This is common for me in general, but right now I'm talking about my DP sister. DP's family likes me, including his sister, but I'm not getting the connection I'm looking for. She is the same age as me. She is single, christian, works alot, and still lives at home, but she does still hang out with other girlfriends. I've been dating my DP, her brother, for a year and a half. His family wants us to get married, so I know they at least like me that much, but I try to reach out and it just seems to not happen.
For example, DP and I invite her with us to outtings we have (w/o the kids) so she and I can chat more and hopefully build a bond, but more times than not she for some reason cannot. Then honestly I see her with other gf's in pics on FB and it does hurt my feelings. I know I'm a bit sensitive about alot of things, but I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I have literally been trying to befriend his friends and family the whole time. His male friends are great, nice and easy to talk to, but not with the female friends or family. I actually get along well with his mom, so that is a big plus. He has a little sister, but she is still a teenager and so I know that's like blowing into the wind lol. Anyway, I don't know what to do. Anytime I'm at his parent's house we make small talk and all, but well if we are going to be family I want to be more than just "small talk" ya know? He has another female friend who is friends with his sister, and I can't get through to her either. I know I'm being a wuss I guess, but dangit I'm just trying to be their friend!
It always seems that people's capacity for friends is "full", and I'm always trying to make friends and it just never gets passed the small talk and I hate it. It ends up making me feel very lonely and then depressed a bit.
Mama to and
If I sensed that you had an attachment to being my friend before we were friends, I'd go running for the hills.
Obviously I'm not your "Sister in law", but if you see a theme here, maybe work on detaching from the outcome of situations like this?
A friendship can unfold organically over time. For me, any time another person overtly tries to create a friendship with me, I recognize that they are usually trying to fit me into a box of their own expectations. I'm not saying people should not make overtures. I am saying that overtures are just that, overtures. When they carry expectation with them, that indicates too much "needy friend" potential.
This may be way out there, but is it possible that since you're not married to her brother (yet), she feels uncomfortable getting too close to you in case your relationship with him doesn't work out? DH's parents were always perfectly nice and pleasant to me, but I noticed a definite lowering of boundaries after we got engaged. Just a thought...
I don't think it's reasonable to demand "more than small talk" from anybody. Just because you are dating her brother (or may eventually marry her brother) it's not a reason for her to be your best friend.
Many in-laws have trouble just being polite. If you read through old threads on this board, you'll find lots of examples of women who would love to just have small talk. I think that part of the problem with extended family, relationships with our family of orgin once we are grown, and inlaws is precisely because people fail to respect boundaries and treat each other first and foremost with respect.
Rather that respecting her space, you are feeling really put out that she isn't your buddy. It's all about you and your need for friendship.
I think that you might end up happier if you worked on developing other female friends away from your boyfriend. May be start a thread just about how to make friends. It's not reasonable to expect his family members to make up for something missing in your life.
Peace. I don't mean to sound harsh -- friendship skills were something that I had to learn in adulthood, too.
What I do now is get involved in things that I enjoy, then make small talk with the other women there. When that is going well, I invite them to go out to lunch together. One of my friendship skills is really listening, asking questions, and keeping the conversation positive. I avoid gossiping or complaining, or talking about myself a lot.
An excellent book on communication skills is "non violent communication," and my very favorite self help book of all time is "you can heal your life."
Although we see my DH's friends and their wives socially, I don't tend to have those women as my close friends or confidents, because I know that anything I tell them they are going to tell their husbands. And your boyfriend's sister is the same way. Any thing you ever tell her she *might* tell other people in the family. It's really relationship where boundaries will most likely serve you better than total openness.
but everything has pros and cons
I think Linda really nailed this one.
OP, you have some good reflections on the situation already. It sounds like it's just time to round out your own self a little, OUTSIDE of the context of this relationship. The partner's sister has her reasons for doing what she does, they don't really matter. You can keep being a friendly, secure, solid person, and maybe one of these days you two will be giggling over tea. Or not.