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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.

Cordially,
Mr. Knightley