An Older Brother’s Open Letter To His Younger Sister Regarding Her Newfound Dating Life

An Older Brother’s Open Letter To His Younger Sister Regarding Her Newfound Dating Life


This is probably a bit late, seeing as you’ve already had one boyfriend, but now that you’re on to your second “boy toy,” I feel like I should say something to bring our sibling relationship to a whole new level of understanding. And awkwardness. Mostly awkwardness.

As a man, I can attest to the fact that we men can be terrible people sometimes. Just the other day I waited a good 15 minutes to call my own girlfriend when she needed directions to my house, purely because I wanted to see what happened at the end of Alien. Was it worth it? Not at all—I wasn’t nearly satisfied with the number of aliens that forced their way out of chest cavities. But I did it anyway out of unadulterated selfishness.

What I’m trying to get at here is that this new guy you’re seeing, Kyler/Tyler/Skylar or whatever, will probably do something shitty like that at one point or another, and I will probably hear about it the next day from you.

This is where it gets complicated for me as I begin to struggle with my role to defend other men from the wrath of their girlfriends, and my role to protect you as my little sister. Full disclosure: I’ll probably say something like, “What a prick. I’m gonna punch him in his schvantz when I see him next.” But really I’ll think, “Oh, that’s not that big of a deal…way to overreact, little sis.”

That’s not to say that I won’t fulfill my role as protective brother. Believe me, when you two are in the living room blasting one of the shitty action/thriller movies that couples always pop in the DVD player but never actually watch because they’re too busy sucking face, it takes the self-control of a dozen Buddhist monks to keep me from walking in the room and pretending that I lost my keys in the sofa cushions.

So just take this into consideration the next time you’re about to bring him up in conversation: yes, I do care, but I also connect with him on a level that only human beings with dangly parts can connect on—fear of angering the non-danglers. I’d appreciate avoiding that internal struggle as much as possible; instead, saving the energy for later when I need to ignore snogging noises echoing down the hall.

– Paul Schmitt


Photo by Kevin Kenny (Creative Commons)