Of course I fell in love with my best friend.
That was the first thought that crossed my mind when I realized that the close friendship we had developed had turned into so much more, for me at least. There is a fine line in queer relationships between close friendships and crushes. Having dealt with my own sexuality fairly recently, I wasn’t ready to accept the fact that I had the most cliche problem: yes, I fell in love with my best friend.
It’s an easy thing really, because she is still the most amazing person I know. She is kind, and wonderful and of course a beautiful human being altogether. She had been there for me through ups and downs: my anxiety, my depression, our shared struggle of dealing with our sexuality. She knew my strengths and weaknesses and was still around.
This was the one person in the world who knew me, so fully and completely, who knew my achievements and my flaws and accepted them and accepted me. For a closeted queer like myself, this was incredibly freeing, and it felt like she was the only person who truly knew me.
I debated telling her the truth because I didn’t want to jeopardize our friendship. I realized I was in love with her at a Halloween party where she asked for my help flirting with a girl, and I was so devastated I had to leave. This event made me realize that she wasn’t just a friend to me; I was madly and completely in love with her.
Even when she wasn’t aware of my feelings, I was just happy to be around her. She’s always been incredibly full of life and just has an energy about her. This confrontation with my feelings occurred on a bathroom floor at the party, which led to me leaving and crying my eyes out in the Uber ride home. I felt utterly and completely hopeless. I had always known I was queer but had ignored it or pushed it aside, convincing myself it wasn’t true. But for the first time in my life, I felt something for someone, and it was equally wonderful and painful.
I’d never been in love—not even close. I’d never even liked anyone long enough to stay in a relationship for more than a month. This was a total and complete slap in the face that forced me to confront the fact that I am not straight, not by a long shot, and that was one of the scariest realizations of my life. What proceeded was two months of torture, of trying to pretend I didn’t feel the way that I felt. Two months of spending every waking moment with her, trying desperately to be close to her, and two months of me listening to her talk about her relationship. It was torture, and I decided I had had enough.
After a little encouragement from a close friend, I decided to tell her how I felt. Because in the end, no matter what happens in my life, I never want to look back and regret not telling someone how I feel. Even if the worst happens, at least she knows.
Having told her changed me. I am not as quiet, not as anxious, and a lot more confident. I think the whole thing helped me figure out who I am. Now don’t get me wrong, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and still is. Seeing her is painful, but not seeing her is worse. Because at the end of the day she is still my best friend and an incredibly important person in my life. And I will always be forever thankful for it, even if it hurts.
If I learned anything from this experience, it’s that I don’t want to be afraid of love. I don’t want to be afraid of telling someone I love them, because in life, all we want is to feel wanted and loved. Even if she didn’t reciprocate my feelings, I still love her, she is still my best friend. I want to live my life with the philosophy that no matter how much it hurts, being open and vulnerable is always better, we could all use a little more love in our lives.