DEAR DEIDRE: I MIGHT have become far too close for comfort with my niece.
She is my brother’s stepdaughter, so we are not blood-related. She’s 28 and I am 55.
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As she’s grown up, it’s been hard not to notice what a beautiful girl she is.
Don’t get the wrong idea – we’ve certainly never had sex. But from her teenage years, she has always confided in me and she has made me feel I was important to her.
I’ve felt able to talk to her about my own problems, something I find difficult with most people.
A few years ago, she met a guy her own age and moved in with him. I felt irrationally jealous and very upset when she stopped calling me.
We lost contact and I tried to put her out of my mind.
Recently, I heard from my brother that she and her boyfriend had broken up.
I was so glad.
She came to visit me and we chatted like old times. She was very affectionate and gave me lots of hugs.
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Ever since she went home, I can’t stop thinking about her. I messaged her, but she didn’t reply.
I think I might be falling in love with her.
DEIDRE SAYS: She might not be a blood relative, but she is family.
She is also considerably younger than you. I assume your brother doesn’t know how you feel and I imagine he’d be horrified.
You must try to get over her. There can be no future in this relationship.
It’s likely your niece sees you only as her kind uncle and has no romantic interest in you.
You need to talk to a counsellor to get to the root of this. See my support pack on Counselling and contact supportline.org.uk on 01708 765 200 for advice.
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