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getting mixed signals from my cousin, could use some outside perspectives

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hello all. thanks in advance for reading my post. first let me start by saying that i was never good at reading signals from girls. i didn't have a girlfriend until i was 18 because i was always unsure of myself or nervous. I'm 28, male, live in NJ. she's 25 and lives in upstate NY, about 8 hours apart. first cousin's on my father's side. she's a fun, flirty, one of the guys, playful type. making it even harder to figure out whats going on. she currently has a boyfriend and has always had one, but not the same guy.

OK, here's the meat of it. everything prior to 2008 was regular kids playing around and such. i always thought she was pretty but there was never anything serious as far as i could tell. a whole bunch of the family was in Florida for a week in the summer of 08, including my girlfriend (we are still together currently). up to this point we hadn't see each other for a while. as soon as i saw her something in me lit up. things between us seemed a little more flirty to me than was standard up to that point. at one point i got right in her face fooling around like i was going to yell at her or something and we locked eyes. it hit me like a truck. i had to leave the room. only way to make sure i didn't kiss her. it was so overwhelmingly powerful. id never felt anything like it before. from that point on we saw each other at least once a year, maybe more. anytime we did things were flirty between us, she pushes me a lot, teases me, hits me, grade school stuff. sits right next to me so our legs are touching. leans over me with no problem about rubbing against me. sits on the couch and puts her legs across my lap. things like that, things only girlfriends have done to me. and i do the same stuff to her and she either pushes against me or doesn't pull away. friends have made jokes about sexual tension.

moving on to 2011. we had family reunion and she had a huge fight with her brother. she literally ran to me crying and jumped into my arms. i calmed her down and helped her through it. this was the night i knew i was in love with her. about a month later i decided i was going to say something to her, tell her how i felt. like i said before I'm bad with signals but i felt there was something there. when i told her i was in love with her she told me she doesn't love me like that. i was hurt but moved on. every time we saw each other after this things were the same as before, playful and flirty.

now we get to just this past weekend. her and her sister came down for the 4Th. things seem to be going the same, playful and flirty. the last night she's here we're laying on the floor watching a movie. my girlfriend is in bed in another room and her sister is on the couch right above us. we're just talking, not even paying attention to the TV. iv got my foot and leg against hers and my hand against her hip. we start to caress each others hand, at one point i think she's going to lace her fingers in mine and hold my hand but she just keeps caressing. i end up playing with her hair and touching her hips and tummy. we do this for hours. she rolls over and looks into my eyes. i rub her cheek and along her hairline until she falls asleep. i get up and go to bed. next morning i wake her up because they're leaving and I'm going to work. i sit down on the floor and she rolls over and pushes her body against me then looks up at me and puts her hand on my arm. we go into the kitchen, while making my lunch and getting her some snacks for the road we brush against each other often, i put my hands on her hips, lean against each other to get in the fridge, etc. we hug a lot and say we're going to miss each other. the hugs are not really family hugs. then I'm off to work and she's gone again.

this is where it stands now. i have no idea whats going on. i feel like there's something between us, but she said there's not. i tend to go by what people say. id like to hear what you all thing is going on. do i talk to her about it again? do i just wait until i see her again and kiss her and see how she responds? I'm a mental train wreck right now, i always am after i see her. but this time is the worst.

thanks to all who read this whole thing.

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we talked about it, it kind of came up on its own. we spent more time on it this go around. her closing statement was, "you've always been my favorite, and you understand me more than most people, it also doesn't bother me to cry in front of you. i can't see myself being more than friends or cousins. i mean i can, but not completely comfortably yet." better than what i got last time. and i guess i don't really need to stress about mixed signals any more do i?

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Nope. Don't stress. There's something there, and on both sides it sounds like. BUT, you BOTH have SOs at this point, so, this will all come down to a matter of timing. IF there is a time in the future that BOTH of you are available at the same time, THEN you dig a little deeper perhaps. Until then, you focus on the relationship at hand, and don't let these other things cloud your mind. I don't really think she's being all so mixed about it at all. It sounds like she was pretty straight forward actually. She had the nerve to tell you that you are her favorite, you understand her, she's not totally ruling something out, but this isn't the time. Sounds fair enough to me. You put this WAY back on the back burner, and focus on where you are now. Believe it or not, nothing may ever come of this. You may find that the girl you have is what you want, and any chance Cuz had will have passed. You may also find that several years down the road, things will be different, you are both available, older, and she may be willing to consider it further.

Me and mine had our "moment", but didn't have the nerve at the time to go for it, and face possible drama, and, (for her) totally wrap our heads around the whole "we're family" thing. Now, we're MUCH older, have SOs, and no stomach for cheating. Our chance came and went, we let the whole thing be awkward, didn't keep in touch, didn't realize later that there was probably a time we were both available, and let much too much water pass beneath the bridge to go back at this late date and try to relive 20 years old again. We're still each others' favorite cousin, still finish each others sentences, know what the other is thinking pretty much, and just "get" each other, like we always have. We enjoy immensely what little time we get to spend with each other, but are agreed we're too old to try to find the old bridge, more less cross it. LOL. You two on the other hand, should get to where we are now, for now. Keep in touch every so often, listen to each others' problems and accomplishments, and keep it at the friends/best cousins level. That way, if there ever is a time where things could become more, you'll know it, and have some foundation to each know where the other is at in life. 

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Walker1620, sounds to me like she definitely has feelings for you, but as she herself pointed out, isn't yet totally okay with moving things to the next level.

Also, as Hawk mentioned, you both are in relationships, which is probably adding to her hesitation. 

One thing to keep in mind, is that girls seem to generally have a harder time accepting cousin love. I repressed my feelings for YEARS, denying everything to myself until I had a fight with my cuz and it shook me up so bad I realized that I didn't feel the same towards him as I did to my other male cousins.

For now, I'd just keep in touch "as friends", and should one or both of your relationship statuses change....well, it may be time to reconsider things. ;)

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