It is a little daunting to meet your boyfriend’s brothers, especially if it’s one of those families where the more they make fun of you, the more it means they like you. I’ve dated guys with a brother here and there, yet this is the first relationship I’ve really experienced the active consciousness of hoping they like me. Maybe it is because this time there are 2 brothers, or because his family is so close, or even (dare I say it?) because we are serious about one another and our future together.
Whatever the reason for my desire to impress may be, it’s important for us girlfriends to have a gameplan when we begin hanging out with the boyfriend’s brothers. It is our goal for them to want you to return, and the effort makes you extra awesome in your boyfriend’s eyes.
I have 3 bits of advice from personal experience during this past weekend when I visited the boyfriend and family in Sacramento. If you apply all 3, you’re golden!
Ladies, this is the fastest, simplest, most foolproof way to get the brothers to like you.
For instance, I made my chicken pot pie for Jake soon after we started dating and it became an instant favorite of his. He has boasted about how amazing it is to his brothers for a while now, so when I came to visit and their parents were out of town for the evening, I cooked my chicken pot pie for the 3 boys. I was told, “You might be onto something with this,” which was quite the praise coming from them. Now… they also teased me I should have put a fried egg on it, but that’s gross and they can ruin my chicken pot pie on their own with that addition. I also made them buffalo chicken dip for football on Sunday, which was a huge hit!
- Do not, I repeat do not cook them anything their mother has already stapled. No matter what, it’s a lose-lose situation for you. They will compare it to how their mom makes it and 9 times out of 10 your recipe will be, in their minds, inferior to hers. In the small chance they do like it more than how their mom does it, you’ve automatically dropped in popularity with her (I don’t care how well you two get along, it’s just the truth). Separate yourself from your potentially-future-mother-in-law and whip up something different. Therefore, the brothers associate you with that delicious dish.
- Keep the healthy stuff to a minimum. This is the only time I will ever write those words, but I 100% stand by it in this context. Cook them something hearty and tasty, this is not a time to count calories. Unless it is a dessert, I recommend meat being one of the main ingredients.
- Be aware of any brothers’ dietary restrictions, if applicable. Wouldn’t it suck if you worked really hard on something and while you’re setting it out to serve, you learn one brother is allergic to that one tinnnny ingredient and now he misses out (and blames you)? Just check beforehand.
- Make enough and if in doubt, double the ingredients. You want to make sure when they want seconds and thirds that they have that opportunity.
- Do not complain that you are feeding them, even if they are watching football in the next room and you feel stuck in the kitchen (exception: your team is playing, in which case don’t be an idiot who initially planned to cook at that time). You offered to do this, remember? This is your way of bribing them to like you and it is completely nullified if they feel like this is a burden on you. This also extends to no complaining to the boyfriend, he will appreciate your efforts all the more.
Strike up a conversation
You must know some things about them, right? Starting even a simple conversation is your way of expressing that you are an interested person and, in turn, you are transformed into an interesting person. It’s basic communication skills, but it definitely goes a long way! I’m a social enough person where the idea of not talking with someone (be it brother or, really, anyone) is completely foreign, which was maybe why I was so shocked when they said Jake’s last girlfriend just stood there awkwardly 90% of the time.
- If we really want to get technical, think of the “60-40” interview concept with each brother having the 60%. Talk, but don’t keep bringing the conversation back to yourself. You don’t want to be that chatty girlfriend who doesn’t allow the others to talk.
- Avoid discussions about your boyfriend’s exes. If they bring it up, politely engage until you’re able to swiftly move on to another topic. Under no circumstances do you ask questions and begin sniffing for information. You don’t want to set yourself up to be mad at your man and have to pretend for the next several hours you’re not. And let’s be honest, the brothers will not have appropriate filters and there may be some things you just don’t need to know.
Joke around with them
Ah, the most complex yet most effective of the 3. I recommend only attempting this one if you have prior experience because if performed incorrectly, you can make them the best food they’ve ever had but you’ll still be that bitch who thought she was funny.
- Limit your at-the-boyfriend’s-expense jokes and keep the ones you do make in good humor. At the end of the night, your boyfriend is ultimately the most important person you want to have like you. Let the brothers have their jokes between one another, there are plenty more you can join in on where you won’t get awkward looks.
- Their family may have goofy nicknames for them, but just because you hear them called these names does not give you the right to use them, too. It creates an uncomfortable situation, trust me, and they will correct you.
To every girl with a boyfriend who has a brother or a few, I wish you the best of luck! Any additional tips you can think of, I’m all ears 🙂