Love Column: Sister act

Doctor, Doctor!

Clarion photo Anna Rollins

Doctor, Doctor!

By Bart Brewer and Conor Bergin

Dear Love Column,

It’s a new year and I’m ready for a new me. First on the agenda of change is my love life. I’ve been dating the same girl for about six months and I think we’ve run our course. There is this beautiful girl I have my eyes on and she’s single. There are just two problems: First, she is two years older than me, but age is just a number, right? Second, she happens to be my current girlfriend’s sister. Please help. The 2017 me needs this confidence boost.


Sister Swapping Shane


Dear Shane,

First off, let me just say this about your idea: I love it. Let’s roll with it. Now, while you could sit your current girlfriend down and have a conversation with her about how you are feeling, that kind of thing just has too much emotion to it. This breakup needs to be as heartless and brutal as possible so that you come out of it the better. Is this unethical? Perhaps, but recent studies have shown that relationships based on sound ethics fail 99 percent of the time, meaning this is clearly not the way to go. So instead of a talk, what you need to do is to start seducing her sister right under her nose. This is the mature thing to do, and all people do it. Trust me, I’m a doctor. Once you have accomplished this, you need to start blowing off your current girlfriend. Cancel dates at the last minute, don’t show up to events, and then have bad excuses as to why you weren’t there–you know, the works. The more she starts to think that you’re cheating on her, the better. You know you have succeeded when you catch her going through your social media messages and texts desperately trying to find an answer. Then, just as she’s about to call you out on the “cheating,” take her out to dinner at the nicest place you can afford. This sudden act will make her reconsider and start to bring her hopes up. This is all the better for when you tell her in the middle of dinner that you’re breaking up with her. Make sure to tell her that it’s all her fault. It is crucial for her self-esteem to be as low as possible for the next step. While she sits there crying at the table, quickly leave and drive over to her house to hang out with her sister. When your now ex-girlfriend comes back home, hammer in her emotional breakdown by making out with her sister in front of her. You must show no mercy, or she will sense your weakness. If everything goes well, she will then run to her room and the relationship between her and her sister will never be the same, making any future family gatherings far more awkward. If you are feeling any guilt over this, repress that guilt and never let it go, as no problems will come of this.

If you have followed through with these steps, then congratulations, you have successfully dumped your girlfriend for her sister. I hope you enjoy yourself until all of the happiness has drained from your new relationship after a few weeks, leading you to dump her and ruin an entire family’s generation mentally.

Casual practicer of the dark arts and love doctor,

Bart Brewer    


Dear Shane,


Wise men say, “Only fools rush in.” Those wise men also said, “Don’t try to date your girlfriend’s sister.” They just assumed that part could go without mentioning. Now as a doctor with a PhD in the field of love, my expert advice to you would be to let this one sit for awhile. If you really want it to work, dump the girlfriend now, allow the fabric of time to let people forgive and forget, and then make the Sister Swap a resolution for the 2020 or 2021 Shane. In this way, when you ask the sister out to coffee one random autumn afternoon years down the road, she will think of you more as an old friend, rather than her sister’s boyfriend. Now, given you had the audacity to even write in this plea, I know you don’t possess the patience for this option. Like an injured player begging his trainer to clear him for the big game, you’re a go-getter! So what the heck, I’ll guide you on this suicide mission. Is it ambitious? Yes. Immoral? Undoubtedly. Brilliant? Undetermined. A British soccer commentator would call this chance “speculative,” with a high pitch-inflection. However, if Will Smith could get a hefty, socially inept Kevin James to marry a supermodel in Hitch, this love doctor can try to get you to dump your girlfriend for her sister.

First things first, no more home games or neutral sites. All dates with your girlfriend will now have to take place at her house. How are you supposed to successfully swoon her sister if you can’t see her? From there, the name of the game is subtlety. You mentioned she was an older woman. You need to let her know–subtly–that you are not just some teenager stuck in puppy love. No, you are a mature and dependable adult. Show up to dates with shiny shoes and classy apparel. To set the mood, always bring Martinelli’s sparkling cider with wine glasses and a fondue platter. Then, of course, politely invite the sister to join you both at the table. She won’t be able to resist fine food and drink. Before you all indulge, be sure to make a toast. As you pour the first glass, look directly at the sister and repeat, “You know what they say, wine gets better with age.” When she points out, “this is apple juice,” simply reply in a seductive manner, “All it takes is a little imagination.” Ahhh subtlety.

Then, late one rainy night, show up to their yard with a boombox, a bouquet of roses, and pebbles. Throw the pebbles at the sister’s window until she opens it. She will probably say something like, “My sister’s window is to the right!” Do not be discouraged by this. Simply shake your head and press play on the boombox. When the lyrics, “Even when I’m with my boo, you know I’m crazy over you” play, she will understand the situation. Now, given the one percent chance she is as crazy as you are, her heart will be smittened and you will both leave her town and family behind as you ride off into a sunset full of fondue and free of in-laws. The other 99 percent chance involves her calling you a creep, slamming the window, and you never talking to either of those sisters again. But, hey, you knew the odds when you joined the game.