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Parallax - Advice            June 5, 2000


   When people get a little too excited...

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Summer is almost here, and already things are steaming up. Perhaps, for our first correspondent, a bit too much. But here is our ever-sharp SHE-HE duo to assess the merits of his incestuous designs. They also turn their close attention to the indiscriminate use of the 'boyfriend' title, and the trials of a couple's mismatched passion for the late-night dance floors.


He likes a distant cousin, but thinks she's off limits.
Is he right, or is he RIGHT?
 Date: 06/05/00

She caught him unaware with the boyfriend title.
Does he make her drop it - or is it too trivial to bother?
 Date: 06/05/00

She wants to party, he wants to stay with the kids.
If each does their own thing, will it be harmony or disaster?
 Date: 06/05/00

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He likes a distant cousin, but thinks she's off limits.

Dear Conversely,

Email to a Friend This may sound weird but I have a crush on a distant cousin of mine. She is the daughter of my mother's cousin. Does that make her off limits? I think she might like me too, but how can I approach her? I don't know if she would have the same reaction, that it would be somehow incestuous.


Her view:

Dear Incestuous,

Yes, she is off limits. She is family and you cannot do those kinds of things. And yes, she too will notice the incest part and think it's weird. The only family relationships that should be fostered are those that result from a marriage between people with no blood ties. Get a grip and avoid the family scandal.

Now, I'm guessing my male counterpart will try to give you all sorts of ways to work around it, like, 'she's a distant relative…' I wouldn't buy into that - I would steer clear and go find somebody else who is not related to you. What happens if you fall in love and want to have children? It's endless heartache and I'd sooner just not get involved.

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His view:

Dear Incestuous,

Forget about incestuous, she's not your sister or even direct cousin. But while I wouldn't call it sacrilege, I would call it a nightmare.

I can already see my dearest colleague begging you to forego your concerns and imploring you not to deny love just because of an accident of birth. Beware - there is more at stake here than a simple crush.

Lovers that from separate families come enjoy the healthy distance that initially isolates the couple from intrusive eyes and external pressures. By dating the daughter of a relative, you relinquish that advantage from the start. You almost invite the whole family to join in, to follow the relationship step-by-step, to know your next move before you realize you're planning one. And even if this were acceptable to you - consider the consequences of the fights that are bound to happen, or of a bad breakup. Try imagining the tangle of family repercussions on that one.

Unless you are stupidly in love with this woman, or you both live in a city far away from the respective families, I recommend you abort the mission now.

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