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Need help on this situation with my cousin

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I've always had feelings for my cousin ever since we were really young. At first I thought it was just lust, but I've now realized it's more than that. This may sound weird, but I started liking her ever since I was around 8 and she was 5. I really don't know how it happened. All I know is that I've always had that belief of love in me ever since I was small because I'm romantic. Anyways, as time went by and we started growing up I grew closer to her, and would visit her house very often. I felt a bond with her I've never felt with anyone before. We would always watch tv together, go to the park, and swim in the pool, etc. Then, one day at her dad's store I found out by my other female cousin that the cousin I like possibly likes me or liked me, because she told the cousin I like "here comes your boyfriend" and she just started to blush. I never really got into details with my cousin of what I feel for her because I was scared of what she would think, and would stop talking to me altogether. This happened around 3 years ago, so I don't know if it was just a phase of liking me when she was younger. I don't know what to do because I don't want things to get awkward at this point in my life. I realized that it wasn't just a phase for me. Being around her makes me feel total happiness. I've had my share of girlfriends, and there was one in particular that I got to love with all my heart, so I don't understand why I still have feelings for my cousin. Another problem is I became really religious about a year ago, and I don't know if this will affect my faith in God. At the same time, I feel that we can't help who we fall for sometimes. I just don't want to be dealing with something that might be impossible to come true. This past Christmas, she gave me a present, but she was really shy to give it to me herself, and had to get someone else to give it to me. Then, we had karaoke night, and me and her were singing some songs together. She looked really tense and couldn't give me eye contact, but she looked like she was enjoying the moment. I'm 18 and she's 15, so that's why I'm hesitating on going forward with my feelings, as it can create problems. Also, I don't want to lose her as a cousin; although, whenever we see each other it never feels like we look at each other as cousins with the extreme shyness and stuff. What's the worst that can happen? 

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Do I REALLY have to go into what the worst that could happen would be? I have a feeling you know how "complicated" things could get, and that's why you are so cautious to go forward. Smart on your part. Being 18, legally, you are an adult. She, on the other hand, IS NOT. The gap isn't huge, there are "Romeo/Juliet" statutes that cover such things, but why press your luck? My advice for the time being? Why, my "broken record speech" to young members, of course. It goes like this:

1) Focus on your schooling, and do your best to insure that she does as well.

2) Stay close, built the friendship. Even if nothing comes of it in the future, what will you have lost? Nothing. You will quite possibly be each others favorite cousin for life.

3) IF things do progress in the future, as she gets closer to 18, (you'll know when she becomes mature enough) the two of you can have what we call around here "The Talk." It usually starts out along the lines of "You know, if you weren't my cousin, I'd ________. " You fill in the blank, "Ask you out, Go out with you, Date a girl like you," whatever. You'll figure out how to word it as you go.

4) Provided that goes well, and the two of you feel the same, and are on the same page with it, proceed as you would in any other relationship. If you have gotten your education out of the way, and are out on your own, providing for yourselves, and it's legal where you are, THEN go for it, and don't let ANYONE stop you. As you get older, you will realize life it too short to not spend it being happy with the one you love, and who makes you happy. 

As far as your new found religion, rest assured, there is nothing about this that should shake your faith. At least, since I'm assuming you are Christian, as you mentioned Christmas, and exchanging gifts and the like. Here (http://www.cousincouples.com/?page=religion) is a portion of what we have here on that topic. That doesn't mean the less informed will not say otherwise, but know they will have no Biblical grounds for such attitudes. Such views are cultural, and recent. 150 years ago, there were no such qualms about such relationships, and they were sometimes encouraged. Look around, and get all of those facts under your hat in the event they should come in handy in the future. 

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Guest Witcher1

So I just found this website and I'm really happy I did. So I'll go ahead explain my situation. I have had feelings for my first cousin since we were 8 I didn't really understand it at the time but as we got older and we got closer I came to realize more and more how I feel about her. I have been wanting to tell her for a couple of years now how I felt about her but never really had the chance before because we lived 6 to 7 hours away. When my family decided that we were going to move closer to her family I was so happy and had planned on telling her how I feel about her a couple of months after we moved there. But it would seem my luck would have it a month and a half before we moved she got a boyfriend. They have been together for almost 3 years now I still want to tell her before I never get the chance to but I'm not sure how to go about this. We are both 18 about to be 19 she is only 8 weeks older than me and we both go to the same college.

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