• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Not Engaged Yet

Boyfriend's sister advice-How to proceed? (Kind of a ramble)

Hi all! I have a question about my relationship. My boyfriend has been close with his sister since they were kids. We have been dating for about a year. In that year, I have tried to reach out to her by asking her to go shopping or to lunch, I attended her birthday party, got her a Xmas gift, etc. etc. I know she doesn't have to like me, but if I have been nice to her and tried to include her w/ things when we go out, and she's unresponsive, then tells my boyfriend that she doesn't want me around because  she's jealous he pays attention to me and not her, does that seem unhealthy to anybody??? 
She has only had one boyfriend in her life-6 years off and on- and they broke up last year. My thinking is why is she jealous her  brother finally has a girl he's happy with and serious about? It's not like I have not tried to befriend and include her, either. 
Is there anything that I should do? Perhaps the best thing to do is just leave her alone? The problem is there is a beach trip planned in a couple weeks that I was planning on attending but now am having second thoughts....

I GET that family comes first, I do. But is there a line that has been crossed when his sister is trying to veto me out of the picture because she wants to hang out with him????

Re: Boyfriend's sister advice-How to proceed? (Kind of a ramble)

  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    How old is your BF's sister? My BF's sister is about 3 years younger than us. She's cool and I like her but I never felt the need to reach out to her and be BFFs and thats worked really well for us. Its possible that she was a little overwhelmed by your attempts to reach out to her however well intentioned they may be.

    My advice is to back off, just let her have her space. You can go to the beach thing or not that really depends on what you are comfortable with. But really you aren't dating his sister you are dating him so for now just don't worry about it. Be nice to her and don't shut her out but at the same time you don't need to be her friend, its not a requirement.


  • edited December 2011
    I think the best thing you can do is prove you aren't a threat by example.  As a sister who is very close with her brother, I've seen the reverse situation all too often - when my brother's girlfriends get jealous of our friendship.  One of his girlfriends went so far as to cut between us every time we were talking and plaster herself to his face - not a way to win my affections.  His current girlfriend is absolutely fantastic, and we get along incredibly well.  She gave me the best compliment on Christmas Eve (she spent Christmas with my family) by saying that even if she wasn't dating my brother, she would be friends with me.  I feel the exact same!

    Whether this girl is being completely unreasonable or has faced off with his girlfriends in the past, it doesn't really matter.  Just continue to be friendly and extend the olive branch.  Also, allow her space with her brother when they want it.  If he calls her, don't cut him off (not saying you do, just for example).  Encourage him to continue his friendship with his sister the same as always.  If you're around at a family gathering, let them talk and wander off and talk to someone else for a bit.  Then come back and join.  The key is to show her that she can still be close with her brother, but that you would also like to be friendly with her because she's so important to him.  If she continues to be unreasonable, at some point it's not out of line to have a frank discussion with her.

    "Listen, Sue, I understand that we're not best friends, but as you're very important to Timmy, I would really like to be able to get along and be friendly.  I adore your brother, and because of that your family is important to me, too."  It would take a heart of ice for a sister not to respond at least a little to that.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • edited December 2011
    Bring up the subject gently with your boyfriend. Tell him that you love him and of course you would never keep him apart from his family, but your feelings are hurt by this situation with his sister. Tell him you'd really like it if you felt more accepted around her, and see what his suggestions are. I'm sorry I'm not much help...
  • edited December 2011
    They are two years apart. Their family is very close with each other. It can be hard to fit in sometimes. Lately I have just been feeling discouraged because I really want them to like me. I don't know why it matters so much to me about her in particular.

    He has been reaching out to my family and they have been very receptive, so seeing that makes me want the same. 
  • edited December 2011
    Um, this is kind of off topic, but does anyone know how to make "the knot tv" collapse if the "collapse" button isn't working? It's making my 13" screen reallllllly freakin small. 
  • edited December 2011
    Probably the best thing you can do is back off a bit from her, and talk to your boyfriend about how you feel. See if he feels you're butting in to his relationship with his sister.

    It's a really difficult thing to balance. You want to be included in his family, but he and his sister should be able to have their own relationship without you being a third wheel all the time. Talk to your BF and see what he wants the boundaries to be. Then he can speak with his sister if necessary, or you could call her up and just candidly say "I am so sorry if I'm butting in between you and your brother. I'll try to back off a little if that would be better."

    I don't know his sister, so I don't know if that would be a really good idea, but it's a thought and it might show her you're not TRYING to take her brother from her.
    Anniversary
  • edited December 2011
    Regarding TheKnot TV, go up to the address - see where there is a second "http://"?  Delete everything before that http:// and the TV should completely disappear.

    Regarding the siblings, seriously don't try so hard.  I'm sure you're a likeable person, and once she realizes you're not going anywhere, she'll make the effort to be nice.  Just be friendly, and allow her and her brother to continue their relationship as it was before you showed up.  If they talk on the phone, then they should still do that.  If they meet for lunch once a month, you don't have to join them.  Like BethSmiles said, you don't have to be her best friend. 

