Meeting your guy's sister for the first time can be intimidating.
Like most good siblings, she might be skeptical at first of you and your intentions. After all, she has her brother's best interests in mind, and she's been witness to any of his relationships that didn't work out in the past.
But the real test comes after you exchange hellos, and that's getting her to like you. If you're planning on sticking it out for the long haul, this is a pretty vital step.
If she's older, you know he looks up to her and values her opinion. If she's younger, he's protective of her and wants to set a good example. Either way, building a friendship with your boyfriend's sister from the beginning can feel just as important as earning his parents' approval.
Pro tip: You're probably going to have to be the one that plants the seed for the friendship.
Without overstepping boundaries, start simple, like offering to pick her up when she needs a ride, extending an invitation for dinner, or just taking a minute to chat one-on-one.
If you're lucky, the two of you will get along right off the bat, and you can let out a sigh of relief. If you're really lucky, your relationship will evolve to the point of even considering her your friend.
Of course, your boyfriend will appreciate your kindness and camaraderie, but the bond between you and your BF's sister can be a major plus anytime you need the following support:
1. She can let you borrow her clothes.
Unexpected overnights or spontaneous pool days at your boyfriend's house mean you may be looking for a change of clothes.
Hopefully, his sister will be there to lend you a pair of gym shorts, a tank, etc. Because in some cases, your guy's over-sized sweats just won't do the trick.
2. She doubles as a great sidekick.
For example, when your bf burps, farts, picks on you, the list goes on... it's nice to have another gal pal in the room.
You two can roll your eyes at each other and talk about how gross he is. She knows this better than anybody; she's had to live with him her whole life. (Just make sure you draw the line at playful teasing. You don't want her to think you're putting her bro down.)
3. She has all the stories from his past.
Nobody tells the story of when he peed his pants in seventh grade better than her. And she can be your go-to for finding those super-cute baby videos. Whatever it is, his sis is a direct connection to his childhood, and to the memories he'd never be willing to share himself.
4. She can be your last-minute date.
When night shifts or last-minute schedule changes interfere with your date night plans, your bf's sister is the perfect fill in when he isn't around.
Added bonus: she'll be right there sobbing next to you at the sappy love movie you couldn't convince your man to see.
5. She will offer honest fashion advice.
Most boyfriends know to say, "Great!" when we ask them how we look, right?
If you're dissatisfied with your bf's textbook response and you trust her opinion (and fashion sense), ask her to weigh in. Hopefully, she'll appreciate you asking for her opinion, and will respect you enough to offer some honesty.
6. She can become a sister to you.
I was lucky enough to grow up with two big sisters, but for those who weren't, your boyfriend's sister can be the next best thing.
In fact, being tight with her means you'll benefit from a lot of the same things, without the cutthroat fights over toys, clothes, being your parents' favorite, etc.
But before you go asking to borrow that crop top you've seen in her closet, know that it's going to take time to nurture the friendship – and rushing the process will feel awkward for everyone.
In the meantime, be respectful, be yourself, and trust that whatever your man likes about you, his sister will, too.