Ok so I'm new and I really need an advice because I'm so confused.
So my cousin lives in another country (where my parents are originally from) so we really didn't have that much of a contact besides summer, bc we go to visit our family.
I'm born and raised in an european country, where I currently live.
A few years ago, when we were preteens, it was the last time we met (before this year) and we didn't even talk, he now says it was because he was shy. Obviously we know each other since we were little kids and we would always play together and have fun, but as we grew up, we started falling apart and didn't talk at all when we visited them. I had this little feeling for him but I always wanted to hide it, because I grew up in Europe, where marriage or romantic relationships between cousins is seen as incest even though it's legal, but still, it's a huge social taboo.
So fast forward to this year. I'm 19 and he is two years older than me. We are young adults. Keep in mind that all this years I was trying to make my own life and we didn't have any contact at all.
So we go on vacation there and we meet. Throughout the whole journey we didn't talk that much. I was really nervous but I also didn't want to create any sort of relationship between us so I kept it polite but I still was kind of playful, if that makes sense. Oh let me tell you that in this country, marriage between cousins is very common, and normalized, so in that aspect we don't have any problem.
Ok, so the thing is, then he got my social media and when I went back to my country, we started talking. He wanted to know whether I was in a relationship or not and we started knowing each other really well for the first time. After a few weeks he asked me if I liked him or if I could like him one day, because I previously told him I didn't want any relationship with someone from the family. I told him yes and we continued to talk (everyday for HOURS till we go to sleep) and just know each other.
As a person I really really really like him. He is such a nice, sweet, funny and open-minded person. I was NOT expecting it. We talk every day and we talk about everything. Physically I am very attracted to him, since forever actually. And he also likes me. He even told me that he sees us together forever.
Now here's the problem. I'm so afraid about what people will say.
But when I start to analyze things, it's not even that deep. My family will probably 100% approve it, as I told you it's very normal for us in our culture. My friends, they were a little surprised at the beginning when I explained it to them, but quickly went to tell me that I should do what I felt and they are really supportive and encourage me. Legally, it's totally fine and legal in the country I live and basically throughout the whole continent. So the only problem I have is my fear and my thoughts about what others will say.
The thing is both of our fathers are brothers, so we have the same surname. In the country I am from, married women don't take their husband's last name, so if people see we have the same surname they will definitely notice we are related. Also, kids take both surnames, from the father and the mother, so technically they will have the same surname TWICE.
I mean, I know it's the most stupid reason I could come up with, but I really care about what other think about me or us in this case, and this is really destroying our, let's say, happiness, because I'm constantly thinking about this and can't seem to get over it.
I really like him, I actually think I feel way more for him than just like him and whenever he messages me I become the happiest person on Earth. But I'm constantly seeing comments of people saying it's incest, it's wrong, it's disgusting, bla bla bla and it makes me really confused and uncomfortable.
Once I arrived to the point of saying, you know what, I can't continue with this "relationship", I'll just block him everywhere but something kept me off from doing it.
I really thought of just hiding it and not tell anyone about it, I mean the fact that we are cousins, but they will eventually find out one way or another, and that terrifies me.
What should I do? He will get tired of this at the end, because he tells me repeatedly that we shouldn't care about what others think but it's not easy to do it when you live in a society where for loving someone you're considered weird and mentally ill.
If you arrived till here, thank you and I hope to hear from you. Kisses 😘