Hi all, How neat to find this website and read all about other people's experiences with cousin romance! Gerrit (currently 25yrs) and I, (Sindi, currently 27yrs) have a long story to tell... His mum and my mum are sisters. It started many moons ago when my family immigrated to New Zealand and his family picked us up. When we met at the airport, Gerrit, (only 7yrs old then) claimed love at first sight with me. Apparently he was set from that day on; assured that I would be the girl he will marry. My family moved near to his family and we homeschooled together. I on the other hand was not interested whatsoever. In fact, at one point I despised the adoration and obvious infatuation he had for me. So much so when he entered the room I'd leave it! This all changed around the time I was 14yrs or so. It became hard to deny the interest and love he held for me. In time we became best of friends. Longed to spend time and see each other. When we could see each other again after a short time apart we would rush to each other and just stand facing each other, gazing. Full of relief, joy and rest. Separation became difficult, yearning and longing grew more and more. This went on till the dynamics of our relationship changed and intensified with our very first kiss. It was somewhere in September when I was 16 and he 14yrs. We kept this secret, but our connection and affection was obvious to all. Then one time in November the same year we were spotted kissing and ratted out. Both families handled it very poorly. My mum accusing me of incest, Gerrit was forced to apologise to me. My sister claiming she disowned me. Very dramatic. We were forced apart, and our families grew apart (but mostly for various other non-related reasons as well). This was very hard as we were so invested in each others life in an intimate (non-sexual) way. That time directly after we were 'found out' I had a very difficult time mentally. I was so scared, had massive weight loss, stopped eating and sleeping. I felt I committed the worst sin in the history of the world. Looking back I don't fully understand why, but I do know I was extremely stressed. It took the whole summer (Dec to Feb) before I started feeling normal again. From (my) ages 16 to 22yrs we continued to have a huge undeniable attraction and desire for each other, and as we aged we started claiming more independence and just doing what we wanted regardless of family opinion. We still shared the same social circles and family occasions. During this time I would see Gerrit and spend time with him on and off. I always refused to go "public" and "official" during that entire time. It was a time for me to figure out what it is that I wanted for myself. I knew I wanted to be with Gerrit, but I was unsure whether it would be a good thing. I wanted something that was worth facing all the drama and dislike I knew we would face. Him and I then also had a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding each other. In the end I did decide for various reasons to end things with him. (I was then 22yrs, he 20yrs). But he never got into a relationship with someone else, and neither did I. For neither of us had any desire or want for any other person we'd met. Something was always missing, distasteful or unwanted despite interest from other people in either of us. Now we think growing up together and the interest and attraction we held for each other set the standard that we both struggled (and failed) to overcome. No-one stacked up. For five years we carried on with our own lives - didn't converse, talk or spend any time. Made a big effort to avoid each other. Then in April this year, we exchanged a few texts, and one night out of the blue he called me. We talked as if we'd never parted ways. I could hear a positive change in his voice. A joy and peace about him I hadn't seen before. We caught up without any expectation or desire for anything in particular. I was just curious to see where he was up too and how he was doing. However, God had since worked in his heart, mind and life and the change was beautifully obvious, and he had matured. Very quickly we realised again how ridiculously attracted we are to each other. And being together quickly became an option and a desire again. It was now something doable, something definitely worth facing whatever we need too to keep what we have. We now match seamlessly it seems: mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We have worked through a lot of old misunderstandings... So, for the first time ever, we decided to go public and be in a relationship! It has been five months or so now since we reconnected, and 1-2 months being official. Every body in our families are supportive and accepting, despite some not necessarily liking it. We have had zero flak for it... No-one is surprised or shocked anymore. We are looking forward to marriage this summer. We are so thankful and grateful to God for this opportunity - He has worked in our lives and blessed us tremendously, all glory to Him. As Gerrit describes it, for him it is a special connection he feels with me. A very close connection and peace with it. The search is over. He found me and is settled. Comforted that it's me he's with and not someone else. The fact that I'm so familiar, its more than what a 'normal' relationship would offer. I have read many comments and statements about the connection and intimacy found in romance between cousins, so similar to ours... There must be something very special to it. Being cousins must add a layer of intimacy and mutual understanding to the relationships that strangers who meet and fall in love just don't and can't have. Sharing the exact same background and culture mixed with romance is just simply amazing!