When it comes to relationship milestones, “meeting the parents” is one of the major ones everyone talks about… but it’s not the only family dynamic that holds weight. If you have a close relationship with your sibling, you probably care a lot about what they think of your partner, too. Hanging out with your partner and sibling (separately from your parents and extended fam) can give them time to connect in a low-key setting, without the added pressure of having other people around. And this way, they can bond over their shared interests — and their obvious shared appreciation for you.
But how do you facilitate this without making your sib feel like a third wheel? It’s never fun to spend time with a couple when you feel like the odd one out. To avoid any awkwardness, plan activities with your SO and sibling that will give all three of you a natural opportunity to talk. It’s all about creating a connection between everyone, so ultimately, it matters most that you get to just hang out and chill together. But there are tons of ways to do that involve more than grabbing coffee or getting a drink. It’s all about creativity!
Make the most of your time with your partner and sibling by planning one of these fun outings:
1. Enjoy A Favorite Meal
Rather than just scheduling a generic dinner together, think about meals your SO and sibling especially enjoy. Are they both burger connoisseurs? Hit up a local beer garden and burger joint. Do they share a love for Thai food? Find a cute spot for curry and noodles. If your sibling is visiting your home away from home, and you have a favorite go-to restaurant there that you love, introduce them to it! Bonding over delicious food is sure to make everyone happy.
2. See A Show Or Movie Together
Check out the local concerts, live theater shows, and movies to see if something intriguing catches your eye. The three of you won’t get to talk during the actual movie or show — but it should spark some great conversations afterward! Sometimes the best way to get to know someone is by bonding over a show you saw together.
3. Go To A Sporting Event
Another foolproof way to bring two people together is by giving them a sports team to root for. This idea works especially well if your partner and sibling already share a love for one particular sport or team. Spend a day in the stands eating popcorn and obnoxiously cheering as you talk about the sports teams you loved growing up. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
4. Visit A Bookstore Or Café
There’s a reason people often meet up at coffee shops — they’re cozy, quiet, and perfect for just getting to know someone. But to shake things up beyond a cliché coffee shop hang, go to a bookstore and browse the shelves together. Usually there’s also a cafe or lounge area where you can chill and talk, and maybe give each other some book recs in the process.
5. Go For A Hike
If you live near some great outdoor spots, spend a morning hiking and exploring! Hiking is a perfect way to facilitate deep life chats with no interruption. Plus, it’s impossible to feel like a third wheel when all three of you are trekking through the wilderness together and probably breaking a sweat.
6. Host A Night In
If you or your partner is a wizard in the kitchen, you can make your sib feel welcome by inviting them over for a homemade dinner and dessert. To avoid any third-wheel vibes, involve them in the cooking process so everyone feels included. Then, after dinner, you can challenge each other to board games or go for a walk around the block (or really anything that doesn’t involve you and your boo chilling on the couch while your sib sits across the room).
7. Check Out A Cocktail Bar
“Grabbing a drink” might sound like an overused hangout idea, but it doesn’t have to be if you pick out the right place. Cocktail or wine bars are often more chill and intimate than noisy, crowded sports bars, and they’ll give you more space to chat. Bonus points if you all share a love of creative drinks or a good charcuterie plate.
8. Visit A Museum
If there’s a museum exhibit in your area that showcases something your sib and partner are both into (say, old musical instruments or cultural artifacts), go check it out together. Then afterward, sit down with a drink and dessert and discuss what you saw. Your partner and sibling may end up connecting over things you wouldn't expect.
9. See A Comedy Show
There’s nothing like a comedy show to break the tension and get everyone laughing — as long as you’re OK with potentially being roasted by the comedian (it happens). By the time the show is over, your partner and sib won’t feel awkward around each other in the slightest. The best cringeworthy one-liners can become your inside jokes from now on.
10. Do Karaoke Together
Have you ever done karaoke with someone without immediately becoming their best friend afterward? It’s impossible not to laugh when you’re belting out all the words to your favorite songs and totally embarrassing yourself in the process. Best case scenario: your partner and sib can duet on a song together. That’s a memory none of you will soon forget.
Chilling with your partner and sibling doesn’t have to feel forced and uncomfortable. The key is picking an activity that will spark conversation between the three of you. If you can find ways for your partner and sibling to bond, they can grow to love each other just as much as you love each of them — and that’s a win-win-win.