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Guest Shoes12

Staying in touch

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Guest Shoes12

I have a second cousin I met and connected with. We met about two years ago and we're both in our mid 40s. We discussed having a physical relationship but decided not to because he said he couldn't ever see himself telling family about it. He still reaches out to me from time to time. I always enjoy hearing from him but it strikes me as an effort to not lose touch with me. We don't chat long and we don't make plans to actually spend time together. 

I think with more time and space our relationship will evolve but right now it's kind of distressing to have him pop in from time to time. I get excited to hear from him then that's it. I have other second cousins I've met since him. While there may be an attraction there we have never talked about being physical and we also have hobbies in common that we talk about and do together. 

I'm not sure if I'm asking for advice really as just a place to talk about this experience. It's not easy to find someone who has ever had a similar experience with being attracted to someone they are related to.  

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Guest Shoes12

I guess my question is while he doesn’t see himself having a real relationship with me what is the point of staying in touch? He’s not offering me much of a friendship. He doesn’t chat long with me and it always feels restrained. He’ll reach out, I reciprocate, sometimes try to chat a little but then he stops short of keeping the conversation going. He used to chat for long periods of time before we decided to not be physical. His shutting down feels deliberate. That’s okay but what’s the point of being in touch at all then? 

 

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He's probably freaked out about the cousin factor..

Maybe try the "If we weren't cousins" line with him and see where the conversation goes.  2nd cousins is not that big of a deal.  

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Guest Shoes12

Oh, he’s definitely freaked out about the cousin deal. There’s no question. He’s told me. 

I have a feeling (and well he’s said) that if we weren’t cousins he’d have a real relationship with me. I told him there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. At the time we had just started talking and we hadn’t met up since admitting our attraction. Since then, we have met up once, barely got physical then I said soon after I couldn’t be casual with him. He backed off but has still reached out from time to time. Over a year later he still does every once in a while. I do love it but I’m just unsure of what we’re doing. Maybe he is too...I don’t know. 

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You are both in your 40's; have an adult discussion about this.  tell him about this site.  tell him that there is nothing to be ashamed of; that if family is difficult then that shows your their true colors.  You could spend the rest of your wondering "what if" or you can take a chance and open a door to a possibility.

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Guest Shoes12

He’s got another excuse: no compromise to give. I never pushed to have a relationship. I only said that if we’re physical that’s what we should do. 

Here’s my impression. He does like me a lot. He probably wishes I would reach out to him but I can’t do that. He told me a real relationship won’t happen. 

I’m just curious if anyone else can identify with these patterns of communication I experience with him. These patterns indicate confliction and I just want to feel like I can be open and natural when he wants to talk. Right now it feels restricted and it’s frustrating for me. 

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These "Patterns of communication" are familiar to everyone who has ever dated.  Being cousins doesn't negate human tendencies.

You want more than he does.  He's told you he doesn't want a relationship.  Move on my friend, move on.  You'll never have what you really want so it's best to mingle with the other fish in the sea.

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Guest Shoes12

@Serendipityit’s not that I haven’t or won’t move on. Obviously, I’m not interested in having more if he isn’t.

He is someone I like so I’m not going to tell him not to contact me. Unless he does something that requires that and so far he hasn’t. 

He’ll go long periods without contacting me (because he knows I want more). I told him that’s the way it would be if he wanted less than me. Sure, he can contact me. We can be friends. He knows I want more though so if he keeps contacting me I’m always going to be under the impression it’s because he doesn’t want to lose me (and likely still attracted to me). That’s okay. As friends, sure. But we’re not really interacting as friends. We don’t talk long like we used to (before he backed off when I told him I wouldn’t be casual with him) nor do we do things together. It’s just confusing is all. Again, I’m not holding out for him or anything.

”Patterns of communication” is unique to him because I don’t have casual relationships with anyone. It never even goes into that territory with anyone. I also KNOW he likes me. He just can’t and won’t let it go anywhere (he says it’s bc we’re cousins but I also think he’s not relationship material). 

