How I fell in love for the first time with my best friend
I’d always considered myself heterosexual. I’d known that I was young, and therefore had plenty of time to figure myself out, but it always seemed “normal” to me that I would date a boy. I’m attracted to guys, and even if I did sometimes fantasize about girls, I’d never seen myself actually dating one.
Then, about three years ago, I started writing online, on a role-play forum about Harry Potter. Basically, you create a character and then write with other players, creating fan fiction in groups. It was through this website that I met Juliette and together we wrote a lot. We just got along pretty well but to be honest, our friendship grew slowly. She lived in Paris and I lived in Toulouse, in the South of France, so we never really saw each other, but it was fine. She came one week to my house during the holidays, and we had so much fun that I realized I really cared about her. At the time, my feelings were still friendly and not romantic, but they were strong.
I remember the first time I told her that I really liked her. It was at the beginning of last year, probably in September. We were texting and I complimented her, telling her that I thought she was an amazing person. It was the first time we really confessed our love—friendly love—to each other.
Around the same time, one of her friends became really jealous of our friendship. I felt really guilty, like a weight in Juliette’s life. And then Juliette’s best friend (who was also one of my best friends, by the way) seemed to be jealous too. It was really hurtful. I was accused by two girls (who were my friends) of stealing their friend and I felt terrible. I kept wondering: what did I do wrong, expect for being close to someone I liked? It took me a long time to understand that I wasn’t the one to blame. But meanwhile, I had pushed Juliette away.
And yet, she held on and never let me go, even when I was horrible to her. In a weird way, we grew even closer as people were trying to tear us apart. After that drama, we became really close. We didn’t see each other a lot, but every time we would, we hugged a lot and fell asleep in the same bed, in each other’s arms. We would joke about dating each other, saying that it would be easier than dating guys. We even planned our wedding together as a joke. But at that point, we were still saying that we were attracted to boys.
I don’t know if I refused to see my feelings—if they were there for a long time. It’s not even that I was afraid of being gay or bisexual. I just thought I really wasn’t.
We spent Valentine’s Day in Paris together. We put a lock on Le Pont des Arts with our names it and we laughed. I remember telling her that we should kiss to celebrate our lock, and Juliette kissed my cheek. For the first time, I felt something weird. I was sort of disappointed. I wanted more, maybe? But I kept being blind to my feelings and went on.
Finally, in March, we went to see the singer, Paolo Nutini, together. During the concert, we held hands and hugged, and I remember the lyrics to the song playing: “Girl, I don’t want you, I need you, and I can’t see no other way.” And I guess that when I realized that I couldn’t see any other way too. We fell asleep hugging and I was thinking that I wanted to kiss her. It was probably the scariest thing in the world, but it just felt right.
I left the next morning, went back to my city, and texted Juliette, telling her that I had wanted to kiss her. She had the cutest reaction ever. She laughed and said that she was wondering about kissing me too. We agreed that we should try it next time, just to see. There was no pressure about it. We didn’t take ourselves seriously, to be honest.
And then, two weeks later, she came to my apartment. We went out, had fun, and then later that night, as we lay in bed, she kissed me. It was that simple, and it was the best feeling in the world. I wasn’t confused. I didn’t come to any major conclusions about my sexual preference. I just knew I was kissing the right person. It just happened like that. We spent the weekend kissing each other and it felt like I had found my little paradise.
This is how I realized I was in love. For the first time of my life, I was truly in love. It felt wonderful. I’ve always had a low self-esteem, especially about my body. But Juliette taught me how to love myself (OK, I’m still working on it to be fair) and to let myself be loved by someone.
I came out to my friends first, and they were really supportive. They didn’t put label on me, but just accepted my relationship for what it was. Finally, I told my parents. Actually, they had guessed that I was dating Juliette, and they offered me a Tiffany and Co’s necklace with a key on it (it was my dream since forever) because I had opened my heart to them. They told me that they loved me no matter what and that they were happy for me.
What I’ve learned from this experience is that love is surprising thing. I never thought someone would love me the way Juliette does, or that I would ever feel comfortable in my own skin around my lover. I also wasn’t expecting to fall in love with a woman, but I’m so glad I did. Love doesn’t always come with a label. I didn’t have to define myself before I fell in love, I just needed to follow what felt right and be open with my mind and my heart.