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Relationships with Brothers vs. Sisters: Is There Really a Difference?

Updated on January 9, 2014

I grew up in a world surrounded by boys. I am the oldest of four and the only girl in my family. When my mom got pregnant with the last child I prayed every night for a little sister but instead I got a third little brother. I may have been slightly disappointed but I loved snuggling my little brother when he was a newborn, fed him when he got a little bigger and basically loved on him like a “second mom.” I couldn't dress up him in cute dresses, play Barbie’s or doll house with him when he got older, but I could still spend time with him doing other kinds of activities. In essence, I came around to not minding so much that I was the only girl and wouldn't grow up with sisters because I still got the closeness I wanted with my siblings; they just aren't girls.

However, lately I have been thinking, there really aren't many differences between the relationships. The relationship can actually look the same just in a different form. I came to this theory by thinking about all the things one could or couldn't do with a sister, and things one could or couldn't do with a brother.

1. You Can’t Talk with Your Brother

Technically this isn't true, I know I can definitely talk with my middle brother about stuff but the topics are slightly different. In my case, it depends on the brother because I have a unique relationship with all three. With a sister the topic can be about anything, if you're close one can talk about boys, relationships, sadness, anger, happiness, who did what, who’s dating whom, who broke up with whom, etc. I can actually talk to my brother about this stuff, however, when it comes to emotion he only seems to have two, what ticks him off and what makes him laugh. I can also talk about ideas for pranks and possible future "victims" with them. I also hear about which friends are idiots and the dumb things they do. With the second oldest, the topics usually revolve around recording something on the DVR, picking him up, what to get mom and dad, etc. Despite being a teenager now, the youngest brother's dialogue with me still focuses on my "second mom" tendencies.

2. You Can’t Go Shopping with Your Brother

I know this one is going to sound hysterical because what guy likes to shop except for those that are metrosexual? It’s because one associates shopping with clothes shopping and accessory shopping. Again, different type of shopping with a brother but it is shopping technically or what my brothers and I call “errands.” What shopping consists for us is; buying parts for his ATV, grocery shopping for our mom, gift shopping last minute for a birthday or Christmas, the latest electronic, you know, guy stuff. If clothes are involved in our shopping it’s usually sportswear and we go to MC Sports or Dick’s. It’s not boring, I have fun whenever I go “shopping” around with him, in fact we have a good time shopping at Dick’s to fill up CO2 tanks for paintball; or I get his expert opinion on a new set of roller blades.

3. One Can’t Talk about What One wants To Do When One Grows up

Once again, not true. Now, I don’t want to be sexist in this part because in today’s world women pick what is considered a masculine career path or men pick what is a feminine career path. However, I am going to stick with the general consensus that if one grows up with a bunch of sister, one is close with those sisters; one’s ideal career path might stereotypical feminine careers. In my household I do talk to my brothers about careers and what we want because we are, 22 (me), 19, 17 almost 18, and 13 years old. The topics of careers in our house are almost all military related and we have a military theme going on. There isn’t a lot of talk from them wanting to be a ballerina, model, secretary, pro-football player, lawyer, etc. I have three very masculine brothers. Noticing a pattern here? Yes, topics are the same it’s just different with a brother.

  1. One Can’t Go out To Eat with One’s Brother

I think if I went out to a nice restaurant with my brothers, got dressed up, and had them pull out a chair for me would be 1 out of their character, and 2 would be really weird and just not our style. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory; if one has a sister cute dresses and a nice or nicer restaurant are where one goes to hang out. My brother’s idea of the three or four of us going out to eat a restaurant would be the following; Taco Bell, Five Guys, All you can eat China buffet, Chipotle, Hot Heads, McDonald’s, seeing a trend yet? They are all greasy and cheap places but I’m not going to lie I love all of these places!

  1. One Can’t Share a Bathroom With One’s Brother

One can share a bathroom with one’s brother and if the assumption is that sharing a bathroom with a brother is gross, well technically a sister is too. For example, my brothers find my shedding hair in the sink and shower absolutely disgusting. Instead of fighting over who borrowed whose hair brush or make- up we fight over who clogged our toilet and who has to unclog it. I admit I’m glad I don’t have to worry about them borrowing my hair dryer and arguing over that, but we do argue who took whose toothbrush or towel.

There are probably more things I could add to this list and show the differences and similarities of that of a sister or that of a brother. However, I think these are the five main ones that are the easiest to compare and contrast. Really, my relationship with my brother(s) isn’t so much different from my friends who have all or dominantly sisters our relationships just look different because of how they are wired. All the activities I do with my brothers are always fun and enjoyable and having a close relationship with one is awesome! I can do all these things with them and it’s too much different, but I guess it all depends on how one looks at it.



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    • GalaxyRat profile image

      GalaxyRat 8 months ago from The Crazy Rat Lady's House

      Just like, "Yup" says, that was kinda sexist. And I gotta point a few things out, if you don't mind, for all those people who say that you can't, I can, 1.Talk to my brothers about all sorts of things (puberty, his or my crushes, etc), 2. Go shopping with my brothers (for toys and clothes), 3. Go out to eat, 4. ETC.

      Thank you for pointing all of this stuff out.

    • profile image

      Yup. 9 months ago

      You have a lot of issues here if you're going to say crap like 'electronics' are 'guy stuff'. Gender is a social construction and what 'can' and 'can't' do with their own brother is up to how the family is raised. As a 'girl', half my toys were barbies and dolls, and the other half were robots, cars, and video games. Half my clothes were frilly frocks and half were pants. I'm a human being, whether you call it a 'girl' or 'boy'.

    • profile image

      Anonymous 23 months ago