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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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gryan

In love with second cousin but she lives very far away

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Hello...

I've fallen in love with my second cousin and while I have some plans on how I'm going to approach this, I would like some advice from the people here as well...

I'm in my late 20's, while she is in her very early 20's. She lives in Europe while I live in North America. I've known her since she was a baby. I visit the country periodically, usually every few years, and I've always felt like we were pretty close as cousins go. I've always cared for her well-being and wished the very best for her. When I wasn't visiting the country, we spoke periodically over the phone. I have wonderful memories of her throughout the years and I will never forget them.

I visited the country recently, but that was after quite a long time of not visiting. This is actually one of my very great regrets that I beat myself up about on a constant basis now. This last visit made me realize just how important family (and she) is and how it was a terrible mistake to be this passive and not visit for such a long time.

We are still very close but this time I felt a lot more. I fell romantically in love with her. Her voice, her demeanor, her beauty, her personality, her presence...makes me tingle. It's not really just that though...my previous love for her has grown even stronger. I have this overwhelming desire to care for her, protect her from harm, help her in any way that I can and to ensure she is always happy. I have great respect for the kind of person she is and what she is doing with her life (she is currently in school persuing a career). I want her to know that she can always count on me to be there as her best friend, to talk about anything she has problems with and to know she is never alone. I feel so strong about this that I'm willing to sacrifice pretty much everything in my life to be with her and make her happy. I plan to tell her this pretty soon - though I'm not sure how I'm going to confess the romantic attraction I have for her.

While I was there on my last visit, we spent a few days together, but then she abruptly had to leave for work somewhere on the other side of the country for a few months...and that was it for the entirety of my visit. The moment she left, giant waves of depression consumed me and they would NOT stop. From that day on until now (approximately 3 months after), she is running through my mind at every moment. I just can't get her out of my mind. Things that were important to me back in the North America, ceased to have any value to me anymore when I returned.

After I returned from my trip...I decided I will not be the passive person that I've been for most of my life and called her at work. Communicating with her was tough because of the nature of her job(there was no way to contact her when she wasn't at work) and that she was busy at practically every time of the day and this is why I was afraid to call, as I might have been a bother. Nonetheless, we had some nice, happy, cheerful conversations on the phone, though they were fairly rushed because she was always busy. Regardless, just listening to her voice made me feel like all my problems disappeared.

She will be finished with this hectic job soon, so we'll be talking a lot more on Skype and stuff. At this point, I plan to just talk to her more, get closer to her and make her understand just how much I care. I know she knows that I care but I don't think she understands just how much I do. I also want her to realize just how much I regret taking so long to visit my last time and that it will NEVER happen like that again...and that I will always be there for her from now on.

I plan to visit again very soon...possibly in a few months, and will stay there for much longer. There is also some possibility of her visiting me (it was something she had been considering in the past, but it's just much more expensive for them). If she came to visit me, it would be great because it would be her first time visiting this country and there is a lot of new things to see. I plan to make her visit the best time she has ever had by dedicating 100% of my time to her.

There are a few things I fear...while both of us are single, I fear that if I'm passive about this and don't take some actions soon, she might find someone. If she finds someone, that will just greatly complicate the situation and make it that much more difficult for me. I will NOT abandon her...my friendship will never disappear but it will be very very difficult for me to live with the fact that she is with someone else. And regardless of whether she finds someone or not, I'm not sure how she will take the confession or how her parents will react. I'm pretty close with her mother and I actually believe that based on the kind of person she is and that her mom loves me and trusts me, that she might understand where I'm coming from with this love and allow it. The father though, and a few other people, will likely have problems with it. Regardless, I will not apologize for how I feel...why would I be doing something wrong by loving and caring for her possibly more than any other person on this planet.

