From Introductions to Reunions: A Woman’s Unexpected Family Encounter

With a global population soaring to 8.1 billion, the quest for a partner unrelated by blood might seem straightforward. Yet, approximately 250,000 married couples in the United States share familial ties, complicating the search for genetic diversity.

For one woman, this reality hit hard. After five months of romantic involvement, she made a startling discovery: the man she considered her soulmate was none other than a member of her father’s family, a face familiar from cherished family photographs.

Read on to delve into the unsettling tale of a woman ensnared in an unexpected familial entanglement.

In her mid-twenties, this woman bravely shared her distressing ordeal on Reddit. What began as excitement over a newfound love, cultivated through a dating app, swiftly transformed into profound horror.

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“I was talking to this guy on Hinge who had the softest of hazel eyes, and at the time, I thought he was the one,” writes the woman, who goes by the name Gelicca. “After exchanging a few messages, we decided to go on a date, and one thing led to another, and we were a couple.”

After five months together, the woman and her boyfriend, also in his mid-twenties, wanted to take their relationship to the next step and meet each other’s families.

With their families residing on opposite sides of the country, orchestrating the significant introduction required careful planning and consideration.

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“We were living away from home and hadn’t found the opportunity to introduce each other to our respective parents,” she writes. “Instead of opting for the traditional approach of separate introductions, we decided on a dinner where both sets of parents would meet.”

The author admits to feeling nervous about her parents meeting her new boyfriend, unaware that they were already acquainted.

During the family gathering, an unexpected revelation unfolded. “When my father stood up from the table to introduce himself to my boyfriend’s mother, his face drained of color as he locked eyes with his cousin (the daughter of his uncle). It took her a moment to grasp the connection as well,” the woman recounts.

She explains that their parents hadn’t crossed paths in nearly 30 years. “The tension in the air was palpable as our parents exchanged uneasy glances and eventually broke the news to us: we were related.”

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The serendipitous convergence of the woman and her then-boyfriend, leaving their respective states to reside in the same city, was a startling coincidence.


Cousin marriage—also known as consanguinity—constitutes approximately 10% of the world’s relationship population. Reports suggest it’s “a deeply ingrained social practice among one-fifth of the world’s population, predominantly in the Middle East, West Asia, and North Africa.”

However, cousin marriage is less common in the United States, except in the 20 states and the District of Columbia where it is legally permitted.

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Not wishing to endure scrutiny and desiring to act in accordance with what they perceived as the right course of action, the young couple, deeply enamored with each other, made the difficult decision to end their relationship.

“Even though we loved each other, we decided it wasn’t appropriate to continue,” she reflects. “It was one of the most challenging breakups I’ve ever experienced, but it was necessary for the well-being of our family. I informed my friends that it didn’t work out and quietly removed all traces from social media.”

‘Encountering this revelation’

To shield herself from potential embarrassment associated with her usual online presence, the woman created a new Reddit account. She expresses feeling “horrified” by the ordeal. “You hear countless stories of people unwittingly becoming involved with their relatives and discovering this unsettling truth in the most awkward of ways, and mine was no exception.”

In response, online users flooded the comments section with words of support.

“I’m sorry, that sounds like an incredibly tough situation. I admire your discretion in handling it,” remarks one user. Another shares, “The most difficult breakups are often those dictated by circumstances rather than personal issues or incompatibility.”

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This story touches upon a complex intersection of cultural norms, family dynamics, and personal beliefs. The differing opinions expressed by individuals from various backgrounds highlight the diversity of perspectives on this issue.

The user who shared their cultural perspective sheds light on how attitudes towards cousin marriage can vary significantly across different regions and communities. While some may view it as acceptable or even desirable, others may find it unconventional or taboo.

The humor injected into the narrative by some Redditors serves as a coping mechanism for the awkwardness and discomfort surrounding the situation. It’s a way to find levity in an otherwise challenging and sensitive topic.

Overall, this story prompts reflection on how societal norms and personal values intersect with matters of love, family, and relationships. It underscores the importance of empathy and understanding when confronted with situations that may challenge our preconceived notions.