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

Audio: We Were Scared Of Going From Best Friends To Lovers

*Jemimah, 26, and *Nelson, 26, have known each other since 2017, but they only started dating in 2019. For today’s Love Life, they talk about loving each other while being platonic friends and how scared they were of becoming a couple.

What’s your earliest memory of each other?

Jemimah: I remember seeing his tweets on my TL, but the first time we met in person was on a Wednesday evening in December 2017. 

Nelson: My earliest memory of Jemimah is a selfie on my timeline. You see, she’s quite the dresser, even when she’s not trying. I can never forget how cool I thought she looked.

Is this what made you shoot your shot?

Jemimah: As surprising as it may seem, I actually sent him a DM first. On the 23rd of November, 2017, I sent a text saying, “Hey! How are you?” and his exact words were, “Wow! I must be dreaming because I can’t believe you’re in my DMs.” He can’t deny his excitement. I have screenshots.

Wow. A queen with her receipts. 

Nelson: I was just so happy to get that DM from her. She has always been so cool even on the TL. I’m just there and it was such a pleasant surprise to have someone I fancied from a distance DM me. 

Jemimah: LMAO. I liked him, and I just wanted to be friends. We’ve been talking every day since then. 

If you just wanted to be friends, how did dating get into the picture?

Jemimah: He made quite an impression the first day we hung out. I could tell that he really put in the effort to look good for the date, and it was so sweet. Plus, I liked how he walked and smiled.

Nelson: I was just there, eager to please her while she was sizing me up. 

Jemimah: LMAO. We actually stayed friends for two years before we started dating. 


Jemimah: Even with all the sexual tension and the fact that we knew we both liked each other, we still kept things strictly platonic.

Nelson: The bants were epic. We would have long, seemingly endless conversations about everything and anything. Everything she did was so cool to me and still is. 

Jemimah: Omo! This man is in love oh.

So, how did the relationship finally become romantic?

Jemimah: New year’s eve, 2018. Nelson was in church when he sent me a message saying that he was grateful I was in his life and he wants to keep it that way for the new year. So, I thought to myself, this guy likes me and I really like him, but I don’t want to be just friends anymore. 

Maybe, it’s time to test the water and see if there is something here for us. I waited a while before speaking to a friend. She is not a fan of wasting time, so she encouraged me to get on with it so I could know if he also wanted more or not. 

Nelson: Simp.

Jemimah: LMAO. When I asked you if there could be more between us, I could sense your hesitation.

Nelson: Babe, I really liked you, but I had to be sure it wasn’t something you’d move on from because it wasn’t what you really wanted.

Jemimah: I get that you were still finding yourself and getting used to the fact that I liked you. I remember your answer being, “I don’t know about right now.” So, I moved on and, thankfully, it didn’t affect me much. 

Nelson, why exactly did you hesitate?

Nelson: All my hesitation was from me reeling from my last breakup. You know how you tell yourself that you want to be alone for a while, and then somebody comes along and stretches that resolve to the max.

Jemimah: Funny thing is, I didn’t feel rejected because I enjoyed the conversations and it was enough to keep us going. I wasn’t interested in dating anyone else, so I didn’t have any hoes to return to. This happened in early 2018.

Honestly, Jemimah’s lack of hoes is why this relationship exists.

Nelson: LMAO. 

Jemimah: LMAO. The whole relationship thing kept creeping into our conversations from time to time. It would make us point out our feelings and the mushy moments would linger, making us unsure, but then we would go right back to just everyday friendly conversations. However, I brought up a few more times in a jokey manner and we would laugh about it. 

What was the hardest part about all of this?

Nelson: The sexual tension was thicker than Ogbono. You could hack it with an axe. Throughout the entire friendship, we kept things platonic.

Jemimah: Not once did we cross the line 

Not even a kiss?

Nelson: Nope. I didn’t want to get lost in the sauce.

Jemimah: We were such Jesus babies.  

So, when did you start dating officially?

Jemimah: July 28th, 2019. 

Nelson:  It was strategic planning. 

Jemimah: He had just moved into a new place, and I was supposed to come see it. The night before, I decided that we were probably only ever going to be just friends. Got to his the next day, and we talked and talked. Kissed for the first time. It was so tender and nice. Then we just sat there hugging each other.

Nelson: We hugged for like 5 minutes. 

 Jemimah: Ended up having sex. Amazing stuff. 20/10.

This is literally the omoest omo. 

Jemimah: LMAO. I stayed over that night. The next day, we went out for ice cream. We kept smiling at each other from across the table. We came back to his, and started watching a movie. He paused it, turned to me and said, “We’ve known each other for so long, we care about each other very much. I think we want to make each other happy. I think we should date.”

Nelson: I figured out that she’s the only person who could ever make me happy in a relationship, and I promised to make her happy if she gave me the chance. She did.

My eyes are raining. This is so cute. 

Jemimah: Prior to this, he had invited me as his ‘plus one’ to an office resort. He held on to my thighs on the trip there, so you can imagine that I almost died.

Nelson: Not to brag or anything, but we looked so cute together at the retreat. My colleague took pictures of us and they came out so great. I think my favourite photo of us was from that retreat.  

