From the moment you get engaged to your sweetheart his family becomes yours and vice versa. While you are busy getting to know your mother-in-law, don’t forget your fiancé’s beloved sister. She is the one to whom he has gone to with his first secrets and who has probably protected him from fiascos. They probably share a close bond. Here’s how you can bond with sis-in-law too.
1. Wish her on birthdays and festivals
Give her a personal call and convey your greetings and best wishes. The very fact that you not only remembered her on an important date but also called her will make her think warmly of you.
2. Connect with her on social networks
Send her a request on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and engage with her on social media in general. Share pictures of your family get-togethers and don’t forget to tag her. There is no need to relentlessly internet-stalk her but keep the interaction alive.
3. Girls who shop together, stay together
There is no stronger adhesive for girls’ friendship than shopping. Take your sis-in-law along for a pre-wedding shopping spree. Not only will you have fun, you will also get an insight into her fashion preferences - always a good thing to know about someone when you’re buying gifts.
4. Ask your girl gang to include her in the bridal shower
That is, if you have known your fiancé for a while. This might not work if it’s an arranged marriage and interactions are still formal. Ask your gang to invite your future sis-in-law but leave the decision to her. A bridal shower is a good way to make a buddy of the person who was your beau’s first best friend.
5. Introduce her to your gang and do a ladies’ night together
Once you start getting to know your sis-in-law, invite her for a ladies’ night on the town. Go pubbing, dancing and round it off with a good dinner. If you are lucky, she would have willingly become a member of your girl gang by the end of the night and vice versa.
6. Double date, anyone?
And why not? If your sis-in-law is already dating or married, get your fiancé to go on a double date with her and her beau. Wine and dine through the night with your better halves or do something fun, like water sports, and you will see the formality slowly melting away.
7. Get personal with gifts
Grill your better half on his sister’s likes and dislikes, and make him tap into their shared childhood memories so that you get a better understanding of her. When it comes to gifting your in-laws, always make the effort to know their preferences well first via your fiancé. Make sure that the gift is something close to her interests.
8. Ask her for wedding inputs or post-wedding settling down tips
Everybody has a say in the wedding but it is the siblings who run the larger chunk of errands. Rest assured, your sis-in-law is probably doing her fair share of running around and, therefore, deserves a solid say in the wedding itself. Ask for her opinion on the décor, dress and so on if you feel like it. If the wedding is already over and done with, include her in the settling down process - gift unpacking, photo arranging and so on, but only if she expresses an interest. You don’t want to bore her otherwise.
9. Don’t shy away from the occasional casual catching up
She is going to be your sis-in-law forever and the only way you can form a lasting bond is if you don’t seem reluctant about catching up with her every now and then. Make that casual call just to ask her how she is doing, ping her on WhatsApp every once a while or get a coffee together. This will make her feel that your need to bond is not a one-off thing.
10. Try to know her as an individual and a woman
She has a life outside of her identity as a sister-in-law surely. She may have a career, may be a student or even a homemaker and a mother. All of us women are so much more than what we are in relation to the men around us. Try and get to know her beyond the obvious angle and you may find a good friend in her.
11. Don’t try too hard
If she is not too interested in bonding then don’t try too hard. Not every sister-in-law need become our best friend - these relationships deepen over time. Sometimes bonding remains at a formal level because it is meant to be so and perhaps better that way. As long as relations are more than amicable, she still remains your dear sis-in-law.