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The Truth About Dating In College With A Sibling On Campus

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Navigating your love life during college is tough enough, but some students have an extra factor to take into account: a sibling on campus. Along with the benefits that come with going to school with a brother or sister -- such as taking a piece of home with you, a built in best friend or academic mentor -- comes a potential complication.

How can you participate in casual dating, let alone the so-called "college hookup culture" with a family member so close by?

Elizabeth Buffone, a Georgetown University student, has attended college with both an older and younger brother, but she insisted it hasn't stopped her from having a completely normal dating life. She's found her siblings don't typically involve themselves in her love life unless they're needed.

"My brothers really respect me as a person," Buffone said. "They'll definitely protect me if I ever need protection, but they're aware that I'm a young woman and need to live my own life."

However, the possibility of a friend-sibling relationship can add another obstacle to overcome.

"One of my brothers hit it off with one of my best friends," Buffone said. "It wasn't necessarily weird. I love both of them so much, I would really want them to be happy. If they decided they wanted to date I think it would be something I'd be really comfortable with."

When siblings are the same sex, there comes a potential for competition or jealousy -- particularly for twins. Not only could they be competing for a particular date, but they could also feel out shadowed or threatened by introducing a third person to their relationship.

Marshall and Matt Yokell, who are twins, haven't run into that problem yet as 5th year Ph.D students at Texas A&M University, but the approval of their brother is particularly important to them.

"We're so close but we do respect one another," Marshall said. "If I get into a serious relationship do I want to make sure he approves? Yes."

Though the dating path can become a bit trickier with family on campus, it can also add to a rich college experience as long as a conversation is had.

"It's something that has to be discussed ... it's a give and take," Marshall Yokell explained. "It's an adjustment to things, really."

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