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How do you deal with your cousin rejecting you?

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Hello.  My name is Matthew.  I'm new to this site, but have anonymously read some of the threads when I stumbled onto it in search of advice for my (our) situation.  I'm in love with my first cousin.  We have been close since we were kids, real close, like favorite cousins close, but our families didn't see each other a lot.  I've always known I had feelings for her that weren't like how I felt about other cousins, that were more like how I felt for a random girl/woman, but I never really challenged them since I only got to see her for brief periods of time. After seeing her last Thanksgiving, the same feelings showed up that always show up, but this time I was willing to acknowledge them and pursue them further.  As adults now, I'm 30 and she is 28, I initiated a casual/familial relationship just to see if what I was feeling was authentic and, honestly, to a have a reason to see her.  I'm never as happy as I am when I'm around her.  It didn't take long for me to realize my inclination was true and not just some kinship adoration.  Over the last few months, I've spent a lot of time with her.  We get along as well as two people can.  We share secrets and talk until dawn.  This reassured me that it was at least okay to reveal how I felt about her.  When I finally did, she took it, honestly, the way I expected.  She said she was flattered but her family would freak out and that she thought it was wrong.  We didn't talk much about it.  I only confronted her about it being wrong by pointing out how our culture thinks homosexuality is wrong (she's bisexual) and that not that long ago interracial relationships were wrong (which she has had/is in).  She just shrugged it off.  Since then, we continue to see one another.  We just had lunch together yesterday and it was great... mostly.  Now that I know I will never be with her, I don't know how to be.  It's very difficult to be around someone you love when you know it will never be more than friendship.  It's even harder to endure them being with someone else.  What pain do I choose to endure, the never ending rejection every time I see her, but get to see her, be a friend, be family, be someone she needs/wants from time to time, or removing her from my life completely along with both the joy and agony she brings me?  I was just wondering how someone else has dealt with being rejected by a close cousin.  Do you never see them?  Does is it get easier to endure?  I don't want to live a bipolar type of life just because I want to be around her more than I don't.  If this doesn't change or get any easier, then my decision is clear.  Thank you in advance for any correspondence.

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Now that I know I will never be with her, I don't know how to be.  It's very difficult to be around someone you love when you know it will never be more than friendship. It's even harder to endure them being with someone else.  What pain do I choose to endure, the never ending rejection every time I see her, but get to see her, be a friend, be family, be someone she needs/wants from time to time, or removing her from my life completely along with both the joy and agony she brings me?

Except this isn't really the case that you'll never be with her...you said she shrugged it off. Keep spending time with her, make her realize how happy she makes you feel and how much you care for her as well. Bring up the subject again sometime, but don't try to push her. After she rejected you, did the topic ever come up again, like at your lunch? Did she go into details about what she felt was wrong about it? As much as I think you shouldn't push her, from the sound of it, I think you were a bit too passive on that subject when you spoke to her.

I'd definitely not remove her from my life. I think you should continue to be who you are now, with her and perhaps bring it up again sometime.

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Never isn't the best word, perhaps, but I'm old enough to know you can't make someone attracted to you or fall in love with you no matter what you do.  It would be no different than if the situation was reversed.  If I wasn't attracted to her or in love with her, there's nothing she could do to make me feel otherwise.  Could I end up with her?  I suppose, but only as a "left over."  She wouldn't want to be with me, she'd just be willing to be with me because what she wants isn't available.  Yes, I may have been too passive on the subject, but her point was made; she doesn't want me.  That's all the information I need.  I'm trying to accept it and move on rather than pretend there's something I can do that will change the way she feels.  That's the challenge, accepting and moving on, which will either be with or without her.  I thank you for you reply, gryan.

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I agree with gryan's perspective.

I would say that the fact the she met you for lunch, even after you told her how you feel, means that she is willing to at least continue some type of relationship with you.  That she values your company and your friendship is a good thing.  Frankly, if a man confessed to me that he had romantic feelings for me and I  wanted to make it clear that I was in no way interested in a romantic relationship, I would not have lunch with that man, at least not for a while; I would want to set up a boundary in our relationship.  Initially, I (and many others on this site) had similar reactions as she did to overtures of romance by our cousins.  For some of us, we changed our minds.  I did, and I'm glad I did!

I wouldn't give up hope entirely.  Perhaps she just needs to weigh the pros and cons of a cousin romance and think about it a little.  If she is still willing to talk and go out to lunch with you, continue to do those things.  Don't mention your feelings again for a long while.  Be attentive to the signals she is sending you.  Who knows, maybe she will come around.  And if she doesn't, you still have a good friend in your cousin. 

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I told my cousin how I felt in 2008, she was repulsed and it ruined our friendship. I was devastated and hated myself. We talked off and on over the next few years (like a couple times a year, not much). It wasn't until this year she said she realized her feelings for me and we began our relationship. It ended shortly after but we are talking again and it seems to be going decently but am still cautious. She compares it to being gay. I do not. Lol.

The up and down feelings are still there. Sometimes just the thought of her cheating is just as bad as actually being cheated on by another. It will never end.

I thought it was over with for sure, as well. It's hard to look 5 years into the future with hope, but those years pass and no one knows what will happen. During that time I had moved on and even tried to marry another girl. In dealing with females I remind myself that you can't want what you already have. Pulling away gives them time to think without pressure, and gives them a chance to realize how much they want you in their life.

That "left over" comment, everyone is a left over if you look at it like that? And even if it was a pity date, it still gives you the chance to show her that side of you.

I would never recommend the friendzone to anyone.

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Yes, I may have been too passive on the subject, but her point was made; she doesn't want me.

Well, you didn't actually say she said she didn't want you (in your first post). To be honest, her saying she thinks it is wrong and being afraid of her parents freaking out, doesn't mean she doesn't have those feelings for you.

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I appreciate everyone's response(s).  Thank you.  I've pretty much made up my mind that I can't have her in my life.  It's just too hard.  The "friendzone" is mostly torture and leaves me vulnerable to being taken advantage of.  Besides, at this point, after being rejected, I could never trust a future romantic relationship because it would more than likely be due to her settling.

Gryan, I hope it all works out for you, bud.  You're quite active around the boards and you appear to have a genuine willingness to help others.  I hope my failure doesn't discourage you too much.  Maybe straightforward and honest in this type of situation isn't the best tactic.  I hope you find the right one.

Serendipity, congrats on your relationship.  Hopefully, it only keeps getting better.  Take care.

Joey86, hopefully your cousin isn't "settling" for you.  I don't mean it to sound like an attack.  It just my honest perception.  Hopefully, you two work out as good as it can get.  Godspeed.

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