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mayaangellou

We're in a long distance relationship. What now?

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Alright, so, Ithis is going to be very long, so if you don't have time on your hands, I suggest you don't get into this. Lol. I'm very new to this website, I just now made an account so that I can share my experience with all of you. I'm hoping you have some advice to offer. Basically, I have a cousin, and he's my first cousin. He's not removed or anything like that, he's just my first cousin, my mother's brother's son. I've known his sister all my life, and I've been so close with her for so long. She's been my best friend from the very beginning, and she still is to this day. Him, I've only known a few months. He's slightly older than her and was given up for adoption as a baby. It was a closed adoption, so no one in our family even met him or spoke with him until he turned eighteen, which was just a few months ago, in June. I haven't met him in person yet, but I plan to very soon. He lives pretty far away from me, as I am in Florida, and he is in New York. When we met, it was his sister who initially introduced me to him, and I knew nothing about him. I had no idea what he looked like, sounded like, or even how old he was, but I got to know him very quickly. We are both over eighteen, me being a few months older. The first thing I noticed about him was that he is just the sweetest, he was so happy to be meeting me, and he couldn't stop jumping up and down with excitement and expressing to me how happy the whole thing made him. He had never met any of his biological family before, so his sister and I were the first people he spoke to, and he said, quote, he "felt he was with his people". (I couldn't help but think of Mrs. Puff, lol.) About a week went by, and we had really bonded a lot, we shared a lot of the same hobbies, especially music. He writes and raps, and I sing, and we both play piano, so we sort of feel we might be able to collaborate. It wasn't long before I started to feel some type of way for him, and I noticed it first when I sent him a picture of me at winter formal with my ex, and I almost wanted him to feel jealous. But that wasn't what made me realize it, what happened was, I confided in him about how cute I felt in the dress, and he said, "You're always adorable." My heart fluttered, and I couldn't help but hope that maybe he was flirting with me. But he was my cousin, so I tried to brush it off, and just said "nah" with some blushing emojis. However, he kept going and continued to flirt, saying things like "What? It's true!" and "YA FACE. IS CUTE." I tried to deny my feelings for him, telling myself it was just because I had just met him, but after a few days, I still felt this way. And the crazy thing was, he brought it up to me a few days later, saying that he had been talking to his biological mother about how apparently cousin marriages are legal in around half the states, and she said, "You can't date your cousin. You know that right?" and he played it off like he thought it was funny for her to suggest such a thing, but then he slowly eased his way into it. First, it was "If we weren't cousins", and when I admitted feeling the same way, he admitted that he was starting to like me. And from there, we decided that we would try to be in a long distance relationship, and for two weeks, it worked perfectly. We were very happy together, and we fell in love so quickly. I cannot express how deeply in love I am with him, I really can't imagine myself with anyone else. He talks about building a future with me, getting married, having kids, living together in a beach house, making music together. It all seems so perfect. We have broken up twice... Both times, he ended it. He says he was afraid, and he felt like it can't work, because our family will feel some type of way about it, and he isn't sure what type of way they'll feel. He said he doesn't want to risk losing the family he just got back, and I completely understand this. However, we both found that at this point, neither of us can go even a few days without each other. He even tried being with someone else immediately after a breakup, which didn't work at all. He ended up breaking up with her almost immediately and getting back with me. We haven't broken up since then, and he's promised to stay with me from now on because he's had enough of that bull. But... This is where the problem comes in. He wants to keep it a secret from our family... Forever. Yes, forever. Not just hide it until we feel comfortable enough, he wants to just hide it from everyone for the rest of our lives, and I don't think that's going to work. I, myself, am eager for my family to know. If it were up to me, I would tell everyone right now, because I wanna show the world, this is my boyfriend, and I love him more than anything else in the entire world. But, at the same time, I understand that he just got this family back. His sister is aware of our feelings for each other, as well as the past two times we were together, (she's not judging, but she feels like I sort of made her the third wheel) but he wants to keep it a secret from her this time. He says no one we told before ever truly approved, and he feels like it got in the way of our relationship, and that's where it went wrong. He says he really, really wants it to work this time, and that's why he wants to keep it from everyone and tell absolutely no one.

What is your take on all this? And I apologize for the story being so very long, lol.

