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How Our Siblings Influence Who We Date

A man introducing his girlfriend to his siblings since they influence who he dates.

Your siblings—You’ve shared your toys with them, numerous meals, the blame for a select number of household accidents, secrets and jokes. Maybe you’ve even had to share a room or a car at some point. But when it comes to dating, do you share the same views?

In honor of National Siblings Day, we asked the daters at the online dating site Zoosk to spill the beans on what, if any, influence their siblings have had over who they date. The answer? Like most things between brothers and sisters, it’s complicated.

1. Siblings Come First 

Sorry parents, but when it comes to dating, you’re the last to know. 54% of daters reported that when they’re seriously interested in someone, their brothers and sisters are the first people in their family who know about it. On top of that, 52% said their siblings are the first people to meet the person they’re dating.

“We’re both the same gender and closer in age,” one dater explained about why he talked to his brother about who he was dating. “I want my parent’s respect, but they may not view our generation’s dating priorities like my brother and I do.”

2. Blood Is Only Slightly Thicker Than Water

Despite the fact that our siblings are the first people we go to talk about who we’re dating, we don’t always listen to what they have to say. (For many of us, this won’t come as much of a surprise.) When asked if they’d date someone who didn’t get along well with their siblings 41% said yes, 34% said maybe but not likely, and only 24% said no.

“I value my family’s opinions,” said one dater, “but ultimately who I date is up to me.”

However, many did feel that their siblings’ opinions were one of many things they took into consideration when evaluating a relationship.

“My siblings are among the people in my life who have known me the longest,” explained another man. “I highly value their opinion and dating someone is integrating someone new into your life. If the people closest to you don’t think highly of that person, then I think that requires a reevaluation of your choice.”

3. In the End, Family Matters

When asked whose opinion mattered most when it came to their significant other, daters reported that siblings and parents had about the same influence. 30% said that both their parents and siblings opinions mattered, 15% said that they valued their siblings’ opinions more, and 16% said that parents were the most important. That only left 39% who didn’t think family opinions mattered at all.

“The person I’m dating may potentially become family,” explained one woman. “They need to like my family and my family needs to like them.”

Our relationships with our siblings are important. For many of us, they’re the closest relationships we have that will last the longest. This National Siblings Day, feel free to give and take dating advice from your siblings, but feel free to give them a hard time and push back too. Afterall, fighting, teasing, and the occasional argument is part of the fun too.

“My sibling relationships are probably not something that can be expressed in words,” one dater put best. “There were fights, arguments, and a lot of hitting each other. But at the end of the day there was so much love. We’ll stay together forever.”

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