Whenever anyone hears that I grew up between two sisters they always remark how well I must understand women. Those of you who have been reading these posts know the truth: I don't understand women.
It's a fundamental male characteristic not to understand women. So, did growing up between my sisters do anything good for me? Sure. But it also has hindered me. Below are the good and bad effects on my dating life from growing up with my sisters:
Growing up with my sisters has made me very comfortable around girls, but...almost too comfortable. I shared a bathroom with the two of them, so I know that girls are not so dainty all the time. Contrary to what my grandmother used to tell me: beautiful girls do go to the bathroom.
I've seen them clog toilets.
I've seen them fart and enjoy the wonderful humor that farts create. In fact, my older sister and I used to have a flower pot that we'd fart into and then push my little sister's face into.
We all laugh at bathroom humor together. Consequently, I have many female buddies that I talk to as if they are my sisters. In fact, it's tough to differentiate sometimes...things slip out. I just say what's on my mind around girls because I grew up doing it—and gross stuff used to get laughs!
And somehow my sisters are even more protective than I am! My little sister seems to dislike every girl I pick out for myself and, until recently, declared her friends off limits. So, I can't date anyone I pick out, or anyone she knows.
My older sister's friends were intimidating beautiful athletic girls who were perfect. They instilled a "women are goddesses" vibe in me...which counterbalanced my comfort I had with my sisters. My older sister's friends represented the mysterious and unattainable girl that I have grown into chasing fruitlessly today.
Being too comfortable with girls is also a good thing. I've never had a problem talking to girls randomly, or making them laugh. I understand when I'm "on", what gets a good response and bad response. A long as I concentrate, I can usually use what I've learned for good, and not get into EVERYTHING that my sisters and I laugh about.
My older sister humbled me before women. She was a two-time division one lacrosse champion. I don't know how many men have had the experience of physically having the crap beaten out of them by a girl, but it really helps you look at them on an even plane. Couple this with the mental torture that my sister inflicted on me, and I've come out of my childhood as if I've been seasoned by an older brother.
My big sister used to play a game called "Tamale" with my little sister and I where she'd ties us up, gag us, and wrap us in sleeping bags. Then she'd throw us into the closet and turn out the lights for a few hours. So desperate were we to spend time with her, we were willing to go through this. Often, I find myself so into certain girls that I am willing to go through mental, spiritual "tamales" just to be around them. I guess that's good?
So am I the over protective older brother. Nope. One day, I realized that resisting my sister's choice in guys (outside of anyone really bad) made me look like I didn't respect her intelligence and taste. This sort of thinking has helped me in relationships, to sit back, let a girlfriend do her thing and not be overbearing or tell her what to do...unless she asks.
My little sister has worked on me to be more like her—the carefree baby of the family. She inspires me to purge anxiety when it creeps in.
She offers me fashion advice, takes me shopping, and helps me figure out situations with girls. She also gives me all-important: psycho or not psycho advice:
Me: "So, should I call her and ask her to do this?"
Little Sister: "No, no. That's way too far. A little psycho, you just met her a week ago."
Having a female opinion on hand at all times is something I'll never take for granted.
And, of course, both girls are successful, hilarious, and intelligent—ultimately this is good. But the tough side of this is that they've set such a high bar for me, it's hard for me to find a girl that measures up to what I've learned that women can be.
Do you find that your siblings or lack of siblings had an effect on your views of the opposite sex and/or dating habits? If so, what kinds of effects did they have?