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

Audio: We’re No Longer Together, But We’re Life Partners

Mezie*, 32, and Oge*, 31, went from friends to lovers to friends who occasionally have sex. For today’s Love Life, they talk about being life partners even though they know they can never get back together. 

What’s your earliest memory of each other?

Mezie: It was at the national finals of a university competition. I was waiting to take the elevator in the hotel lobby, and when the doors opened, I saw her with her teammates. I noticed her because of her striking striped pants. 

Oge: This was in 2009. I was repping my school, and he was repping his. A couple of us were going to get drinks at the end of the first day, and we somehow ended up in his room. According to him, I jumped on his bed and said, “Hi! How are you?”

I don’t remember doing that, but I don’t have an earlier memory, so let’s go with that.

What were your first impressions?

Oge: I can’t say he formed an impression that stuck at the competition, but we got to be Facebook friends after, and we just did not stop chatting. He is so intelligent, so we talked about everything, from philosophy to Igbo culture. 

Mezie: Wow. Oge, so you’re saying when my team was beating yours, you weren’t looking at me? This was even before you came to my room. You were literally cutting me eye. Anyway, let’s leave that story. 

For my first impression, I thought she was a bit too much. She was fun and bubbly, but it felt like she was trying to be the centre of attention. Then there was this other guy she was all over.

Oge: What? I wasn’t cutting you eyes, I was cutting eyes at the other Mezie — the one that looks like you. Then when I was looking for him on Facebook, I friended you instead. By the time I realised it was the wrong Mezie, we were already cool. 

Mezie: Wow. This is the first time I’m hearing this. This interview is already bringing out the truth.

LMAO. Oops. So, when were feelings caught?

Oge: Somewhere in the middle of our Facebook conversations. I think people knew that we liked each other before we admitted it to ourselves. I was always commenting on his page, and he’d do the same.

Mezie: She used to comment on everything I did on Facebook, and that’s how I figured she liked me. I already knew that I liked her, but I didn’t know how to handle romantic situations at the time.

Oge: He still doesn’t. 

Mezie: Ouch. 

Who admitted to having feelings first?

Oge: He is going to say it’s him, but it’s a lie. It was around 2011. He moved to the north for NYSC, and I went to visit him. We made out a lot when I got there. As far as I’m concerned, that was me going, “Yo! I’m willing to risk my life just to see you.”

After that, he sent me an email that went, “I love you, and I hope it terrifies you as much as it terrifies me.”

Okay, poet. 

Mezie: Wait! I sent that email or you sent that email? I’m actually confused now. Anyway, when she made that trip to see me, that’s when I knew she was a real one. I was sure I wanted us to be part of each other’s lives in a more concrete way.

That’s sweet and all, but who sent that email, abeg?

Oge: He sent it oh! Then he gave me the silent treatment until I called him.

Mezie: I’ll accept. 

Oge: Which one is “I’ll accept”? Don’t make me pull out screenshots.

Mezie: LMAO. Fine. It’s true. I remember now. I actually thought I had the most amazing lines that year. 

LMAO. So, what happened after the grand proclamation?

Mezie: As she said, she didn’t reply to it for a while, so I decided to lean back.

Oge: Love is a word that typically makes me run in the opposite direction, so I needed a few days to process it. Then I called him, and after explaining how the email had freaked me out, I asked him to be my boyfriend. He said yes. 

Nice. So, how was it after things became official?

Mezie: It was great and exciting. We were already friends, and there was all that build-up to the actual relationship. So, when it started, I couldn’t get enough of talking to her. I was also hoping for time to get to see her and spend time with her.

Oge: Yeah. It was a long-distance relationship — he was in Abuja, and I was in Lagos. There were a lot of calls. It wasn’t a drastic shift from what our friendship was like. I was just happy to finally be dating someone I’d liked for so long. 

Did the distance affect the relationship?

Oge: Short answer: Yes. At that point, I hadn’t started having sex, but physical touch is very important to me, and I hated that I couldn’t make out with him. Then we both started getting busier with work and would be too tired to talk after. 

It wasn’t the main reason we broke up, but it played a part.

Mezie: It definitely played a part, but it’s actually when I moved to Lagos in 2013 that the relationship went to shit.

What? How?

Oge: The expectation on my end, probably unspoken at the time, was that if he was moving to Lagos, we would finally spend more time together. Then he moved, but it still felt like he was in Abuja. I wouldn’t see him for weeks.

To be fair, he lived pretty far from me and didn’t have a car, but it was still so frustrating that we now lived in the same city and I barely got to see him. Then whenever we did make plans, he would either be late or traffic would be hell.

I can never forget our last Valentine’s Day together. We made dinner plans, but even though I’d been in Lagos for a while, I didn’t know about the legendary Valentine’s Day traffic. By the time we got there, we were both pissed as fuck — me more than him. 

Damn. So, who ended things?

Oge: I did. I messaged him and said it wasn’t working for me anymore. 

