Woman Discovers Boyfriend is Her Cousin, Asks Internet For Advice

After you've fallen in love with someone the last thing you want to discover is that you're related. However, for one woman this was reality and she recently took to Mumsnet to ask for advice upon finding out her boyfriend was a distant cousin, prompting over 100 replies.

Posting to the British discussion board website on September 27, an account called Pink2121 shared a post explaining that she had been dating her boyfriend for 15 months before she began researching her family tree.

The woman revealed that: "I have found out that we are 4th cousins. We share a great great great grandfather. I was shocked when I heard it and very upset."

In the U.S. it is legal to marry your first cousin in 19 states, including California, Florida, and New York.

There are 25 states where it is illegal and five that allow the union under specific conditions.

For example in Maine the marriage is allowed if the pair receive genetic counselling conducted by a physician.

It is not illegal to marry your fourth cousin in any state because only 0.2 percent of DNA is shared between the relatives, as opposed to 12.5 percent with a first cousin.

Pink2121 asked the forum, in the post that can be viewed here, for "any advice on what I should do. Should we stay together or go our separate ways."

"We are happy together but this has completely changed the way I feel for him now. It's a very difficult situation," she said.

Empathetic to her situation many people rushed to offer advice, with the overarching consensus being that the fourth cousins were not too closely related to worry.

One person, ScottChegg, wrote: "The amount of dna you share will be minuscule, honestly.

"I found out via dna testing that my late grandparents were 5th cousins and they never would have known that."

Another social media user, WoodchipNightmares, added: "It wouldn't worry me. First cousin marriage is legal - but ill advised if you want children as it does add risks.

"They share 12.5% of their DNA. By comparison, fourth cousins share 0.2% of their DNA."

TiredButDancing typed: "A great great great grandfather? To be worked up about that is ridiculous quite frankly. If it affects how you feel about him, then sure, end the relationship.

"But there's certainly no scientific/genetic reason to end it on this basis.

"Most people couldn't tell you the full name of their great grandparents, never mind any details of their great great great grandfather."

Plumtree391 opined: "Fourth cousins is nothing, I don't know why you are worried about that.

"You have to be closer related to have any problems with consanguinity and even then, most people don't. Chill and enjoy your relationship."

SparkyBlue commented: "I'd have thought this type of thing would be very common. It wouldn't really bother me at all to be honest."

Holding hands
A stock image of two people holding hands. A woman recently took to Mumsnet to seek advice on finding out she is related to her boyfriend. Getty Images