For as long as you can remember, your cousin has been right by your side through all the shenanigans you plotted with them as a child. From staying up later than you should be and giggling in bed at your grandparents' house to sitting through hours of madness at family gatherings, they are your go-to people and always will be.
You live far enough from them that you had your own space but you always chose to hang out with them.
With siblings, you’re stuck 24/7 with their company around you. As for cousins, whenever you need a break from them you could simply go home and come back to hang out the next day. This is why your relationship with your cousin is so different and strong.
At one point, you and your cousin have talked about your future plans with them in it.
Let’s face it, your cousin will be your maid of honor and you will be hers. You have planned this since you were five and you won’t have it any other way. If it all works out well in the future, your plan from a young age has been to grow up living by each other and have your kids and her kids be best friends, too.
When you’re in a fight with your normal friend group, your cousin will always be there for you.
Since they are family, they typically are biased toward your side of the fight in whatever situation you present to them about your stupid drama with your friends. They help you talk through each problem and support you through those struggles.
They are there to celebrate the high points in life with you.
A new baby cousin on their side of the family for you is a new baby cousin for them, too. You celebrate marriages within the family, graduations from high school and college, proposals, and even the thrill of opening presents and getting exactly what you asked for from Santa on Christmas.
Which means they are there to experience the low points in life with you.
You thank God that your cousin was there next to you at every funeral for a loved one, squeezing your hand the whole time. You also are thankful that they have been there to help you through divorces and illnesses that have struck your family.
All of your friends know your cousin.
Oddly enough, your friends and your cousin are also friends. They follow each other on social media, text about your birthday surprise and you include your cousin to hangout with your friends. When you talk to your friends and you say your cousin's name, they immediately know you’re talking about your cousin, not any of your other friends who have the same name as her.
Your vacations as a child were trips to stay at your cousin’s house.
The best time of the summer as a child was the days you spent time at your cousin’s house. Your aunt and uncle also endlessly spoiled you and you barely got any sleep, but every minute of lost sleep was worth it. To this day, you get excited when you go visit them, even if it’s a quick visit to their dorm or apartment.
You know every single one of your cousin’s childhood crushes and had a strong opinion on them.
Remember those days you sat down with your cousin’s yearbook as she pointed out who her new crush was? You formed opinions on who they should like based on yearbook pictures and stories your cousin had told you. Now you sit by the computer and search those people on Facebook and laugh at what relationships could have been between them and your cousin. Yes, even the awkward middle school crushes have been searched.
You always plan to get to family events at the same time as your cousin so you don’t have to spend a minute without them.
“Mom, what time are we leaving to go to grandpa’s? Oh, and what time is [cousin’s name] getting there?” You never wanted to experience any of the family craziness without them there with you so you strategically planned what time you had to leave your house and what time your cousin had to leave in order to arrive at the same time. “I think we’re about to head home.” “Mom, [cousin’s name] is leaving soon, can we go home soon, too?”
Your cousin is the only person who understands how insane your family really is and you have inside jokes to prove it.
You can try telling your friends all you want about how fun and crazy your family is, but unless they tag along to every family gathering, they will never get the full scoop on the latest family drama, the triumphs and grandma’s cooking. You probably have 10 million inside jokes that you’ve accumulated over the years that make your stomach hurt from laughing so hard.
They are more like a sibling rather than a cousin.
Your cousin gives you tough love when you deserve it and gives you support when you need it. You’re able to fight and goof around knowing that no matter what they will always have your back forever.
If you’re blessed enough to have a cousin who serves as your best friend too, count your lucky stars that they have been placed into your life and family. Although you might not see your cousin as often as you hope, having a person to help guide you through this challenging yet awesome thing called life is something so special. Thank you for always being my number one fan and showing me how to live life and live life well. Thank you for making your house my second home and providing me with endless memories that we continue to make every time we’re together. Thank you for sitting at the kid’s table with me for every holiday and never complaining. Thank you for surprising me in the stands at my sporting events. Thank you for letting me third wheel with you and your boyfriend. Thank you for giving me boy advice. Thank you for loving me even through my gauchos and clog days. I hope one day that my kids can grow up knowing you well and become best friends with your kids. I can’t wait to grow old with you. I love you, thanks for being the best cousin ever and the most loyal best friend.