Falling in love with and marrying someone who feels like a best friend is the ultimate goal for many people. And Nicolette Popa found that when she married her husband, Ryan, six years ago. The two had the picture-perfect married life, but there was one thing Popa had been hiding from her beau.
After being married for several years, the 26-year-old revealed that she was a lesbian, but the couple decided to stay together.
The mother-of-two said she’s known that she was gay for a long time, but kept it to herself because she was living in a conservative area. She said, her sexuality didn’t actually come as a surprise to her husband, and that they’ve figured out how to stay married to co-parent their two kids.
“We’re still married and we still live together in our house with our kids. For right now, what we do works. We’re trying to figure out our careers and trying to make sure that our kids have the best outcome,” she explained.
While the two remain married, they’re now just friends and are technically allowed to date other people, but Popa said it’s all about family right now.
“We’re prioritizing family life over the dating side of things. It’s about making sure the kids are happy, making sure they know they’re loved, and for them to have both parents around as much as possible,” she said.
“Me and Ryan have maintained this friendship, he’ll always be my best friend.”
“We got married when I was 19 and he was 20. We’ve been together basically through all of our 20s, and he’s that person I’ve been around constantly,” she continued.
“I talked to Ryan about it and said, ‘Listen, I just kind of feel this way about myself and I don’t know if that’s weird, and how you’ll feel about it.’ He was basically like, ‘Okay that’s cool, women are great.'”
Additionally, Popa’s family, in-laws, and friends have all been supportive of her coming out. She said she thought the biggest hurdle would be her mother, but she was surprised.
“She was like ‘I love you no matter what.’ She was kind of taking the blame because she felt like she was the one who made me feel afraid to be accepted,” Popa said.
Since coming out, Popa has been sharing her story across social media, including TikTok and Instagram. She said the responses have been mostly positive, with several women reaching out to say they can relate to her situation.