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Can I Date My Cousin?

"Am I Falling For My Cousin?"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I have a distant aunt with whom I'm pretty close, although our families have pretty much lost any contact. When I decided to go to med school, she kept telling me that I had a cousin — her nephew — who studies there and is three years older than me. I got into med school and of course all was forgotten because of exams and so on. In my second year, when things got harder, I remembered my cousin who's now in his fifth year. I assumed a fifth year student could give me lots of precious information about a medical student's life and what to expect, so I got his phone number and sent him a text to say that I'm his cousin from med school. He was very happy to find out about me and said we should meet up. We texted for days and days and he was very nice to me, and I thought myself very lucky to have such a cool cousin.

When we met up, I felt butterflies in my stomach, and I didn't know why. Then, when I saw a picture of his long-distance girlfriend, I felt jealousy running down my spine. I became very interested in him, and he seemed very interested in me, too, so I started researching cousins' marriages on different aspects: legal, religious, and genetic. I found out that a third cousin is actually an eighth-degree relative, and relationships between eighth-degree relatives are accepted both legally and religiously. It made me extremely happy, but I couldn't see why —I may like him as more than my cousin, but we are still somewhat cousins, he has a girlfriend, and I don't know if he could ever feel the same way. On Christmas I met his parents who are really nice people, and they told me that their son was extremely enthusiastic about meeting me. We still get along really, really well, and sometimes I think that maybe I should tell him, but other times I really don't see the point. What do you think?

