Sister Among Brothers: 10 Ways Brothers Affect Dating

by Allison Isaacson

Being the lone sister among brothers is quite the ride. They made us play with cars and G.I. Joe. We ditched jumpers & hair bows and instead, opted for gym shorts and oversized t-shirts. We were pegged by paintballs and run over by bikes. As we got older, we learned how to deal with discovering our friends kissed our brothers. Our brothers were occasionally thorns in our side, but they were also our partners in crime. They helped make us into the strong women we are. Whether we initially realise it or not, being the lone female of the family (aside from our mum) sneaks into our dating lives. Below I’ve listed 10 ways my dating life – and likely the dating lives of other girls who just have brothers – has been affected by the structure of my family. My three brothers and me.

  1. We are not easily flattered. We often take flattery with a grain (or spoonful) of salt. Guys can’t be slick with girls who have brothers. We’ve seen and heard it all when hanging out with our brothers and their friends. We’ve witnessed them “spit game” countless times, so we don’t fall for much. Unfortunately, this means we are likely to be overly skeptical of kind words, even of genuine compliments. But hey, at least we’re less likely to fall prey to a liar.
  2.  “Bro time” is sacred to us. Girls with brothers know “bro time” is sacred. Many of our brothers’ happiest, most adventurous, most memorable experiences were made with each other or with their guy friends. We know they’re making many of the memories that’ll be rattled off during toasts at weddings. Girls with brothers know it’s important not to impede on “bro time.”
  1. Our brothers are super protective. They’ll give us feedback about their impression of our date’s character. They’ll try to steer our heart to safe waters. If they don’t get a good vibe from a guy, our brothers will drop hints if not outright say something about it. My brother once told my date, “If you break her heart, I’ll beat your ass.” Girls with brothers are protected – both by honest feedback and, sometimes, by fists.
  2. We enjoy traditionally masculine activities. We grew up playing all kinds sports – football, basketball, you name it. As we got older, we learned to like playing pool and poker. We couldn’t count the number of beers we’ve downed at bars while watching games on TV with our brothers. Girls with brothers also enjoy doing these traditionally masculine things with our date and his friends.
  1.  We are often regarded as “one of the boys”.  Throughout our development, we spent a ton of time with males. Our brothers’ friends are our friends, too. We like hanging out with the guys – “bro-ing out.” This can cause some men to think of us as “one of the guys,” making it harder to view us in a romantic way. It’s easier to friend-zone a girl with brothers if she’s thought of as a “bro.”
  2. We are competitive. Brothers are often naturally competitive with each other so as the only girl, you follow in their footsteps. As kids, girls with brothers would never go down without a fight when it came to games or other competitions. This leaked into aspects of our adult lives. If you’re going to date a girl with brothers, you better enjoy a little healthy competition. Take us bowling and be prepared to lose on occasion, but don’t just let us win! We like a challenge.
  1. Making comparisons is inevitable. We can’t help but compare potential suitors to our brothers – good and bad aspects. He’s a rugby player? He’ll fit right into our family. He has an interest in real estate? That’ll go over great. He’s a little bit of an asshole at times? Welcome to the family. Sometimes it’s hard for a girl with brothers to avoid wanting her date to “measure up” to her brothers or at least have some things in common with them.
  1. We value a sibling bond in our potential partner. If our date has a sister, we’re interested in how he talks about her, because it could reflect on him as a person. When he talks about his sister’s qualities and quirks, does he find them endearing or annoying? Does he have fun stories to share about the two of them? Is he protective of his sister? If our date speaks negatively about his sister or never spends time with her, that’s a huge red flag in our minds.
  1. Good intentions are key. We have to date a guy whose good intentions and self-confidence seem to radiate from him. Meeting your new girlfriend’s mum and dad is nerve-racking in itself. Additionally meeting all three of her brothers can be a little overwhelming, if not intimidating. Our date is a guy who could potentially break our heart, and our family knows that. If he doesn’t have a naturally well-intentioned air about him, he might have a more difficult time around the family of a girl with brothers.
  1. A guy has to be secure to date one of us. Girls with brothers have been around guys their entire lives, so we’ve grown to have many guy friends. It’s almost more natural and comfortable for us to have male friends instead of female friends. This can prompt suspicion in our significant other… “Are you sure you’ve never dated him? Or hooked up with him? Or had a crush on him?” Our love prospect must take our word about our male relationships, be confident in himself, and have confidence in us… or else he will have to take his baggage & his insecurities and head for the door.

May God bless our brothers! Cheers to you! And last but not least, thank you.

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