Is It Wrong To Date Your 4th Cousin?


12 Answers

Yun Wan Profile
Yun Wan answered
Morally, it is probably wrong as there is some sort of family connection involved which is a dangerous path to follow in all cases. This is especially true if the relationship results in marriage and the couple decide to bear children - potentially opening up an array of problems (bullying, psychological issues etc). The parents have to take some sort of accountability regarding this situation.

You need to assess if family is important to you, how connected you are to your family and if you are close. If you have close family ties with cousins and other less immediate relations then this will no doubt cause disputes and feuds.

If you and your cousins grew up together and still keep in touch then it is probably a bad idea to allow a sexual relationship to develop; your family/peers may consider this a little weird. If the parents of your cousin are sensible enough, they should have reservations about letting their son or daughter date in this way - especially if it was somebody known to be a relative.

There is the potential that this could also lead to all kinds of genetic problems should you decide to have children - not to mention possibly being illegal in some US states.

In a hypothetical situation, if the cousins did not know each other beforehand then this could present a difficult situation to assess in terms of 'right or wrong'. There are many examples of such situations including a famous story of fraternal twins, a male and female, who were each adopted separately and subsequently met and married. They had no idea they were twins until they went for fertility counselling.
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Anonymous commented
No it's not morally wrong, they are so far removed genetically it's highly unlikely they will have kids with genetic defects. That is even rare if first cousins marry and have kids. Marriage to cousins is not illegal in the states. There are maybe two states in the whole 50 states that ban it completely and I know Nevada is one of them as for the other I can't remember but it maybe Wisconsin. 

My family is from a small town in Mexico I can tell you many of my family members married their own cousins. It was just done that way. Here is the one thing that is really horrifying about my family and that is my aunt marrying her own uncle. She had children with him and they are in fact perfectly normal. Now my family won't really talk about that but there is absolutely nothing wrong with dating a 4-5th cousin it's so far way.
Angela Wright Profile
Angela Wright answered
I'm going to have to agree with my Mother on this one. It probably is alright as long as it's accepted by your family.  If not, you're both in for a world of hurt.  You will have to deal with other family members whispering, friends doing the same and family awkwardness at holiday gatherings and such.  It won't be an easy relationship.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Genetically speaking, there is no reason not to, after four generations of mixing dna, you share less than 1/16 of the same dna, and that dna you share, is no doubt very different in itself, because of gen. Diversity
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I like my 4th cousin too and I was crushed when my mom told me. But I still like him anyway and he likes me so how knows maybe we will get together or maybe I'll find someone my age. I'm having the same problem as you.
Penny Kay Profile
Penny Kay answered
The genetics are on your side. 3rd cousins and [those more distant] are considered in the South to be "kissing Cousins" because you can marry them.
ismael cortez Profile
ismael cortez answered
Well if the bible was really true, Adam and eve were related. They had children and their children had children with each other and so fourth. Every single person on this earth is related. From a scientific point of view, DNA reveals it too.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I just recently found out that the man I am madly in love with is either my 4th or 5th cousin once removed. Yes, it freaked me out and I too was completely unsure of whether I should be with him anymore or not. Actually, that is why I googled the question and it brought me here. Seeing everyone else's responses and answers really makes me feel better. The bottom line is that I love him, and we are so far down the line that the dna barely even has a match anymore. Follow your heart and be happy. As long as you don't attend the same family reunions (unless it's just with each other) then I say you're okay ; )
Mary Powell Profile
Mary Powell answered
I fell in love with my fourth cousin! Theres nothing wrong with it. For awhile I was scared what people would think now that I'm seeing all these answers it's making me feel so much better. For the people that think it's wrong and nasty, NO ONE cares what you think. If people like us are happy let us be!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

Wow...such a dilemma you all have created!  My mother and father were
third cousins and I am perfectly normal, as is my sister. 

If your
family has been in the U.S. Since the colonial days you are probably
related to everyone you know.  You can't escape it!  Your relatives are
all over the country.  Genealogy is a wonderful thing.  Do some research
on yours. 

You are likely to find many first and second cousin
marriages exist in your family.

Sarah Long Profile
Sarah Long answered
I've been doing genealogy for years and have also taught human development for years at the college level.  I've also been married to the same man for years, and we have two wonderful children.  I can't tell you how many people I have known, including my husband and myself, who have found out long after marriage that they were distant cousins.We were visiting distant ancestors' graves when we first noticed a common name in our lines...uh oh.  Turns out we are seventh cousins twice removed. Looking at other common names in our ancestry, I suspect there will be more news to follow.  We are of European descent, and folks, there simply were not THAT many people way back when who migrated to the US from Europe -- and if you look historically, at times there weren't all that many people in Europe.  There have been periods of first cousins marrying, and at those times it was not frowned upon.We did lose our youngest child's twin in utero (vanishing twin syndrome) and the doctor sent us for genetic counseling at that point.  We had no idea we were even vaguely related.  Our surviving twin was fine genetically, btw.  When the counselor saw that we were both of European descent, he said that there are bound to be some genetic issues because of it, and it was for the above reason...cousins marrying cousins along the line.  Even if you marry someone who descends from a different continent, it may be further back to the point you cannot trace it, but you are bound to be cousins to some degree.So, that addresses the genetic component -- if you are feeling that someone could be a potential mate and there is a known relationship, it might be best to save those pennies and do a detailed analysis of your DNA before you go on. Get some genetic counseling as to the odds of birth defects.  If you get an answer that the odds are not any greater for offspring birth defects than if you married someone else, it might ease concerns of other family members.If you have done your family history, it might be worthwhile also to look at the line where you are both related and become aware of any anomalies that could run along this line...blindness, deafness, etc., just to get an idea what you are looking at.  However, if you married someone who you thought was totally unrelated, you could be facing the same thing...similar genes in different families.In terms of morality, I personally don't have a problem with fourth cousins dating or marrying. Four generations of separation is a lot. I admit when I realized I had a set of sixth great-grandparents who were first cousins, I was a bit repulsed, but that was copacetic for the day.  If you can find someone who is not in some way related to you (known or unknown at this time), good luck!

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