23 Things Only Half-Siblings Understand

When I was six-years-old, my older brother informed me that four of my five siblings were actually only my half-siblings. He was trying to be a jerk — I'm pretty sure I had just drawn black sharpie flowers all over his Jansport backpack — but the term hit me like a confusing ton of bricks. Half-siblings? What did that even mean?

Years later, after the sharpie stains have long dried, I fully understand what it means to be, and have, a half-sibling. And guess what? It’s completely awesome.

But that doesn't mean that society totally gets the ins and outs of this complex family dynamic. Half-siblings are often faced with the most ridiculous questions when friends try to figure out who gets invited to Thanksgiving dinner, and whether or not your half-sister’s son is actually, in fact, your nephew (duh!).

And if your half-siblings happen to be biracial, forget about it. Comprehension for anyone outside of your immediate family unit is futile. The struggle is real, people. Too real.

The question “who’s your daddy” has never been so complicated. Anyone who shares the same complex — but amazingly tight-knit — half-sibling bond knows that having half-siblings is unique. Here are 23 things that only we half-siblings can truly understand.

You feel like you're participating in linguistic gymnastics whenever you try to explain your family

Often, you accept defeat early and just say, “It’s complicated.”

People don't always understand your sibling bond

and say ignorant stuff like “But he’s only your half-brother, right?”

Um, actually, family is forever, and blood has very little to do with that.

you usually don't even use the term "half"

They're just your brother or your sister.

because You know your half-siblings are JUST as annoying as your full siblings

They borrow your clothes without asking, eat your favorite granola, and steal your shared parent’s attention All. The. Time. As far as you’re concerned, they’re all equally infuriating.

and yes, just as awesome

I mean, they are related to you.

Almost every member of your family looks different

And when people realize that you ARE related, they try to find common features

No, I don't share the same nose as anyone in my family. Thank God.

some things about your looks and personality are completely similar

You are related, after all.

...but some things will never cease to baffle you about them

Must be the other side of the gene pool.

Taking a family photo is a nightmare

Your family is way too large to fit in a photograph without spending hours placing and staging every single member. Ain’t NOBODY got time for that!

Your family hasn't spent an entire holiday together in … well, forever

All you want to do is snuggle in your matching jammies while watching Elf with your sisters. Unfortunately, Parent #2 is calling, and you can’t miss out on the second round of gifts.

You sometimes get jealous of your half-sibling’s other half-siblings

Do they bribe your brother to clean their bedrooms with Chipotle like you do? You want to know, yet you never want to find out.

and Talking about their “other” family can sometimes be considered taboo

Sometimes, it just gets awkward.

You sometimes find yourself secretly disliking your half-sibling's other parent

You don't really know them. You're not sure if you really like them. And according to your half-sib, their household doesn't believe in cable.

you know age gaps are more common for half-siblings

Your younger sister calls at 1 a.m. on a Wednesday night to tell you she just did her first keg stand. You're on the other end of the phone thinking about your 8 a.m. meeting, wondering at what age you became a boring adult.

as is living too far apart

My sister Josie lives in Texas, Ben is reppin’ an Empire state of mind, and Mitch is holding down Pre-K in PA. Snapchat and FaceTime are prime tools for long-distance half-sib bonding.

Phone calls are often reserved for complaining about your shared parent

“Hey. Mom just flipped out on me again.”

Yes, comparing notes on your shared parent is a favorite pastime

“Did mom make you retake the SAT THREE times? Oh, that was just me?”

Meeting another family with half-siblings is like…

which means You can somehow relate to the Kardashian-Jenner clan

It’s gross to admit, but you can completely understand why Khloe is so protective over Kendall and Kylie! There's also a small part of you knows that you have family members just as crazy as they are.

most of all, you'll always set the haters straight

When strangers try to throw shade at your family, loudly proclaim, “You are NOT Beyoncé!” and move on! You have a killer bond with your siblings, half or whole and you’ll never be ashamed of them.

because you just can't imagine a world without them

I love you guys!

Image: Giphy (11); Khloe Kardashian/Instagram