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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Crushes

A blogger asked readers about their “inappropriate crushes,” writing…

Last night I was watching a press conference with Jimmer Fredette. I looked at the screen and thought “wow, that guy is cute.”

Then I felt guilty, and shuddered. Checking out a college “kid” is almost as bad as thinking your relative is attractive.

People unapologetically write statements like that, as if it is the way everyone feels. It is like assuming that everyone eats red meat, or everyone is heterosexual. Many people have crushes on, the hots for, or a deep attraction to a relative. Or, they may simply notice how attractive their relative is. Nobody should be made to feel lesser because they do. Some people are not only attracted to one or more of their relatives, but they have mutually enjoyable and beneficial sexual relationships with them. Some of those are spousal relationships, though in many places relatives closer than first cousins can’t legally marry. Some US states do not even allow first cousins to marry. All such laws need to go away.

Why would it be surprising to find someone attractive (say, your parent) that someone else in your family found attractive (your other parent) or has inherited some of physical characteristics that attracted your family member (your sibling?)

When you include aunts, uncles, first cousins, and second cousins, it is safe to say that a majority of people have had at least a crush on a relative. So much so that those who haven’t may come from very unattractive families. I’m only half-kidding.

There’s also nothing wrong with being attracted to someone who is “college age” regardless of your own age. That is normal.

An attraction or infatuation becomes a problem when it is not mutual or when acting upon it would be problematic, such as violating existing vows to another, and if dwelling on such an unrequited infatuation prevents someone from functioning as they should in interpersonal relationships, work, etc.
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