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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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Toby Carson

Introduction and Advice

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Hi, everyone! I'm Toby, and I just found this site yesterday. I'm extremely glad I did, because I could really use some advice and support.

But first, a bit about me. I'm 20 years old, a sophomore in college. I won't give away too much, but I will say that cousin marriage is legal in my state, which I was thrilled to find out. Also, Toby is a pen name I chose for this site for the sake of anonymity. If everything works out, I may be more open about my identity. I'm really not ashamed to be here.

I found this site through extensive research on marriage laws because, lo and behold, I seem to have fallen in love with my cousin, whom we'll call K for now. I have beaten myself up over it for the past two years. K is almost constantly on my mind, and I just love everything about her. I highly doubt my feelings are reciprocated, though. We enjoy spending time together, but I don't think she feels nearly the same way.

One thing I should probably mention is that we're not the same age, as most couples here seem to be. K is five years younger than me which, as you can imagine, is quite an obstacle at this time. I do NOT have sexual intentions for her, mind you. This is simply about dating and just being with her.

I don't know how K or our family would react should my feelings be revealed. On the one hand, I really love her, and want to be with her more than anything. On the other hand, this is a controversial subject, and let's just say that incest has a very dark place in my family. It's literally torturing me at this point, so any advice would be eternally appreciated.

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5 years is not a big age difference.... assuming she's 18 or older. i'm on my way to bed at the moment, but i'll check back in the morning. can you tell us your ages?

oh, and for the record, relationships between cousins are not incestuous. not even under your state's legal definition, which does vary from state to state. but it's not incestuous from a medical/biological/genetic standpoint either. or from a biblical standpoint (or the standpoint of almost any other religion.) the correct word is consanguineous. :)

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(If you have never seen The Big Lebowski you may not get my little jokes)

My cousin is nearly 5 years younger than I; it's not a biggee. You mentioned torture! Bro, you are torchering yourself by keeping this all bottled up. You have to be brave and bite the bullet, like all of us. I do love the women who are so sure of themselves that they peruse their "prey" and fearlessly express their feelings. They are hard to come by because they get "snapped up" pretty quicky. Most women, unfortunately are not this way.

As the Big Lebowski, uh, The Dude would advise, drink one White Russian and call that girl up, man. Or KC might say, grow a pair! What are you waiting for? Is she not worth a little disapproval from people you do not care for anyway? Who cares what "the family" thinks? They are not marrying her, you are.

Wow you little nihilistic cousin lover, you hold to every excuse in the book! What a wimp! You wouldn't last in 'Nam for five seconds. Don't get Walter upset with this nonsense. It's best to take a page out of those fearless womens' book and spill everything to your cousin; otherwise, you are just pissing on the rug, man -- the one that ties it all together.

 

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If you are twenty and your cousin is five years younger, that means she's fifteen. That's too young to "date", even if the two of you aren't in a physical relationship. On the upside, it also means that her feelings about you might change significantly as she gets older, especially if the two of you are friends. Like Lady C and KC said, five years isn't a big difference... once you are both adults. I know it's tough, but I would highly recommend trying to put your feelings on the back burner for now, and concentrating on college and friends and all the fun things about being twenty. If you are serious about your cousin (which if you are looking up marriage laws I'm guessing you are), you have plenty of time, and you can spend that time turning yourself into the kind of man she could fall in love with. If you aren't, it's not worth causing strife in your family over now - you have to live with them for the rest of your life. :)

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Thank you for your feedback, everyone. I knew I'd get some sort of reaction about the age gap thing, so allow me to clarify a few points:

In addition to marriage laws, I also researched age of consent laws out of morbid curiosity. K is half Colombian. Her mother, who has legal custody of her, is from Colombia, and K visits there frequently and has other family from there as well. In Colombia, from what I've read, the age of consent is 14. So to a majority of her family, she is old enough to date. On top of that, cousin marriage is a common practice there, or at the very least not nearly as taboo as in the United States.

Secondly, I did find out that there is a provision in the age of consent law in our state that allows a 16 year old to have relations with someone up to the age of 23. Granted, this law is meant for sexual relations, which as I said in my post, is NOT my intention. I am stating this simply because according to our laws, I can legally date her so long as I have her parents' permission.

