When is pursuing a consang relationship a bad idea?

I realize that this may sound like an odd subject for an article on a pro-consanguinamory website, but there are some things which need to be said which I feel are important. I’m all for others finding joy in well adjusted and healthy consang relationships, but there are some circumstances in which a relationship should not be pursued, and that’s what this article is all about. Actually, most of the advice below would also apply to regular relationships too.

If either or both of you are underage

Then do not pursue a relationship until this is no longer the case. The age of consent protects vulnerable young people against the possibility of sexual exploitation, grooming, untimely pregnancies, and simply making bad choices which you may later regret.

While sibling exploration is relatively common, and usually non-abusive, it could lead to all the same problems as exploration with any other person your age, including pregnancy. If you’re a teen under legal age reading this and you think you might fancy a similarly aged sibling, take my advice: wait until you’re older. If you still feel the same way when you’re both of age, then by all means go for it, but now is not the right time for you. It may seem a long way off, but trust me, it’s not. If your love is genuine, it will still be there in a year or two. You have your whole life ahead of you, and there is no need to rush into these kinds of decisions.

Furthermore, if this is a possible parent/offspring situation, the importance of waiting is even more pronounced. Parents have legal powers over their children, and are responsible for looking after them. This in the overwhelming majority of circumstances would mean that the power imbalance would simply be too great. It could potentially lead to the underage party feeling unable to say no, and as we know, if you can’t say no then you can’t really say yes either. Such circumstances, even when not intended, could lead to harm. Therefore it would be wise to apply the blanket rule: The parent should never pursue a relationship with their underage son or daughter, nor accept any advances from them. As with siblings, if you still feel the same way once everyone is of age, then go ahead.

If either of you is currently in a relationship where monogamy is expected.

I’ve said it before on this site, but for the purposes of this article I will have to reiterate what I’ve already said. Don’t cheat on your partner behind his or her back, and don’t expect the relative that you’re wanting to be involved with to do it either. Cheats often get found out eventually, and under normal circumstances this would simply lead to the end of the relationship and possibly a messy divorce. If the person you cheated with is a close relative then the outcome could be so much worse than that. Potentially, your jilted partner could tell the police and then all hell breaks loose, and you could both end up in jail if they discover any evidence that the allegations are actually true. Also, it’s not fair to your current partner to be cheating anyway. If you no longer wish to be in that relationship, you should say so, do the right thing and end it, and do not string him or her along because that isn’t fair on either of you.

If you’re in a relationship already but it’s open or polyamorous, then there MIGHT be a way for you to move forward, depending on your current partners attitude towards consanguinamory. You obviously don’t want to go up and say something like ‘hey, I fancy my sister, is it okay with you if I ask her out?’ if you’re unsure of what kind of reception you’re going to get. Instead, I will advise you to tread carefully, before you actually pop the question, it might be advisable to refer to a story you read on the internet or saw on the news about some siblings who were being done for incest. Say you’re not sure why they bother to prosecute people for that because you think it’s wasting police time, or something along those lines. Then judge the reaction. If it’s very negative, then a relationship with your relative is off the cards, if it’s positive, then you can move forward but obviously tread gently.

If one of you has recently had a bad break-up or was the victim of an abusive relationship

I say this because when we’ve just come out of one relationship which was toxic, we’re emotionally vulnerable. In circumstances where either you or your family member was the victim of narcissistic abuse or domestic violence, it’s going to take some time to heal and get back to where we should be. Likewise it’s going to take time to trust again if the reason for the break-up was cheating.

In all circumstances where one of you is particularly vulnerable because of how you were treated by a previous partner, you need some time alone to gather your thoughts and heal your psyche. If you don’t have and take this time, you could have lingering unresolved issues which could manifest and destroy the new relationship. For instance, if you were cheated on, you may be driven to monitor and spy on your new partner even when such actions aren’t warranted. If you were physically, mentally or sexually abused by your ex, you may be ultra-defensive and dominant in your next relationship, or you may not assert yourself as much as you should. Neither of these things are normal or healthy, and this is why time and healing are so important for human beings to function as they should.

If you really want to be with a relative who has suffered with any of these issues, you should treat carefully and respect their boundaries. They’re going to need plenty of time and space. This may lead to your feeling pushed away and rejected, but it’s important that you respect this and allow them time to recover their sense of self and their confidence in themselves. You could even suggest therapy if your relative has been badly affected and it’s effecting their daily life. Don’t push the issue of a relationship with you, wait until they’re truly ready. It’s going to be hard for them to trust again, so you need to demonstrate that you are worthy of that trust. Remember, just because you’re family and a level of trust exists already between you, doesn’t mean that they’re going to be ready to trust you this far yet.

If the other person has already said that they’re not interested

Its a no-brainer really. If your relative has made it clear that they do not want to pursue a relationship with you, then continuing to flirt with them is violating their boundaries. My word of advice: Just don’t do it. Such things could be taken as sexual harassment by courts if the other person gets pissed off enough, which would mean at the very least a restraining order against you and a criminal record. Unrequited love is painful, I know, but there are healthier ways to deal with it. You could join a forum, or do things to take your mind off it. Also consider that being pursued constantly by somebody that you’re not interested in can be very unsettling and upsetting, and it could make you come across as a creep. If you really love your relative, you won’t do these things, you will respect their wishes and move on to greener pastures.

There are many reasons that a person may not be interested. The main one being that your relative might be a regular and thus the idea might disgust them, but some other possibilities also exist. A sister who is a lesbian will not be interested in dating her brother. A man who prefers younger women will likely not want to date his mother. Sometimes the reason is just that they see you as incompatible with them. Whatever the reason: no means no.

If their partner has recently died

Death is never a nice subject, and eventually it comes to us all. When it happens, comfort and time is what is needed for those left behind, and this especially applies to the partner of the deceased. Regardless of the cause of death, it can be very traumatic to lose somebody, and this puts people in a very emotionally vulnerable position. They’re unlikely to be open to a new relationship until they’ve gone through the grieving process and are ready to move on with their lives. This could take anything from six months to a couple of years, depending on how strong their relationship was when their partner was alive, and the manner in which they died.

Take all of this into consideration, and do not pursue somebody who is still grieving the loss of their partner.

Conclusion

I think most of what I’ve said in here should really be common sense for most people. It’s really about having empathy for others and knowing when is a bad time to approach somebody. It’s about right and wrong. I feel we must be absolutely clear on moral boundaries and respect for people. Respect is after all one of the fundamental building blocks for a healthy long-term relationship.

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