Growing up, I always considered my brother a maniac whose number one goal in life was to ruin mine. At four years apart, we were close enough in age to have the same group of friends, but far enough apart for me to despise every minute of being forced to include him.
But now, we're closer than ever. We willingly spend time together and (GASP!) enjoy each other's company.
Whether you have one brother or ten, it takes a strong woman to survive a household of men. So go ahead and thank your girlfriend or wife's brother for these seven traits she undoubtedly has. We'll wait.
1. She can hang with the boys.
Any girl with a brother is used to a house full of rowdy guys. Whether they're watching the game, playing Xbox or getting into a fistfight over the last pizza roll, she's seen (and heard) it all. She'll never hold you back from hanging with the guys, and if your boys aren't around she'll be just as fun to spend time with.
2. She doesn't mind getting a little dirty.
As a kid, she didn't paint her nails and have tea parties. She was outside with her brother, skateboarding and playing football (yes, tackle). When it comes to her relationship with you, she wants to be hands-on and is always down for fun. For date night, let your imagination run wild: paintballing or a hockey game will do — anything but dinner and a movie.
3. She can put together a string of obscenities like nobody's business.
Chances are she's gotten into a million verbal arguments with her sibling, which means she has no issue expressing herself. Her and her brother have known each other her whole life, so she's had plenty of time to get creative with the way she can tell someone off.
She'll probably catch you off-guard with the way she turns cursing into a bona fide art. Don't tell her to "act like a lady" — she'll have no problem letting you know her potty mouth just means she's f*cking smart.
4. She's a go-getter.
Growing up with a brother means competing for attention constantly. She's learned how to fight for what she wants. She's independent as hell and has no problem taking charge of any situation. She isn't there to be anyone's damsel in distress. You can always count on her to do whatever is necessary to make things right.
5. But she's also patient.
She's developed a thick skin over the years and can handle just about anything. She's been through quite a few stalemates with her brother and has learned to wait things out. She has a "come what may" attitude and will always be right by your side during the worst of times.
6. She knows how men think.
She's seen her brother grow up and has a VIP seat to all that he's been through, good and bad. She'll not only have sympathy for you, but more importantly, empathy. She'll be able to understand where you're coming from and how to effectively respond to you.
7. She knows how men want to be loved.
She loves her brother (but don't tell him that), and realizes that men give and receive love differently than women. She knows how to be affectionate without being overbearing, and she'll always give you 100 percent.