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AmorImposible

When is it okay to tell my cousin I love him?

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I have always had a crush on him, but not too long ago until I admited it to myself. I really want to tell him but I dont know when or how. Any tips on sharing your feelings to your cousin? I'm scared he would expose me to my family.

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you could start with sprinkling a little "fairy" dust.

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AmorImposible,

Probably not just yet. You want to be up to speed on the facts, and have looked into that link, and have some idea of how to broach the topic gently. Our experience is, that if you jump right in and blurt it out, it has a tendency to be awkward. Working your way out of the "awkward" zone isn't easy. Unless your cousin feels the same, (and sometimes even if they do) it's still going to have some amount of awkward. Making that amount as little as possible is always the way to go.

It's also going to depend on your ages. We're ALWAYS going to recommend you wait until you are of age, generally 18 years old, but we realize some places, it's younger. Regardless, I recommend at least 20, and my personal preference is 22ish or so. Here's why. If you are still in school, and living at home, you really should put this all on the back burner, and get your education out of the way. Why? Because if you have gotten an education, are out on your own, it becomes all but impossible for family drama to stop you, provided it's legal where you are. If you are in the position to be independent, it's a whole lot easier to relocate to where it IS legal, if need be. In the meanwhile, you stay in touch, and build the friendship to the point that no matter what the outcome or drama, the friendship is going to be for life. Even if nothing comes of it when you are young, all you have to do is look at some of the recent threads to see that the future can hold more possibilities. By the time you're in your 40's, 50's, or beyond, you'll realize the clock is ticking, and if the two of you are on the same page with it then, it's a lot easier, and considerably more advisable, to test the waters, and if it's all good, wade on off in it. The one caveat we have on these relationships, no matter what the age, but more so as we get older, is, both parties need to be unattached, and available. We've seen massive trainwrecks in peoples' lives when there has been this underlying attraction, and, after one or both parties are in relationships with others, they decide to act upon it. If you think there'll be drama over the cousins being in a relationship, toss divorces, child custody, or other manners of nasty break-ups in the mix. Just as family may interfere when you are younger, even if they might be fine with it if you were older, if you're in a relationship, they're more likely to smack you up the back of the head, and say "WTH are you doing?", even if they might be fine with it if you weren't already in another relationship. You really have to take a deep breath and a step back, and have a good long look at the overall ramifications of the bigger picture.

If you think this is something relevant to your long term happiness, then, once you are in a position to do so, test the waters with something like the old "If we weren't cousins/ Too bad we're cousins/ Other than us being cousins" line to break the ice. By the reaction to that, you will know whether to continue the conversation, or gracefully back out, at least for the time being. We've also seen numerous cases of that sort of line planting the thought, and at some latter date, the conversation coming back up with a different perspective. At that point, you continue the conversation honestly, and decide from there if it's something the two of you want to pursue....

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I am currently 20, and he's 22. But the biggest inconvenient is that he has a girlfriend right now and it breaks my heart. I really dont know what to do because we arent even close to start with since I have been living abroad for 3 years, so I was thinking that approaching him telling him that I would like to build a stronger bond and relationship with him to start with, and if one day he's single again see if it leads to something... But I am extremely shy to approach anyone, even if it's for friendship. I am terrified I will say something awkward and this will tear us apart even more.

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AmorImposible,

You're still young. Bide your time. Step back and take a deep breath. Don't let his current relationship break your heart. You've not been in the picture to have been in a position to have had any effect on it. Keep him in the "friendzone" for now. Being shy, I don't see you being overly forward to the point of making things awkward. Keep an eye on things from a distance. Young relationships these days don't always have a long track record. 30 years ago, when I was 22, I (against my better judgement, and everybody else's advice) got married. It lasted 4 years total, and was a major trainwreck anyhow in the end. By that time, my Cuz was married, (I assume, we were in the 'awkward' phase, and had lost touch) and after that, one or both of us were steadily in other relationships, up to this day. The timing was never right, and we never had any of these facts here to overcome the stigma until I found this place, and in airing out the past, showed her. We're both certainly agreed we have no stomach for cheating with each other and ruining our respective relationships. This, even though unlike you, we have a "history" of sorts, all be it brief, from when we were your age.(20)

Looking back, could things have been different? Yeah. Had I made a few more of the family get-togethers, I would have been a little more aware of her status. Had I quietly inquired from the distance as to how she was doing occasionally, I would have known when she got divorced. At that time, I was in a long term relationship, that was eventually my third marriage. Had I known these facts here, and the history and legalities of the matter, my relationship was rocky enough, and there were enough 'red flags' I would have possibly, as gently as possible, got out of it before we got married. I almost did a couple times anyhow. But, hindsight is 20/20 and all of that. I didn't know what was up with her, and, even back in the 90's, I'm not sure enough information would have been out there to go on. By the time I did get divorced, she was (still is) in a long term relationship, and shortly after, I was 'set-up' with a wonderful woman I'm happy to call my GF. We'll not be screwing up our current relationships with any sort of shenanigans of trying to recapture our youth. We've aired it all out, it's all good, and we're happy to see each other happy. Our situation is a little different than yours in that from the first time we met (~9-10 yrs old) on to this day, we've been "favorite/best" cousins, and that we loved each other very much was a given. We may have said it a time or two back then, but never actually verbalized the extent of it. Now, with the way we work, we don't get to see each other any more than we did all those years we were out of touch, so, when we do, we always say it. You never know when it could be the last time you get to say it. A lot of the work I do is reasonably dangerous, and she travels for her work now, and works from time to time in shall I say, less than desirable areas. Some of them have been down right dangerous. So, when we do get to spend time together, we make sure to enjoy it, tell each other "Luv you" and to be safe. It works for us. We know if things had been different, they would be different, but, it is what it is.

About the best you can do, is keep in touch, stay in the friendzone, and build it to the "best/favorite" cousins state. From there, it's all about timing. There is no reason you have to set around waiting on him either. In fact, I would advise against it. Get out and about, and do a little dating. If you're so shy, there's no reason you have to get serious. But, there is the possibility you find someone who is right for you, and maybe even MORE right for you than your cousin. I might could have been happy with my cousin, but I don't see any way I could be any happier than I am now. As happy? MAYBE. More happy? I don't know how. I'm living the life right now. We've been together for 2 1/2 years, and she's never once raised her voice to me. We've had a couple little bumps in the road, but never cross words. Cuz and I are so much alike, that, seeing each other occasionally, it's cute. I have a feeling though, if we were in a relationship, it would eventually become tedious, if not down right aggravating. Of course, when we do get on each others nerves, it usually ends up in a light-hearted wrestling match/ticklefest, even as old as we are now. So yeah, you may have these feelings for your cousin, but, cousins are people too, and can grate each other just like anybody else. We in no way try to "over-romanticize" it. It can be very intense, and tends to be, but it can, and usually is, at least as much work as any other relationship, and it isn't unusual to be MORE work. While you may have some stars in your eyes right now, don't have any illusion as to how much time it could take, if ever, and how much effort it would be if something ever does come from it.... 

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Thank you so much for your wise words, I will definitely follow your advice and just plainly work on being friends with him, wich is going to be hard considering it's always been awkward when we talk, I'll try to find a way :) thank you once again.

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