There are two extremes and a grey area when it comes to sibling relationships. The most common dynamic is one where siblings hate each other with a burning passion right from the get-go. Other times, you get the odd family where it's the complete opposite - they get along with each other great and there's very little animosity between them. And sometimes, you get a mix of the two; a love-and-hate situation that fluctuates from time to time.
I myself have two sisters, one older and one younger, and we definitely had a love/hate relationship growing up. I never really experienced 'middle-child syndrome' because I'm the only son in my family, but I still always found things to complain about; especially when it came to my sisters. Most of the time we got along great, but there were times when everything they did annoyed me to my very core.
Nowadays, it's totally different between us. We now sit at the second aforementioned extreme of the sibling relationship spectrum and things between us couldn't be any better. We even text each other regularly, and not because we have to remind each other about the family dinner we're having on the weekend, but because we genuinely want to.
Why the sudden change? Here are 10 reasons why you get closer to your sister(s) with age, from a brother's perspective:
1. You realize that the age-gap doesn't matter.
As you get older, you begin to understand that the age difference between you and your sister isn't important. A three-year age gap may have been a big deal when you guys were 15 and 18, but it becomes completely insignificant once you guys are 24 and 27. You and your sister essentially pass through the same exciting milestones in life - passing your G1 test, sending in your OUAC university applications, graduating from high school, starting university - you rely on each other's advices because you both tread the same line through life.
2. You have a better idea of her likes and dislikes.
After living with her for years, you establish a pretty good idea of your sister's interests and pet peeves. Because you've studied her all your life, you know her better than anyone else and that helps you establish a better relationship with her. Maybe she's a Hong Kong waffle aficionado; so you get her a bag from Bang Bang when she's having a bad day. Or maybe she hates taking the TTC so you offer to drive her to where she's going. As you get older, you become more appreciative of what you have; even your sister.
3. You stop tattling on each other to mom.
Those "You told mom?!" days are over. You start to look out for each other because you realize your sister is a valuable asset when it comes to dealing with your parents. The very first time your sister takes your side, you know your relationship with her has changed for the better. Maybe your friends are going to Uniun and your parents won't let you go, or you ended up with a terrible GPA at the end of your second term at Ryerson - it's okay, your sister's got your back. You eventually realize that the least you could do is return the favour.
4. You become 'of-age'.
Age limits make an age-gap seem worse than it is. When you've got an older sister and she's the first one to be able to try out everything - alcohol, R-rated movies, even various roller coaster rides at Canada's Wonderland, jealousy may ensue. But as soon both of you turn of-age, you're both able to enjoy these things together, and that really brings you closer to each other.
5. You both get jobs.
Money brings people closer together. Once you and your sister get jobs, you might be more inclined to share your wealth with each other. With age you both develop a better understanding of the value of a dollar, and part of your improved relationship involves helping each other out when it comes to finances. Employment is also an active topic of conversation between siblings, whether it regards what happened during your shift at Toronto Western or where you see your careers going in the near future.
6. You experience the same hardships.
Acne, bullying, unemployment - life can take a toll on you sometimes, and your sister knows just how hard it can be because she's been there. Sharing in the same struggles helps siblings connect with each other at a much deeper level. Whether you've just been laid off at Maple Leaf Foods or totalled your car at Lake Shore Blvd E and Lower Jarvis St, your sister will be there for you.
7. You start having kids.
My mother always tells me this story about how she and her sister never got along until they had kids. Becoming a parent, or an aunt or uncle changes you in a good way. You or your siblings may not have any kids of your own at the moment, but at the rate Toronto millenials are going, I wouldn't be surprised if you had them soon.
8. You realize how much your life would suck without her.
This really hits hard the first time you don't live with each other anymore. Who's going to hog the bathroom in the morning, or blast deadmau5 songs throughout the house once she leaves? No matter how much she may have annoyed you in the past, there's no denying she was a critical part of shaping who you are as a person. Her departure may sadden you a little bit, but at least it makes birthdays, Christmases, Thanksgivings and family reunions all the more exciting.
All of these points to say: your relationship with your sister grows up as you do. Give your sister a hug today.