Her Story: I Fell in Love with My Best Friend

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I knew, but I realized something was up when I found myself staring at her new selfie way longer than necessary in order to tap the like button. I knew it was only getting worse when she kissed me on the forehead in front of our other friends, and I prayed no one could tell how much I was blushing from it. She would lay down with her head in my lap, and I thought my heart would pound out of my chest. We would wander through our college town holding hands, and I felt nothing but butterflies in my stomach.

I fell in love with my best friend.

It was the summer before my sophomore year of college, and up until then, I was trying to convince myself I was straight. Although, as embarrassing as it is to admit, I’ve never had a boyfriend. I was never the girl who was good at flirting- and maybe I was being lame, but I always thought the guy who I’d have a great connection with would just casually show up in my life one day.

So for the first time in my life when I felt something more than attraction towards someone, it was scary. Especially since the person I had feelings for was a girl. A straight girl – who happens to have been my best friend for the past eight years.

Why did I fall for her? I have no clue.

Granted, I did have a couple crushes on girls growing up, but the fact that I thought I was bisexual had been dormant in the back of my mind since I was 12 years old. She was the first girl to confirm that I could form an emotional bond with a girl in a romantic way, rather than just imagining wild sexual fantasies in my mind, and admiring from afar. That’s what made it complicated.

She was absolutely gorgeous, and her laughter could brighten my entire day. She radiated confidence like no woman I’ve ever met before; she knew who she was and was never afraid to be herself and speak her mind. She was sassy, yet maintained a classy reputation. I could always count on her to be there for me, when the world didn’t understand. She handled her flaws with grace. She was a drama queen. She was perfect in my eyes.

We grew especially close in those few years leading up to my sophomore year of college. She was (still is) the type of best friend that most people dream of. I’d never had such a connection to someone before. I felt like I would die if I ever lost her, she meant so much to me. I started daydreaming about what life would be like if we were dating. How amazing it would be. What it would be like to have her as my girlfriend. How much better and natural it would feel to me if we were actually “together” rather than “just friends.” It was crazy, but I couldn’t help it. I always wanted to be with her. I was jealous of every guy who flirted with her.

The words, “sister’s forever” were scribbled into a card she got me for my 19th birthday. I knew in my heart that all we would ever be was friends. Why couldn’t I just stop thinking about her? I would lie in bed at night and think about how she hugged me tighter today. Did that mean something? She kissed me on the cheek three times today. What does that mean? Was she trying to tell me something?

No, but that didn’t stop my brain from attempting to turn every situation into a metaphor of her possible romantic love for me. Yet, I still lied awake at night, giddy from how she made me feel that day.

We went out one night over spring break, I wanted so badly to tell her how I felt. Or at least touch on the topic of bisexuality. She had a lot of LGBT friends, so what was I afraid of?

“Do you think she’s a lesbian?” my best friend whispered to me, after our waitress took our order.

“I don’t know!” I muttered back.

“Well I think she is,” she declared. “And I thinks she thinks that we’re a couple out on a date. She smiled at us like we all share some sort of inside knowledge.”

I giggled at her statements, and felt my cheeks burn from the thought of someone thinking that we were out on a date.

My best friend sat back in her chair. “I had a dream I was a lesbian once.” She said confidently. I can’t remember how I responded to this, but I do remember nervously attempting to change the subject. I didn’t want her to see how much I would have loved for that to be true.

One of our favorite songs came on the radio as we were leaving the restaurant that night. Since there was hardly anyone there, she grabbed my hand and twirled me around. We danced and giggled. She kept spinning me, and with every step I was falling harder and harder. The waitress looked over at us and smiled. My best friend might have been clueless that I was in love with her, but I knew when the waitress glanced at us, that she could see it in my eyes.

As we ran through the parking lot to her car, it was just beginning to snow. She took my hand and we ran. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alive than I did in that moment.

After months of debating it, I realized in bed that night that I couldn’t tell her I loved her. Our friendship was too valuable to risk anything. Did I think she would understand? I don’t know. But I know she would have felt terrible knowing that she couldn’t love me the way I loved her. Inevitably, things would have gotten awkward. Yes, it still stings to see her with guys, but the thought of losing her hurts more.

I did end up telling her a couple of months ago that I’m bisexual. She was amazing. Which, growing up in a family who views same-sex relationships as “disgusting” and “unnatural,” I’m thankful for that. Though I still love her, I think I’m okay with moving forward and accepting the fact that best friends is all we will ever be. After realizing that coming out to her has changed nothing about our friendship, and with how supportive she has been – I think it all helped to fade out some of the intense feelings that I did have for her. Maybe someday I may tell her how I felt, but as of right now, I need a best friend more than anything. Besides, who else is willing to listen to me talk about my boy band addictions and my latest girl crushes--and still assure me that I am in fact still normal, and nothing short of amazing.