Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
Farida*, 27, and Favour*, 28, have been together for one year. For today’s Love Life, they talk about cheating on their ex-partners with each other as a form of self-care and eventually falling in love.
What is your earliest memory of each other?
Favour: My partner at the time told me about a queer person on her timeline, so I checked out her Twitter page. She was wearing this blue dress and had a big afro.
Favour: I remember na. That your big afro.
Farida, what was your earliest memory of Favour?
Farida: Ironically, my partner also mentioned her to me. I saw her tweet and followed it to her page. I liked her tweets and display picture. She was wearing a black T-shirt and black jeans.
She had this boss babe vibe, but I didn’t have any attraction towards her then. I was just trying to find more queer women around me at that time, so it was nice to find her.
Do you remember your first conversation?
Favour: Our mutual friend introduced us to each other. She gave her my number and gave me hers. Farida texted me a few days later. I don’t even remember what she said.
Weren’t both of you in relationships? Why was your friend linking you up?
Favour: I was in a particularly miserable relationship, and I decided to step out for self-care. I wanted to do stuff with other people, so I reached out to my friend, Tomi* and I was like, “Sis, I want to cheat.”
Tomi said she was going to spread the word. That was how she went to Farida.
Farida: When Tomi came to me, she asked if I knew any single babe that would like to be a side chick. A week before that conversation, I found out my partner was cheating on me. She was texting like three people. I was devastated. I didn’t know how to react.
I thought our relationship was perfect, and we were going to end up together. For the first time in my life, I considered staying with a cheating partner, even though I planned to do my own back.
So when Tomi came to me, I was like, “Me too, I am looking for side chick.” That was how I texted her, “Hey, I’m here oh.”
Favour: We even had a name for it — cheating as self-care. LMAO.
Farida: We just wanted to cheat and return to our lives. I didn’t think I would be able to start over with someone new.
How did you now end up in a relationship?
Favour: We played ourselves to be honest. The idea was that we would have sex and keep it pushing, but the problem started when we kept texting each other for two months before meeting physically.
Farida: It was during the lockdown, so we couldn’t see each other for a while.
Favour: Yeah. After the first hookup, we went back to our individual lives, but we discovered that we lived close to each other. So, we started hanging out — not to have sex, just vibe. She would come to my place, and we would watch movies.
We would talk about our partners being bastards and laugh. We love laughing. It helped us stay sane, but we were supposed to be cheating. Why are you coming to chill in someone’s house you were only supposed to be having sex with?
We even celebrated a monthiversary.
Farida: Who celebrates a monthiversary? LMAO. It was elaborate. I got a customised card with our pictures on it.
Favour: I am grand as fuck. I did a whole presentation. No jokes. It had pictures and music.
Are you sure you weren’t already in a relationship by this time?
Farida: LOL. Nope. We were celebrating a month of finally meeting up physically and having sex.
Favour: LOL. It was a grand event. The smart TV was playing the presentation with music. There were balloons too. I set up the lighting. It was a good production.
For two people who were supposed to be cheating, you can see that we don’t really have sense. Anyways, around that time, we went on a date. I’ll let Farida tell you about the caveat.
Farida: Our first hangout was at a hotel because we had only talked about having sex. We spent the evening laughing at our silly jokes. We only had sex at the end to fulfil all righteousness. It was good sex, but it wasn’t our best.
The next time we saw, she asked me to come over to the island where she had a project she was working on. She wanted us to have a proper date. LOL. We were planning dates. I don’t know who thinks like that.
I got to the restaurant — it was a nice space with a beautiful view of the ocean. After that, she decided to take us on a boat cruise. We did a little shopping at the supermarket before the trip. We bought champagne and food, ready for a nice time.
Favour: The boat cruise was really nice.
Farida: It was awesome. She rented the boat for two hours. It was just us on the boat. When we got to Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge, we told the driver to stop so we could take a kissing picture in front of the bridge. It was cool.
Afterwards, we started to hang out more, but it was like we had forgotten the sex part of our deal. We enjoyed each other’s company a lot. I don’t think we had sex again until we started dating.
Favour: She even took me to my first protest.
Farida: Yes. There was this protest against sexual violence. She told me she had never been to a protest.
Favour: Because things can go south.
