I am an only child, and dated other singletons almost exclusively until I was 30. Those few that did have siblings were raised as only children, due to separate custody or huge age gaps of the siblings in relation to themselves. My current partner has two siblings in his own age group, one of each gender. They are very close-knit. I felt adrift in the beginning, unsure what to expect. Relax! Here are tips to ease your mind about dating a man with siblings for the first time.
His siblings want to like you. While a parent may have high expectations and deem you unworthy, his siblings just want him to be happy. In their eyes, if you are making him happy, you are awesome! Do not be surprised if the siblings have been briefed prior to meeting you and engage you in friendly conversation about shared hobbies, passions, or work. A happy man may often brag about you to his siblings and want them to know you well. In close-knit families, this can be like gaining siblings yourself!
Don’t be caught off-guard by how similar they are to your partner, or dissimilar. While it is true everyone is their own individual, it is not unusual for children raised together to have the same mannerisms, speech, and habits even into adulthood. I was surprised to see my partner’s brother give me ‘his’ smile or hear his sister use ‘his’ words in conversation. While this would seem obvious, it was not something I expected. Don’t worry, shared lexicon doesn’t mean they are all the same! This also works in reverse. Siblings may be polar opposites in politics, religion, personality, or habits. Don’t let either situation catch you off-guard.
The siblings must be consulted and informed. While his siblings don’t need to know intimate details of your relationship, don’t be surprised at all if they know of your friends’ pregnancies before you tell them, or if they are asked for advice immediately upon encountering a problem. A man with same-generation siblings may treat them less as family members and more as best friends. There is a team mentality that can take some getting used to.
Once the relationship is serious, you’re a member of the team. Remember, you’re becoming a part of the team, not the opposition. You will be friended on Facebook, added to text-messages, and invited to their family outings. This is not an attempt to judge you or pry. The want you to be included in their family.
It’s not a show. They really do get along and love one another. Having no siblings myself, I assumed that siblings were like annoying cousins. You don’t have to like them and once you’re an adult, it’s sayonara until the major holidays. In a close-knit family, this is not true. The adult siblings will love each other intensely and be involved in one another’s daily lives with no ill-will. I didn’t believe this for the longest time, but it’s true. Not everyone grows up to despise their siblings like on TV.