Why Your Cousin May NOT Want To Date You
Yes, I know. Strange topic for such a blog as mine.
But I feel that some things need to be said, however harsh these things may be for some people to hear.
I have been asked for advice by a few people on how to approach their cousin about romantic feelings they were experiencing. This isn’t a specific response to any of those individuals and their situation, but rather a general musing on the topic.
I want to first state that I DO support cousin couples, and their decision to make children, provided they are a stable couple and take all the necessary measures to ensure the odds are largely in their favor for having healthy children, after proper genetic counseling.
I myself have never been involved with any of my cousins, romantically or sexually, nor do I intend to be. When I make suggestions, privately or on the main blog, I make them as an ally, and as someone who can empathize with what it means to ‘love outside the lines.’
Having said that, I will be the first to acknowledge that like any relationship, there is no guarantee that a relationship between two cousins will work out long-term. It really depends on the couple, how deeply they love each other, how well each partner deals with stigma, how much effort each one is willing to put into the relationship… and a certain mysterious element of fate.
Most times I want to be optimistic, but being optimistic while ignoring the negatives would not be helpful to anyone.
Below I want to outline what may be obvious to some of you but which might be useful to remember when dealing with rejection or the possibility of rejection.
After having talked to some people online, as well as from stories people I know have told me about ‘kissing cousins’ that did not work out, here are some reasons I gathered for why your cousin may NOT want to date you:
1. They may just not be into you. You may not be their ‘type’. This could happen to anyone, related or not.
2. They may be unsure of their own feelings, still discovering what they want in a partner (especially if they are young and new to dating).
3. They may be affected by stigma (both external and internal) to the point where they cannot even hear you confess your feelings without feeling ‘wrong.’
4. They may already be in love with someone else.
5. They may have anxiety about the genetic risks of reproduction for cousins (this one is a recurring factor I’ve noticed in stories of rejection). Often these anxieties are made worse by exaggerated social myths and lack of education.
6. They may be scared of what they might lose (friends, family, job opportunities – if people knew)
7. They may not love you the same way you love them, or on the same level.
8. They may have other issues (trauma) that prevent them from becoming close to anyone, relative or not.
9. They may worry about the future and the complications that may arise from the nature of the relationship (telling their kids, social isolation, discrimination, having to be secretive with certain people, etc)
10. They may have concerns arising from religious beliefs (if these beliefs conflict with their feelings)
11. They may want you in a sexual way but not in an emotional way – enough for a fling or two but nothing lasting.
This is one list, perhaps not exhaustive. There may be a number of other factors that I’ve forgotten or overlooked.
If you look at this list you’d see that while some of these things could change with maturity or education, others cannot or will not.
I don’t want to undermine the sincerity and weight of unrequited love. But it’s important to remember a relationship can only work if EACH individual involved is on the same page, in their values, their feelings, their expectations, and their commitment.
This is even MORE important in a relationship type that is a minority, with challenges ahead and existing in a world full of ignorance.
Your feelings are legitimate, they are important, they are natural, and you have every right to hold those feelings in your heart. But you have to also set limits to your expectations. You need to ask yourself at what point are you going to attempt to move on?
There are men and women out there that are in lasting relationships with their cousins. If you get rejected on the basis of relation, chances are, it’s simply not meant to be for you.
I’m trying to show some tough love here… This is what I leave you with, and I’d say this to anyone who asks me for advice:
Finding a non-related person that would love you regardless of whether or not you are related (hypothetically) can be the same as having that one cousin you desire returning your feelings. Because in either circumstance, what you get is a person that loves you for YOU, enough to overcome boundaries.
Just because it doesn’t work out with your cousin, doesn’t mean you won’t find love. Don’t give up right away, but don’t wait forever either.
(Pic 3 From: http://www.picturequotes.com/unrequited-love-quotes)