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I've been attracted to my cousin for quite awhile now, the end of highschool through college. We're the same age (23) and have known each other for a long time. We've always been very close and spend most of the time at family get togethers talking and hanging out. We  share in each other's travels and adventures, but in a way that I can't with anyone else. I think she feels the same way. For years I told myself it was wrong and tried to forget about her, but every time I saw her it would come rushing back. Junior year I tried to tell her my feelings, asking if she had ever thought about us as more than friends. She responded with a "What?" and I lost my nerve and said I didn't say anything (I'm still not sure if she heard me). The next time we saw each other, she was a bit more distant than usual but we still hung out a bit. I had a girlfriend at the time who I wasn't happy with and didn't think about my cousin much. Then, a couple months later, she asked if we could stay in touch while she went on a 6 month trip. We talked once or twice a week, way more than we had ever talked, and things seemed to be going well. I began accepting my feelings, embracing them even. I graduated college and moved out of state for a job, living on my own and not knowing anyone. She came back and we kept talking, having several conversations that spread out over a couple weeks (she would take days to respond, but kept it going). I had told her awhile ago that I would have time off in September and was planning to travel. She told me she was planning to move to Montana and then somewhere else in September and thought about visiting me in Boston to check out schools and the city (not me of course). Her plans fell through and I called her to say I was planning a road trip out west in September and invited her to join me. She seemed excited about the idea but couldnt commit. Then, about a week later, she said she was moving west and couldnt come, but that we might meet up somewhere on my route. I wished her luck and agreed that we should meet up. I'm really hoping to see her. If we can spend a few days together I'm planning to tell her how I feel, since we've seen each other so infrequently. If we don't get much time though, I'm not sure if I should.

More than anything I want to stay friends, but I also have been obsessing over this for too long. I really believe that we have a unique connection, we're like too halves of the same person (she's Aries and I'm Cancer if you follow that stuff).

I've gone back and forth so many times about whether she feels the same way and I'm really nervous about how things will go if I tell her my feelings. On good days, I believe she feels the same connection I do, perhaps even stronger. On bad days, I worry that I'm just projecting my feelings and she just sees me as family. I'm afraid this is becoming an obsession and I really don't want that, but there's nothing to do but debate myself until I can see her and know one way or another. 

Do you think she feels the same way?

Should I go through with this or be happy in our friendship?

Should I still tell her my feelings if we can only see each other for a short time?

More than anything, I just want to get my mind out of this loop.

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  • Moderator

I don't have much time right now to give a very long answer, BUT instead of telling her your feeling out right

try using the tried and true "if you weren't my cousin" line.  Like if you weren't my cousin I would love to date, go out with,

etc. whatever fits in the blank.  If she gives you the EWWW! answer then you have the out of saying I said IF!  Now if she

doesn't cut you off immediately, (and even if she does) you have planted the seed and she has an idea of what you

are thinking.  Give her time. She may come back and stay " you know I've been thinking about what you said".


Whatever you do don't bring it up again, no pressure, let her be the one to either let you know it is totally out to the

ball park or that she might be interested in exploring the idea more.  But you must be prepared for getting the answer you

don't want.  Are you ready to handle that?  With either answer you will be able to start getting on with your life.


Best wishes and keep us posted.

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  • 2 months later...

So, I spent a couple days with her at her place at the beginning of Sept. I went into it with no expectations, I wanted to make sure this wasn't all in my head since we haven't spent much time one on one in awhile. I can't quite describe it, but the feeling of affection was palpable.

I was waiting for a good opportunity to tell her my feelings but it didn't come. Instead I left her a note and poem in a book (I'm a writer and do this kind of thing with my close friends, but not with her before) mainly saying how much I appreciated our friendship. I also said I wasn't sure what my feelings were and suggested that things could change between us. I expected it would initiate a conversation, testing the waters a bit. Unfortunately, I think the two messages got confused because she took it pretty seriously.

She called me a week later and said it made her uncomfortable, that I shouldn't feel this way towards family. Then she said she didn't think we could stay friends and that we couldn't talk anymore. I was kind of overwhelmed and she didn't really want to listen to what I had to say, but I agreed to respect her decision.

I really just wanted to know if she felt the same way so that I could figure out what to do with my feelings. I only sought to be honest with myself and her that those feelings existed. I'm not entirely sure how to proceed. I want our friendship back, but I know these feelings won't go away. I also want to respect her decision not to communicate, I trust her to know what's best in her life.

That said, I borrowed a book from her before I left and was planning to write a note when I mail it back. Basically I was going to say that if she reaches a point when she is ready to listen and discuss this, that I'll be there. I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not though. Any suggestions?

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Thanks for the constructive feedback!

I know I screwed up, I'm just hoping to fix things now. I didn't use the line, but I tried to do something similar and it didn't turn out the way I thought.

Anyways, can a mod please delete this thread?

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