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Torrelle Torrelle 4 years
Are you sure that this connection you feel is not just a family connection. I mean, if he or you don't have any brothers or sisters or close relations with cousins it could just be that you are both putting the extra effort to have that close family connection. And if you've never had that it could feel that it's romantic when it's actually not. I would not ruin the chance of having that close family connection unless he were to actually take the first step and come out and say that he is feeling the same. I would just let everything take it's coarse. As a couple of other people here posted, there are plenty of guys out there don't go for someone that already has a girlfriend. But you have to be willing to get out of your regular atmosphere and be willing to put yourself out there.
henna-red henna-red 4 years
How great for you lliy. My feeling from reading this young woman's post is my feeling. Sorry you don't approve, but you are you, I am me, and the OP is who she is. We have different points of view, different experiences, and we all share them, giving the poster a lot to think about. Just because you don't agree with what I say doesn't mean I'm over reacting. I'm not reacting to your post or your life....I'm reacting to hers. Her experience may or may not resemble yours....whatever. I'm not here to comment or offer advice to you, but to the poster, who asked. Basicly, this site is not a competition, and it's not about who's right or who's wrong. It's about regular people asking other regular people for advice, and that's what we've all offered. I would appreciate it if you could step back, not take what I've said personaly, as some kind of attack on you, your experience, your advice or your opinion. I certainly didn't mean it to be. Thanks.
Iliy Iliy 4 years
I used to be insecure like this too. But I realized I was only like that when I had reasons. If the man is happy in his relationship, he will reject any sign of a crossing line. If my partner (long distance or not) would respond inappropriately to a thing like this, then he shouldn't be my partner anymore. So just because this girl wants to make sure he's in the best place he could be, it doesn't mean she wants to see " if the two of them could break up". As Bubbles said, "Sometimes, you're with the wrong person when you meet the right one." And Henna, seriously, you're overreacting. I'm a med school student too, with excellent grades and still a very good and healthy social life and relationship.
Donna-Freundt Donna-Freundt 4 years
Oh sorry, it is Iliy not lilly lol. Just because he is in a long distance relationship, it does not make their relationship any less important!. Many long distance relationships don't work, but you could say the same thing for relationships in general! .I hope that with your way of thinking, you wouldn't mind another person trying to find out if your relationship is a happy one, to see if you two could break up. Seriously! hope it would be all cool with you if someone came along and tried to do that with your partner.
henna-red henna-red 4 years
My concern, here, is that the OP, with her "ugly" long distance comments, is looking for a reason to overlook this relationship. My guess, my feeling is that she, with a full schedule that comes with med school, is limited in her choices around dating, and that this feeling may stem, partialy, from a lack of exposure to other possibilites....a limited dating pool and limited social life. It's easy to fall for someone with very similar interests....of course it is. The "butterflys in the stomach" around meeting this fellow after texting speaks to me about a predisposition to "fall" for any available, apparently appropriate man..... My feeling is that this young woman is looking for someone to endorse her desire to overlook his current relationship, and it's my feeling that she has limited experience with dating and relationships....just my feeling from the limited info she has shared. My feeling is that she could easily set herself up for a mess.....just my feelings.....
Iliy Iliy 4 years
Donna, I'm not saying she should steal the man, I only said she should know more about the relationship before even considering anything else. Maybe he's unhappy, many LD relationships don't work. I also said that if he's happy in this relationship, she should let it be. And it's Iliy, not lily. Women should stop being so insecure about themselves and their men. Seriously!
Donna-Freundt Donna-Freundt 4 years
Lol out of all the men available on this planet you want someone who is not only related to you but already has a girlfriend. Long distance relationships can and do work, it just depends on the level of commitment the two people have for each other. Lilly you should be ashamed of yourself giving someone advice to steal another woman's man. What on earth is wrong with you!. This is crazy I hope that you realise he will probably be really disturbed by you if you make advances on him. You'll ruin the relationship entirely.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 4 years
The reason I would suggest the more 'honorable' way because the similar thing happened to me, OP. Not everything ended like a novel romance sometimes it can too, but not always. In my experience, I met my distant family member who's always lived abroad in US, we don't have that many family members here so obviously I wanted to get to know him and his family. And since childhood, I was told about him and how great he was, and when we met, it was nuts, we shared so many similar interests, we just clicked and we got super close super soon. I knew from everyone and he's never kept it a secret that he's got an LD gf. I was younger and more impulsive then. I didn't care our instant closeness. We even acted too affectionate to be considered 'just friends' and 'just family members.' We hung out just the two of us in setting so similar to dates and at his house for hours as well. Honestly, I never knew if he told his LD gf what he was doing with me. He barely mentioned her to me at all the whole time we were hanging out and everyone in our family circle (all of them--and everyone knew he's got this LD gf too) actually thought we were about to date (and he was to dump his gf) because of our closeness, and they all said he thought so highly of me and etc etc. But you know what, when push came to shove after months of closeness (and yes I managed to not talk about any relationship issue with him because I didn't know what to expect. I ended up telling him that I was falling for him), I brought the issue up to him. He told me that he enjoyed my company greatly but he's got a long time gf and they were seriously thinking of marriage. I never yelled or asked him what he was doing with me. Yes, it was very affectionate and loving relationship we had, but it never crossed over to sex. It ended up very embarrassing and heartbreaking. No, he never told me the whole way that he would break up with his gf during the whole time we were hanging out, he never hid my existence to his gf too. I just walked away gradually. He was still part of the family. Yes, he ended up marrying his LD gf a few years later (she was in another country so it took awhile to take care of paperwork). Until this day, I avoided that part of the family circle, which is sad because my family and I are not natives of this country and we don't have that many family members here. P.S. They're never rude to me, etc. I still sent their family X-mas cards and it's not like we've not moved on. He's married to her and I'm married and have a family myself. But dude, but still kind of embarrassed, I've not purposely tried to meet up with him since after that day I confessed of my feeling for him. Therefore strongly suggest, if you really like him, fine, but consider truly dating him after he showed that he wanted to be with you, don't put all your eggs in that basket.
Bubbles12 Bubbles12 4 years
OK, I'm actually going to do something I rarely do, disagree with Kurnia & Henna. I myself have been dumped not once but twice by guys who became smitten with the women they were going to marry. In one case we were engaged, yet I am SO GLAD they did what they did. Everyone is happier in the long run, including me. I ended up with someone who really loves me. I'm not a saint. One of the reasons I was able to let go of both of them easily is because they started dating those women while they were still with me, hedging their bets. That's just messed up and I when I think of their wives, I don't feel like they won anything more than men they can't trust. I also found out from friends after our break-up that both men are serial over-lappers, I was one of many girlfriends they did that too. So enjoy that guy ladies! :) I saw my nephew go through something similar (not with a cousin, but a girl who was taken). He handled it beautifully and honorably, and that's who he is. Here's how he handled your situation. He met a girl that was already dating someone else and smitten right away. He got to know her over time because they were part of the same group of friends. Everything he saw about her said, "This is the one I want to be with". So finally he told her just that but that he needed her to be single so they could date and find out for sure. By then, she had a chance to know him. She realized she liked him more than she realized but didn't know what to do and told him 'no' at first. She felt torn and of course the situation had major slime potential. Over time she felt like she was missing out an important chance. She talked about it with her mother and her mother encouraged her to stop dating Guy #1 and give my nephew a shot. They were married a year later and as my SIL says, she felt like his new girlfriend was a member of the family the first time they met. Sometimes, you're with the wrong person when you meet the right one. It happens. It's all in how you handle the current romantic relationship that says who you both are. Henna is right, if he starts sneaking around and is keeping the LD girlfriend on a line while he dates you, he's someone you shouldn't trust. But they're not married. So if I were you I'd do what my nephew did. First realize you don't really know him and you need to do that. You can do things with him without being romantic in groups of people to see who he really is. If you decide you really are interested in him, let him know you are interested but that there is no way you'd get involved with someone who is already in a relationship. Let him decide. It might take a long time to see a reaction, or he might say right away he's not interested. If he is watch how he acts. If he says they're broken up, make sure *she* actually knows that before you get involved. You're related! That should be easy to find out through the family grapevine! :) If you're distant relatives I think that's a good thing. Probably similar values, and lots of people involved who already care about you both and your success as a couple. Good luck!
kurniakasih kurniakasih 4 years
I have to agree with hena. He's got a girlfriend, leave him alone. If he broke up with his gf, then perhaps you can think about getting together with him, unless that happens, leave it be.
henna-red henna-red 4 years
Look, you don't mess around with someone in a relationship. Period. If you do, then you're messing around with someone who cheats....and you're setting yourself up to be in the same situation as the present girlfriend. Unless he is free, uninvolved, you have no business chasing him or discussing romantic feelings you have or the possibilities of an intimate relationship. Unless he is free, univolved, the cousin an family thing doesn't matter. Period. The fact that you're considering approaching a man who is in a relationship, no matter what YOUR opinion is of his girlfriend, makes your actions dishonest and ugly. So I repeat....he has a girlfriend, leave it alone!
Iliy Iliy 4 years
I actually know 3rd cousins who got married and had perfectly healthy children. (actually, in small towns almost everyone is at least 4th grade related) If your families are close though, that could raise a problem. As for his girlfriend, you said it was long distance, but how often do they see each other, did your cousin ever tell you he is not pleased with this relationship? You should maybe talk this through, if you get signs it's not exactly what he wants (long distance relationships hardly ever work, mostly they just waste people's time, freedom and sanity) maybe there is something you can do. But if he's happy with this, just let it be~!
henna-red henna-red 4 years
He has a girlfriend. Leave it alone.
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