A Cousin Courtship

Dear Mr. Knightley,

So I met this girl. And we totally clicked. I mean we get along really well and everything. Better than any gf I’ve had before. But the problem is last week was my big family reunion. And I ran into her there. Because turns out she’s my 2nd cousin, or something like that. Anyway, what do I do? We were already dating. But now I’m not sure if we should keep dating. Help!

-Kissing Cousin

Look but don't touch

Dear Kissing,

I think I understand your predicament. You must be worried that if you pursue your cousin people may question your motives. And it is true that many times close family marriages do occur for reason that are less than honorable. And this is all the more complicated when there are estates and titles involved.

Of course, if you are the entailed and your cousin one of the daughters of the current estate holder it does make things easier because you would be fulfilling your duty to your family and no one would be questioning your honor. However, if that is not the case, and if there is no apparent benefit for either of your resulting from the match, rest assured that society will most definitely make a scandal. Especially if you are spending the season in town.

My advice is that you would not want to comprise your own honor or the honor of your cousin. So I would recommend that perhaps if she is in town, you should go into the country, or vice versa. Allowing some room may give you better perspective to evaluate whether or not this is a proper and honorable relationship for both of you. It will also test the feelings you now share, to see if in fact they are truly as strong as they seem at this time.

Mr. Knightley


About Mr. Knightley

There is one thing a man can always do, if he chooses, and that is his duty. View all posts by Mr. Knightley

5 responses to “A Cousin Courtship

  • mrsjenings

    What?! No! Don’t be absurd!

    There are plenty of other fish in the pond! No need for you to settle your affections on this particular one when there are so many other young ladies out there for you to court!

    I don’t really understand all these young men these days. Even if you can’t find anyone desirable this season there will always be next season and the one after that, each with their own fresh batch of blooms.

    Believe you me, a girl of good fortune and excellent breeding can’t be too far off. So put aside all this courting cousin business!

  • charlotecollins

    I think that you are a bit more right, Mr. Knightley, than certain individuals who have made their opinions known on here. But I do think it’s really a question of practicality. Is the lady in question one of good fortune? If so then there is really no reason to consider the match completely imprudent. As long as her companionship is bearable and her face not too uncomely. But then, even an uncomely face can be made less so when an annuity is involved. I know you must think me terrible, but why as Kissing did say, they do get along well. And what better state could be asked for a marriage than one of tranquility and contentment.

  • Martha

    Whilst I do concur with elements of the advice given, I feel I must make my thoughts known. It is perfectly true, of course, that each season brings its new blooms, as so eloquently put by Mrs Jenings; however I would like to add the caveat that, if this particular lady is truly your perfect love match, by all means, promote it. We all know the sad result of denying an undeniable love. It will end with you (and she) in such a sad state of affairs that she will be on the shelf, and you a confirmed bachelor when next you meet. There will be sparks, possibly a hastily written letter, and the resumption of your courtship. It is inevitable, as in all good romances. Pray, do not let anyone persuade you otherwise! Carpe diem!

  • missmariannedashwood

    My dear, sweet Kissing,

    Oh, how my heart throbs in time to the echoes you have spoken upon the page. How truly have I not also known these deep, searing longings that can burn the soul and consume the heart and mind alike.

    Why ought you not to pursue the one you love and admire above all others? Because of familial ties? What are these to those wrapped in Cupid’s tender arms!

    Go to her Kissing! Alight from your noble steed and catch her up in your strong arms and draw her close to you and whisper those tender, soft words that every heart longs to hear! Go! Go to her!

  • Kate

    For a slightly more modern perspective: I agree with Martha. Go pursue her, unless your family will certainly be against it. There are several states that allow cousin marriages, and I’ve never known any harm to come from it. (I assume you live in the U.S.) Outside your family, no one need know you’re related and they can probably be convinced not to talk about it.

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