Gabrielle Chant
September 10, 2015 11:20 am

When I was 23, I moved in with my 18-year-old brother for six months. It should have been a recipe for disaster. After all, I’d been living away from home for half a decade. The last time I’d shared long-term house space with my brother, he’d been a fully-fledged stroppy teenager – and so had I. The thought of living with him again scared me a little. Would we regress into our door-slamming former selves? Would we survive without our parents to referee our arguments? Would he actually know how to clean a toilet?

As it turned out, moving in together was the best thing either of us could have done. Those six months were challenging at times, but they were also hilarious. Living together as adults brought my brother and I closer together than we’d ever been before, and the good relationship we still have to this day owes an awful lot to those six months we spent as housemates.

So without further ado, here are my five reasons why living with your sibling is a great idea:

They have already seen you at your worst

Zit on the end of your nose? No big deal – your sibling can remember an era when you were more zit than face. Bad hair day? Nah, it’s nothing compared to that time you accidentally fried your hair with peroxide and it came out in clumps. Snappy and irritable? Don’t worry, you are so much more reasonable now than you were a door-slamming fourteen-year-old instigating terrible screaming matches with your parents. Yep, your sibling has seen it all, and that gives them a housemate super-power – they can help you keep things in perspective.

You two are already pretty good at sharing things

As kids, you shared dolls, toy cars, and Star Wars figures pretty successfully. Sure, there was the occasional squabble, and sure, there was that one time you gave them a black eye with the Barbie doll you were wielding as a weapon. But overall, you guys generally got the hang of what this give and take thing is all about. As grown-ups, you should be able to share rent, refrigerator space and chores without too much fuss. And if one of you behaves like a selfish pain in the ass, you both know full well that the other will only call your parents and tell on you.

You have the same cultural history

You were brought up together, and that means you were fed the exact same cultural diet. Your friends may not get your predilection for lesser-known eighties comedies, but your sibling totally does, and what’s more, they’ll jump at the chance of a eighties movie marathon weekend. When you start to quote from that one movie you watched on repeat when you were eight, your sibling will be able to finish the line without missing a beat. Best of all, you can stop worrying about only allowing your cool DVDs to be on show on the living room shelves. Your sibling already knows how uncool your taste in movies is, because it’s exactly as uncool as theirs.

They know how to take care of you when you’re sick

Remember that hot blackcurrant squash with honey your mom used to make when you felt under the weather? Well, your sibling remembers it too, and they know that the best thing to do when you’re ill in bed is to bring you a steaming hot mug of that childhood drink. They also know that you like to be left alone to wallow in the misery of your period cramps, but that when you’re nursing a heavy cold you require company, extra blankets, and a very specific brand of tomato soup. Best of all, when things get vomity, your sibling will even deal with your sick bowl. Because they know you’d do the same for them.

Your sibling could become your best friend

They’ll be the person you complain to when you’ve had a crappy day at work. You’ll be the one they ask for outfit advice when they’re going on a first date. They’ll be the shoulder you cry on when your boy/girlfriend breaks up with you out of the blue. You’ll both be there for movie nights, and dinner parties, and spontaneous summer outings to the park. You’ll get to know each other as a adult, and gradually your idea of them as a sulky and infuriating teenager will get replaced with the reality of them as a perfectly reasonable human being who is actually pretty good fun to be around. Some siblings never get past the childhood bickering phase, but you guys? You’ll be friends for life.

[Image via Universal Pictures]

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