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Signs Siblings Are Too Close

by Danielle Wright

This may sound odd, but have you ever dated someone who just happens to be a bit too close to their siblings? I have, and it was weird.

Image Credit: J_art / Getty Images

During this time, I kept thinking back to that episode of Friends when Rachel was dating that guy who had an inappropriate relationship with his sister. If you’ve never seen it, here’s the breakdown: Rachel and Danny are dating, and each time there’s an interaction between him and his sister, it’s super out of order.

In one scene, Rachel tries to convince Monica that she’s not imagining things, so she invited Danny and his sister to the café, where his sister then starts using her finger to feed Danny cake. Needless to say, Monica was immediately convinced.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with being close to your siblings. As the only girl with two older brothers and one younger, I am no stranger to spending time with them and them treating me with kindness—holding the doors open, laughing at each other’s jokes, carrying my bags, etc. But that’s just them being a gentleman and us having a normal healthy familial relationship.

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Often times when siblings are too close, it can come off as incestuous—lots of hugging, giggling, inside jokes, tickling, spending an uncomfortable amount of time around one another even if they’re dating or married to other people…the list goes on. The man I was dating spent lots of time with his sister, told me about her every single day, would often drop off food for me that she cooked, sent me selfies of him and her, sent me a video of her home when I inquired about his mother’s home…all in got obsessive.

What caused things to go up in flames was when I asked him, “So, what does your sister think about me?” after he and I had been seeing one another for five months. His response, “She doesn’t know I’m dating anyone.”

Yea (-_-)

Now that you’ve read why I’m still single, let’s get into some of the signs that siblings are too close and what you can do about it if you’re not ready to call things quits just yet…


Sibling relationships are some of the most beautiful relationships in the world. Our siblings are usually our first best friends and the people we can count on for assistance in our day-to-day lives. Siblings are a safe haven for many of us and the people with whom we can share almost anything—especially if it’s important to us.

Incest is human sexual activity between family members or close relatives. If the person you’re in a relationship with or dating seems to prefer spending time with their siblings, prioritizes them over everything in their life, including you, then they could see that person as more than just family.

Bringing this up can be hard. I suggest, before diving into this topic, asking questions about your partner’s childhood, learning about why their relationship with their sibling(s) is so codependent. Perhaps they’re half-siblings and share a different mother but the same father, or vice versa, and that parent stepped up to raise them, so they’ve developed a close relationship with their sibling out of gratitude. You never know what it could be; the best thing you can do is ask.

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Another sign is that they often do things together but do not include you or ask you to be included. In my case, the guy I was dating would suggest I meet his sister whenever their family was having a BBQ. I would get all excited, and then the day of, he would cancel. Huge red flag!

Another sign is if they enjoy going to restaurants on their own, often without their parents. You want to feel included, and any man who is not in love with his sister, or vice versa for a woman, is going to make sure the person they are in love with is spending time and getting to know the people they love.

In this case, you want to set clear boundaries. It’s not your job to be controlling or change how someone lives their lives; it’s your job to decide what you will allow to take place in yours. For this scenario, consider asking your partner to spend more time with you—non-sex time, to be exact. You want to gauge their interest in doing activities that you like, and then, for the first time or two, make the plans and invite them. This will show them that you’re taking an initiative to get them to spend more time with you and trust you.

After some time, it’s up to the person you’re dating to make those plans, and instead of spending an abundant amount of time with their sibling, slowly they’ll begin spending more time with you. This is important because you want to show them that you are a priority, and if they want to remain in your life, they will have to make the necessary changes.


Let’s say you’ve been dating or in a relationship with your partner for some time, and you’ve noticed some of the things I’ve mentioned above. When you go to speak to them about it, they’re defensive. This is not only a clear sign that they have an inappropriate relationship with their sibling, but also a sign that they have a lack of respect for you. This will never end well. Even if you manage to marry this person, they will always prioritize their sibling's feelings over yours, no matter what.

Women need their feelings validated. When this doesn’t happen, it can poke holes in our self-esteem, and insecurities lead to unhealthy relationship dynamics. Using “I Statements” when you’re ready to ask these hard questions and having your partner shut you down at every turn is a sign that your relationship is over, and it’s time to possibly explore other options. If he or she does not see your point of view due to their own shame and insecurity or even feelings of embarrassment—because let’s face it, being called out for a weird relationship with your sibling isn’t un-shameful—then that is their problem to deal with, not yours.


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