Image Credit: Shutterstock

13 Queer People Share What Happened When They Fell In Love With Their Best Friend

Once upon a time, in a land very far away, a naive (closeted) girl fell in love with her best friend of three years, who also happened to be her roommate. The pandemic forced them to spend every minute of time together unraveling and deepening the feelings they were trying so hard to deny. Subtle cues were dropped now and then, but that naive little closeted girl wasn’t fully convinced her best friend loved her back. The anxiety of not being “out” and changing a relationship she enjoyed so much forever would replay in her mind every night. Was it easier to deny these feelings to maintain what they had or confront them and see where it led? 

It wasn’t until one night on their rooftop when that girl’s best friend subtly asked her to move across the country together that she started to feel the slightest bit of confirmation that these feelings weren’t just hers. Less than a week later, they both confessed their love for one another in the most mutual hook-up situation ever. Talk about a sapphic stereotype! 

Lucky for them, their story has a happy ending thus far. They’ve been happily in love (and still roommates) for three years. However, there are many queer best-friend-to-lover situations out there that don’t get that lucky. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock

One thing we know about queer relationships is that they can get complicated. On top of trying to understand what’s going on in a relationship, in some cases, queer people are also trying to come to terms with their sexuality and understand who they are as people. 

If you didn’t pick up what I was putting down…it’s me. I’m naive (not closeted anymore) girl, and I understand how confusing the experience can be. We’ve all heard and seen the gay friends-to-lover trope many times, but now it’s time to see how they play out in real life. Below, 10 queer people share their experiences of falling in love with a best friend and the high-stakes emotional turmoil that comes along with that. 

13 Queer People Share What Happened When They Fell In Love With Their Best Friend

“I fell for my best friend when I was in high school. We’d known each other for years before I developed feelings for her. I kept my feelings quiet as long as I possibly could because I didn’t want things to change between us, but she accidentally read a journal entry I’d written about being in love with her, and it changed everything. After taking some time to process what I wrote, she told me that she had feelings for me, too, and we had a beautiful high school romance. Our relationship ended when we went off to college, but it was a really special time for us.” Shay, 27

“It took me quite a while to gather the courage to share my feelings with my best friend. We actually started as coworkers, and our friendship deepened as we spent more time together outside of work. The fear of changing our dynamic made me hesitate for a while. The moment I knew I had deeper feelings was during a late-night conversation about our dreams and aspirations. There was this undeniable connection and understanding that went beyond friendship. We had built such a strong bond, and the thought of putting that at risk was daunting. But I realized that not expressing how I felt would have been even more regretful.  I eventually took the plunge and confessed my feelings. I mustered the courage one evening when we were out for coffee, our usual hangout spot. I stumbled over my words a bit but managed to convey that my feelings for her had grown beyond friendship. It was a mix of relief and nervous anticipation. Turns out that she had been feeling similarly, which was a delightful surprise. We decided to give dating a shot, and it’s been quite a journey since then. Our relationship has deepened in incredible ways, grounded in our strong foundation of friendship.” — Erdenay, 30

“We’d been best friends for a year after meeting at work. We realized we were both weird as fuck (in a funny way) and started hanging out together nearly every day, watching hours of dumb movies in her bed or getting drunk together at random dive bars on weekends. One night, after going out with some other friends, we went home to our separate apartments; that same night, she texted me, asking me to come back to hers. I took an Uber back to her apartment (from Bushwick to Murray Hill, people!!!), climbed into her bed, and fell asleep. Hours later, we were awake, and after an hour-long slow burn of sleepy, romantic hand-holding, she kissed me. A week later, we were in a ~formal~ relationship. It was amazing and weird and beautiful and fucking terrifying, but all we knew was that we loved each other and that we’d kick ourselves forever if we didn’t give us a shot. Six years, three apartments, and one dog later, we’re still together, we still love each other endlessly, and we still watch hours of dumb movies in bed. It’s the most amazing feeling in the world, to the point where it makes me wanna throw up!!!” — Theresa, 29

