Friday, June 29, 2012

How to Meet the Siblings

We all know that meeting his or her parents can be nerve-racking, especially around the holidays. But, if her sis is her BFF or his bro is his role model, meeting the siblings of the one you’re dating has some seriously high stakes. And if your sister is like mine, she is one tough, judgmental, protective, sassy (but pretty) cookie.

It’s going to make a world of difference for your relationship and every occasion - from holidays to vacations - will be so much better if you’re buds. So make an effort at a good first impression by genuinely trying to get to know them. Win over your lover’s sibling with these tips (and your natural charm, of course).
(Summer photos with my sister Sami)
Do your research. This seems obvious, but make sure you ask your significant other details about their siblings before you arrive at their door. Are they still in school? What are their interests? Is there something that they absolutely love or absolutely hate? Starting a conversation will be easier when you’re first introduced, such as “Sarah has told me all about your fear of deli meats. How did that even start?” or “It was great to hear you got offered a scholarship for NYU. Congrats!” It’s important to show you remembered and care about something your other half has said about them.

Ask (a lot) of questions. No matter who you’re meeting, remember that people love to talk about themselves. So get their siblings chatting away! This not only makes them happy and comfortable, but it takes some of the attention away from you, so you can spend less time having to divulge your family issues or lack of a good new job.

“Monkey See, Monkey Do.” Notice how the siblings relate to each other: Do they tease? Are they affectionate? Try to imitate this behavior, without stepping over any boundaries or inside jokes from 1995.

Give them their space to be siblings. There’s nothing like the bond between brothers and sisters. Respect their relationship. Let them do their thing, while you hang on the sidelines for a bit.

Don’t try too hard. If you behave like you need to win their approval it might get awkward. Talk to them like you’d talk to a new friend or coworker. Be friendly.

Don’t be clingy. Try to find time to chat with the sibling without your significant other holding your hand (or even in the same room). Make it known that you’re interested in actually making a connection and starting a relationship of sorts with them. This also shows that you're independent and don’t need to rely on their sibling to get through your everyday life.

Take the PDA’s down a few notches. While you do want to show the siblings (and the whole family) how much you care about and love him/her, any behavior that borders on too sexual will be creepy. A handhold is sweet, a touch of the lower back is intimate, a quick kiss is romantic, but anything more is a no-no in front of the sibs.

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