Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
Uju, 45, and Sirry, 40, have been dating for five months. Today on Love Life, they talk about meeting on Twitter, navigating dating as older women with kids and being in an intercultural relationship.
What’s your earliest memory of each other?
Sirry: I found her Twitter account in May 2020. I went through her profile, read her book on racialised identities and I thought she was pretty smart.
Uju: We liked each other’s tweets quite often. The first time we talked was on Clubhouse in a room I set up to discuss income and social class differences in lesbian relationships. After that day, our mutual friend organised a Zoom meeting about racial inequities. The aim was to bring experts from different disciplines together. It was a rich conversation, but Sirry and I were the only ones with PhDs in the room. Every other person was a medical doctor and we kept joking about how we weren’t that kind of doctor.
Sirry: Towards the end of the Zoom meeting, Uju sent me a private message on Zoom asking if I wanted to continue the conversation in a private room. In that room, we laughed a lot. Uju is very funny. We talked about race, lesbianism, and academia. Uju has two kids and I have a daughter so we talked a little about parenting. The conversations were easy and I felt safe expressing myself with her. We agreed to meet again on Zoom. This time with wine.
Uju: I enjoyed that meeting as much as I did the first one so we set up another one to watch a movie together. After the movie date, I asked her out on a physical date towards the end of January.
What was that like?
Sirry: I was excited because I liked talking to her. She is intelligent and funny. During our calls, we talked and laughed a lot so I knew meeting in person would be cool. I got to the restaurant first and waited for her to show up. When she walked in, she looked around, adjusted her hair and looked at her phone, which I think she uses as a mirror sometimes. I thought to myself, “Is she trying to look good for me?”
Uju: I was, LOL. I was thrilled to see her so I took a lot of time to dress perfectly for the date. I wore this sweater that made me look respectable and hot. I aimed for plausible deniability — I could say I wasn’t trying to look hot; you just thought I was hot.
Sirry: It worked because I kept staring at her boobs the whole time. She looked so beautiful.
Uju: You too. She had long dreads, and they were gorgeous. Her smile was gorgeous as well. I just wanted to chat and chat with her.
At this point, did either of you have any concerns considering you were meeting for the first time?
Uju: Sirry is a little bit intimidating.
Uju: Sirry is a black 40+ tenured professor who is also African, liberal, irreligious and progressive with a great political stance. Plus, she is masculine-identified. She is such a rare find and I was excited about that but I needed to make sure we were compatible.
Sirry: She asked me a lot of questions that day. Questions about my principles about relationships. Questions about my past, my politics, etc. I could see she didn’t have time to fool around. Answering those questions gave me a better idea of how she thinks.
I knew that she was someone I would get along with just fine. It was such a fun date.
Uju: Yup and she brought me a present.
Awwn. What was the present?
Uju: It was a little cactus that I later killed because I am not good with plants. I thought it was really sweet though.
Nice! What happened after that first date?
Uju: We continued our Zoom dates but I was careful to not get too attached to her because I didn’t want to get into a long-distance relationship. We both live in Pennsylvania but Pennsylvania is a long state so we are about four hours apart. I wanted a regular local relationship.
Sirry: She told me about the distance thing when I asked her out on an overnight date. She said she liked me, wanted me, but she didn’t want a long-distance relationship. My heart skipped. I was like, “Oh she’s thinking about me like that.”
Uju: I had just started a new job in Pittsburgh. I moved with my two kids to a house that I had so much fun furnishing. I planned to live in my house for ten years, nothing less. There’s no way I was going anywhere else in the short term. If we were going to keep hanging out, she had to know that.
Sirry: When she said that, I started thinking of how to remove the barrier.
She doesn’t know this because I didn’t want to freak her out, but in my head, I had already started thinking of how to move to Pittsburgh, where she lives. I knew that I could find a job in Pittsburgh or wherever I wanted. In that moment, I realised that I was falling in love with her.
Ah, after how many dates?
Uju: Do you get? This is news to me oh. If you had told me then I would have blocked your number sharp, sharp.
LMAO. Sirry, how did you end up fixing the situation?
Sirry: I decided to move to Pittsburgh anyway. Uju found out I was in the job market looking to settle in Pittsburgh when I had to do an interview in front of her on one of our overnight dates.
Uju: I told her that day that I was not responsible for any of the decisions that she was making. Sirry is a walking unicorn and any school would be lucky to have her. I just didn’t want to take responsibility if things didn’t work out.
Did you want her to move though?
Uju: Of course. I desperately wanted her to get that job so she could come to Pittsburgh but I also wanted her to make the best decision for herself, her career and her daughter. I didn’t want to think too much about it so we continued to date casually.
When did this casuality end?
Sirry: I think we started dating, but we didn’t say we were dating.
Uju: In August 2021, I travelled to Mexico for my birthday. I had a wonderful time there, but I called her every morning to let her know that I slept alone.
I didn’t want her to think I was fucking around in Mexico and I had forgotten about her. I knew I was falling in love with her but I was yet to admit it even though my friends were pointing it out. Also, all the other women I was talking to started to fall off. I gave excuses to cancel dates with other women and focused most of my time on Sirry.
