Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
*Godwin, 20, and *Tope, 19, dated for three months after which Godwin ghosted Tope for three months. Today on Love Life, they talk about what went wrong in the relationship and what they could have done better.
What’s your earliest memory of each other?
Godwin: I met Tope last year, during the lockdown. I rarely use Facebook, but because of the pandemic and boredom, I got on it. There was a post where someone was asking people to comment with their Twitter handles. Tope was the one who posted it. I followed her, and she followed back, and that’s how our conversation began. From there, we exchanged WhatsApp numbers and took the chats online.
Tope: I asked him how he got his followers. I don’t use Twitter frequently, and so to see someone excel at it was quite fascinating.
What was your first impression of each other?
Godwin: To be honest, I have a thing for dark-skinned girls, and fuck— sorry for the f-word— she had the complexion. I just couldn’t resist. I didn’t let her know my impression though. I stayed lowkey. Until we began talking.
Tope: You used the f-word.
Godwin: I apologised.
Tope: I can’t really remember my first impression of Godwin, but when we started chatting he was cool and sounded like he was going to be smart. Also yes, he was my spec. To be honest, if he wasn’t, we wouldn’t even talk.
So, when you both connected online, what did you talk about?
Tope: We talked about a lot of things. One of them was that he wanted me to come to his school, but I couldn’t. I’m in Ghana and he’s in Nigeria. The trip wasn’t very feasible, especially with the lockdown. We also spoke about his exes — it was part of our many conversation threads; we spoke about anything that caught our fancy.
Godwin: We talked about lockdown experiences: how it was going in Nigeria versus Ghana. We talked about school life too. And the talk about my ex: you know that moment when you’re chatting with someone and they begin to ask you questions like, “So how’s your boo/babe?”
That was what prompted the talk. Our conversation was already becoming interesting and I told her about my past relationships and exes. I also told her I was done with love, but I guess she pitied me and gave me some sort of assurance about finding love. Even when the chats stopped being intense, it was this assurance that brought me back to her. This plus the fact that she’s my spec.
The chats stopped being intense?
Tope: Yes. We moved to WhatsApp and the conversation died. But then one day he responded to my WhatsApp status.
Godwin: Lockdown was getting lonely and I kept seeing her status updates even though we weren’t talking as much. One day, I replied to a status update that she posted, and we picked up our conversation again.
Tope: And then, a few weeks after that, he asked me to be his girlfriend.
Godwin: Her WhatsApp updates have a large part to play in this. Yes, she’s my spec and our conversations had stopped for a while, but seeing the updates again, the desire came afresh and I just did it.
Tope: I cleared him straight up. I told him I wanted something that would last long, a relationship that I saw a future in.
Interesting. What was your reaction to this, Godwin?
Godwin: I understood what she meant, so I assured her of my love in what little way I could. But despite all I said, she was bent on a long-term relationship.
I had never been in a long-term relationship before, but because she wanted one and she sounded convincing, I was willing to give it a try.
You’re in Nigeria and she’s in Ghana. How did you plan to make it work?
Tope: We thought we could, but the distance was a major issue.
Godwin: She was supposed to come to Lagos after the lockdown, but the government didn’t do things the way we expected.
Tope: We weren’t allowed to fly or travel by road. When they finally opened the Nigerian border, Ghana’s border was still closed. We were hoping we could see each other by the end of the year, but because it took too long for the lockdown to be lifted, it never happened.
And how did this affect your love life?
Godwin: We were feeling each other for the first few weeks, but things soon got a little bit tedious. She was attention-demanding, and because it was a lockdown, I understood how she must have felt and I tried to give her the attention to an extent. But we soon had minor fights that became quarrels.
Tope: He was always busy, and because it was a lockdown, I understood. But he wouldn’t pick my calls sometimes and he wouldn’t call back too. And then later, I’d see him post pictures on his status while my messages were still unread.
So how did you resolve this?
Godwin: I ghosted her.
Godwin: Look, I don’t like facing quarrels or confrontation. Everyone I have dated knows this. So when I sense that something is coming up which would lead to a dispute, I suddenly ghost the person for a few days as a means to run away from the fight. I’m a very chilled and calm person. I hate stress.
With Tope, I didn’t really want to ghost, but Tope was so blunt.
Tope: Tope is still very blunt.
Godwin: I can’t remember her last insult to me, but that was it. I ghosted her for three months.
How old was the relationship by then?
Tope: Three months, but frankly, I wasn’t feeling his vibe anymore. I wasn’t as interested in him as I was in the beginning, and there was also the fact that we hadn’t seen each other. Plus, he was always talking about going to visit one girl or the other.
Godwin: It was a guy.
Tope: No, it was a girl. I saw the pictures you posted.
Godwin: But each time I told you I was going to visit a girl, it was actually a guy I was going to see.
Wait. So you went to see a guy but you told her it was a girl?
Tope: Please ask him.
Godwin: I lied to make her jealous. She was constantly seeking attention and we were already having one of our fights then. It was just once or twice, and at the end, I’d tell her what I did. But the picture she’s talking about, I went to see my best friend, a guy, and we went together to see a lady.
I think Tope takes things too personally and too seriously. The lockdown was a lot on everyone, but sometimes, it felt like she was taking out the frustration on me. So one day, I told her that she complains a lot and maybe she should try praying that the lockdown would be lifted. The next thing I got was an insult. This was why I ghosted her. I’d already reached my limit.
How were the three months of the relationship?
Tope: Stressful. Yes, it was nice at the beginning — it’s always nice at the beginning.
Godwin: For me, it was beautiful. All the things I experienced, I consider as the normal things that happen in a relationship, so I used them as an opportunity to work on myself.
How did the relationship end?
Tope: We just stopped talking.
Godwin: I ghosted her. We dated for three months and I ghosted her for another three months after which I reached out to apologise.
Why did you feel the need to do that?
Godwin: I do it to people I ghost. The main reason why I ghost is to avoid confrontation or insults. When I feel like the dust has settled, I return and apologise for ghosting.
I reached out to Tope because I still wanted her around, if not as a lover, but as a friend. I still miss her. When we got back to talking after I reached out to her, I told her I wished we were back together, but she said I was not someone who seemed serious.
What do you love most about each other?
Tope: I love how Godwin doesn’t argue. He keeps a calm head, no matter the situation.
Godwin: I love Tope because I think she’s wife material.
Tope: What the — ? Clearly you have jonzed.
What do you mean, “wife material”?
Godwin: She knows what she wants, and puts God first, and I love her for that. She’s also very encouraging, and she prays for me. I’m not a religious person — I’m a bad guy — but frankly, I don’t think there’s anything better for a man than a praying woman.
Yeah, she’s blunt. But I fuck with that too, at least to an extent.
What would you say you’ve learned from the relationship?
Godwin: Patience. Dating Tope taught me to see things from other people’s point of view. It also helped me value communication more. I also don’t think I’ll ghost anyone ever again.
Tope: Patience for me too. Dating Godwin taught me to be calm in situations. While we were together, I wasn’t exactly patient. If anything went wrong, I used to take it to the next level. But it wasn’t really worth it because that was one of the things that destroyed our relationship.
Now, I have learned not to lose my cool.
Do you think there’s a chance of you both getting back together?
Godwin: I guess…
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