Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
Princess*, 26, and Bayo*, 37, have been dating for three years. Today on Love Life, they talk about meeting on Twitter, navigating the eleven-year age gap between them and transitioning from a “medium-distance” relationship to one where they both live in the same city.
What’s your earliest memory of each other?
Bayo: In January 2018 I was at Terraculture when this pretty woman walked past me with a man. I remember thinking she was really good looking and that memory stuck with me.
Princess: I don’t remember that. I look at people that are attractive. My earliest memory is when I sent him an invite on LinkedIn. I was looking for a new job in communication and PR so I was reaching out to people who worked in that field. Shortly after, he followed me on Twitter.
How did you two start interacting?
Bayo: One day, someone tweeted this: “Some people don’t really have money but they want to spoil you so they are not sugar daddies, they are splender daddies.” I quoted it with laughing emojis.
Princess: I replied with the same emojis. From that day, we started interacting on the timeline. In May 2018, on my mom’s birthday, I tweeted about her passing and he sent me a message saying, “Happy birthday to your mom, she’ll be proud of you.” I thought it was sweet of him. I said thank you and kept it moving.
A day before my own birthday in the same month, I tweeted my wishlist and he sent me a DM to ask if someone had already paid for the spa gift card. No one had so I sent him a link to the spa’s website. He was trying to buy the gift card and he saw that he needed to enter the recipient’s phone number and email so he asked. I gave it to him and said he could call if he wanted because I was single and feeling flirty.
Bayo: I called the next day on her birthday. I can’t remember what we talked about but we ended up talking for an hour.
So you talked your way into a relationship?
Princess: Not really. It wasn’t so simple. He was in Abuja and I was in Lagos so the first thing we did was move our conversations from Twitter to WhatsApp, where we started talking quite regularly.
Gist me, what did you talk about?
Princess: Everything. We were getting to know each other and we had a lot in common. For example, both our moms are late.
Bayo: And we’re both creatives with careers in communications. We talked about writing and work. We also talked about Marvel movies.
Princess: Yea and we had long phone calls where we’d flirt and catch up on each other’s day. I really enjoyed his company and so we decided to see each other.
How did that happen?
Bayo: I had to make a trip to Lagos for work. I told her I was around. After completing my work, I met up with her at Afropolitan Vibes.
Princess: I arrived two hours late because I went to work and I had to go back home to change. When I got there, I saw him talking to someone and I walked away to collect myself. Eventually, I went to introduce myself to him.
Bayo: She looked really nice. We had a nice time walking around and talking. The performance that evening was nice.
Princess: I no longer felt nervous. At some point, I introduced him to my sister.
Bayo: Yup, that was the night that we found out each other’s ages. I was 33 and she was 22 at the time. She thought I was younger and I thought she was older. I thought, “Yo, what am I doing?”
I’d never imagined being with someone that much younger but I was already in too deep to just walk away.
Princess: For me, it wasn’t a struggle because my dad is older than my mom by 10 years so I was just like, “That’s normal, isn’t it?”
Bayo: I had to consider not just the age gap, but also about our position in life. I had a job and was quite stable. She too had a job, house and was comfortable at the time. I realised that she was way more mature than a regular 22-year-old.
Princess: Please don’t say that, LOL. That’s what Nigerian men say.
Bayo: I hear you. But it wasn’t me rationalizing it. It was true and it took about four months for me to get over that before we started dating.
How did dating enter the story?
Princess: After Afropolitan Vibes, we had a breakfast date the next day. It was nice and when we were done, I went on another date. While I was with the other guy, I kept thinking about Bayo. Bayo and I ended up seeing a movie that night and going back home to my place. When he left in the morning, he forgot his earphones in my house. I texted him about it and he said,”Hang on to it until the next time we see each other.”
Bayo: We kept texting and video calling each other. In July, I had a photographer’s retreat in Lagos. After the retreat, I spent two nights at her house and we had such a nice time. We talked about deep stuff — not wanting kids, being irreligious and our former relationships.
Princess: After that visit, I travelled to Abuja to see him in August. Shortly after my visit, he travelled to America and we had a six-hour time difference between us. This meant our regular communication started to wane. I missed him so much and I was just there wondering if he missed me too. That’s when I knew that they’ve gotten me LOL.
Did you tell him?
Princess: Nopes. I was 22 so I wasn’t at a place where I could ask a man out. I wanted him to ask me to be his girl. When he returned, I went to Abuja to see him and I thought about bringing it up throughout the whole trip but I wasn’t the confrontational type so I swallowed it. On my last day, at the airport, I asked him “What are we?”.
Bayo: I had been wanting to ask her to date me but…
Princess: I said no because I didn’t want him to ask me because I brought it up.
Bayo: When she landed, we got on a phone call and I asked her out properly. This time she said yes.
When you two became official, did anything change in the relationship?