My best friend and I are coming up on our four-year friendaversary, and I’ve been in love with her since about three months into our friendship. We met in college and got on like a house fire — our friendship developed really quickly, deeply, and intensely. She made me feel loved in ways I hadn’t felt before, and was actually sort of the last nail in the coffin for breaking up with my girlfriend of over three years at the time. She showed me I could be loved in ways I didn’t think were possible for me. I didn’t mean to tell her exactly, but she found out how I felt pretty quickly. She moved in with me and my parents at the start of the pandemic for six months. A month before she left, our physical intimacy shifted from cuddles and affection to kisses and sex. Sometimes, I wonder if things would be different if we hadn’t started having sex. We’ve even been to couple counseling together. We’re still friends, and we even have been living together again for the past year or so. But I think this will be the last lease we share. Sharing a life with someone who doesn’t actually love me the way I need is doing a number on my brain. Four years, two of her girlfriends and three shared living situations later, and we’re still friends. Our friendship has been one of the most beautiful and difficult constants of my life. Sometimes, I’ve wanted to stop being friends. I can’t imagine a world in which I’m not in love with her, and since she doesn’t love me that way, I can’t really imagine a world in which I’m loved at all the way I need.”— Kazuo, 24

queer couple in bed cuddling
Image Credit: Shutterstock

“I worked at a special needs camp when I was 19 and fell in love with my co-worker. We both realized we went to the same college and began hanging out that summer. It was really challenging but meaningful work, so we bonded through the job. School started, and we would text very intimately and even sometimes sleep in the same bed.  We started having a lot of crazy adventures, and eventually our relationship turned sexual. Unfortunately, she wasn’t out yet, so it ended really horribly and intensely. I am still going crazy not being with her. We’ve hung out a few times since being intimate, but it’s never been the same.” — Juliana, 24

“We met the first week of college. I was their first gay friend. I had a strong resolve when it came to straight people, so I didn’t admit any feelings to myself until they did. They told me through a series of Scrabble tiles laid out on the balcony of my freshman dorm room, and it felt like everything finally made sense. The next morning, they said they wanted to date me — but they needed to fuck a man first. They had never experienced that and told me they needed to be sure about their sexuality. I was too embarrassed to talk to anyone about it, so I got really confused about whether it was okay or not. They cried really hard one night and said things that made a lot of sense at the time. All of a sudden, we were dating. She has been the single most influential person in my life outside of my family but I ended up growing through her, not with her. I will never escape the idea that I was just the first queer person they met. They had gone from my best friend to my entire world, a straight shot to codependency. I find it just as hard to cut off a toxic best friend as a toxic partner — but when they’re both in the same person, it becomes inconceivable. The benefit of the doubt leaves a lot of room for hurt, and the foundation of our already-established friendship made it virtually impossible to admit that they could harm me. The bad parts only continue to expand in that quiet and insidious way that they do when the good parts are so good. It’s like it all happened in a pink cloud — and when I woke up four years later and realized what it had become, I felt so manipulated that I didn’t know what was real. They dumped me two weeks before our four year-anniversary, and I cried so hard I thought my eyelids were going to melt off. It was ultimately the best thing that ever happened to me. I tied myself to a person through platonic care, and we both tried to force it into something more. Sometimes, we’re all just better off friends.” — Cobie-Ray, 24

“For many of us, our best friend is our rock— the constant in a whirlwind of changing circumstances, jobs, relationships, and life challenges. That’s how it was for me and Jesse. We had weathered college deadlines, family issues, and an endless series of bad dates. We were classmates, then roommates, and through it all, the best of confidantes. One lazy Sunday afternoon, while we were watching a series of old romantic comedies, something shifted. It wasn’t a scene from the movie or a memorable dialogue; it was the sudden realization that the person I’d been looking for, the one who made my heart flutter, was sitting right beside me, wrapped in the same blanket, laughing at the same jokes. The thought was both exhilarating and terrifying. It took weeks of introspection before I dared to broach the subject. One evening, over shared pizza and reminiscences, I took a deep breath and told Jesse about my newfound feelings. The moments that followed were thick with tension, but they led to a revelation that transformed our relationship forever. — James, 25

