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You Asked: How Can I Cope With My Ridiculous Brother?

Dear Sugar -

My parents and I are growing extremely exasperated by my little brother's love life as it is constantly something he asks us to support and be involved with. For five years he had a steady girlfriend and we all really adored her, but they were young and went their separate ways. Before that relationship was cold, he was already onto a new girl, whom he brought to family dinners and events. Of course that relationship also fizzled. Soon after that, he met another girl and they got engaged after barely knowing each other. For months he was talking about a wedding, but it just didn't seem right. Needless to say she made the right call and ended the "engagement" before things got too far.

Now my brother is already talking about another girl all the while telling me about how he and his ex-fiancé still talk. I've tried to hear him out and give him the benefit of the doubt but this broken engagement has just been too much for all of us. He wants us to take his relationships seriously, open our hearts and homes to these girls, but he can't seem to be serious about any of them! I'm about ready to cut him off from discussing his girl dramas with me altogether and I honestly don't want to meet anyone unless they've been dating for at least two years! Am I being too harsh? — Over My Brother Betsy

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Over My Brother Betsy,

I don't blame you for being frustrated, but you need to remember that this is his life, not yours. So while you can disagree with his decision to go from one relationship to the next, you can't blame him for wanting your family's approval — it sounds like you are all quite close. As his older sister, try talking to him and understand why he's jumping around the way he is. Once you have a better understanding of his rationale perhaps you'll be able to see his point of view.

Since excluding your brother from family functions isn't an option, the next time he brings a new girl around, simply stick by your parents or your other brothers and sisters — no one said you have to become these girls' best friend! Hopefully sooner than later he'll meet someone that sweeps him off his feet so you won't have to witness his game playing ways any longer.


Join The Conversation
Janine22 Janine22 9 years
I think your perspective is totally valid. Also, you sound like you are pretty close with him. Why don't you just say to him: "Well, it is really weird and awkward for me to get to know the next girl you are dating when I just started to really get to know and like your last girl. It makes me uncomfortable because I never know how long your relationships are going to last, therefore I don't want to get too attached to the next girl you bring home." I also think it is fair for you to ask him why he always jumps from relationship to relationship, without any time for reflecting on what went wrong. It is pretty tough to learn from your mistakes if you don't take any time out to think about what they might have been before you jump into the next relationship. If you are uncomfortable with it, then I think it is fair for you to tell him that.
Muirnea Muirnea 9 years
My family has a problem with a relative like that (a female relative), except its not just boyfriends...its husbands....yeah, pretty complicated. We do what some other people have already nice to the new person, b/c really its not their fault and you never know if they could be the one....but we don't get to attached or really try to get to know the person usually. And really, if he is bringing the person home and talking about her, he kind of made it your business, its not like your butting in. Its hard to talk to people like that about it, b/c they truly believe that each new person really is "the one", its like they don't see their own pattern of behavior, or just don't care i guess. To compromise maybe you could ask him just to not talk/vent/idolize about each new person to you...but I wouldn't ask him not to bring the new girls to family gatherings, that's where you should prob. just be nice and polite. I would say its ok to ask him to tone it down when talking about them though.
chicobo chicobo 9 years
Be nice, it's important to HIM and that's kind of a big deal. It may seem like the old thing over and over, but one day he'll realize it. At least your brother dates! having a bit of a drought. Like a lifetime drought :(.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
oh God. just stay out of his business. you must be part of a super tight-knit family. be upfront. when he comes to you will bullsh*t, tell him you really don't want to hear it. there. it's done. be nice to the girls he brings home (that's what a hostess does, even to hookers), and keep it pushin'.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I don't think it's really something that should concern you. I don't know how old your brother is but this is normal behavior for young guys. Just don't get too attached to these girls. Maybe it's not as big of a deal to him to show his gf to his parents. Keep it casual and don't fret about this too much.
nicachica nicachica 9 years
(Not to say that these girls don't deserve a chance or that they're not worth your time, but at some point you get tired of meeting so many!)
nicachica nicachica 9 years
My brother is a bit of player so when he introduces his latest girl to the siblings, we're very polite and talk to them but know that it won't last so we don't really bother getting to know them beyond the initial pleasantries. So...just be polite and don't get too invested in these girls.
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
I don't think the poster wants to tell the brother what to do with his life...SHE WANTS OUT of his love life...I for one don't think you're being to harsh...but if he does want you to meet someone you can still be nice without wearing your heart on your sleeve...if you all keep your guard up until is serious maybe he'll actually SEE the difference. Is not nice for the girl but you don't have to suffer disapointment after disappointment.
jillerin457 jillerin457 9 years
I agree with everyone so far. You can be polite and civil to these girls, even though your brother may be a relationship maniac. I'm not sure I would even say much to the brother about this, since as others said, it's his own life. If you do choose to discuss it, don't be harsh or inflammatory. People who bounce from "serious" relationships like that are probably pretty insecure already.
Sporky Sporky 9 years
Just be nice to the girls, one and all. Like someone above said, you never know which girl might be the one for him.
sofi sofi 9 years
I feel like I am in a similar situation with my brother. He jumps into relationships merely because he is lonely and wants someone in his life. This 5 year relationship your bro was in was huge for you all. He probably has gotten very accustomed to having someone in his life and his family accepting them easily. I get frustrated too when new girls are thrown into the family mix too quickly. I've talked to my brother about this and he agrees with me and says that I am right, but he still does the same thing. You have to be gentle and not put this on the new girl but just tell him he should take his time so he isn't hurt again. Don't be too harsh- he'll probably come to his senses sooner or later and you don't want any resentment from him.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
You are not always going to agree with the decisions your brother makes. Even if you don't like what he's doing, it's not up to you. Of course you could always talk to him about it and see if maybe there is a reason for it all. But really you don't need to worry about his relationships and you need to let him make mistakes if he has to. Be happy that your brother is close to you and talks to you and wants his family involved in his life.
geebers geebers 9 years
Agree with Dear - you can't tell him what to do. He is an adult and these are HIS relationships. Don't judge these poor girls based on his past experiences. One of them could very well be the one he does marry. Just keep your opinions to yourself and let your brother know you are there for him if he needs support or advice. It is OK to ask him what is going on or why something didn't work out but in the end, it is his life.
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