I tend to be one of those people that tries to consider every possible scenario of events that can occur...and honestly the more I think about it, the more and more afraid I become...I know that one of the things advised in the help thread (sticky) was to not be afraid, but it's just really hard...there are so many things that I feel can go wrong and I'm worried. One of my close friends that I shared this with, asked me "does it have to be a romantic relationship". I found this a difficult question to answer in words but my love feels boundless for her. I cannot imagine looking for someone else and trying to love them when I really don't...not to mention, being with someone else and always thinking of my cousin instead, is not a good thing.

In any case, this is my story...appreciate any advice anyone might have.

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Well a little update on this...

I've been talking to her on the phone for a while. It was really hard to get through to her because of her hectic work schedule. It seems she was unable to really make enough time for me (or anyone really) so it was hard for me to deal with that...but she finished that and is now in school, and it seems just as hectic. It's just very difficult to talk to her.

She recently did go on Skype though...she seems to be an extremely ambitious person, possibly so ambitious that she really has no time at all for a love life. The last thing I want to do is to get in the way of her ambitions...in fact, I made it very clear to her that I want to help her in any way possible, even financially.

I've been dropping a few hints here and there about how I feel. I haven't really confessed the romantic aspect of my love for her but I definitely made it very clear to her that I do love her, that I have many regrets in the past (as I explained in my post above) and I want to correct those mistakes...and that I'll always be there for her. She is happy about that...didn't seem shocked or turned off by this. I'm not sure if she has put the pieces together to realize that my love is beyond just being a cousin.

In any case, I'm planning to go back soon to that country and spend more time...working towards obtaining citizenship in that country as well. It's a complicated process, more complicated than I had imagined...but I've never worked so hard for something before, and it's never felt more right to me than anything else I've wanted to do.

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Cool.

Well I read your story, it was nice.

"I tend to be one of those people that tries to consider every possible scenario of events that can occur...and honestly the more I think about it, the more and more afraid I become..."

You're very wise.

But what did she say in reply to

"I definitely made it very clear to her that I do love her, that I have many regrets in the past (as I explained in my post above) and I want to correct those mistakes...and that I'll always be there for her."

To me your hints are pretty significant, I would find it very unusual for one of my non-love cousins (I have quite a lot of female cousins) to say stuff like this. She may be suspecting. But maybe not, especially if you're her only or one of few cousins she has, and that you hadn't seen her for so long. But still, some people can read others like a book and as your cousin she's probably good at reading you ;)

"I've been talking to her on the phone for a while. It was really hard to get through to her because of her hectic work schedule. It seems she was unable to really make enough time for me (or anyone really) so it was hard for me to deal with that...but she finished that and is now in school, and it seems just as hectic. It's just very difficult to talk to her."

Don't get carried away, there's really no reason to feel guilty about the past or feel bad that she's too busy. What you need to do is next time you speak to her on the phone tell her you love these catch ups and ask her when it's best to call her so you have the greatest chance to chat and lessen the chance of being disappointed. I think that's a cute thing to say. Most people especially ambitious people have a regular schedule.

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But what did she say in reply to

"I definitely made it very clear to her that I do love her, that I have many regrets in the past (as I explained in my post above) and I want to correct those mistakes...and that I'll always be there for her."

To me your hints are pretty significant, I would find it very unusual for one of my non-love cousins (I have quite a lot of female cousins) to say stuff like this. She may be suspecting. But maybe not, especially if you're her only or one of few cousins she has, and that you hadn't seen her for so long. But still, some people can read others like a book and as your cousin she's probably good at reading you ;)

Well, she basically said something like "don't be ridiculous" when I was talking about my regrets and correcting my mistakes...but then regarding the part about loving her and being there for her and wanting to help her out in her ambitions, she seemed very thankful...I'm not sure what's really running through her mind but I didn't feel much awkwardness. I suppose there was a little bit of silence...

She does have some other cousins...one of them was a big trouble kid and she has severed all ties with him. She has another cousin but I think she doesn't see him often. I'm pretty much the only one that doesn't live in her country and the one she sees the least. I do remember though...pretty much every single year, from when she was a kid, to even now, she would call us overseas and she would ask "when are you guys going to come visit???" It was painful to usually have to reply "maybe next year", I feel so utterly sick just thinking about it, that I can't turn time around.

