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

What’s your earliest memory of each other?

Adeolu: I met her at a friend’s place in January 2016. I liked what she wore. Just jeans and a top, but her clothes were fresh. I remember thinking, “This girl is so fresh”. She was one of the first people I saw with natural unpermed hair then, before it became a thing.

Jane: Our friend introduced us and said we would make a “good pair”. Then she left us together in her sitting room. We chatted for some time, and it was nice. Nothing too deep. We chatted with other people too.

When did you realise you liked each other?

Adeolu: We ran into each other at the mall the next day, and we were happy to see each other. As soon as I saw her face, I knew I liked her and would love her to be my girlfriend. But in my head, I was so sure she was taken.

Jane: We hugged and parted ways. A few minutes later, he messaged me on Instagram, and we started chatting consistently from then. After a couple of days of chatting, I started to like him. He was funny. He was always making jokes, but sweet ones that made me feel soft inside.

How did you end up dating?

Adeolu: In between chats, we kept meeting at people’s houses, so we hung out a lot. During one of these hangouts, I asked her out, but she was shy because people were there.

Jane: We were watching a movie outside with someone’s projector, and this guy just casually asked me out. It’s not like he shouted it, but almost everyone heard and turned to us. 

I told him yes, but I was a little annoyed about the scene.

Did you feel pressured to say yes because he asked in public?

Jane: I wanted to say yes, but it was also pressuring to have to decide in front of our friends.

Adeolu: I just had to ask her there and then. It came to my mind, and I didn’t want to chicken out.

Jane: We went on our first date the next weekend, and I realised I really really liked him. We had almost all the same interests. We liked the same kind of movies, and we both loved anime. We both wanted to code too. 

I almost thought he was just trying to get me to like him, but the more we talked, the more I knew he was actually interested in these things. We learnt coding together for months, and it helped us bond. It felt like we were soulmates.

So you’ve been dating for eight years?

Adeolu: Yes. But we broke up for almost a year in 2019, after I was involved in a car accident. I was in the hospital for about a month, and when I got out, I had to break up with her.

Jane: That’s the summarised version.

He and his friends had been drinking when they got into a car back home from the club in the middle of the night and crashed. It was terrible. It’s a miracle any of them survived. But the driver died.

Adeolu: I was in pain and grief for a long time.

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I’m so sorry. How did this lead to a break up?

Adeolu: Jane was by my side throughout the hospital period. We’d been dating for about three years then. But I wasn’t happy she got to see me at my worst. 

My legs had terrible injuries, and the doctors were scared they’d have to amputate. They eventually didn’t, but it was an emotionally draining period for me even before I found out my guy was dead.

Jane: I did my best to support him. But I was scared to death and spent most of the time crying. My parents and siblings were worried for me. He felt bad about that and would beg me to just go home.

Adeolu: I was also concerned about how it was affecting her work because she was almost always with me at the hospital. When I could finally go home, I waited for her to go home too, then texted her that I wanted us to break up.

How did you take it, Jane?

Jane: I was so angry. 

I knew he was hurting, but I also felt he didn’t care about my own feelings. I was in love with him and wanted to see him get well. I called and called him, but he didn’t pick up, so I went to his house a couple of times, and he refused to see me. 

Ah, come and see heartbreak. I cried o.

Adeolu: I was just in a low place and needed some time to heal on my own. I also believed I was sparing her the heartache of sticking with someone who was going through a lot. 

It took me months to learn to walk again, and I was in constant pain. I was also ashamed I was involved in such a terrible decision that cost a life and my parents considerable amounts of money.

How did you get past this stage?

Jane: After about seven months, I got a call from his mum that I should come and see him and talk to him. She was concerned that he was sinking into depression and hoped I could help draw him out. 

I was hesitant, but I went to see him.

Adeolu: I was ashamed to see her because I was out of shape and felt weak. So I acted immaturely. I wouldn’t talk to her. 

But she helped because seeing her made me want to do better about my appearance. I also started looking for a new job because my old one let me go after my continued inactivity. Four months later, I called her and apologised.

Jane: I accepted his apology, but I was in a talking stage with another guy. Even though I still loved Deolu, my friends had talked harshly to me about putting my life on hold for him.

While things moved forward with this new guy, Deolu and I tried to establish a friendship. I kept up with his progress and was happy to see him flourishing.

