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DazednConfused

Help! Dinner with the parents!

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    Hey all. You might remember me from my last topic. I could use some more help.

    My second cousin once removed and I have been dating since late September. We haven't kept it secret so much as on the down low. Several of our friends know about us, and we have been open about our relationship. Just recently, I received a dinner invitation for Saturday after next, and I'm pretty scared.

    Our families aren't at all close. In fact, her parents know my name, age, job, etc. But they don't know we're cousins. Thankfully, we're fairly distant (this is tough enough, my heart goes out to you first cousins out there!) so that helps. My family on the other hand knows her fairly well.

    What's my move here? Should we go ahead and tell them? Should I try to make a good impression then tell them down the line? What's the best way to proceed? They're asking questions, and we won't be able to keep it hidden forever. Any help from those wiser than me would be much ablidged. I have to get this right if there's a chance for them to accept it.

    She is well aware of the risks involved here, and she says it doesn't matter if they approve or not. That it won't change things. But I care about her. I want to do all I can to make this easier on her. I don't want her to be at odds with her family if it can be helped.

Thanks everyone!

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That's a tough one all right!  I would suggest that she go ahead and tell them.  It might be very awkward if you are there for dinner and they put the clues together. 

Stay calm and positive. 

Good luck!

HUGS

Nat

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I tend to disagree with Nattanna, although her suggestion is a valid one.

I wouldn't mention it, at least not at the first dinner with her parents; there's enough to be nervous about without this little tidbit

hanging over your heads.  If her parents do put two and two together, I would make light of it. If you act like it's no big deal (which it isn't), maybe they will react in kind.  Second cousins once removed - that's hardly related at all!  :grin:

BTW: How is it that the two of you figured out that you are 2nd cousins once removed and her parents haven't put the pieces together?

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Seems to be a lack of consensus on this. Anyone else ever wish you could just be with the person you love without having to put up with prejudices. I digress...

Our families aren't close. As in, I've never met anyone in her family other than her grandfather (my grandfather's nephew or my first cousin once removed). He used to dress as Santa Claus at a Christmas party at my grandparents home every year. I've never spoken to him, or seen him out of the Santa suit. lol I had heard her name growing up from time to time, but since I have had no contact with extended family, it didn't really register with me.

She, on the other hand, is pretty close with my family. Particularly my aunt's children. She and one of my first cousins were very close growing up. Strange that we never met until recently. But her parents have never really had contact with anyone in my family. They moved out of state a few years back, but she stayed here. When we met, she was living with her best friend's family. They moved back just before we started dating.

She has the same last name as my mother's maiden, but I, of course, have my father's name. Her parents simply don't know who I am. I didn't know how exactly we were related until I did a bit of sleuthing by asking my mother questions. The relationship chart here helped a ton.

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DazednConfused,

I don't really have time to go back and look, but, how was it that the two of you met? This will be a topic I'm sure. Since, from your description, I gather it WASN'T at a family reunion, (with all the redneck jokes about that aside) just tell them how it was you two met.

I'm kinda torn between the two ladies here. I see both approaches. While I usually agree with both ladies, and they have differing takes on how to handle it, in this instance, I'm going to tend toward Serendipity's approach. I wouldn't mention it. If they should figure it out, (which, they probably will, at some point) let them know you two figured it out along the way, looked into it, and it isn't any sort of issue. I'm sure there was some, (no play on your user name intended) confusion on your parts initially, just as they may have. So, being the intelligent young couple that you two are, you looked into it, and, genetically, are on the same par as total strangers, just like you actually were until you met. If they still won't listen to the facts, stand your ground anyhow. Sooner or later, they may end up here looking for answers. Seeing it in black and white will most likely educate them. If not, I doubt you have a teaching degree, so it isn't your job to go beyond providing the same information you are relying on.....

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Nat - I got that you meant she should tell her parents before the dinner.  I shudda said, "I wouldn't mention it, at least not before the first dinner with her parents".  :wink:

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Thanks for the help everyone. Especially you, Hawk. Somebody had to be the tie breaker. :grin: I talked it over with my girl, and she seems to think Serendipity's approach is better suited to our situation. I'm still really, really nervous. But, I knew this was gonna be tough from the very beginning. Same time, I'm ready to fight for this and so is she. I know it'll work out for the best.

As for how we met, Hawk, it was through my roommate's sister. The two of them are best friends and when my roommate invited his sister over, she came with and we hit it off. We talked for months before finally making the decision to be together. I was very careful about how I proceeded. But we're very happy together.