Image Credit: Shutterstock

“We met in German class our freshman year of college. I’d routinely sit behind them, too nervous to approach them directly. We didn’t really start talking until the next semester, and we quickly became friends. I waited a year and finally told them about my feelings. The response was unexpected — they came out to me as trans and said they needed some time to themself. Although it didn’t change my feelings, I gave them space.  Fast forward four years later, and I’ve crushed on them on-and-off the entire time. I got to talking about the situation with my friends, and they told me to go for it, so I did.  I told them about my feelings, and while they weren’t sure if they felt the same about me, they offered to try going on a date. So, we went on a first date, then a second, and they ended it there. It stung for a few hours, but I’m happy to continue being friends with them and optimistic about my dating future. Some things just aren’t meant to be.” — M, 23

“I was in 5th grade, around the time I realized that it was okay to like girls. Her name is Jamie, she has beautiful piercing blue eyes and blond hair. We loved the same kind of music, and she always knew how to make me laugh when I was going through things. One night, she stayed over, and I remember us standing in the mirror in my room, looking at each other. I admitted that I had feelings for her, and she said she didn’t feel the same but still loved me as a person. She is someone I still consider a soulmate to this day, and we both got tattoos together for our 21st birthdays!” — Isabel, 22

“I wrestled with the friend-or-more-than-friend feelings for a while. I couldn’t tell if it was the strong bond of finally having a best friend who truly sees and accepts you for all that you are…or if it was more than that. But in the quiet moments we shared together I felt a romantic pull. She did my eyeshadow before parties. She had a set of pajamas at my place for sleepovers. We took classes together and passed notes the whole time. Senior year of college, I proposed the most cringe queer™ thing you could think of after writing months of tortured poetry about the whole thing  — a picnic where we each confessed our feelings. After three years (and a cat) together she’s still my best friend. She is my partner. She is my home.” — Izzy, 25

“I woke up one Saturday cuddling with my best friend after a long drunken night. I realized that there were more than friend feelings, and looking back, they had been there for a while. I found excuses for us to cuddle more, and after a couple of months, I told her how I felt and that I wanted to kiss her. She had never kissed a girl, but she was intrigued by the idea. She gave me permission, and eventually, I gained the courage to kiss her. After that, we did more than kiss and slowly formed a secret relationship. I was in love, and so was she. Although everyone knew about our ‘secret’ because we spent every night together, she didn’t want to make it public. When the end of the school year came, we went our separate ways. We didn’t remain friends, and I lost a best friend and a lover all at once. I don’t regret sharing my feelings. I’m thankful for our love story and all that it taught me. I don’t think I’d do it again at this point in my life, but it was worth it.” — Elizabeth, 31

queer friends in love
Image Credit: Shutterstock

“I met my best friend in college. We were instantly inseparable. We ended up leaving college together for different reasons, but both moved to NYC. At first, when I was very deep in the closet, I denied my feelings to myself. After a while, I knew that I loved her, but it took years. She started dating some guy who was truly a loser, but I disliked him even more due to my feelings. That led to a lot of fights, and eventually, we stopped talking due to the amount of arguments we had. She ended up moving in with said boyfriend. I sent her an email telling her about my previous feelings, just to get them off my chest. She said nothing, but her boyfriend, despite not following me on Instagram, watched every one of my stories for two years straight. The male ego is so fragile, lol. We both went our separate ways in life. I’m happy and out with a long-term serious girlfriend, and I’m pretty sure she’s still dating that guy. Mutual friends have kept me updated, and last I heard, they got evicted from their apartment for not paying rent and stole money from their friends. I dodged a bullet.” Haley, 24

“I’ll spoil the ending, it didn’t work out. Everything you touch and feel seems so intense when you’re young. Exchanging words of vulnerability with people you care about takes the breath out of your lungs. Attraction, pain, and conviction are like daggers pointed at you, demanding a choice to be made. Jamie and I knew each other for three years before realizing there was something more than friendship. It was exciting and blazing fast, but it was over before it started. The first time we held hands while walking to class was when I realized I never knew myself before that day. I was hiding from my family, peers, and even my own conscience. As hard as it was to discover my queerness at a time when I was discovering everything else about myself, and about life, I wouldn’t have it any other way for fear that I might not know one of the most fundamental parts of myself.” — Emma, 25

Jillian Angelini
Jillian Angelini
Jillian (she/her) is a displaced New Yorker, writer, and occasional hot yoga-goer. When she’s not writing about sex, relationships, or queer things, you can find her reading about sex, relationships, and queer things. Follow her on Instagram @jnangee, or don’t; she really only ever posts her cat.