Things didn’t work out with the new guy?

Jane: He was jealous of the fact that I was still tight with my ex. He got really insecure about it, and I had to choose between them. It was a tough choice, but I chose Deolu. My best friend was so upset.

The day after we broke up, Deolu was at my place, and we spent the whole day making out.

Deolu: We’d grown too attached. I couldn’t imagine my life with anyone else at that point. I wanted her to break up with the guy so bad I tried everything.

What did you do?

Deolu: Nothing bad. 

I’d just call and text her a lot. And sometimes, when all three of us were at an event, I’d say things only Jane would get. It always triggered him, but Jane was so oblivious.

Jane: The way he’s always boasting about this thing. You need to know it’s not a flex.

Deolu: Anyway, we got back together that night. And I was the happiest I’d ever been in my life. We’ve been together since, and we moved in together last year.

Any chance you’ll get married soon?

Deolu: Yes, of course. I love her.

Jane: We talk about the future all the time. We’re not engaged yet, but we’re thinking of doing it this year. We have money goals we want to hit first.

Deolu: We’re very close to hitting them.

I like that you’re taking the engagement decision together 

Jane: He still has to figure out how to surprise me when he proposes, but yeah, we’ve both agreed on when would be a good time to take that next step.

Deolu: The timing shouldn’t be something one person just decides. Marriage is a partnership, after all.

True. What was your first major fight about?

Jane: When I discovered he was hooked on prescription drugs. We’re still working through it now.

Deolu: I grew to rely on them painkillers after the accident. At first, I needed them to function because the pain was truly on bearable. But then, I started using them just in case, even when I wasn’t in pain. They made me feel numb to the overwhelming grief and shame I had at the time.

Jane: When we got back together, I didn’t notice anything at first, until the mood swings came. He’d go from extremely happy and energetic to brooding and touchy in seconds. It was scary. 

I found his prescription drugs stash when I spent the night at his place once, and we had a huge fight about it.

That does sound scary

Jane: And I didn’t handle it well. 

My first instinct was to report him to his doctor so they cancel the prescription, or to his sisters to stage an intervention. But I was scared I’d only expose him to more shame, so we tried to work through it together. I don’t think I’d do that again.

Deolu: We struggled and fought a lot after she found out.

Mostly, I was ashamed and really wanted us to get back to that happiness we found after we got back together. A female friend of mine suggested therapy, and that helped.

Jane: We’ve been able to help him taper off them slowly, but the early withdrawal period was crazy. I wanted to break up with him again a thousand times. This love thing, ehn? Sometimes, it meant forcing myself to create boundaries, dating and supporting him from afar. 

Our therapist instructed me that boundaries would help him realise he needs to do better if he wanted the same level of trust he once had from me.

Just how crazy was the withdrawal period?

Deolu: I kept going on and off. And then we’d had to start the whole process again. I could tell this really annoyed her.

Jane: This happened twice in 2021. Coupled with the stress of the pandemic, it was a lot.

Deolu: I couldn’t sleep. I would feel body pains that I wasn’t completely sure was there. I was angry all the time, but I’d try really hard not to express my anger to her, or let it affect work.

Jane: He’d vomit sometimes. I remember his friends making jokes about him being pregnant. They didn’t know what we were battling. I saw he was struggling yet again, and it was heartbreaking to watch.

But you moved in together last year, so things are much better now?

Jane: Much much better. 

Deolu: Midway into 2022, things normalised. I was off drugs completely and was finally feeling like myself again. We didn’t do a lot of going out in 2021 because of everything, so I made it my business to take her out and kind of thank her for being there for me.

Jane: Yeah, we went on a lot of dates in 2022. 

It felt like we could finally breathe and be young lovers for once. We were still sensitive around each other for a while, always asking the other how we felt or if something we wanted to do was okay. I didn’t want to stress him too much because of the long healing period he’d had to go through, and he seemed to feel like he owed me because I stuck around. 

Till today, we’re still so gentle with each other and I think that’s the best gift we’ve gotten out of that journey.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your Love Life?

Deolu: 10.

Jane: 9. I want him to recover from the painkiller use fully.

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.

ANOTHER MATCHMAKING STORY HERE: Love Life: I Met Him Through a Radio Show as a 40+ Single Mum



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