Love Life is a Zikoko weekly series about love, relationships, situationships, entanglements and everything in between.
*Klaus, 28, and Lilian, 24, have been in a romantic relationship for about a year without ever meeting each other. For today’s Love Life, they talk about their love and how they cope with a long-distance relationship.
What’s the relationship here?
Lilian: Klaus and I are dating.
Klaus: Lilian is the love of my life.
How did you meet?
Lilian: In December 2018, we met in a school fellowship group chat.
Klaus: There was a send-off party organised for her academic class and after the party, they posted some pictures in the group and that was how I saw her picture. My first reaction was, “Wow! This girl has an incredible smile.” So, I sent her a private message.
Lilian: Really? I didn’t even know this.
Adorable. At what point did you fall for each other?
Klaus: After talking for a while, we built a rapport. Although she was a little sceptical, the conversations we had were pretty decent.
Lilian: For me, it wasn’t immediate. It was January or February 2019 when we would talk for 30 – 45 minutes on the phone. We had similar interests. He knew how to sew and I was just learning.
At some point, I realised that I was always looking forward to telling him about my day. That was when it hit me like, “Come oh, you like this guy.”
How soon after did you start dating?
Lilian: This is a bit complex because I remember he told me he was going back to our school to get something, and then he casually mentioned he was going to see his girlfriend.
Omo, I felt like I was just there catching feelings no one was throwing at me. I started withdrawing because I didn’t want intense conversations anymore. I decided to bury my feelings.
Klaus: What? Really?
Lilian: Yes na. At some point, he told me he had broken up with his girlfriend, but I wasn’t convinced. Then when I went to NYSC camp in November 2019, we resumed talking for hours on the phone. My friends even started teasing me. The emotions I thought I had pushed aside came flooding back.
Ahhh. I thought we buried those.
Lilian: Same oh. But when he travelled and I couldn’t reach him for several weeks, I started acting weird, snapping at people. Thoughts of him filled my head and it was so invasive.
I tried to deny those feelings because I knew we had not defined things. It was annoying because our story wasn’t a typical boy-meets-girl-and-goes-on-dates-with-her. I was mad at myself because I felt all these emotions without ever meeting him.
Deep down, I knew I was in love with him, but I didn’t want to be the first person to say it. Then on Christmas Day last year, I was about to sleep when he texted me, “I love you.” I called him back immediately and that’s how it started.
Klaus: I think timing is everything. By the time I asked her out, she was in a better place to accept my request. That night was something else for me. I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t call because I was lost for words.
How do you manage the distance? Do you fight often?
Klaus: What? Makers of peace like us?
Lilian: Haha. I wouldn’t call what we have ‘fights’; they are more of disagreements. On my end, I am very reserved and like to keep to myself a lot. Sometimes, I tend to unplug from things and it affects the relationship.
We had an argument and that was when I realised that this relationship is different. Most times, I ghost completely after an argument and that’s the end, but in this case, I love how he makes me feel, so we end up sorting things out.
Klaus: I understand that you are very introverted and all but sometimes, I require more. You come through but only with a lot of cajoling on my end.
Lilian: It’s not all the time na. It’s rare.
Klaus: Mami, I never really register those things as serious issues. It was just the time when you had serious issues with expressing yourself and it put most of the communication on me. It wasn’t easy. I just think you need to put in a little more effort.
Have you guys ever tried to meet in person?
Lilian: We made plans but then Corona hit, so now, we are making new arrangements.
Klaus: I have it all planned out. Problem is, I have a few work commitments so I just can’t go to see my baby girl yet.
What’s the hardest part about long-distance dating?
Lilian: Not being able to have the simplest conversations with him physically present. I can’t wait till we see because if just talking to him makes me feel this way, then being with him physically should be explosive.
Klaus: There is a special feeling that comes with being physically present with a lover. The heightened senses, prolonged moments of intimacy and longer periods of communication without uttering a single word. I just want to spend physical time with my love.
This is just beautiful. How do you guys deal with the urge to…yunno?
Lillian: Yunno what?
Klaus: We recite by heart the book of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob until the urge to…yunno…dies a premature death.
LMAO. Killing the spirit of horniness with the good book. Love it.
Klaus: I like to fantasize for a bit without dwelling too much on it, seeing as nothing can be done about that. Sometimes, I call her and we talk for a while. That’s as good as it gets.
Lilian: Haha. I’m actually speechless by the way but yes. The urge comes and goes. I know I won’t look great as a pregnant corper so that quickly kills the urge anyway. I’m just paranoid, that’s it.
Wait, is this a celibate relationship?
Klaus: I don’t think so. We are too far apart to define that aspect of our relationship right now.
Are you worried the chemistry won’t be there in person?
Klaus: Well, we do a lot of video calls, so I don’t think that’ll be the case.
Lilian: Oh, I’m sure I’m going to like him in person.
Klaus: You’re making me shy. Haha. My fear is that the time we might get to spend with each other might not be enough for me.
What do you want the first meeting to look like?
Klaus: I would prefer the initial moments of our first encounter to be private, so that if there are any bits of excitement, it would be for our sole consumption. Then by the time we’ve exhausted all that excitement, we can look for a public space. I think we might spend a lot of time indoors.
Lilian: I don’t want it too planned out because there’s already anxiety and nerves. I just want something fun.
Is this your first time in a long-distance relationship?
Klaus: Yes, it is. Compared to my previous relationships, this feels better too. We have such a strong emotional and intellectual connection. She is the smartest woman, so it feels better.
Lilian: This is also my first time in this kind of relationship. It still surprises me how I’m able to adapt so much. I usually call him my uncharted territory.
You know how you don’t realise how thirsty you are until you take cool water. That’s how this relationship feels to me. I didn’t know what I was missing until I had it. Bliss.
What would you consider your biggest fear in this relationship?
Klaus: Not making the best out of the relationship. Caving in to the pressure and expectations people have of us.
Lilian: I fear that in the long run, we will start to yearn for more physical proximity, and the fact that we aren’t in the same city will affect that.
Would you be willing to change cities to be with each other?
Klaus: Without hesitation.
Lilian: You’re going to make me cry. Changing cities for me is a huge thing just because I have my family to consider. If work can move me there, then fine. That’s the concrete reason I want to raise with my mum when having that conversation.
What do you love the most about each other?
Lilian: I love that we have things in common so that when we are talking, he doesn’t get lost. I love how much he pays attention to details. Most importantly, I love how he loves me. I love you, baby boy.
Klaus: I’m glad I got to meet someone like my chubbylove. It’s rare to find someone so special. My introverted sugar and spice mami. She is truly irreplaceable in my life.
Lilian: Awwn, babe!