Now the thing is, when it was very difficult to get through to her in the past couple of months, I actually thought the reason was because she might be avoiding me...possibly because she might have suspected what was going on and didn't want to be a part of it. I was really afraid of this, but I found out (through her and other people) that she really is THAT busy. I doubted her a few times regarding this and every time I did, I was wrong...I really shouldn't doubt her anymore but...being the nature of the person I am, I tend to overanalyze things and worry.

Don't get carried away, there's really no reason to feel guilty about the past or feel bad that she's too busy. What you need to do is next time you speak to her on the phone tell her you love these catch ups and ask her when it's best to call her so you have the greatest chance to chat and lessen the chance of being disappointed. I think that's a cute thing to say. Most people especially ambitious people have a regular schedule.

Yeah I actually have asked about her schedule...she told me she just can't give me a good answer on that because she is always busy with something. She did say she will be on skype more often.

I think I might stop giving out any more hints for the time being...until I see her in person (which is going to be soon). For now I will continue to stay in touch, while not taking it too far to the point where it looks obsessive (though to be honest...I was afraid I might have crossed that line).

I've been thinking a lot about what I would give her for Christmas...because I will definitely be able to meet her then. It's tough...I want it to be something memorable, that has value and can be used/worn often, something that she doesn't just stick into the closet to rot (for instance), but at the same time, I don't want to overdo it and I also don't want to make it look like I'm trying to "buy her out".

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I've been thinking a lot about what I would give her for Christmas...because I will definitely be able to meet her then. It's tough...I want it to be something memorable, that has value and can be used/worn often, something that she doesn't just stick into the closet to rot (for instance), but at the same time, I don't want to overdo it and I also don't want to make it look like I'm trying to "buy her out".

Hehe yeah you do over analyze stuff a bit! Lol.

But I think for now since you can't see her or have consistently regular calls what you need to do is concentrate on yourself. Some of your feelings that stand out to me are the things you say like

she would call us overseas and she would ask "when are you guys going to come visit???" It was painful to usually have to reply "maybe next year", I feel so utterly sick just thinking about it, that I can't turn time around.

Let go of the past my friend. You can't change it and it's really not all that bad. So you haven't seen her as much as you would have liked to over the years, it's really not a big deal. There is only now and the future. As for the past regarding you and your cousin, focus on the good memories you have of her, don't focus on regrets.

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An update...pretty much everything has turned to hell.

My mom found out about my love for her (because of a mistake on my part) and she is IRATE. She was screaming at the top of her lungs, yelling about how wrong and immoral it is, how sick it is, how I need to get rid of these feelings asap and to see some kind of psychiatric counsellor. When I pointed her to various statistics on this site, and tried to use some generic logic to argue my case, she pretty much ignored it and said something like "yeah just because there are many sick people out there that would do this, doesn't mean it's right". The worst part of it all is that she is threatening to tell everyone...she is trying to make me look like a monster for UNCONDITIONALLY LOVING my cousin and wanting to do everything for her out of the goodness of my heart.

if she does expose this to them and ruin my entire relationship with the family, then I really feel like I'm going to end my life...I just don't see how I can go on if that happens.

I think she is going to use this as a way to blackmail me to do whatever she wants (this is the kind of person she is). I'm so afraid right now...utterly terrified. I don't know what to do...my heart has been pounding fast non-stop for two days and doesn't seem to be slowing down.

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Wait now, my dear, don't go all Romeo on us here.

Threatening to end your life is a very serious matter.  If you need to talk to someone about this, please do.  A counselor, a pastor, a friend - someone!  This with your cousin is not even technically a relationship, yet.  You want it to be, you hope it will be, but it's not quite there yet.  I can tell that you are really crazy about her, but slow down a little and breathe!

