Sunken Ships is a Zikoko series that explores the how and why of the end of all relationships — familial, romantic or just good old friendships.
Abike* moved from having Kunle* as a random mutual on Twitter to dating him even though he was monogamous and she wasn’t. In this episode of Sunken Ships, she tells us how his attempt to cheat after convincing her to be monogamous made her break up with him and his disrespectful jokes prevented them from remaining friends.
Tell me how this ship started
Abike: We met on Twitter. We’d been following each other for a couple of years before our first DM. Then we occasionally interacted, but nothing serious.
Sometime in April 2020, he tweeted that he’d delete his account if nobody texted him. Because of COVID and the lockdown, I was bored, so I texted him. If I could take it back, I would.
How did the relationship progress?
Abike: We were talking almost if not every day. He was very upfront about wanting a romantic relationship, but that wasn’t something I wanted. For one, I didn’t think I had it in me to get into one with anyone. The idea of committing to one person was stressing me out. We also lived in different states, and I didn’t want to get into a long-distance relationship. Plus, we’d just started talking when he brought up dating. I can’t date someone I barely know.
But you eventually liked him?
Abike: A couple of weeks after we started talking, I realised I’d fallen in love with him. He seemed genuine, and I never stood a chance. But he was always “joking” about how I’d leave him for someone else. I’m polyamorous; I’ve always liked multiple people at a time. Still, I didn’t understand why he thought I’d leave him for someone else. How can I leave you when we’re not together?
That’s why a month before we started dating, we stopped talking. He said it was because we wanted different things from each other, but I didn’t want to stop talking to him. The next day, he apologised and we got back to talking.
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All this while not dating?
Abike: Yes. We didn’t start dating until May 2021. We were finally in the same state, so I decided to visit him. After hanging out with him, I decided I wanted to try the whole boyfriend and girlfriend thing. One day, I told him, “You’re my boyfriend now,” and that’s how it began.
Along the line of our talking stage, I’d already blurted out I was in love with him, so it’s not like the feelings weren’t there. It’s just that it was weird. We’d stopped talking four times during the “talking stage”, all for variations of the same problem — he thought I’d leave him for someone else.
Did he know you were poly?
Abike: He did. Although before we started dating, when I told him I was also in love with someone else, he lied to my friends that he didn’t know I was polyamorous. They, of course, were not buying it because they themselves had told him.
But you dated anyways?
Abike: Yes, we did. He was a lovely person even before we started dating. To congratulate me when I got my internship in February 2021, he sent me a box with some of my favourite things from a bakeshop.
Dating him was good when it was good. He’d make me playlists and randomly send me cute emails. One time, he even wrote a story for me just because. He’d set reminders because my memory was terrible, and he was so supportive. He wasn’t all bad I think that’s why I kept making excuses for his bad behaviour.
Abike: The “jokes” about me leaving him. They were exhausting because I didn’t give him any reason to think I’d abandon him. He wanted me to be monogamous, so I was. One week after we started dating, he even accused me of wanting to cheating on him with one of my male friends. It gets tiring constantly having to defend yourself for a crime you didn’t commit. Whenever he made those accusations, he always talked about how cheating was such an unforgivable offence. Maybe that’s why I was shocked when it turned out he was the one who tried to cheat on me.
What do you mean “tried to”?
Abike: We had two mutual friends. One day in June 2021, one of them called to tell me my boyfriend wanted her to come over and suck his dick. He said a lot of suggestive things to her, and she led him on to see how far he was willing to take it. The answer was very far. He kept trying to convince her she should come over to do it. It was so shocking because why would he even entertain the thought?
When I mentioned to him that she’d told me, he called so many times to explain that he only did it because he wasn’t sober. And because I’m a very foolish babe, we got back together a week or two later. I want to blame love, but omo.
Since you’re here, it clearly didn’t work out
Abike: No, it didn’t. We took a break in October of 2021. I usually don’t entertain the idea of a break because it just means a breakup, but I needed one. I’d started a new school, there was work, and I was getting used to my antidepressants. I needed to rest. When he brought up taking a break, I took it. It’s funny how I could never have told him I needed a break because I didn’t want him to think I didn’t love him again.
A week after the break, he said we should break up, that he didn’t think he could make me happy because he was sick and angry all the time. I wasn’t unhappy, but that’s how we ended things.
After the breakup, I started thinking about the first time we broke up. What if my friend had never told me he wanted to have sex with her? Would he have come clean? What if she’d decided to go to his house, would he have slept with her? I couldn’t deal.
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That seems so stressful
Abike: It was, but I still wanted to be friends with him because I cared. When we tried the friend thing, we stopped talking at least three times for different reasons. In January 2022, we were supposed to hang out, but the night before, he said he was no longer interested because I liked someone else, and I should focus on my new person.
When my birthday was approaching in April 2022, he asked me if he could get me a gift, and I refused. That’s when he said, “It’s a birthday gift, not an engagement ring”, trying to play it off as a joke. At that point, our relationship was already weird. Why was he trying to make me the bad guy for refusing a gift from an ex I was in a weird space with?
Was that the last time you spoke to him?
Abike: The third time we stopped being friends was in October 2022. He mentioned something about wishing I was still in love with him, and I lost my shit. He tried to play it off as a joke, but I was annoyed. I was in love with him, he disrespected me. Now, I’m currently in another relationship. Why is he doing anyhow? That’s when I realised I didn’t have any grace left for him. So we stopped being friends. I told him off on the joke and stopped talking to him. Hopefully, this time, it’s for good.