After building a strong friendship, Caity and Melissa found themselves having to come out, realizing their feelings were far deeper than any ordinary friendship.
Tell us about how your love story began.
After we graduated from college in 2015, we both decided to volunteer for a year before starting our careers. We joined an AmeriCorps program based out of Baltimore, and out of 70 people, we were placed on the same team of 10.
We were with this team 24/7, so as one could imagine, this presented both many challenges and opportunities for growth. We quickly became each other’s confidants during this transformational period of our lives and recognized a friendship neither of us had experienced before.
We entered the program both identifying as straight, coming from conservative families and communities in the Midwest. Melissa hadn’t given her sexuality a second thought. Caity had been surrounded by queer folx and lesbian women through college rugby and had been wondering for most of her early twenties if she was suppressing her true self.
As time went on in the program, our bond was solidified after we spent night after night staying up, talking about our lives, goals and aspirations, deepest insecurities, and the ways in which we wanted to leave a mark on the world.
We both quickly realized this was a pretty “unique” and “special” friendship.
We would wake up in the morning holding hands and cuddling, not putting much thought into romantic feelings. Over time, and many conversations, we realized there was a lot more than platonic love there.
The relationship was truly founded on the most pure and most genuine form of intimacy.
What was it like coming out together at the beginning of your relationship?
Coming out. Goodness, this took some time.
Caity realized about a year and a half into the friendship that her feelings were more than platonic. Long story short, she had to watch Melissa make multiple attempts to get back with her ex and felt completely heartbroken. She realized pretty quickly that most friends aren’t jealous when their best friends experience romance.
Caity initiated the conversation about our “special friendship.” Melissa agreed this friendship looked and felt very different, but ultimately was not ready to begin the process of exploring a deeper, more honest version of herself. These conversations continued off and on for two and a half years. This took its toll on the friendship and after some time, Caity moved across the country to do her own internal work and find out if this love was as real as it felt.
Caity has always led with her heart, and Melissa has always led with her head, so getting on the same page was the most difficult challenge we’ve faced.
Caity had to be patient, persistent, and understanding while she waited in heartache for Melissa to do the challenging work of looking past societal expectations and digging deeper into her internal world.
Eventually, Melissa came around and realized what Caity had known all along, that this was the greatest and purest love either of us would likely ever experience. From there, we were able to tell our families and friends and finally be our authentic selves.
Funnily enough, coming out to ourselves was a greater challenge than coming out to the world.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another
Melissa is a music therapist, so she is a genius when it comes to music.
One of Caity’s favorite things about Melissa is when she plays the piano and sings. She is so confident when she is in her element and it is so mesmerizing to watch. Another one of Caity’s favorite things about Melissa is her ability to make any and everyone feel like the most important person in a room full of people. She gives her undivided attention to everyone she interacts with and it makes people feel so incredibly seen and validated.
One of the many things Melissa loves and admires most about Caity is her effortless ability to be so emotionally in tune. This allows her to navigate the world in such a beautiful way and draws people to her without her even trying.
Caity doesn’t have an inauthentic bone in her body, so when you’re talking to her you immediately feel safe and at peace. Her laugh is also one of the most magnificent sounds you’ll ever hear, and you can’t help but smile when you hear it.
What do you dream of for your future together?
We hope to place down roots in the next few years and build a strong community of people. We want to continue to grow in our prospective fields as therapists to find the best way to serve those around us. We want to foster or adopt little lives, whether they be pets or children.
We want a life that is filled with deep connection, tenderness, and openness. We are excited to create a life that is boundless, free, and fitting for our epic love.
Dancing With Her Recommended Vendor
Photography by Adriana Maya