I haven't really confessed the romantic aspect of my love for her but I definitely made it very clear to her that I do love her,

You are a grown up man, capable of making your own decisions.  If Mom is going to behave so irrationally, then it might be time to take a breather from her.  Not cut her out of your life for good, but definitely step back and be less involved with her - for now.  Maybe you two will be able to talk about this topic rationally one day.  You have been on the site long enough to know that family can often be irrational when it comes to these types of relationships.  And hopefully you have read enough on this site to know that sometimes we think family will be completely turned off, but we find out that they are more accepting than we expected.  Don't count your chickens before they hatch.  And don't invest so much emotional energy into a relationship that isn't a relationship yet.

Let me also say that I don't think she is receptive to a relationship with you right now.  Even the most busy among us, if we want to spend time with someone, will find the time.  I work three jobs - two are businesses that I own - and am a single mom to 2 teenage children.  If I can find time in my hectic schedule for a relationship, then anybody can.  The fact that she won't let you know when she is available to talk is a sign that she just doesn't want to.  Trust me, I have used the "I'm too busy" card a time or two in my life - most of us have.

It truly sounds like a lot of drama right now in your life.  Take a step back, breathe and let things take a more natural course.  It's all gonna be OK.

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Wait now, my dear, don't go all Romeo on us here.

Threatening to end your life is a very serious matter.  If you need to talk to someone about this, please do.  A counselor, a pastor, a friend - someone!  This with your cousin is not even technically a relationship, yet.  You want it to be, you hope it will be, but it's not quite there yet.  I can tell that you are really crazy about her, but slow down a little and breathe!

Well the issue is more that what I currently have with her, might be destroyed...I don't want to lose that. I also don't want to lose what I have with her mom, because I'm pretty close to her as well and I do like her a lot.

Let me also say that I don't think she is receptive to a relationship with you right now.  Even the most busy among us, if we want to spend time with someone, will find the time.  I work three jobs - two are businesses that I own - and am a single mom to 2 teenage children.  If I can find time in my hectic schedule for a relationship, then anybody can.  The fact that she won't let you know when she is available to talk is a sign that she just doesn't want to.  Trust me, I have used the "I'm too busy" card a time or two in my life - most of us have.

Oh I already know she doesn't seem to be looking for a relationship now...it actually seems like she isn't looking for a relationship with anyone. I'm ok with that because I know how ambitious she is right now. Honestly I really really want to help her achieve her goals and I hope to do that when I eventually travel back there. Right now I just want to be someone she knows she can depend on, so I can get her through her hardships.

About her not telling me when she is available...she actually did give me a time (this is back when she was working her hectic job) but then when I called during those times, she was still pretty busy. She said it wasn't as free of a time as she thought it might be and that she just couldn't give a certain time anymore.

It truly sounds like a lot of drama right now in your life.  Take a step back, breathe and let things take a more natural course.  It's all gonna be OK.

I hope you are right...there is about a month left before my trip. Going to try to let those days pass without any additional drama and hopefully I can put out some fires. Not sure how it's going to happen though, my mom is a very bigoted, irrational person that can snap at any moment.

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well a little update...I'm going back to this country for 3 months and plan to see her. I will only really get to see her on the christmas/new years holidays. I spoke to her a few times since the last post I made here and had some very pleasant conversations. She says she can't wait to see me and neither can I.

I don't think I will confess during the holidays, unlike things really get to the next level. Right now I really just plan to spend time with her, have fun and see if I can help her out in any way possible. I really want us to become closer as friends.

Can't wait...my mom is still furious though. Luckily though, my mom's friends support my decision and have offered to help out my mom with this problem...to calm her down and make her understand.

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You don't mention what part, let alone what country, of Europe you're from.

IMHO you need to do some research, the figures are out there, on genetics. There's huge areas of Europe where for various reasons, isolation, genetics, religion, geography, etc. where someone who isn't married to a relative is in the minority.

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