Damn. Two years of buildup?

Nelson: Yes. In this period, Jemimah became my best friend.

Jemimah:  Patient woman that I am.

Nelson: It feels like we squeezed decades of friendship into two years. It’s so important to date your friend, so you can have a lot in common asides romance. That’s what I have here.

What would you say is the best part of this relationship?

Jemimah: My butt.

Nelson: I agree.

Wait, what?

Nelson: This relationship has helped Jemimah reach full butt potential.

Jemimah:  Literally. 

Nelson:  We thank God for growth. 

Haha. You guys are something else. 

 Jemimah: Another great part of dating Nelson is how goofy we’ve become with each other. I literally have a time-lapse of him drawing a penis on my inner thighs. 

Nelson: Fake news. 

Jemimah: Okay, Nigerian Army. 

Nelson: LMAO. We spent the whole of this year’s lockdown together. A feat I’m sure neither of us thought we could pull off when we were single. It felt so nice. Waking up late cause we slept late. Cooking in the mornings, playing in the afternoon and ordering pizza to watch a movie in the evening.  

This sounds so beautiful. Do you guys ever fight?

Jemimah: We do actually. It always ends up affecting us as individuals because it feels like we are getting something wrong. 

Nelson: The worst thing about our fights is how I go about after with a knot in my throat.

What is the most common thing you fight about?

Jemimah: Well, I’m clinically depressed. And when I have really bad episodes, I’m poor at communicating how much I need him. So, he’s unaware, but then I go and act like he’s supposed to know. And we have a breakdown in communication.

Nelson: I wouldn’t say you’re poor. I should be the one listening in those cases, and I haven’t always done a good job of it.

Jemimah: I hate when we fight because I want us to get it right. Our biggest fight so far was as a result of smaller fights we had. It was an exceptionally difficult time for my mental health and he also happened to be having an annoying week at work. So, everything clashed.

Nelson: I ended up having a meltdown. It was terrible. Terrible because the fight became the centre of attention, when I should have been making my partner’s life easier.

Jemimah: It was painful, but we got through it. We usually spend time trying to find the exact premise of an issue, so that we never return to it.

Glad you worked things out. What is something that people won’t believe about your relationship?

Jemimah: That he’s the more tender one. Also, because we’re very seemingly active and talkative people, I think people might not believe just how much we really like our silence and are much like an old couple. Ohh, and that I did the legwork for 2 years. 

Nelson: Fake news. 

Jemimah: Sanwo Eko, Please. 


Nelson: If you know me online or in person, you won’t believe that she is the more assertive one and she almost beat up a keke man on one of our early dates. I was turned on (don’t print that).

I am definitely printing that. Jemimah, what happened?

The man was upset because I mindlessly tried to collect my change with my left hand and I wasn’t having that. I was actually embarrassed that I’d lost my temper in front of Nelson. Those were early days sha.

Wow. You are so… proper. 

Nelson: She is. When I mean she’s cool, I mean she’s very measured. You can see the gears in her head spinning. Babe, you’re harsh. She’s harsh unless it comes to babies. Oh, we love babies so much, but we might never have them.

Ohhh. Why? Are you guys like… *checks dictionary for the politically correct word, settles on impotent* …impotent?

Jemimah: LMAO. Oh goodness.

Nelson: LMAO. Oh I don’t know. Just that Jemimah doesn’t want babies and I’m not sure I want to bring any into this world too. 

Jemimah: We’re yet to test the potency of both our gonads, but we’re not interested in having them because they’re stressful. Biologically and economically. Honestly, I worry about bringing a child into a world that I don’t want to live in on most days. 

I also worry about my capacity to be a lifetime caregiver and nurturer for another person. There’s no telling if I’ll be bad at it. And unfortunately, you can’t return babies when you can’t cope with them. I also worry about how my body will take it. I don’t think pregnancy is an easy feat. I’m just as afraid of childbirth as I’m afraid of kidney surgery.

Have you considered adoption? 

Jemimah: Not opposed to the idea at all.

Nelson: I agree with all she has to say, except the bit about being a good caregiver. Jemimah has many amazing traits, but the reason why I love her most — and I’ve told her many times — is how kind she is. Deep down, she’s golden. 

We were in traffic the other day and a man’s car was on fire. The man was doing a good job of putting it out, but my girlfriend was frantically trying to open the door to help out. That’s how she is, reflexively. So I know she’ll be a gift to any kid if she has one. But yeah, the world might not need more babies.

Jemimah: Wow. I- 

Girl, same. I need a moment to appreciate how beautiful your relationship is. 

Jemimah: I think I need a moment to appreciate it some more too. 

Nelson: Babe, I’ve learnt a lot from you on how to approach important decisions and I love you, deeply. I just want to impregnate you and run away.

Ahhh. Like run away from the baby and her?

Nelson: Forget about those insignificant details. 

Jemimah: Omo. Men. 

LMAO. Rate your relationship on a scale of 1 – 10

Jemimah: For me, 10. Never had it this good. Very happy here, will not recommend because it’s for only me.

Nelson: A 9 for me, because I feel I can still do better to make her even happier.

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