One of the most profound things that I have learned from my older brother is that even people raised in the same household can develop different understandings and perceptions of how to navigate relationships. In the beginning, understanding that we were different in this regard was hard for me to comprehend. However, now, I have gotten to the point where I respect the difference and it has made me understand my brother so much more.

To be more specific, I navigate relationships by the amount of contact I receive from someone. For me, I know someone cares about me when they take the time and energy to keep up with what is going on in my life. Whether that be through daily texting, email, Snapchat or any other social media platform, I feel close to people when I am in communication with them on a relatively consistent basis. With that being said, when someone doesn’t check in or talk to me very often, I feel like they don’t really care about me and it makes me sad.

On the other hand, my brother is someone who views relationships in a more simplistic and straightforward manner. He knows the people in his life that he cares about and is close with and, for him, constant communication is not necessary. Even if he didn’t talk to me for 10 years and one day I needed his help, he would come and help me no matter what because his love for me as his little sister doesn’t stem from knowing what I do on the day to day, but rather our inherent bond with each other created through our shared experiences.

It is so crazy to me that it has taken me only recently to understand this difference me and my brother.

From my perspective, my brother and I were raised in the same household and have experienced our family hardships together. Thus, I assumed that we shared a similar outlook when it came to relationships and life, in general. However, what I didn’t realize was we both took different perspectives and lessons from each of the things that we have been through and that, as a result, has shaped our perception on relationships in two unique ways.

I guess I write this to express that I am really glad my brother and I have gotten to the place where we were able to discuss our feelings about how we view relationships openly because it helped me understand him as a person so much better. This just goes to show that no matter how long you know someone, there will always be things about them that you can still learn and having the openness to have those conversations, even after a lifetime of knowing someone, is the key to progressing the relationship even further!