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Dear Dr. Robert,

I am a female 27 years old from Greece. One year now i have a relationship (my first one and the first time i had sex too) with a very very nice guy, very kind, he treats me very well but i can't appreciate all of these because i am not in love!

It's like he has two different appearances, the one that i really like and and a second one that especially with some facial expressions he takes he reminds me of a girl i knew and i disliked, and that turns me off immediately and i start feeling pressured by his presence and i avoid even his kisses! How can i skip this impression every time i feel like this and instead see at him only what i want to see?? How can i fall in love with him and enjoy my relationship? Is there a possibility that this will happen with my next relationships too?

Second question (hope you have time) is it bad to feel attracted to some relatives? When i was 17 i met for the first time my dad's first cousin and i felt attracted to him, he was an attractive man and although he had a wife and two children when i was 19 and we met again for the summer our glances met each other and i felt like he liked me too as a girl, and i liked that. Was that an incest?? And one time when i was 20 i touched myself while i was thinking that i was making love with him! Is this very abnormal?? I can't believe it now, it seems so strange to me that at that age i felt these things for a married uncle of mine! For me he wasn't like the uncles i know since i was a child and maybe that also helped in this strange behaviour but still have i embarrassed my family with the above incidents?

Thank you so much and i am looking forward to hearing from you!



ask dr-robert ask psychologist todos santos ask psychologist dr robert saltzman

Statue of Aphrodite in the Archaeoligical Museum at Rhodes

Hello, Matina--

You cannot make yourself fall in love. Falling in love is a mysterious happening which is quite beyond anyone's power to control in any way whatsoever. If you made yourself fall in love, it wouldn't be love.

If your boyfriend turns you off now, imagine how bad things would be if you ever married. I suggest letting him go (this is not fair to him either), and looking for a new man with whom you can fall in love.

Attraction is not incest. Sex with a close relative is incest. Attraction is normal, even attraction to a cousin.

Masturbation is completely normal, and you have every right to whatever fantasies come up while masturbating, no matter how strange they might seem. A masturbation fantasy cannot be incest. Only actual sex with a close relative can be incest.

There is nothing wrong with anything you have asked me about, Matina. I suggest that you stop trying so hard to control yourself, stop trying so hard to be "good," and just get on with your life.

Be well.

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