Young Man Attracted to His Girlfriend’s Sister

What should I do if I find myself increasingly drawn to my girlfriend's sister? I've been dating a very good, kind, and godly young lady for about three months now, and in the process I've spent a lot of time getting to know her entire family. I didn't anticipate that I would end up feeling a greater affinity for and a stronger attraction to her sister, but that's exactly what has happened. Bottom line: I'd like to pursue a deeper relationship with the sister, but I don't want to be responsible for causing dissension within the family. I've sought the counsel of several wise friends, but they all tell me something different. I feel lost and stuck. Any advice?

Our advice is that you break up with the girl you’ve been dating and take a hiatus from any further contact with her family for a reasonable period – maybe six months or so. That will allow time for the emotional dust to settle, for the girl and her family to heal, and for you to get in touch with your own feelings. At the end of that period, you can think about re-establishing contact with the sister if you still feel inclined to move ahead in that direction.

We understand that you’re apprehensive about “causing dissension” in this family. Your feelings are only natural. To a certain extent, we want to encourage you to resist the temptation to assume a burden of guilt on that score. Things will play out as they will. Some people may experience pain in the process, but you can’t control that. It isn’t necessarily your fault, and you needn’t view yourself as being directly “responsible” for that aspect of the situation.

At the same time, you do need to conduct yourself as a responsible person in all of your dealings and interactions with these people. If the young lady you’ve been dating is as “good, kindly, and godly” as you say, then you need to respect her accordingly. You also have an obligation to display a proper regard for the relationship you’ve enjoyed with her and for the feelings of every member of her family. All of this suggests that it would not be a good idea simply to “dump” her and rush straight into a new relationship with her sister. Back off and let things take their own course for a while. At that point, everyone will be in a better position to proceed with wisdom and sensitivity.

If you think it might be helpful to discuss your dilemma with a member of our staff, call our Counseling department for a free consultation.


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