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2nd cousin help! I'm 23 she's 26

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Any reply is appreciated... first off I'm a 23 year old male and she is a 26 year old female and she is a second cousin that I have never talked to or hung out with in my life. I have seen her a time or two at family reunions... but it has been at least 12 years since I have seen her. She requested to be my friend on Facebook a few months ago, I accepted the request but never messaged her or anything.i see her posts in my feed on occasions but never thought much of it. I have always thought she was good looking even when we were younger... Her brother "my other second cousin" is a professional bull fighter for pbr... my parents went to the NFR this year in Vegas and met up with him for some pictures. She got out of a relationship about 2 months ago. I got out of a relationship about a week ago. Anyhow I started looking into that side of the family about two weeks ago due to my parents and her brother at the NFR rodeo together just out of curiosity. Well last week  I was creeping on her Facebook and clicked on our "mutual friends" of course we have a few other cousins and family members in common. Well except for one... it was a guy I graduated high school with a few years ago and used to hang out with quite a bit. I was excited to know so i messaged her and we got to talking turns out she lives about an hour from my house and works about 15 minutes from where i live.the guy that i graduated with and used to hangout with all the time is married to her co worker. So for the past year and a half we have been so close to eachother and had no idea. I asked for her number and we started texting. We texted quite a bit the first day and I mentioned that if she were free this weekend "last night" that we should go out. She agreed and we didn't text much at all after that. She knew I had a girlfriend when I asked her to hangout and asked if she was going to be there also.. I replied no. Last night when I took her out we ate dinner and talked about our family a little and she asked about my girlfriend. I told her that I broke up with her and it was for the better. We flirted a little at dinner just jokingly. After that we left the restaurant to go ice skating a few blocks down. I felt as if she liked me alittle because of how close she was walking to me because our shoulders kept touching but i didnt think much of it since we are cousins. When we were ice skating she had to grab me a few time to keep herself from falling, i of course grabbed her a few times also. It was very fun and we flirted a little there with our hands bumping each other's and grabbing a hold of each other and all. We then went to a bar and both drank and met some people. The whole night from then on was very handsy between us and lots of eye contact. When we left we were both feeling good and she had her arm around mine. I then took a notion and just grabbed her hand we held hands for awhile until we got to our ride home. On our walk she asked what this was and that it was the best date she has ever been on and that I'm the perfect guy for her. Right before we got into the vehicle she told me i could do anything thing to her i wanted.i then grabbed her and went in for a kiss. She turned away and said no that we couldn't do that because we were related.Then on the ride home she said she was confused and didn't know how to feel but she said kissing was not OK because we are cousins. but we still held hands all the way until we got to her friends house from work that is married to my friend. I went inside and hung out for awhile. Her and I flirted again there in front of her and my friend but nothing to noticeable. I left and went home for the night. The next day I picked her up over there to take her back to her vehicle and we didn't talk about it at all. She got I  her car and drove home. She texted me later and said she really enjoyed last night and would love to hang out again. I told her I enjoyed it as well and that I don't know how she feels about everything that happened but I told her I didn't regret any of it. She replied that we can't do stuff like that anymore because we are cousins I then told her that I liked her and she kept saying we were cousins and it can't happen. I told her that it doesn't matter but that was about it. How do I get her to start becoming interested or at least hang out more. I want to continue and go further with her to see how things go. What should I do?

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Hi and welcome to CC!

You are both of the age to make the decisions that make you happy.

It does sound like she could be very into you if you can get her past the "ewww we are cousins" factor.

So where to start...  Read all the information on this site. Become familiar with the facts. Second cousins is

like being strangers in the gene pool, marriage is legal in just about anywhere in the world and there are more

people in cousin relationships (first, second and further down the line)  than one would imagine.

When you feel ready, and the situation presents itself, mention to her that you were curious about

such situations and did some research. Ask to show her this site and the two of you read threads together.

Show her the facts.  After that all you can do is wait to see if she changes her mind. Don't try to push her.

Give her time to digest all.

I am sure Hawk will chime in as soon as he is able and he gives GREAT advice and perspective.

You can go search for some of his posts to get a sense of his take on these things.

I am married to my second cousin for almost 11 years now.

Any questions, ask.

Best wishes on your journey.

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I couldn't agree more with Roma. My second cousin and I are very close, but, we'll never be together, and a lot of it is the whole "we're family" thing on her part. And we're twice your cousin's age. Plus, the timing has never been right, since our "moment" some 30 years ago. We've not both been available at the same time since, and I don't ever see it happening at this late date. A LOT of water has passed beneath the bridge to try to go back. Unlike you two, we've known each other well since we were ~ 9 or 10 yrs old. Our "moment" was when we were 20. 32 yrs ago now, so, there really is no going back. We let it be awkward for decades, but, we've aired it all out, and we're ok with where we are now.

Having said all of that, I'll not tell you that your cousin will EVER come around. IF we were available, and IF we took things very slow, MAYBE me and mine could be companions of one nature or the other. I did show her this site one night. She's a very competent medical professional, and STILL didn't realize all the facts. And remember, back in the day, there was no internet, more less site like this with the information readily available. She was surprised, to say the least. I have a feeling that, had we both had this information at hand back then, things could have been different. Our Moms wouldn't have had a problem with it, and their opinions were the only ones that mattered, at least to me. I think she was worried about what some of our friends might say, but, I sure wasn't.

Your best bet is to take things slowly, as you would any other relationship. Don't push her comfort level, slowly expand it. If she's willing to hang out again, by all means do so. Be a gentleman. She will most likely get comfortable enough with you to cross the bridge of kissing you at some point. Let her make that move. If you read the "What happened the first time you kissed your cousin" thread, you will see what her response will most likely be when that happens. Let it be a natural progression. Remember, you are both still at the "rebound" stage in life, and this could also partially play into her caution. Plus, while me and mine are only a week apart in age, you two have 2-3 years difference, her being the elder. She will certainly want to be sure you are mature enough to handle any drama, if and when she decides to wade off in it. I suggest getting closer, and paying attention to subtle hints on her part that "If we weren't cousins, I'd step this up with you" or some such thing. At that point, you tell her you've looked into it, and you don't think it's as big a deal as she may think. Bring her here, and show her the site, and this thread. You didn't say where you are, but, you did give the State in your profile. As Roma mentioned, second cousins are legal to marry almost anywhere in the world we know of, including all 50 States. If she can marry her 2nd cousin in Texas, (where 1st's are considered criminal incest) you could certainly marry yours where you are, should things ever progress to that point. WAY out in front of where you are at this point, but, one of the first facts she should know when the conversation turns to such things. Genetically, you two share only insignificantly more DNA than totally unrelated people, and there is NO known risk associated with the offspring of 2nd cousins. Again, WAY out in front of where you are, but, another question that is usually at the top of the list. As far as what people would say, you tell them it's legal, there are no risks, and that they should tend to their own business, and get over themselves.

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