Sunken Ships: We’re Working on What Friendship Means After a Breakup

June 17, 2022

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.

Adaeze* and Billie* have been friends for a year and five months. In this episode of Zikoko Sunken Ships, they discuss falling in love, pursuing a romantic connection, failing at that and why they’re choosing to be just friends even though they’re still in love with each other. Here’s their story: 

How did the two of you meet? 

Billie: We met on Tinder. I swiped right because I thought she was pretty. Honestly, I don’t know why she swiped right for me. I had a Kermit the frog picture on my profile. Adaeze, do you have a Kermit fetish? 

Adaeze: Of course, I don’t. I swiped right for two reasons. The first is they have a hot name. I’ve not met a single unattractive person that has that name. Secondly, I thought they were someone I already knew, so I swiped for laughs. It turns out they were a stranger. So, when we matched, I went into it with the idea of friendship. 

Billie: Oh, you just wanted to be my friend? I didn’t know that. I mean, it’s not like I swiped with the idea that we’d automatically become romantic interests, but I was open to it. I had downloaded the app maybe two days before meeting her, so I didn’t have a lot of expectations. 

Adaeze: God put Tobi there to find me. That’s the theory I’m working with. 

RELATED: Sunken Ships: We Should’ve Been Friends Before We Dated

So, when did we start catching feelings? 

Billie: Almost immediately. The first time we met was a month and some weeks after we started talking. And it was the day we had our first kiss. I was so shy.

Adaeze: They were so nervous and kept moving around, flailing their arms and talking. I had to start the kiss, and I believe it was a really great first kiss. It really broke the ice. 

Billie: I could have done better.

Adaeze: Yes, you could have stopped shaking. 

Billie: Apologies, ma’am.

Would you like to be interviewed for Sunken Ships?

Adaeze: We were actually supposed to see the next day, which was a Saturday, but because I really wanted to see them, we moved it to Friday night. I didn’t even realise I had caught proper feelings for them until the next day. 

We spent the entire day in a hotel, and I had cramps so they held me while I slept. We watched Midsommar, and they closed my ears when the scary parts happened because I hate gore. That’s when it hit me that, wait o, I might actually have feelings for this person. I don’t even think they remember doing all of that. 

Billie: Rate me small, please. I remember, and I’d still do the same for her. I’d do the same thing for any of my friends. 

Adaeze: But here I was thinking it was a not-so-friendly action. I’ve come to realise that both of us have different ways we approach friendship and romantic relationships. 

There are some things I’ve reserved for my friends and some for people I’m romantically involved with. It’s just that what I think is strictly reserved for people I am in a romantic relationship with, oga does for their friends. 

Like that day when they held and fed me because I had cramps, I wouldn’t have done that for a friend. Sure, I could have fed the friend, but I don’t like physical touch enough to hold them. But I would for someone I’m in love with. 

Billie, does that mean you didn’t have romantic feelings towards Adaeze? 

Billie: I did. That Saturday, when she told me she had feelings for me, I told her I felt the same way. It’s just that I have some issues with commitment. I’m a dickhead and will ruin things eventually. Plus, I’m not ready for the kind of commitment a relationship will bring. I don’t like putting labels on things. Labels are too constrictive.

Adaeze: Billie is a hippie. They don’t want a girlfriend, so we decided to see where things went. 

Friend is fine, but girlfriend is too much? 

Billie: I guess she’s my girlfriend then. 

Adaeze: This is not how you ask a peng babe like me out. 

Billie: Wait, I mean, she’s a friend that’s a girl. 

RELATED: Sunken Ships: Our Friendship Ended Because of My Childishness

I’m sorry, that statement is giving primary four, and it just had to be said 

Adaeze: Oho! The thing is, I feel like I’d have been fine, but then I found out that Tobi was seeing other people, and I lost it. 

Billie: So I removed sex from the equation. I wasn’t going to stop seeing other people. She wanted more than I could give, so I’d rather just be her friend. 

Adaeze: I wanted exclusivity and commitment. They make me feel safe and not stupid. I wanted to go out and scream that I was their girlfriend and we were together. I wanted to feel secure about it and just be with them. 

I think it’s good they withdrew those things so I wouldn’t keep getting my feelings hurt. 

So, what does your current friendship look like? 

Adaeze: It’s still a bit weird, and I wish I could change that, but I’m trying to get used to our relationship without the romance. I was afraid that they’d stop liking me because they had removed those things from the table.

Billie: Maybe if we had made it strictly platonic from the start, I wouldn’t have hurt her in this way. 

Adaeze: Even if you’d have made it platonic, I’d have still tripped and fallen in love with you, unfortunately. 

I think our friendship works because they’re so honest and plain. We have a lot in common, and our differences sometimes complement each other. Talking to them can be easy. 

An ideal friendship is one where I don’t feel weird talking to them. The dynamics and boundaries have been properly set, and they finally stop complaining when I take all their clothes. We’re the same size fgs. Is it not a sign? 

Billie: Please stop stealing my clothes; I have nothing to wear anymore. But yeah, she’s so easy to talk to. I never feel weird with her or that I’m being judged. Plus, she always has gist for me. I just wish what we had happened in a way that nobody gets hurt. 

Are you both still in love with each other? 

Adaeze: I love them a lot, but love isn’t enough. I recognise that, but it’s a hard pill to swallow. 

Billie: I don’t think anything will change how I feel about her. We’d have been together if I wasn’t so scared of commitment. 

RELATED: Sunken Ships: She Chose Jesus Over Me

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