Red Responds: Two Cousins, One Guy

Angie in Stockton writes:

My cousin and I like the same guy. She lost her virginity to him but told me she only liked him a little bit and didn’t care if I talked to him. Me and this guy started hanging out and talking a lot, and now I’ve fallen for him. He likes me a lot too. But now she has realized she is almost in love with him. I know even thinking about being with him now makes me a bad cousin, but I can’t get him off my mind. I know she’s crushed that he doesn’t like her. What do I do?

Dear Angie,

You have quite the moral dilemma on your hands! While I can’t make your mind up for you, hopefully, I can give you enough information that you can make a decision you feel good about.

Your cousin liked this guy enough to sleep with him. While she may not look at losing her virginity as the ultimate big deal, she chose him. No matter what happens in life – he will always be her first. No matter how far you decide to take this relationship with him, the fact that he was her first will periodically enter into your mind.

Your cousin’s relationship with this guy didn’t quite evolve as planned, and that is why she told you that she didn’t mind if you talked to him. I really don’t think she anticipated the two of you hitting it off so well. But, now that there is a growing connection between you and him, her sense of competition is coming to the surface. While he may have just been “okay” in her book a while ago, now that you like him, he is more appealing to her.

She is in a tough spot as well. She loves you and also thinks of you as a friend. It is painful for her to think that the guy she lost her virginity to is more interested in you than her. Painful or not, this is the situation.

You and this guy do have a pretty good connection, and if you continue to see him, this relationship will grow. I don’t see him as the guy you will eventually marry, but if you play your cards right, you can have a bumpy relationship with him that will last six or eight months. This will hurt your cousin and cause problems between the two of you, but eventually she will get over it, and your friendship with her will resume. Just don’t be surprised if she never trusts you around her men.

You said, “even thinking about being with him now makes me a bad cousin,” and, “she is crushed that he doesn’t like her.” If you truly believe these two statements, then you probably should look for another guy.

Angie, your first mistake was getting to know this guy on a more personal level. That action right there has brought you into your current situation. On some level, you knew that things could end up in the tangled mess that you are currently in, but you did it anyway. You placed yourself in a position to damage the relationship you have with your cousin, to get to know the guy who has the victory of being her first and not enough character to pursue a relationship with her. (You may want to think about that a bit…)

I know you’re in a tough spot and want to do the right thing. But the truth is, there is no easy way through this mess. You can hurt your cousin and have the guy, or you can let go of the guy and have some pain yourself. As much as they stink, these are your choices.

Basically, what you need to decide, is if a short-term relationship is worth the damage it will bring down on your relationship with your cousin, and your reputation. If that is acceptable to you, go with the guy. If you follow your conscience, you will walk away from him – because even when things are good, you’ll have some guilt.

I hope that helps.
Ext. 9226

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