Again, all okay but it just feels like he reaches out to tell me he’s still there. It’s confusing. Whether it goes somewhere romantically or as friends are equally relevant to my request to see how people (who might happen to be cousins; but also have an attraction) might interact. 

Cousins do have special bonds (like anyone whose parents for instance perhaps grew up with each other and have other strong overlapping bonds through people close to them). So while we happen to be cousins it could also be someone completely unrelated but there’s still a similar bond/dynamic there. 

I’m not asking whether I should have hope for a romantic relationship. I’m just curious if anyone else has experienced similar confusion and what ultimately came about: perhaps even good friends? (If so, did the attraction go away?) 

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But these patterns of communication are not unique to anyone.  Everyone who has ever been in the dating scene has had interactions like this.  EVERYONE has experienced similar confusion  We deal with the patterns by completely walking away and moving on with life.  You are allowing yourself to be confused by thinking that his patterns of behavior are unique to him and your situation. And you're allowing yourself to stay embroiled in what you perceive to be circumstances beyond your control.

I guess I'm not really sure what kind of advice your looking for.  What you are describing is typical jerk behavior.  He knows you want more and so he'll go long periods without communication and then reach out to you; for what purpose? 

You will never be able to have open and free communication with him.  I'm not sure why you would want to.

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Guest Shoes12

@Serendipity Exactly. For what purpose? That’s what I asked in my first reply to the comment I first posted on this thread. 

If it wasn’t a strong attraction, and I have always known he has a strong attraction to me, then it would be easy to blow him off. 

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Guest Shoes12

It has been distressing to me when he’s kept in touch over the last year in a half. I don’t tell him that but I might if I feel that way the next time he reaches out. I can’t just turn off an attraction. That’s not how it works. If something happened, sure. So far it hasn’t. 

I would only want to be friends with him if it was healthy.

I don’t think it’s a situation beyond my control either; but I don’t really feel like blocking him is necessary. We don’t talk that much. 

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Sorry it's been a while for this response; I've had technical difficulties with this site.

I don't think you want advice, I think you want to vent.You state that you only want to be friends and at the same time say you "can't turn off an attraction".  Which is it?  Of course you can turn off an attraction; you stop communicating, stop talking, stop texting, and you move on.  It takes time, but eventually you move on.

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GuestShoes12,

Looks like the two of you will keep communicating until someone puts a stop to it.  Perhaps tell him that he needs to commit to a relationship with you, or leave you alone.  And you need to ask yourself why you keep communicating with him.

Ambra

 

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This is Shoes12. 

@Serendipity you’re right. I do/did want to vent. The problem is it’s not as easy as just stopping communication. It is sometimes. I mean we don’t communicate every day like we did a couple of years ago but the dynamics of being family members (albeit distant ones) means we won’t be be leaving each other’s lives anytime soon. We may go years without talking but I suspect we’ll always feel sparks.

I was frustrated in previous messages trying to communicate that because I came to a cousin couple’s site for a reason. It’s not a typical scenario with the usual dynamics.

It’s easy to walk away when you’re not family!

The way in which I met him a couple of years ago means I will only continue to be in his life and him in mine, at least peripherally. 

I am developing relationships with other family members we share so it’s not a case of just exiting each other’s lives.

We will hear each other’s names come up on a semi regular basis.

When he reaches out it feels like he likes me. I already know he does but the fact he’s still doing it after all this time is flattering. 

Last time he reached out it was to ask a sweet question about some family research I’m doing. 

It’s been a few months since we talked but I will be seeing him at a family get together soon. 

@Ambra_FlowsI don’t communicate with him. I will respond to his questions though and chat with him for a bit at least if he reaches out. I don’t engage unless the conversation requires it (he asks a question for instance). 

He’s not an ex boyfriend.

We do have an attraction but we are also family members about the same age who just met for the first time a few years ago.

 

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I still have a hard time texting on my Touch. Too many mistouches. I have been forcing myself to use the touch screen, but maybe its time to break out the qwerty board.

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