Worried about cousin

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Worried about cousin
Thu, 11-06-2003 - 11:10pm
I am really worried about my cousin. She is 24, single, and lives on her own. She is a college graduate with a very good job and a great home. She has always been very mature and responsible, and I have looked at her as a friend and role model all in one. Well, recently she got a makeover and lost some weight, and although she looked good before, she now has confidence in herself as far as her phys. looks. She is wearing sort of revealing things and getting lots of compliments and all that. GREAT, right? Well yea but the thing is she is going online and meeting all of these guys. Since this summer (like Aug) she has slept w/ at least 6 of these guys. 2 of them she was sorta seeing for awhile, but most of them were just 1 or maybe 3-4 times she slept w/ them or did things w/ them. I am so worried about her. She doesnt seem happy. She seems to get a big thrill out of doing this and I think she feels "cool" but then she just doesnt seem like her old self. I know she is an adult and can do what she wants but I just worry about her, not only about STDs and that kind of thing but about her safety (who knows who some of the guys could be or what they might do!) and also about her emotions, she doesnt seem the same happy girl. I have talked 2 her about it, we are close, and she says that she is just enjoying her new self. Then she did something VERY unlike her which was pointing the finger at me. I guess she felt insulted. So she pointed out that when she was my age (Im almost 19) she was still a virgin and I have had quite a bit of experience for my age...which is true but there were 3 guys and all were my bf first never had a fling. I dont know...any ideas 4 how to help her? I know I might be overreacting...
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 11-07-2003 - 9:05am
We all go throuth periods in our life in which we do stupid things and make bad decisions, its part of being and becoming a mature adult. The bottom line is that you really can't do anything about it except be there for your cousin in a loving non-judgemental way. She has some hard lessons to learn, and she has to learn them for herself.

I know its tough when our mentors become human. But stick it out with your cousin and your relationship with her will get better.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Fri, 11-07-2003 - 9:20am
Thanks 4 responding pamme64. I know ur probably right, I cant change her unless she wants to stop...and she isnt a kid, its not like I am going to tell any1 what she is doing (like other family members). The main thing that made me worry SOOOO much is when she told me that 1 of these random guys she met online was creeping her out by calling a whole bunch and showed up at her apt and wanted to do things to her, after she told him that she wasnt into it. She says that nothing happened but I am just worried thinking well what about next time!? She isnt living very safe. I guess I will just stick by her and hope 4 the best! I do think she is showing some little signs of getting sick of it and maybe looking for a guy to be an actual bf, not just a fling. She mentioned getting together w/ a guy she knew in college which MIGHT be a step up from random guys online. I mean I know u can meet good guys on the net too, but most of these dont sound like it. One was married with kids :-(
Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 11-07-2003 - 8:15pm
I completely agree how you're protective of your cousin, you're right to be concern!

I have a co-worker who met this much older guy online, had dated for months, sex yes, they broke up and she's got hepatitis. It's scary. The Young & The Restless is featuring someone who is a minor, went out with a guy online older than her, and he was jealous and full of hatred how Lily's friends are (like you) protective of her and he burned Gina's Restaurant, hoping to trap one of Lily's friends inside a cooler. The place burned down, but Collin is safe. In a real world, it's just as bad. Stories after stories of nightmares happening everywhere and online dating isn't something new. Other men would date you, live with you, feel sorry for them, take your money and move on. Or run away with you because you're vulnerable and never to be heard from again. Not a good thing to hear.

As for letting your cousin know all what's to know, it's UP TO HER to realized how dangerous it is. But don't push it, she will resist you even more. Just be there for her.

She's CRYING FOR ATTENTION and I'm sorry.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Sat, 11-08-2003 - 12:23am
Offside comment here, but online dating isn't a guarantee that something BAD will happen. We just get to hear the horror stories loud and clear through the media and word-of-mouth, and fairy tales like soap operas, but we don't hear about the successful romances that started with online dating. It is wise to be very cautious, but don't immediately assume that anyone your cousin meets online will be a jerk, a**hole, or dangerous.

I have a good friend who met the love of her life online, they are happily married in Chicago (she's from Missouri), and now have two beautiful, healthy kids.

She would be well advised to proceed slowly and cautiously with anyone met online, and make that first meeting with the person in a public place AND accompanied by a friend for safety sake. Still no guarantee that he's safe, but it narrows the odds to just about the same danger she'd have meeting any guy on the street.

Just my two cents.



iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Sat, 11-08-2003 - 7:59am
Thanks msfit, but you might notice I did say in my 2nd post that I know its totally possible to meet GOOD people online too. I just was pointing out that the guys my cousin met online do not sound like good guys so for her that is the same as if she met these bad guys elsewhere. It just happens to be online. If she was going to a bar and meeting a ton of guys there that she was having flings w/ then it would probably sound like I thought bars were the dangerous place instead of online. I have dated guys I met online that were great and I have other friends who met their now BF or even DF online :-)
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Mon, 11-10-2003 - 12:59pm
I just wanted to let you know that I went through something similar to what your cousin is going through. I met a lot of men online, and slept with them, and it became almost like an addiction. I loved the attention I was getting, and it was all very thrilling and liberating as I thought I had the upper hand and could do whatever I wanted with these men. I felt like I could turn the tables, and do what men have done for centuries. Unfortunately, the more I did this, the more depressed I got because these were relationships empty of any kind of emotion, they were purely physical, and none of these men cared about me.

Even five years later, happily married (to a man I met online), I still have feelings of shame and guilt over my actions. I wish I had someone like you, who cared about me, telling me what I was doing to myself. I never had much experience with healthy relationships, and I still struggle with my self-esteem, but I know that I will never go back to disrespecting myself in that way again. I hope your cousin will see sooner than I did, how damaging these relationships can be emotionally (and yes, possibly physically). It's great that she feels attractive, but it's a double-edged sword sometimes when you put yourself into potentially dangerous situations because you want to feel wanted.

I don't know if printing this out and showing it to her will help, but it couldn't hurt. I've been where she is now, and while it was great when in the moment, it's the after effects that can really get to you.

I think a lot of us go through this stage, but it's a scary world out there, and you still need to be aware of what is going on while you are having fun.


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Tue, 11-11-2003 - 9:04am
Thank u everybody but esp. itchick, thanks so much, it was good to hear from some1 who had been thru such a similar situation! I am glad u found happiness. I had a really cool talk w/ my cousin on Sunday. She had spent most of the weekend by herself and then we went shopping together, and she was saying how she kind of liked the peacefulness but is also excited about meeting up w/ one of her old friends from college (the guy I am thinking might be cool 4 her if it works out). She was kind of talking bad about some of the guys she'd met online and stuff, and we were having fun together so it was a good time 2 bring up some of this stuff. I let her know that I am concerned for her and she seemed to really care about that, and she said that she feels like being wild was fun but maybe isnt for her. So we'll see. I think she is gettin back 2 normal, at least I hope so! Thanks everybody!!!! Hugs, Rhiannon