Mezie: At the time, I felt like work was the immediate priority. No, that sounds wrong. I didn’t know how to show her that she was also a priority. I mean, we were both broke, so it was just a struggle.

We had some good moments in Lagos, but I guess that Valentine’s Day was the straw that broke the camel’s back for her. It only went downhill from there. Then there were some niggas circling at her workplace, and I think she got distracted by the attention.

I honestly didn’t expect her to end things. I mean, the day we became official was the pin code to my ATM card. I just couldn’t fathom that someone I had integrated into my life so deeply, granted the quality of the relationship had dropped, would just leave. 

Oge: It was other things too. Like you being such a good catholic boy and getting angry with me for not going to church. Or the fact that you wanted to get married and have kids, but I didn’t. 

Mezie: I actually had the hope that you would eventually see the light on some of the fundamental things we disagreed on. 

Not to take you guys back, but Oge, what did Mezie mean when he said you got “distracted by the attention”?

Oge: Right. We’ve never actually addressed the office guy. After Mezie, I ended up dating someone from the office. Yes, he had been circling, and I had started liking him while I was still with Mezie. He was just right there, giving me attention.

I started dating him about a week after I broke up with Mezie.

Mezie: Women are scum. So that time I came to your office to surprise you, and you were going crazy, my competition was right there. Wow.

Oge: LMAO. You’re not serious. 

What was your relationship like after the breakup?

Oge: I blanked him for a while, but he didn’t let it stick. He eventually reached out, and we’ve been friends ever since. We also started having sex with each other. 

Mezie: Her philosophy is to cut people off, and she tried to do that with me, but I knew she was missing me. I knew I still liked her, and we were still running in the same circles, so immediately I got the chance, I reached out. 

This was about a year after we’d broken up. She was still in a relationship with Office Guy.

Wait. Oge, were you still with Office Guy when you and Mezie started having sex?

Mezie: Oge?

Oge: Why are you calling my name?

Mezie: Daniel is asking you a question now.

Oge: LMAO. Yeah, I was still with him. A friend of Mezie and I was getting married in Ibadan, and we went together. The plan was to get separate rooms, but we went clubbing that night. I got really drunk, so he slept on the floor to look after me.

When I woke up the next morning, well, you know how it goes.

Did it happen more than once?

Oge: The next time was after that relationship, I think. That’s how I’m choosing to remember it.

LMAO. Whatever you say.

Oge: Now, we’re both single, so no issues there. Once in a while, we hookup. I could go to his house and just chill, but sometimes, I show up and we both know we’re going for a sex date. 

Mezie: For me, sex is just sort of in the background of our current thing.

How would you define your current thing?

Oge: He is my friend. He’s seen me grow up, and I’ve seen him go from a good catholic boy to the hedonist he is now. I’ve even called him my life partner because I think we’ll always be a significant part of each other’s lives. 

Mezie: I’ve been in other relationships that didn’t work out, but Oge’s always been a constant. Around 2016, I actually considered shooting my shot again, but that’s when it became clear that we have too many fundamental differences to ever work.

Since then, I’ve decided to focus on our friendship. As she said, we are life partners, just without the romance.

So, you guys really don’t think you’ll ever try romance again?

Oge: Nah. Never. The reasons we broke up are still very much present. He’s grown a lot, but deep down, he’s still a very traditional Igbo man. I think at the base of it, we’re just too different, and if we try to go there again, we’ll ruin what we have.

Mezie: LMAO. I’ve written that option off. 

Do you still have feelings for each other though?

Oge: Ah. It comes in waves. There are times I think, “Maybe we should give this one more shot because we are such good friends”, but then I remember why that’s a bad idea. Knowing it’s a bad idea, however, doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally consider it. 

Mezie: Me, I will not lie, I’m still very attracted to her. Does that count as feelings? I think the love I feel is just an appreciation of her presence in my life. 

Beyond that, it’s her booty and her face and her eyes. I really like your eyes, Oge.

Oge: Aww. Thank you. I love you, b.

Mezie: Love you too.

Considering sex is involved, how does this dynamic work when you’re seeing other people?

Oge: Ah. You’ll face your relationship oh. Whenever one of us is dating, we remove sex from the equation and just focus on being friends. It’s never been an issue. We even give each other advice when necessary.

Mezie: Yeah. I mean, most of my relationships have been short-lived — I’ve actually been in more situationships — but I don’t think any of the women I’ve dated seriously has been threatened by her presence. 

What’s your favourite thing about each other?

Mezie: Her personality. Her laugh. She is very carefree in a good way. She is also very open-minded, and I think that might be my favourite thing about her. It makes her the best person to turn to for advice.

Oge: Ugh. I was going to say your laugh, now I have to change it.

Mezie: Better say it.

Oge: LMAO. His laugh is like a chortle, and then his tummy starts going up and down. It’s so funny. He is also able to calm me down a lot of the time. I especially love that I can be 100% myself around him.

How would you rate your relationship on a scale of 1 to 10?

Oge: 8.5. 10 is for God.

Mezie: 8. Had everything except alignment of world views.

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