I'm dating my cousin in secret and know my family won't approve

DEAR DEIDRE: I’VE been dating my cousin in secret — but I’m scared to commit in case my family kick off.

It started out as a bit of fun after I split with my girlfriend of seven years.

My cousin and I have always been close. Our fathers are brothers and as kids we spent most of our weekends together.


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After my break-up, she thought it might cheer me up to go to the pub with her and some mates. She’s 29 and I’m 31.

Neither of us can handle our drink well, so we decided to head home early before we embarrassed ourselves.

My cousin was being quite flirty on the walk back to my flat, complimenting the way I looked and saying what a mistake my ex had made by letting me go.

She gave me a hug once we reached her front door and said again what a catch I was. I’d always thought she was hot, and so leant in for a kiss.

She kissed me back and it was really passionate. As she unlocked the door, we tumbled through, our hands all over each other. We ended up having sex.

It was great. She was way more confident in the bedroom than I had expected and was determined to make me feel good.

The next morning we agreed it couldn’t happen again. But any time we had a drink, one of us would ring the other and arrange to meet at the end of the night.

She had just broken up with her boyfriend and neither of us were looking for anything serious, so we agreed to be friends with benefits.

But after a couple of weeks, she admitted she’d developed feelings for me. I feel the same.

Now we’ve been together for three years and secretly living together during the pandemic.

She’s ready to tell her side of the family the truth but I’m terrified of what mine will think.

I’m sure this isn’t what my mum has in mind when she talks about my future wife.

DEIDRE SAYS: Every mother has an idea of what they would like for their child but it is your decision.

You aren’t doing anything wrong by dating your cousin. In the UK, it is legal to have a romantic relationship and for cousins to marry.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean your family will accept it.

Be honest and matter-of-fact. Their reaction is likely to be worse if you continue to hide your relationship from them.

This might be a tough conversation, so I am sending you the support pack Standing Up For Yourself to help.

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