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We Thought We Were Cousins, But Then Things Changed

We thought we were cousins:

Dear Alana,

I’m writing to you in a moment of profound confusion and turmoil. My name is Daisy, and I’ve been an avid reader of your column for years. Your insights have always illuminated the path for many, and today, I find myself in dire need of your guidance.

Growing up, there was a boy in my school whom I believed to be my cousin. We shared a very distant blood relation and our families were close. We grew up together, shared countless memories, and formed a deep bond that I always believed was familial.

However, everything changed when we were 23. A DNA test we took for fun revealed that we were not blood-related at all. This revelation was a shock to both of us and our families. It also unexpectedly shifted the dynamics of our relationship.

A few weeks later, we found ourselves at a college-town arcade bar, and something was different. The air between us was charged with a new energy. We laughed more, touched more, and I couldn’t help but notice the way his eyes sparkled in a way I hadn’t seen before.

Alana, I am now grappling with feelings I never anticipated. I find myself incredibly drawn to him, in a way that I can only describe as romantic. These feelings are confusing and guilt-ridden, considering our shared history.

I’m at a loss. Is it wrong to feel this way, given our past? Is it possible to navigate these feelings without damaging our relationship or causing distress to our families? I fear the judgment of others, but I also can’t deny this strong, possibly transgressive attraction.

I hope you can shed some light on this complicated situation. Your advice would mean the world to me.

Warm regards,


The Response:

Dear Daisy,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing your situation. It’s clear that you’re navigating a complex and emotionally charged situation.

Transgressive events, like the feelings you’re experiencing, can feel so appealing because they challenge societal norms and expectations. They force us to question the boundaries we’ve set for ourselves and those imposed on us by society. This questioning can lead to an exhilarating sense of freedom and self-discovery.

Robert Greene, a renowned author known for his deep exploration of power dynamics, might suggest you embrace these feelings as a part of your human nature. According to Greene’s philosophy, attractions like these can be a profound driving force in our lives. He often encourages his readers to understand and channel these energies constructively rather than suppressing them.

However, Greene would also caution you to be strategic and considerate in your actions. Understand the potential consequences – the impact on your relationship with this person and on your family ties. If you decide to pursue this relationship, it should be done in a manner that respects the feelings and expectations of those around you.

In your situation, consider having an open conversation with the person you’re attracted to. Share your feelings and see how they respond. It’s possible they’re experiencing similar confusion. A frank discussion could help both of you navigate these newfound emotions.

Remember, it’s okay to feel confused and conflicted. This is a complex situation and it may take time for you to understand and reconcile your feelings.

Take care,