Princess: Yes, we got closer and have continued to grow closer since then. Long-distance was hard initially but we started to see each other. It was either I had a work trip to Abuja or he had one to Lagos or we were just visiting the other person.
Bayo: And when we weren’t together, we’d video call every day for an hour and text for the rest of the day. We had a running joke that what we had was a medium distance relationship because of how easily we could see each other within a short period and without extensive planning.
Princess: Yup, in that aspect we were fine. Another thing we had to talk about was money. In the first year, he was earning a lot more than me and I was quite insecure about not being able to pay for stuff as much as he did. He told me it was okay and that financial awkwardness went away. I never feel weird asking him for money or needing him to pay for stuff now. Also, I now earn more than he does and it’s not weird at all.
What has been the most challenging period of the relationship?
Princess: During the lockdown. We couldn’t see each other for five months. We missed each other so much. It was excruciating.
Funny enough, at the end of the lockdown, I was glad I wasn’t stuck with him in Abuja because I thought we would’ve fought a lot and I don’t think I would’ve survived. That period was frustrating for everyone.
Bayo: When the lockdown on flights ended in October, I went to Lagos for a week then she came to visit him in Abuja for another three weeks. That visit was perfect, we did everything together — cooking, eating, working, movies.
Princess: It was around this time that I realised I was tired of living in Lagos. Luckily, I got a new job and it was remote so I decided to move to Abuja permanently. It took about six months for me to make the move. Finding a house was tedious as hell but I had him.
Wait. You two didn’t move in together?
Princess: Nopes. I knew I didn’t want to live with him because one, I’d never lived alone and that was my opportunity to do that and two, I have a Nigerian father — I can’t move in with a boyfriend. I also have a fear of cohabiting with a partner so this arrangement where we both have houses in the same city works for me.
Bayo: Me too. We take turns spending time in each other’s houses. Right now, we’re at her place.
Mad, what did Davido say about love being sweeter when there’s money?
I’m curious about your biggest fight. What caused it?
Princess: First of all, we haven’t had a fight. We’ve had arguments but never fights.
Bayo: I believe what we have are debates and disagreements. We’ve never raised our voices at each other or argued back and forth. There are topics that we might not agree on as much but compromising is never an issue with us. Nothing groundbreaking though — no big compromises that make someone lose a part of themselves.
Princess: Yup, our relationship has been healthy, because healthy takes work. In my past relationships, I used to be so non-confrontational and passive-aggressive. I would keep everything that I was angry about inside for years until I started resenting the person. With Bayo, I had to learn how to tell him when I’m uncomfortable with something and he takes it in good stride. We’ve never gone to bed not speaking to each other — we always sort out the issue and cuddle it out, if we’re together.
Bayo: And I have no issue with saying I’m sorry. I’m a very objective person so when I’m told that a thing I did or didn’t do upsets someone, I reflect and change my ways. It’s pretty easy with us.
I’m curious about the age gap between you two. Has it ever been an issue?
Princess: Not in the ways people think. I have always been the youngest person in the room in many spaces. A lot of my friends are much older than I am and I have learned to live with it. There’s no unhealthy dynamic around the age difference between Bayo and me. When we joke, I call him old and he calls me young. The only time I get conscious about it is around my birthday, that’s when it dawns on me just how many years are between us. Other than that, it’s cool from my end. My sisters know him and they’re okay with it.
Bayo: For me, it’s more tricky. In my closest group of friends, I’m the youngest there. They know about the age difference between me and Princess. They make jokes about it and sometimes I’m cool, other times I’m like, stop that.
But I’m not awkward about it anymore. But I’ll admit that I notice it more when we have to hang out with my friends and their families.
Princess: Yup. I’m very young where his friends’ wives are. Some of them have like three kids. LOL. I usually hesitate to go out with them but other than that, it’s cool.
What are your future plans for each other?
Princess: One of the things we both knew early on was that marriage was not on our list. We may get married out of practical reasons like me wanting to move in with him without my father having an opinion but outside that, there’s no rush to get married.
Bayo: Yup. We also don’t want kids, which is great. Right now, we have everything we need and we don’t need any specific thing to validate our relationship.
That makes sense. What do you find most attractive about your partner?
Princess: He has nice biceps. That was the first thing I was attracted to. I also really love his eyes and his hair.
Bayo: For me, it’s her breasts. She has the most amazing tits I’ve ever seen. That was probably one of the first things I noticed about her. Beyond that, she’s gorgeous as hell. In general, I love how we’re always on the same page. It’s one of the most valuable things we have.
Rate this relationship on a scale of one to ten.
Bayo: 8.5, because as great as we are, there’s more room to grow, especially on my part.
Princess: 8 for me, because we have such a long life and a million adventures ahead of us. There’s definitely room for improvement and we’re committed to working on ourselves and making our relationship the best version of it. There’s something much better waiting for us.
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