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ABrad

Refelection and perspective (Second cousin relationship in 30s and 40s)

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Hello!

I posted a month or so ago for advice from this board. I received great advice and really appreciate it. 

My comment this time is perhaps for perspective. My second cousin and I met over the summer for the first time (I’m 35, he’s 44). After a few sporadic texts after meeting (cousinly texts) we admitted a mutual attraction (one that was initiated by me). We began talking frequently through text at that time. Talking about commonalities and also about connecting physically at some point. We found that we’re both very compatible emotionally and physically. 

Our only glitch - I wanted to pursue something that had the possibility to be long term. He said it was only going to be short term (friends with benefits) because he couldn’t deal with being publicly open with dating a cousin (even though he admitted it didn’t feel wrong...it just looked wrong). 

Anyhow, we determined this difference in intentions early on in the relationship. I said perhaps then we shouldn’t continue. I would never tell him not to contact me though bc I really didn’t think we needed to do that. We weren’t an official couple and we’re also cousins so what’s the point in making it like a break up? I just thought it would fizzle out. He wouldn’t pursue it knowing I wanted something long term. 

 I’d walk away (through text...as much as you can there - being slow to respond. Not initiating, etc)...he’d reach out more. In fact, we got to the point in our text relationship that he would indicate he missed me if he hadn’t heard from me. This caused me to be confused because he told me he just wanted a FWB with me (although he said we could just be friends too and he didn’t have to get physical if I didn’t want to. I believe him. However, his desire to be in touch with me frequently and also to share his day, what was going on in his life, and emotions he might be feeling, involving his relationship with his kids for instance, told me he wanted emotional support from me. The kind that was not just a casual friend but from a partner. He also expressed interest and curiosity in my life.) 

All that was nice (what I wanted actually in a long term relationship) but I found it hard to share things about myself and fully open up bc he kept saying we just had a short term thing going on.

These months through text he’d talk about meeting up when he came to town but he never was able to follow through on it. It got to the point where I finally initiated a meet up and he of course was open to it and excited. We met up one night, kissed, had fun spending time together and left it at that. We didn’t take it further. I left the next morning. Both of us left still interested in seeing each other again though. 

His communication became more sporadic in the following days (which I sensed might happen) but I didn’t sense he lost interest in me just that it reflected his inability to commit to a long term relationship with me. Last week he contacted me and reached out with the sense that he missed talking to me (bc I just mirrored his texting and didn’t text or initiate if he didn’t...we ended up at one point going three days without talking...kind of a long time for the habit we got into). I missed him too to be honest. Anyhow, on the advice of a friend, I told him the reason I didn’t reach out was bc I wanted to be with him but not as FWB. He said it was all too complicated and that he thought we should just be friends/cousins and not be pursing benefits. I agreed that that was totally okay (what I thought we should be doing anyway if we weren’t pursuing something long term).  

This time instead of reaching back out after a few days of not talking like he usually did he still hasn’t reached out. I felt (and still do) incredibly sad and miss him. It’s the kind of heartbreak I’d feel after a break up. However, this break up feels sadder than others bc I feel like we’re both still interested in each other. He just didn’t give it a chance to develop. (Note: We’d have the conversation multiple times before but it hit home this time with him I think bc we’d actually seen each other in person). 

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Have you seen this happen between cousin couples before? I hope we talk again someday. I was afraid of this the whole time and why I didn’t want to knowingly go into a short term relationship with him. Because while he can say we’re cousins, friends (and I truly think he enjoys talking to me)..truth is we didn’t know each other before (our families are not close). Unless one of us reaches out, we won’t spend time with each other again. We’re connected on FB and that’s really the only realm we have outside of deliberate communication. 

I know if I reach out he will reciprocate but I don’t think he’ll reach out to me anymore. (Which is okay, but I’m still sad. It hurts bc while he said he was interested in me outside of benefits, when he realized benefits should really be off the table he went away. Honestly, if we were to have a fling I’d rather it have been of the physical kind rather than the emotional kind.)

This kind of connection felt like the kind we could always be together. And maybe we will in a roundabout way. But right now it sucks because I don’t know that for sure. Additional perspective on cousin relationship dynamics and perhaps any experience in the thought process of a reluctant partner is what I’m looking for. I know that we would probably be a regular couple if we were away from everyone. So it’s hard. 

Thank you. 

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we women all share one common thing, it seems... that common thread being that when a guy wants a casual relationship and we don't, we'll play with fire hoping that he'll change his mind.

he usually won't.

listen, all that confusing stuff, the part where he would miss talking to you, and he'd want to share his day with you... that's the FRIENDS part of FWB. that's what friends do. this should not be misconstrued as romantic inclination. he's made it pretty clear that he is never going to feel the same as you, so you need to move on and find someone who is on the same page as you. 

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I agree with you. I will move on. It’s just frustrating bc I didn’t want to go down that road to begin with and wish he didn’t keep in touch knowing I didn’t want that. It was a good experience in other ways though. 

I will say...I never have expectations for friends to keep in touch with me on a daily basis. I don’t share that kind of stuff frequently with any friend, especially not guy friends. (But who really starts a FWB from the beginning of a relationship? I told him it was a ridiculous idea to begin with).

He struck me as someone who just didn’t want expectations on himself. 

Thanks for the spot on advice, Lady C.

 

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