    And how your family welcomes him is not the same as how his family will treat you, and that's just life.  As long as they are nice, that's all you need. My family pays for my BF to fly up for holidays and will be taking us both on vacation and working it around our schedules - my BF's mom took his 3 younger sisters on a vacation and didn't invite him at all because she figured "he wouldn't be able to go anyway".  My parents shopped for hours for him for Christmas and spend hundreds of dollars and carefully wrapped everything - his mom put a body cream from Bath and Body Works in a gift bag for me.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • edited December 2011
    Rachel, I sent you a PM.
    Anniversary
  • desertsundesertsun member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_boyfriends-sister-advice-proceed-kind-of-ramble?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:f77a7237-9072-460c-9e14-605008fd2b6fPost:c8e9df26-a4a1-4772-b8e8-353dfee53406">Boyfriend's sister advice-How to proceed? (Kind of a ramble)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hi all! I have a question about my relationship. My boyfriend has been close with his sister since they were kids. <strong>We have been dating for about a year</strong>. In that year, I have tried to reach out to her by <strong>asking her to go shopping or to lunch, I attended her birthday party, got her a Xmas gift, etc. etc</strong>. I know she doesn't have to like me, but if I have been nice to her and tried to include her w/ things when we go out, and she's unresponsive, then tells my boyfriend that she doesn't want me around because  she's jealous he pays attention to me and not her,<strong> does that seem unhealthy to anybody??</strong>?  She has only had one boyfriend in her life-6 years off and on- and they broke up last year. My thinking is why is she jealous her  brother finally has a girl he's happy with and serious about? It's not like I have not tried to befriend and include her, either.  Is there anything that I should do? Perhaps the best thing to do is just leave her alone? The problem is there is a beach trip planned in a couple weeks that I was planning on attending but now am having second thoughts.... I GET that family comes first, I do. But is there a line that has been crossed when his sister is trying to veto me out of the picture because she wants to hang out with him????
    Posted by rachelkr405[/QUOTE]

    Honestly, you need to respect that other people have different boundaries or ways of relating to others than you do. Some people just need more personal/emotional space than others. This can be true regardless of how close a person is to her/his family.

    For example, I have a very close and emotional family. BUT, I take a long time to warm up/feel close to new people. If I were your BF's sis, I would be totally turned off by you trying so hard to be my friend. It wouldn't feel genuine to me. Especially given the relatively short amount of time. A year isn't really all that long. Some people take longer to form those tight bonds.

    I'm not saying you don't genuinely like her.

    But from HER perspective, it might seem like you're trying so hard b/c she's BF's sister, and not b/c you like her for herself. There's not a lot you can do to FORCE her to change her mind or be friends with you.

    Also, I don't think her not wanting to be friends with you and clinging to her bro is necessarily unhealthy.

    She might just be afraid of losing the relationship she's always had with him.

    It might not be a rational fear, but that doesn't make it weird or unhealthy at all.

    You need to let a relationship between you and her develop naturally and over tim. When you happen to be together, ask her about what's going on in her life, and don't be overly nice or fake. Just be yourself. As PP's mentioned, she might just need time and space.

    It's also possible she just doesn't like you. I don't say this to be mean. I just say it so that you don't have unrealistic expectations for your relationship with your BF's family. They don't have to LOOOOOVE you for your relationship with your BF to be solid.

    So, yes, I would leave her alone, and I would also pass on the beach trip. Or, if it seems like BF or his parents REALLLLY want you there, go and just don't go out of your way for her. Be polite and interested but don't go out of your way to spend one on one time with her.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker


  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_boyfriends-sister-advice-proceed-kind-of-ramble?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:f77a7237-9072-460c-9e14-605008fd2b6fPost:a6480b90-dca5-4755-b725-1b1cf9e84a9d">Re: Boyfriend's sister advice-How to proceed? (Kind of a ramble)</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Boyfriend's sister advice-How to proceed? (Kind of a ramble) :For example, I have a very close and emotional family. BUT, I take a long time to warm up/feel close to new people. If I were your BF's sis, I would be totally turned off by you trying so hard to be my friend. It wouldn't feel genuine to me. Especially given the relatively short amount of time. A year isn't really all that long. Some people take longer to form those tight bonds. I'm not saying you don't genuinely like her. But from HER perspective, it might seem like you're trying so hard b/c she's BF's sister, and not b/c you like her for herself.
    Posted by desertsun[/QUOTE]

    This. I've always been a believer that you can't force a friendship to start. You have to build up to it over time. Were I in her shoes I would honestly feel pressured and annoyed being persued like that. I don't go out for coffee or shopping or really "hang out" with people unless I already consider them friends, and people get the friend title over time from, say, talking in class every day, or seeing each other over the holidays several years running.

    So I say just let her be. Don't ignore her or anything, but just stick to, "Hey, how are you doing? How is school/work?" when you go to your BF's house or something. No asking to hang out, just zero pressure small talk. And as someone else said, make sure your BF gets to spend time alone with her so that she doesn't feel shut out by you.

    image
  • jemmini6jemmini6 member
    5000 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    perhaps instead of you trying to spend more time with her, maybe you should encourage your BF to spend more time with her.  it sounds like she doesn't NOT like you, just that she doesn't like how your relationship has affected hers and her brothers.  maybe if you show her that you want to encourage their relationship to remain as close as it's always been and you aren't trying to 'steal him' away, that she'll become more and more acceptive of you and your relationship.
    Anniversary
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards