Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
How did you meet each other?
Daniel: I was dating her twin sister, Mina, for almost two years between 2019 and 2021. I met Somi sometime during that period. She had her own boyfriend at the time. And all four of us were quite friendly. We used to go out together a lot.
Somi: Yes, we were all good friends. But then, I broke up with my boyfriend towards the end of 2021, while Daniel proposed to Mina about a month after.
Wait, he was going to marry your twin sister?
Daniel: I thought I loved her, but the truth is, we were incompatible in a lot of ways. We had very different personalities. She was the kind of person to always be out and about, attending everyone’s party. She was generally loud and jovial. I’m a lot more reserved. But I admired her and loved being her person.
Somi: We started bonding after I became single and he drew closer to the family as Mina’s fiance. We could both relate to being in her shadow. So when she was on one of her energy bursts, initiating ideas none of us could relate to, Daniel and I would exchange glances and knowing smiles.
When did you realise you liked each other?
Daniel: When I realised I was lowkey spending more time with Somi, and I was beginning to feel guilty about it, I knew something was up.
Somi: We’d have these long deep conversations in the living room — while Mina was somewhere else doing something else — and I started to realise he got me. I’ve always been the quiet sister between Mina and me. But Daniel is even more quiet than me.
When she first started dating him after they met at work, I was so sure they’d break up in no time because Mina had a type, and it wasn’t Daniel. I was shocked when he even proposed to her. Then, I started thinking Mina was lucky she got such a good, unproblematic person.
When that changed to feelings of jealousy, I started avoiding him. We both still lived with our parents, so anytime I knew she was coming to the house with him, I’d just go out.
How did things progress from there?
Somi: They started getting busy with their wedding plans. Mina was her usual energetic self about the whole thing, drawing me in with talks of the bridal train as expected. I had to be involved in preparations for the traditional side of things as well, and the whole thing made me so uncomfortable.
I kept thinking they wouldn’t be happy together. But at the same time, I felt like a bad sister to think that. It’s not like I knew for sure that I liked him or he liked me back. I just liked him as a friend and person. And I felt his personality would clash with my sister’s in the long run. But he was love-struck.
Daniel: I agree I was love-struck. But I now realise it’s different from being in love with someone. I loved the idea of Mina and the idea of being with someone that passionate about everything. But our relationship was missing that connection I always felt with Somi.
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I’m curious how you guys crossed the line over to love and a relationship
Somi: First, Mina suddenly called off the wedding the day of her bridal shower, a few weeks before the wedding. She called me crying, as the rest of the bridal party was preparing for the shower and told me she’d broken it off with Daniel. She confided in me that she no longer felt excited about the prospects of marrying him, and she’d felt that way for a while but didn’t want to admit it. But now, everything in her was saying no.
My first thought was, “How’s Daniel taking this news?” I wanted to comfort Mina, but at the same time, I wanted to be sure Daniel was okay. And to be honest, my longing for Daniel was stronger at that moment.
Daniel: I didn’t take it well at all. I actually cried when Mina broke things off. On one side, I didn’t think I deserved her. On the other, I was already determined to give her my all. In retrospect, I know it was unhealthy to be with someone who unknowingly made me feel less than.
After the whole thing settled and I made peace with the fact that I was no longer getting married, I obviously stayed away from their house and business. But then, Somi reached out to me about a week later, asking how I was. She sounded so sincere and comforting when she said she hoped I was fine. And I realised I’d missed her and our frequent bantering.
Somi: We started talking over the phone from time to time after that first call. We’d always been close on IG, so we started really responding to each other’s content again and exchanging memes.
Daniel: She didn’t know how much her messages and memes helped me get through the day. Having her come back into my life after I stopped being anything to her, really made me feel a lot less lonely.
One day, I decided to ask her if she wanted to hang out, and we did. We attended my co-worker’s birthday party together. Thankfully, Mina and Somi are completely unidentical, so there was no mistaking them for each other and wondering if I’d gotten back together with Mina.
Somi: LOL. After that outing, I knew I really liked him. And I knew I had to have a potentially difficult conversation with Mina. Luckily, she said she was fine with me getting close to him.
Daniel: I asked her out officially a week after we attended the birthday party in 2021.
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You didn’t feel awkward that you would’ve married her twin?
Daniel: Of course, I did. I knew how it looked.
Somi: I was ashamed for the first few months, so we hid the relationship from all our mutual friends. But we kept going because we just got along so well. We’re both quiet introverts who love to dwell in our personal spaces without intrusion from the outside world. And somehow, we got to meld personal spaces such that we loved being alone together. What I love most about us is how we get each other’s subtle gestures and facial expressions so well.
Daniel: Our public sign language. LOL.
Somi: Yes. It also does wonders for my self-esteem that Mina and I aren’t identical. It makes me that much more confident that I’m not just a perfect replacement. I do believe we share a true connection.
Daniel: We do.
So how did you go from hiding your relationship to marriage?
Daniel: That was hard. I was terribly ashamed to go back to her parents. The same man wanting to marry the twin sister this time around? I felt bad. My mum was my support system during this time. She really helped me jump that hurdle. And of course, Somi too kept trying to convince me that she’d already told them and done some of the dirty work. I don’t know how she gathered the nerve. Meanwhile, I was joking around about us eloping to another country.
Somi: But he eventually came to meet my parents, and they were completely fine with it as long as Mina didn’t have any issues. Oh, I should mention that by then, Mina was already getting on with her current fiance.
Nice. But when did you propose? And why does it feel like you were in such a hurry to marry, Daniel?
Daniel: I really wasn’t. I just don’t believe in wasting time when you’ve found a good thing. I felt good about Mina. But maybe that was just because I got to spend a lot of time with Somi and mistook the warmth I felt in my heart during that period for being happy with Mina.
Somi: I think when we started properly dating, we just wanted to be fully committed to each other as soon as possible. But actually, we dated for up to a year before the wedding. That’s not bad at all.
Daniel: I proposed in May 2022, seven months after we started dating. I just asked her to marry me one Saturday night while we were watching TV together and discussing the cars we liked. Her friend helped me choose a ring the next day, and I officially proposed during a lunch date later in the week.
Somi: It all felt natural, and I especially appreciate that he didn’t plan a fanfare around the proposal. It felt like we were having a heart-to-heart when he asked me and later proposed with a ring. The wedding happened five months later, in October.
How does Mina feel about you two being married now?
Somi: She jokes about it all the time — that she’s glad she didn’t force herself to marry Daniel and ruin our chances of true love forever.
Daniel: I’m actually very grateful to God because things like that have ruined so many lives.
Somi: All three of us would’ve probably been miserable for the rest of our lives because of that one act. And worse, we wouldn’t even know what was triggering our sadness.
Right? So how would you rate your love life on a scale of 1 to 10?
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