Thirdly, I do plan to wait until she is 18, just to be on the safe side. As MissPrice said, her feelings for me might change in that time, and it would give myself time to work on becoming worthy of her love. Once everything falls into place, I will take KC's advice and "grow a pair!"

Thanks again for your responses.

Edited by Toby Carson
Typo

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somehow i missed the fact that you were 20, thus making her 15. i'm glad you are willing to wait, because... well first off, you aren't in columbia, so their age of consent is irrelevant. and secondly, even in your state she is not yet 16, so she is NOT legally able to have a relationship with you with OR without parental consent.

but thirdly, and most importantly, is this. she's still just a child. she's got emotions that she doesn't even know she has yet, and won't learn how to handle them for years to come. and no matter what any law says, or any person says, or any love-struck person thinks, a 15 year old lacks the maturity to handle a serious relationship. can it work? sure.... my mother-in-law married at the age of 15 and has been married now for sixty years and change. but she was raised in a different time, a different culture, and was doing hard manual labor on the farm and helping with the housework and raising of siblings from the time she was able to walk. 

you and your cousin are products of a millennial generation that, as a general rule of thumb, has grown up with cell phone in hand, car keys in pocket, and head in the clouds. a generation that, for the most part, doesn't have a clue what hard work really is, and would exercise their free choice to snub their nose at it if they ran across it. i'm not saying YOU are that way, but you've grown up in a culture where that is the mindset. and unfortunately, that cultural mindset only reinforces a lack of relational skills. technologically your generation is FAR more advanced than mine can ever be, but it has the unintended affect of having stunted emotional growth. most people don't know how to communicate well except by text message. people get hired and fired by text, couples fall in love by text and break up by text. i'm sure you'll probably jump to your (and her) defense and insist that both of you are the exceptions to the rule, but the truth of the matter is, you can't live in this society in this day and age without being severely affected by it. 

and so, i'm glad you're willing to wait. because to pursue a serious relationship at this point would end in heartache for at least one of you. and chances are, she'd be the one hurt the most... because young girls are easily scarred. and because you've got five years more experience and maturity than she does. (and just because emotionally, physically, and psychologically, guys are just stronger than girls are)

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I completely understand. I didn't bring up the Colombia thing as an excuse or anything. Just to suggest that her family might be more accepting of a cousin relationship, as well as her dating at her current age. That's all.

As for her age, I don't plan on asking her out anytime soon. I just wanted advice on how to deal with the emotions. And I meant the dating when she IS 16, not now. And even then, I want to wait until she's 18, at least.

I would definitely not say she and I are exceptions to your point about technology. She is always on her phone on social media, as am I. I know that she has much mental and emotional maturing to do, which is why I want to wait a few years. But in all honesty, I have much maturing to do as well. She and I are a lot alike, which probably contributed to my feelings for her.

If anything, I'm just glad to know I'm not alone in this whole cousin thing. I was beginning to think there was something seriously wrong with me. Unless you count the age gap. Then maybe there is something seriously wrong with me.

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well you're right that it will be helpful for her family to be more accepting! 

and for the record, you may have a lot of maturing still to go, but you've got wisdom in spades! most people don't recognize that they still have some growing up to do. i commend you for that. maybe you have a little less than you think you do :)

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At what age do they typically marry in Columbia? In the States, we think 18 is a magic number but that is not the case everywhere. The reality is if you do not express your feelings within (?what the next year?) she may be snatched up by some fast-talking Columbian who is on the cartel's payroll. So my friend, you really are in a situation. Your options appear to be:

1) Let her go

2) Have a longer than normal courtship, which is a wise thing to do (and you need to get the ball rolling)

I nearly always advise people to wait until you are both mature and settled-in somewhere after college. That is the ideal,  but this not going to work for you. I am not advocating anything here, but I live in the South (and no I will not apologize; I love the south :D) folks used to marry very early. I have an aunt who married at 14 (or was it 13?) and she seemed to have the greatest marriage of all. 40 years later, if you saw them, they were always holding hands, hugging or whatever ... very much still in love still. I do not advocate marriages of this nature, I am just musing about young marriages in my own family. 

If I were you, I would not put all of my eggs into one basket. There is no such thing as "the one" for you. No soul mates. In reality, you have billions of wild women to choose from. So be more honest with your cousin and the other women you will find attractive. 

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