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I think I really have a crush on her now.

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My female first cousin is 28 years old and I am 23. Now I have always found her extremely attractive, and I suppose that's all I ever thought of it. In the last 6 months her and I have become much closer, even more so now since her and her now ex-boyfriend broke up. She's stayed at my parents place a couple nights and we stayed up really late just talking and myself listening to whatever she needed to say. I think it seems like strange timing that this has caused us to become closer, but I love hanging out with her and just talking about whatever. I think I really like her. And I want to talk to her about these feelings and have an open conversation. I have absolutely no idea how to bring this up to her, or even if I should for risking destroying our current relationship in which she as I've been told, considers me a brother. I'd ask friends for their advice or anyone really, but I have no idea how they'd react to this. I think this covers the basics, but I really could use some guidance.

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Welcome to the board.

Since she has had a relatively recent break up with  her bf,

it probably isn't a good time to tell her of your feelings.  She has

to greive the loss of that relationship, regardless of who initiated the

break up or the reasons. It was a relationship and when one ends, it

is a greiving process. She probably isn't ready for another relationship

at this time.  She feels safe with you now. Don't blow that~~~yet.

Give her time, be her friend, build a strong foundation on that friendship.

She may refer to you as her brother now, but given time should the two of

you continue on the road you are on that may change. And if it does you will

know it.  Keep your feelings under wrap for now.

Should you at some time think she might be more open to the possibility

of you two together, you can always use the " if you weren't my cousin.. I would

like to date you, go out with you.. you fill in the blank. If she has a negative response,

you can always respond with "I said IF.."

Best wishes as you go on this journey.

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J in MI,

I agree wholeheartedly with Roma. For the time being, hang out, keep it casual, and show her a good time. If she has mentioned something to the effect of you seeming like a brother to her, go with it for now. You ARE a safe outlet for her. Don't wing for her. Remind her that she should take some time, and avoid a rebound relationship. Easy for me to say, when I have just came out of a marriage a few months back, and have actually found someone this soon who I REALLY enjoy being with. I was riding with several girls, keeping it all casual, and this girl has "risen to the top" of the list. Mutual friends subtly directed us toward each other. It was soon for me, but when the other girls who were riding with me met her, they both (along with several other friends) said "You'd better not let this one get away." So, I've taken their word for it, and it seems they saw sooner than we did that we should become closer. They were right.

The moral to the story is, keep it casual, and let things progress naturally. If there's something there, it will come to the fore. Be prepared to drop the old tried and true "If you weren't my cousin...." line. You'll know when the time is right to say it. If she says something like "Yeah, I know...." you can step up with something like "Actually, it doesn't really bother me so much that we ARE cousins." If she says "Yeah, but I couldn't do that, you're like a brother to me," like Roma said, you can say "I did say 'IF' you know..." The idea will still have been tossed out there, and you don't know but what she may actually start to see you in a different light. The key to that happening is to not let it be awkward. Go right back to what was going on before the conversation. If she sees you are not going to get "weirded out" about it, it will go a long way toward her thinking more seriously about it.

I will tell you this though. If you are considering it, you had best be all in. Don't start something only to get cold feet later. You will have to be prepared to get out in front of any drama. And there would probably be drama. Even if you try to keep it all on the down low, ( a good idea initially) they WILL notice something going on between the two of you. They may even have already noticed that you look at her in a way that gives away your feelings, even if she hasn't picked up on it yet. Be ready for the reaction. Don't step this up until you are fully prepared to see it through.

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