My older brother and I were born a mere eighteen months apart, so you can bet your bottom dollar there was some massive awkwardness during puberty in the rare instances that our friend groups collided. The summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school, not only did he fall head over heels for my best friend and then awkwardly attempt to date her, but my first kiss ended up being his best friend, which was pretty much all the action either of our awkward little selves would get until college rolled along. Luckily, I have the coolest brother in the world, so while a less tight pair of sibs might have been rocked by these Lizzie McGuire-worthy antics, we used it as an opportunity to teach each other some very valuable lessons about love.
The truth is, any guy who has a sister is already a step ahead of the rest of the dating pool, especially if they have more than one. Any dude who grows up in a house full of women will end up having an unconscious understanding of how they deserve to be treated without having to be told, regardless of whether or not they date women at all. But even the best of brothers is not immune to the woes of modern dating, which is why they can rely on their sisters for all these pieces of love advice:
How to make your Tinder profile as un-creepy as possible
Although I don't actually use Tinder, I firmly believe that despite its hookup app reputation, there are men on there looking for more than just a romp around. Hell, some of my best friends are in committed relationships with people they met on there. That being said, it's easy for even the most well-meaning guy to send major creeper vibes with empty profiles, obscure jokes, or shady pics. Sisters know just how to make a Tinder profile SHINE.
"Listen first, ask questions later."
My brother probably didn't ever need to be told this because he is so chill that he defies chillness, but he has learned over the years the value of letting the people in his life explain how they feel before judging or making any rash decisions. He takes our advice on that better than I do.
Treat your partners with the kind of respect you give your sisters...
Naturally, brothers tend to see themselves as equals to their sisters, since they all grew up together and are used to joking around and competing with us. The important thing is extending that same kind of respect to romantic partners—not just respect in their boundaries or opinions, but the kind of respect to challenge their ideas and engage them in things that are important to the both of you.
...But be a smidge classier with them than you are with your sisters.
Like, maybe wait until the second date for the open-mouthed burping? Just a thought. Take it or leave it. (If it works out, they'll undoubtedly be subjected to it eventually, so it's really a matter of "when".)
How to dress well and not look like a slovenly potato
Actually, it's less about brothers needing help with the actual picking of their clothes, and more about them needing help with the confidence to pull off the right things. We're always sure to give plenty of thumbs up and dorky compliments on our brother's way out the door to a date (even if he doesn't tell us that's where he's going. We can always, ALWAYS tell.)
"Don't always assume that you are the problem."
Brothers: They have witnessed enough of our random, full-scale freak-outs to know better than to take every emotion someone has as a personal reflection on their behavior. Sometimes, all brothers know, it's really not about them. I remember my brother describing the first time his girlfriend ever lost her chill in front of him and I was like, "Dude, I lose my chill in front of you biweekly. Incidentally, your girlfriend is also a human, like me." I think guys are generally freaked out when the "honeymoon" phase in a relationship ends and the real human gloves come out, but sisters are there to remind them that the people who are closest to you are also the ones who will occasionally use you as a sounding board for their panic.
It's a good thing if we get along with your significant others
Because I'm a shameless busybody, my brother has never dated someone who I haven't immediately cross-analyzed just short of sniffing them like a dog. You might think he would be worried about me NOT liking the girls he dates, but I think it freaks him out even more when we, his sisters, REALLY like them and become BFFs with them. This understandably threw him for a loop at first, but over time, he came to appreciate that this was our nosy version of a seal of approval and that it was a good omen for the relationship.
"Be honest when it matters."
Brothers don't need advice on what to say if someone asks if they look fat. Common sense and/or pop culture did that for them (hopefully). But I think guys are sometimes hesitant to be honest about what they want—whether they're somehow embarrassed that they want something real and genuine, or that they're looking for the total opposite—and since sisters are more than used to being on the receiving end of "WTF" with their own partners, we can encourage our brothers to be way more upfront right off the bat and spare their dates/girlfriends the undue confusion.
They should wait for someone who appreciates them as much as we do
We rag on our brothers and tease them to no end, but the truth is, we would go to the end of the freaking earth for them and we'd be super upset to watch them settle with someone who wouldn't do the same. Yeah, the dating life is a rough one, and brothers are not immune to the frustration of being single, but hopefully with some sisterly encouragement, they'll hold out for someone who sees them for all the awesome that they are.
Images: ABC; Giphy (6)