Farida: I live for protests. I was surprised that she had never been to one. We live in this Nigeria, in this world, where everything is crazy. So I took her to the first one.
Wait. Where were your partners at this point?
Favour: Two months into my thing with Farida, I broke up with my partner. Farida was still in a relationship, but I asked her to come with me on a getaway. So, we went to a beach house for a weekend. It was a wonderful experience for us.
We ended up spending about 4 days there. We talked about everything. That was when I told her that I wanted to be with her. We had deep conversations. I told her about my fears, the things I was going through and what I wanted. She told me hers as well.
We stayed away from everything else, everyone else. It’s one of my favourite memories of us. We had so much fun. We swam. We were almost in a music video. LMAO. Then I rented out a cinema, so we could watch a movie together.
Na wa oh.
Favour: I know right. At this point, she was lying that she was not falling in love oh. Lori Iro. Iro Kpo.
Farida: Don’t mind this woman, please. I am a principled person, so I was like, “We started this thing to cheat, why are we falling in love?” When she invited me on the getaway, I was happy because I needed to clear my head too.
My relationship wasn’t getting any better. I couldn’t move on from the cheating thing with my partner. So the beach house was a chance to talk about these things. At some point, we were crying. It was a healing experience to be honest.
If we remembered the world, it was probably because of work. I think that’s when I began to love her.
Favour: Please, say it again, let them hear.
Farida: LMAO. She asked me to be her partner, but I wasn’t in that space yet. I was trying to work things out with my partner, who I had been with for one year. I had lived my life around this person.
I was used to doing stuff like picking her up — I would leave the mainland to Ikoyi to pick her up from work. I had a routine. I felt like I had planned my life enough for it not to go down the drain just like that. I wasn’t so quick to leave my ex for Favour.
Then someone reported us to our partners, and they came for us with guns blazing.
Favour: We had been seeing each other for four months when this bastard reported us.
Farida: The Lagos queer community is so small — everybody knows everybody. This person was Favour’s friend but also a friend of my partner at the time.
Somehow, the friend found out that we were seeing each other and she immediately went to tell my partner to pay more attention to me because it looks like I was cheating on her. It opened a can of worms, but I denied it sha.
Favour: That period was crazy. They wanted us dead. LMAO.
Farida: After a while, I realised I was holding onto rubbish and that’s how we started dating.
What’s the best part of your relationship?
Favour: There are so many beautiful parts of our relationship. One of my favorites is that we are good friends. We are also kind to each other. I particularly like how she genuinely cares about me.
I do a lot of work every day — I wake up by my laptop at 7 am and remain there till about 10 pm. She asks if I’m okay. She brings me juice to help me relax. She does cute things like that even when we are fighting. Another thing I love about us is our cat.
Farida: I love that she said it already. I love that we are friends and that we are really supportive of each other. When I’m going through anything, I know I can come to her to be loved and reassured. It’s something I wanted in a relationship, and it’s nice to have it. She’s a softy. It’s refreshing being with her.
Aww. What’s your favourite thing about each other?
Farida: I like how she makes people feel. She could come into a room full of strangers and while everybody is keeping to themselves because they are strangers, she would go round the room to make everyone feel good.
One encounter with her can make you feel like you’ve known her for ages. She would know that you have two kids or that you have a sick mom. She lights up every room she enters. It’s amazing to watch.
Favour: My favourite thing about her is that she’s a voltron. If you have enemies, call her. She will fight them for you. I really like how fierce she is about me, about us. I’ve never felt that way before, like nobody is that concerned about me.
I have always been the saviour in my past relationships. I’ve never had someone that could take bullets for me. Sometimes it gives me courage. I legit say, I’ll tell my partner for you, when someone annoys me. I like how she’s focused is on her goals.
She goes out of her way to help even when it has nothing to do with her. There was a point when I was feeling like I wasn’t doing my best work, she came up with helpful solutions. It kind of helped me get my head back in the game.
That’s so sweet. Rate your relationship on a scale of 1 – 10?
Favour: A solid 10. It’s the kindest relationship I’ve been in. She doesn’t make me less than I am or try to take advantage of me. 10/10, I recommend.
Farida: 10 because this is the most attentive partner I have been with. I had a major exam that took a toll on me, and she was so supportive. She would leave work and bring food for me. It was so sweet because I don’t have a lot of friends.
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