechi: LOL, wait first. Around the time we became mutuals on Twitter, I had just gotten out of a four-month relationship. My ex was moving to Abuja and I didn’t want to do long-distance, so we ended things. This was in December 2019. That Christmas, I asked my followers if any of them was interested in doing detty December with me, but as friends.
Yemisi: I was in Canada planning to spend Christmas in Lagos when I saw his tweet. That’s how we started talking. I wanted to party in Lagos and do whore shit, so it was nice to meet someone who also wanted to go to a house party, spend time at the beach and have dates at nice restaurants. We also talked about having casual sex. I told him I’m bisexual and he was cool because he is bisexual too. Everything seemed to fall into place.
I looked forward to seeing him, but I ended up not coming to Lagos that Christmas.
Yemisi: I didn’t know I would need a transit visa to make the trip. I was so frustrated. We stayed in touch though, but it wasn’t the same as when we had feasible plans to hang out.
I told him that whenever I was in Nigeria, we would still do those things
Kelechi: And we did when she came in April 2021.
Y’all were in the DMs for a year plus?
Kelechi: LOL yes. I knew she’d still come, and I wanted to meet her so I checked in from time to time.
Yemisi: I got my visa in April 2021. The first thing I wanted to do when I landed was to see him. We hadn’t talked for a while, but I often thought about the plans we made in 2019. When I was settled, I reached out to him.
Kelechi: She sent me a text saying, “Guess what?” She had arrived in Lagos. I was so excited we were finally going to see. I asked her what she was doing the next day. I was ready to lie to work that I was sick so I could spend time with her. We went on our first date in April.
Yemisi: He picked me up from my house and drove us to the restaurant. It was a nice, quiet place. I can’t remember what we ordered because we spent most of the evening talking. We are both funny people so we laughed a lot too. Finally meeting and spending time together felt good. Towards the end of the night, I remember feeling a lot of emotions, like butterflies in my belly, and had to ask, “What’s going on in your mind right now?”
Kelechi: I was overwhelmed too, to be honest. We clicked so well. I knew I wanted to see her again.
I asked what she was doing the next day. She had a date planned, but that didn’t faze me. I didn’t mind the competition. Have you seen this woman? She hella fine. Even today, I still deal with competition.
After her date, I went to pick her up and we went to get Indian food. Later that evening, we went to her parents’ house and had sex.
Yemisi: And it was really good. It was better than I imagined. After that day, we went out again the next day and that’s how we saw each other almost every day for the next three months.
Kelechi: See ehn, I was lost in the sauce. Again, have you seen this woman? I was falling for her hard.
Yemisi: LMAO, me too. In my mind, I was like, this was not the plan. I came to Lagos to do whore shit for summer and be on my way. Yet, here I was falling in love. We clicked in so many ways. One time, we went to a bar with a stripper pole and danced around it. The bar was almost empty sha, but I loved that we could do crazy stuff like that together.
Did you tell him?
Yemisi: Not right away. I wasn’t ready to date people exclusively and was scared of getting into a long-distance relationship.
Kelechi: Me I did. I told this woman that I loved her.
Yemisi: And I kind of freaked out.
Kelechi: She gave me ela.
Yemisi: LOL, I was shocked at how fast we were going. One minute I was on the streets, the next, I was in love with him. Omo, I wasn’t ready. My last relationship didn’t work out because my partner moved to a city far from mine in Canada, yet here I was considering dating someone living in Nigeria.
Kelechi: LOL, I wanted to find out where her head was at. If she didn’t feel the same way, I would have severed all ties and moved on so I’d heal, but if it was something she felt too, we could figure things out.
Yemisi: And we did.
Yemisi: We talked about how we’d make the distance work. Constant calls and texts. Also, I’d try to visit as much as I could. We also decided to leave the relationship open because we both like sex very much and the distance would make it hard to cope.
Kelechi: I was ready if she was ready.
Yemisi: After a few conversations, I decided I was ready.
What does being ready look like?
Kelechi: Essentially, we’re in a long-distance open relationship. This means that while we are apart, we have sex with people we’re attracted to but don’t maintain emotional connections with them.
Yemisi: And we only get with people who understand we’re in a committed relationship and respect it.