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Just got another tidbit tonight. This isn't just a simple dinner. Her entire family (both sides) is gonna be there. I'm pretty sure none of them would know me, but there's always the chance one of them will.

This is gonna be a big thing. I'm in full blown panic mode. What do I do if someone knows me? I'm not even sure what to ask you guys. Any advice? Just a few more days to prepare.

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That's a toughie. I'll point out that other than this  dinner, you're about in the best position you can be for being in a relationship with your 2nd cousin once removed. You guys never even met as family. IMO, the only possible reason with merit to refrain from a cousin relationship is having a long preexisting close family connection to the person because it carries complications similar to office or old friend relationships. In that situation if things go bad between you then it causes problems with the family plus you both effectively loose a family member that you were previously close to. So keep that in mind whenever you do tell them.

It's really a toss up as to when is best. Personally, I've noticed people tend to be the nosiest at the worst times and about exactly the wrong things so if you're having that many people from both families getting together they might figure out the relation even if nobody recognizes you or her. If you do put it off and they figure it out, you might try to focus on talking CASUALLY about things that emphasize how you two have never been like family in a social sense... like asking why you two never met. If they force the issue then I'd tell them how close you are and that it's an issue you need to take up privately with each other (you and her), then you can talk about how to handle the situation from there.

The bottom line is that if you both think you can handle the situation if it comes up then wait,  but if either of you think if it comes out you might panic or not handle it well then you should probably get it out of the way first.

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I just realized that I hadn't updated this thread, when I probably should have.

The dinner went off without a hitch, or so we thought. Everyone in her family seemed to absolutely adore me. I'm good looking, and a fairly charming guy, so I spent the evening trying to show them the kind of man I am, in the hopes that it wouldn't matter who I am. After the dinner, I took my girl out. Unfortunately, her brother recognized me and had a talk with his parents. What came from that surprised me, however. When my girl got home, she was freaking out, but her parents were totally cool with it. Her mother said, "As long as he makes you happy and treats you good... that's what matters."

I'm very shocked at how accepting they've been. In fact, I was invited to an event at their church. Her grandparents absolutely adore me and everything seems to be going great. It's a huge burden off my mind to know that her family is not only okay with me, but actually likes me. I think things will be a little rougher on my end, but at the very least, she'll not have to feel that kind of burden. Her stress level has gone down immensely, and I'm very content with the results. I'm amazed at how accepting each and every person who knows has been (with the exception of her brother, who seemed a bit weirded out by it). It's a testament to the character of the people surrounding us.

If you stand proud for what you believe in, you can get real results.

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I just realized that I hadn't updated this thread, when I probably should have.

The dinner went off without a hitch, or so we thought. Everyone in her family seemed to absolutely adore me. I'm good looking, and a fairly charming guy, so I spent the evening trying to show them the kind of man I am, in the hopes that it wouldn't matter who I am. After the dinner, I took my girl out. Unfortunately, her brother recognized me and had a talk with his parents. What came from that surprised me, however. When my girl got home, she was freaking out, but her parents were totally cool with it. Her mother said, "As long as he makes you happy and treats you good... that's what matters."

I'm very shocked at how accepting they've been. In fact, I was invited to an event at their church. Her grandparents absolutely adore me and everything seems to be going great. It's a huge burden off my mind to know that her family is not only okay with me, but actually likes me. I think things will be a little rougher on my end, but at the very least, she'll not have to feel that kind of burden. Her stress level has gone down immensely, and I'm very content with the results. I'm amazed at how accepting each and every person who knows has been (with the exception of her brother, who seemed a bit weirded out by it). It's a testament to the character of the people surrounding us.

If you stand proud for what you believe in, you can get real results.

This is great news to hear, not everyone is prudish as shown by her parents so that should make things comfortable for you both  :smiley:

Congrats for the future and glad you stand proud because why shouldn't you.

nessa76

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DazednConfused,

Funny about what her Mom said. Even though me and mine didn't go for it, and we'd met, and known each other for years, my Mom said virtually the same thing to me when I mentioned "Uh, don't be surprised if at some point, me and Cuz become an item." She said "As long as you make each other happy, and you treat her good,........" What's up with that? Like, I WOULDN'T treat her good? We need some of our old emoticons where I could use the "facepalm" one.....LOL  :grin:

Anywho, I have a feeling you'll get about the same thing out of your folks too. Have they met her yet? You may as well get on with that side of the equation.

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