P.S. Other people who know include my mother, my father, my aunt (my mother's sister), his best friend (who is also my friend now), his ex-girlfriend/best girl friend, his friend, his cousin, and a few of my own friends. My mother and father don't particularly like it, but they aren't disowning me, they aren't seeing or treating me differently, and they aren't trying to interfere or cause problems. They just don't agree with it. However, my father has admitted he will not feel comfortable walking me down the aisle... :(

Edited by mayaangellou

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I am unsure whether or not you know why you and your cousin are attracted to each other, so let me share with you some brief information.

The sexual imprint age of an individual is from birth to approximately six years old which desensitizes siblings (and other family members) belonging to the same household from becoming sexually attracted to each other. You and your cousin grew up in two separate households, skipping the age of learning: "he is my blood relative, therefore, we shouldn't mix our genetics". Then, his coming of age being: old enough to legally seek his biological family, he sees you and feels a connection far from just love for a family member. Same goes for you as well! When this happens, it's called: genetic sexual attraction (GSA).

That said, you can't control who you fall in love with. Before you two met, you were just strangers and now, you're very great friends (and cousins) who share a lot in common and equally hope for a harmonious union.

It really is no fun having someone so amazing that you can't share with the world. How are your friends handling the news? Your friends (and his friends) are family too.

For your family, I recommend waiting because over time, it will sink in for them. You can educate your family regarding how safe it is to be together with your cousin (if you haven't already). You can guide them to this website. But as the saying goes: You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink. Or: You can lead a human to knowledge, but you can't make them think.

To elaborate, every human has something called: schemas. It's how we make sense of our surroundings and categorize everything as a survival technique. Your father, for example, sees you as his daughter. You are his offspring and he wants his lineage to survive. Then your cousin comes into the picture and your father's vision of his daughter marrying a healthy fellow becomes skewed because your cousin is family. Subconsciously he thinks: blood is being mixed, and that blood isn't 'fresh' or 'new'.

As for actually telling your family, the choice is yours. I recommend waiting since your boyfriend does seem very reluctant at this time. You are also both young because at 18, there's still a transitioning stage from teen to adult. I'm sure your parents see this as well and they want to protect you.

Your life and your decisions are yours alone! Me giving you advice (or anyone else here) is similar to your family. You can listen, but what you actually do is your choice, not mine or theirs. Nobody can force you or keep you from doing what you love or from being with who you love. :)

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If you condense this post into the pertinent details, I may have some advice to offer.  I refuse to schlep through unimportant information such as hobbies and innocuous flirtations.

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please also add more paragraph breaks. you'll get many more responses, i promise!

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Dear Serendipity, I feel everything I wrote is important so you all understand why I strongly believe he's not toying with me. Sorry, not sorry. I mentioned the post would be long from the very beginning and if you didn't have time to read, then don't.

Seyda, I did read online that it is more common in cousins who grew up apart from each other. I also read it is natural to be attracted to people with similar facial features to your own. He mentioned that his friend said our opinions are the only ones that matter, and I'm friends with another one of his friends who knows. He's definitely not judging at all, but he's afraid of me getting hurt because he's already broken up with me twice. When I asked him if the whole thing freaked him out, he replied with, "Kind of, but not in a judgy way. It's just not something I would do, that's all."  My love won't tell me what his ex-girlfriend had to say about it.  My friends are all fine with it, one, in particular, is super supportive, he thinks it's really cute and completely guessed it all on his own.  I told him I had a boyfriend and he wanted to know who, and I said "It's complicated. He's..." and he said "Your fam? :3" It was crazy, but anyway, he's super happy for me, which is great. My neighbor knows, and she's also super supportive, she said she'll drive me to the airport when I get a flight there. But I'm careful who I tell, so I kind of expected the people I told to be supportive. I really want my family to be supportive, for his sake. I don't really care at this point what my family thinks of me, but I know their opinion of him matters a lot to him.  I can only hope he'll be strong enough to deal with it when his father doesn't want to speak to him, which I know will happen.  It may not last forever, but it will happen.  This is precisely why I'm worried he will realize he is better off without me, and I've told him this, but he keeps insisting he will never leave again.  I guess I could just cross the bridge when we get to it, but I really don't want to lose him... He's become my everything.

LadyC, like split it into more paragraphs? It won't let me edit it at this point.

Edited by mayaangellou

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that's ok, i saw the new thread you created, and was able to read and respond to it :) not sure why you couldn't edit this one, but i greatly appreciate you having created another thread making the edits. it's difficult to read a post that doesn't have any line breaks in it.

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