You can't help who you're attracted to, but whether or not you act on that attraction, that's different. For instance, what if you're crushing on your best friend’s sibling, and you sense that their feelings are mutual? Is that something you can act on, or is it a line that should never be crossed? According to author, relationship, and etiquette expert April Masini, you shouldn't feel as though you have to avoid a relationship with real potential because it might be a little complicated with their relatives. In fact, she says this can actually be a good way to meet someone really great.
However, that doesn't mean it isn't complicated or even a bit awkward when you start getting romantic vibes with your bestie's sibling. "It's definitely an awkward situation because there’s not just one relationship at hand, there are two: the one with your best friend and another with that person’s sibling," Masini tells Elite Daily. "If things get messy between you and the sibling — or you and your best friend — there'll be pressure on many fronts." So, clearly, if you decide this is a route you want to take, it should be done carefully and thoughtfully.
Keep your friend in the loop.
If your friend knows you and their sibling well, there's a good chance that they're well aware of the connection the two of you have been making. That said, when things move past just crushing on each other and into something more real like dating or getting physical, Masini says it's best to keep your friend in the loop. “If you don’t, your friend may feel betrayed. If you do tell them and they’re troubled by it, that’s a problem that's separate from their feeling uninformed,” she explains.
Don’t treat your friend like they’re a source of information.
It’s natural early on to want to know everything you can about your crush and how they might be feeling about you. But if you think your friend might be the person you can squeeze all that intel from, Masini says to think again. She explains that it's best not to put them in the middle of your relationship by asking them to break their siblings' confidence. “Understand that they may know things about the sibling and your relationship with the sibling that you don’t … this puts your best friend in an awkward situation,” Masini says. It's important to be empathetic and consider the unique challenges this presents for your friend, too.
Maintain the same friendship you have with your friend.
One thing your friend might be most afraid of if you get into a romantic relationship with their sibling is how it's going to affect the bond the two of you share. Are they now less important? Has your loyalty shifted? As you can imagine, that could be hard for your friend, so Masini advises making the extra effort to maintain your friendship as it is now. “Be careful that you don’t start treating your best friend cheaply in order to be with their sibling. Don’t hang up their calls just because you get a call waiting notification from their sibling. Don’t cancel getting together with a best friend because their sibling suddenly wants you to do something with them. Siblings have a lot more access to each other's lives and will find out if you’re ditching one of them for another one of them,” she explains.
Consider how you’ll handle a breakup.
In an ideal world, you could guarantee that the relationships with your bestie's sibling would end up in a happily ever after, or baring that mutual and amicable spirit. Unfortunately, there's no way to guarantee that'll be the case should things not work out between the two of you, which is why you need to consider how you'll conduct yourself during and after a breakup. That way, you can maintain your friendship with your bestie afterward. “If things go south in a relationship with your best friend’s siblings, you’ll want to avoid bad behavior,” says Masini. “The sibling relationship is lifelong. Avoid saying nasty things. Go over and above what you normally would make a breakup polite and civilized, if only for the sake of your best friendship with your ex’s sibling.”
Dating the family member of a friend definitely adds a bit more complication, but the reality is you never know where you’ll end up finding love. When it's right, it’s right, and if it just so happens to be with your friend's sibling, that’s OK. The key here is just to proceed carefully, thoughtfully, and, above all, respectfully of everyone involved along the way.