Kelechi: Also, we close the relationship whenever either of us feels too insecure to continue. We talk about it until we get to a place of trust again before opening it again.
Interesting. How has the relationship been?
Yemisi: So far, it’s caused me to become more self-reflective. In the beginning, we had communication issues especially when it came to other partners. I had to deal with jealousy and talk about other hard stuff with him.
Kelechi: Yup. Being in an open relationship requires a painful amount of honesty. You have to communicate everything to your partner. That’s the only way to sustain the relationship. In the beginning, we struggled with that, but we’re a lot better now.
Yemisi: We’re so good at talking to each other and finding perspectives that work for us. We are also very understanding of each other.
Kelechi: Yes, I have a good example. In December 2021, she was in Nigeria and we went to a club together where we ran into a guy I had a crush on. He saw me walking towards him with her. When I got close enough to talk to him, he rubbed my chest and kissed me. I pulled away and he said, “Kiss me or don’t talk to me again”. I wanted to kiss him, but I had to respect Yemisi’s presence. I was offended that he didn’t respect my relationship. He just wanted to prove to himself that I was attracted to him.
Things are happening on the streets.
Yemisi: LMAO. He could have just said hi.
Kelechi: But he chose to be silly. What stood out for me in that situation was how understanding Yemisi was. She knew it wasn’t my fault and understood I was still attracted to kiss him. That’s when I knew I had scored gold.
Aww, what’s the best part of the relationship?
Yemisi: I love that we are constantly trying to do things for and with each other. Whenever I’m in Lagos, I spend every bit of my time with him. We are either chilling at his house or going out at night.
Kelechi: It’s the same for me. Whenever she’s around, my friends don’t get to see me for weeks. I just air their Friday night “Let’s hang out” texts. Eventually, they get the message. Any time I get to spend with Yemisi is fun even if we just lie down and do nothing.
I call her Ulo’m, which means my home in Igbo. Home is where you are most safe, which in Igbo culture is your mum’s place. I know I can always be myself with her. I don’t have to pretend or hide parts of myself from her because she just gets me.
This is the happiest I’ve ever been in a relationship. There’s softness, understanding and peace. Even when we argue, it’s from a place of love. Nobody is being petty or vengeful.
Sweet. Has there been a time your relationship was threatened by an external party?
Yemisi: Ah, so the last time I was in Lagos, I went out with some of my friends. Kelechi was out with his own friends as well in a different location. While we were apart, he made a tweet about being satisfied after good sex. One of his friends quoted the tweet with a joke that implied he was cheating and he LOL’ed the tweet. When I saw the tweet, I asked him about it and he said he didn’t get the guy’s comment. I kept on asking until it became an argument. I was angry because I thought he was being dishonest with me.
Kelechi: I was a bit angry she thought I would do something with someone without telling her.
Yemisi: The conversation brought out a lot of insecurities I didn’t even realise I had. I was scared he’d have a sexual relationship with someone else and not tell me about it. The argument turned into a yelling match. It was very bad, but when we calmed down, we talked about it and promised never to yell at each other again. Since then, we have argued like normal people.
Love that for you. What attracts you most to each other?
Yemisi: I love how his mind works. He is so kind, smart and sweet. He’s also very warm and friendly. I could keep going to be honest.
Kelechi: What I’m attracted to the most is her big ass and face. She’s so beautiful Lagos men won’t leave her alone for me. I can’t leave her side for five minutes without one man trying to collect her number. It’s not anybody’s fault. The beauty is blinding. I could stare at her all day.
Oya, let’s test that. If someone gave you a million dollars to leave your partner, would you take it?
Yemisi: What does leaving entail?
As in, all forms of contact between you two will be severed, never to resurface again?
Yemisi: Ah, that’s a bit harsh. What do you mean I will never see him again? No amount of money is worth losing him. I don’t want.
Kelechi: It’s a no for me too because money has never been a problem for me.
LOL. Rate your relationship on a scale of 1 – 10.
Kelechi: 9.5. The 0.5 is space for the possibility of things getting better.
Yemisi: Right now, it’s 9 because I’m not with him and I miss him so much. When we see, it’s easily a 10.
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