Our calls grew frequent and so did texts. Then there was that visit…
Sirry: Uju had a conference close to my house, and she showed up. It was a regular visit but that visit changed everything. She had met my eight-year-old daughter on Zoom calls but on that visit, they met physically. We cuddled and kissed around the house during that visit.It was quite intimate.
When I dropped her off at the airport, my daughter, who was in the car, asked if Uju was my girlfriend. I asked why she was asking and she said, “Because you called her ‘babe’ all weekend and I saw you two snuggling on the couch when you were watching a movie.” At that moment, I realised that Uju was my girlfriend, but we hadn’t had that conversation yet.
Uju: Yes. A few weeks later, I went to the hospital for my annual check-up, which included checking for STIs. When I got the results, I texted her, “As it turns out, you’re the only person I’ve been having sex with and I just wanted to let you know that I had my STDs panel and that I’m all clear.”
Sirry: She said it as if she wasn’t deliberately cancelling dates with other women for me, as if it was a magical occurrence. LOL.
After that day, we went on a date and that’s when we became official. This was in November 2021.
Nice, I am curious about how you two told your kids that you were dating and how they took it.
Sirry: My kid figured it out after that day at the airport, and she had been telling me before then that she wanted me to find a nice black woman. When she confirmed that I was dating Uju, she started telling everybody about her mother’s girlfriend.
Uju: A lot of women move in and out of my life, and I am careful to not expose them to my kids until it is serious. I eased Sirry into their lives. They met over video calls but my kids knew Sirry as my friend. The first time she visited my house, she stayed at a hotel. After that visit, I told my kids that Sirry and I are girlfriends. They were happy for us. It’s important for me to expose my children to healthy loving relationships, so I don’t let just anyone in until I am sure about them.
I am also extra lucky with Sirry because we have similar parenting styles. Sirry does not beat her child and she feels very strongly about that like me, despite being from a background where parents beat us. If this relationship gets to a point where we become a partnership and join households, I know we will be fine.
Have you guys had any fights yet?
Sirry: Arguments, yes but fights no. We argue about things like whether eru, a Cameroonian dish, is really just Nigeria’s afang. One time I made her egusi soup without palm oil. We had a little back and forth about whether or not egusi should have palm oil or not. It was funny but I learnt something from that conversation. Apparently, my mum stopped using palm oil in hers because of one petty beef she had with her neighbour.
Personally, I think people romanticise fighting in relationships. I don’t believe that people have to fight to understand each other better.
Uju: Yeah, we’ve disagreed with each other but we both know how to talk to each other. We are very lucky that we found in each other people who can effectively communicate and express themselves. When we want something, we ask each other for that thing.
Sirry: She even gave me a book about emotions to help me teach my daughter how to communicate her emotions better. Maybe, as we spend more time together, fights will come, but right now we’re good.
Aww, what’s your favourite part of each other?
Sirry: Her mind. But I also love that she is gorgeous and that she challenges me. I’m a hundred per cent at home when I’m with her. I like how she mothers her children with softness and care. I also like how she talks about her friends. You can tell she really cares about them. This woman is everything, and I am head over heels in love with her.
Uju: I’m going to stop blushing and tell you about Sirry’s ass. You have not seen a booty like this. The shape is so perfect. You may not see it in the clothes she wears, but mehn, I’ve seen this thing, and it is the roundest, smoothest, most gorgeous ass I have ever seen. It is a phenomenal ass, no jokes.
Aside from that, what is uniquely loveable and absolutely irreplaceable about Sirry, is her beautiful mind. I love the way her mind thinks. I love the way she expresses her mind in all the different contours, either in emotional or intellectual ways. She takes time to understand how things work and explain them. She is also a woman who understands trauma and healing. This means that she takes good care of herself emotionally and those who are lucky enough to be loved by her get taken care of too. I love her so much because of that.
Sweet, what’s the best part of your relationship?
Sirry: It’s our conversations for me. Our conversations are never boring. It keeps me laughing. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night cackling because of something that she has said. Our conversations are both entertaining and nurturing. We could be talking about random stuff but there’s a richness of it that just adds to our knowledge.
Uju: Yes, and it’s the same for me too. Sirry stimulates my mind in many ways. She speaks my language — my cultural language, my food language, my body language, my sexual language, my love languages, everything. I have such a profound connection and compatibility with Sirry. It’s always exciting to talk to her because we agree on so many things.Then there is the sex. It’s so good I had to ask her if she came to bury juju in my house.
Sirry: LMAO. The sex we have makes me feel whole and I absolutely love it. One day, I was looking at her and she asked me, “Are you trying to fuck me right now?” And I said, “There’s never a time when I’m not trying to fuck you.”
You two need to get a room, but before you do, rate your relationship on a scale of one to ten.
Sirry: 12 and I’m not even exaggerating. People who know me know that I’m pretty straightforward on things I care about. Uju is a fantastic person and I feel really lucky and fulfilled to be with her. I am deeply satisfied with our relationship.
Uju: This is not a competition, but Sirry is definitely beyond the scale. I would never have imagined that being with her would feel this good. It’s all so new. Maybe after a year of us living in the same town, I would have something different to say. Until then, I am profoundly satisfied and content to be loved by Sirry.
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