It is very common for cousins, especially those that are very close, to fall in love. In some instances, especially in the village, marrying a cousin is no big deal. But, is this acceptable? Mwereti Kanjo gets advice on this from Traditional Authority Lukwa and psychologist Eric Umar.
Cousins make dozens, it has been said. You probably have that special cousin you have known since you were a baby. He is easy to talk to.
On a couple of occasions you have found yourself fancying him in a romantic way and you are not so sure how best to handle the situation. What do you do?
Psychologist Eric Umar says falling in love with your cousin or anyone for that matter is all about proximity. The more time that you spend with a person, the better chances that you will find them attractive, and become more comfortable with their shortfalls.
He says because the two of you share the same lineage, the bond between you will naturally be strong, which makes it easy for you to fall in love.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Obviously, it is not the best way to go because you increase the chance of having genetic problems in the family. Make sure that you spend time apart, especially after you have realised that you have feelings for this person. Keep your distance.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“However, the problem might also arise when the two of you stay away from each other and there is that excitement when the other comes home. It inflames the infatuation. Because of this, parents must be aware of the fact that there are chances of their children liking each other within the household.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They should stifle such an environment and not create an opportunity for this to happen. The environment must not be one that creates privacy. But this also rests on the individual. It is all about self awareness,Ã¢â‚¬Â advises Umar.
However, Traditional Authority Lukwa says tradition does not stop any cousins from tying the knot as long as they are true to themselves about their feelings. In fact, he says a lot of people have married their cousins and are quite happy. He says what is disturbing is to see brother and sister getting together.