I Dated My Ex’s Brother

Dating guys who are biological brothers? That is something that only happens in the movies, right? For others, it should not even be a question if it’s okay to date an ex’s brother because most would think that it’s cheap and immoral.

I gathered a lot of courage to write this post because I don’t think a lot of people can empathize with me on this one, as it is a situation that rarely happens. Yet, here I am, asking you guys to hear me out about dating guys who happen to be brothers without seeing me as a “cheap and immoral” person.

Side note: The last part is the best, but please do read the entire thing.

Here it goes!


Story of the Older Brother aka The Pianist

I was 18 and still in the closet when I signed up for a gay dating app. The first guy I talked to on the app was the Pianist. He said he goes to a nearby university and that we live in the same city. At that time, he was the one and only guy I talked to on the app.

After a few days of talking, we were starting to really warm up with each other. It was during the semester break when we decided to meet in person for a date. I’m not dumb, of course, I told him that we should meet at a public place.

On our date, he revealed that we go to the same university. I vowed not to date anybody from the university I go to, because as much as possible, I didn’t want anyone to know about my sexuality yet. However, meeting him definitely changed my mind about that.

We started doing a lot of things together. I would help him with the things he needed to do, and he would help me with the things I needed to do. With the feeling of comfort that we have for each other, we decided to, sort of, be together. Exclusive but not really official, it’s a little hard to explain.

During the second semester of the academic year, I really felt how serious he was because he brought me to his house where I briefly met his mom, and his brothers. He introduced me as a friend, but there wasn’t really much of an interaction that went on with them.

The relationship was really thrilling, because not only am I dating a guy from school, I’m dating a guy who’s also keeping his sexuality a secret. There was definitely something about the discreet glances that we make when we bump into each other in the hallway, the boys’ restroom, or the university lobby that made it feel like a high school romance. He was honestly the first guy who made me feel like I was in a legit relationship, so I really wanted it to work out.

Despite of that, there comes a time in every relationship when you’ll realize that hiding it doesn’t make it real. It started to feel like we weren’t as committed as before. Although I was trying to make him feel like we could find a way to make it work, without feeling that we’re tied up in a relationship that nobody else should know of, he wasn’t reciprocating any kind of gesture to make me feel the same way. That’s when things started to feel draggy and uninteresting that one of us had to end it.

He decided to end it when he left for vacation abroad. In all honesty, it felt like I was just waiting for him to do it, because initiating a break up would only hurt more if I were the one to do it. The relationship lasted for three months, and despite of the way it ended, we still managed to keep some special kind of friendship in a way that we can remind each other about our past without feeling bitter about it.


Meeting the Younger Brother aka the Athlete

A year passed, and I was still friends with the Pianist. It was a new academic year, and being a senior, I figured that it would be better to be more open about my sexuality.

I was looking for people to interview for the online page of our university paper when I remembered that the Pianist’s brother is an athlete who might have an interesting story to share. So I contacted the Athlete and set an interview with him.

The first time I formally met the Athlete was at a coffee shop. He didn’t recognize me, which meant that he didn’t really pay attention when the Pianist brought me to their home. We started talking about his sport, but he wasn’t really that talented when it comes to sharing his trade, so I already knew that the feature I was planning to do about him was already scrapped.

I wasn’t really expecting anything else to come out of that interview, but after that, we started talking more. At first, I thought he was just a freshman looking for extra friends to hang out with when he didn’t have anyone else, but as time passed by, it started to feel really genuine. Although the Athlete knew about my sexuality, he still seemed comfortable being around me. Sometimes, when my sister’s not around, he would come over to my apartment and sleep over, and there was even that one time when he third-wheeled on one of my dates. I started treating him like a younger brother, and it really felt like he was looking up to me like I was his older brother.

When I told him that I knew his brother, he told me that they’re not really close, and that they dislike each other. After that conversation, I never talked about the Pianist ever again. I told the Pianist about my friendship with the Athlete, and he also told me that there is a rift between them and he couldn’t care less if I hang out with him. He wasn’t upset about it, and he even told me to report to him if his brother does anything uncalled for.


Dating the Athlete

I was on a dinner date when I received a phone call from the Athlete’s friend. My heart raced a little because someone calling on his behalf never happened before. He told me that the Athlete was too drunk, and that he needs help to get home. It was a Friday night, so that’s a little understandable except for the part that he just presented me with a dilemma. I had the entire night planned with my date, but then, knowing the Athlete for a longer time than my date, I decided to choose the former.

Side note: The guy I was on a date with never showed up again after that.

Anyway, feeling that it was my responsibility to be there for him, I rushed to get to where he was. I was a little upset, of course, and I told him that I would call his brother to get him. That’s when he told me that he can’t go home because they have problems there. I felt bad for him, and being the first person that he would contact in a situation like this, I immediately felt special. I brought him to my apartment to stay for the night. My sister wasn’t there, because it was a weekend, so I figured that it was okay to have someone over.

The next day, I told him that I had to go home because that’s what I do on the weekends. He said he would be fine, and would stay at a friend’s place. Knowing this, we parted ways.

On my home, we were texting, and he kept thanking me for taking care of him, and for being there for him. That’s when he confessed his feelings for me. I want to write the texts in verbatim, but I can’t remember what is said exactly on the conversation, but this is pretty much how it went…

Athlete: I want to tell you something.

Me: Sure. What?

Athlete: I love you.

Me: I love you too, man. You’re like a brother to me. (That’s how we address each other, man or bro).

Athlete: I mean I love you as in I love you.

I already knew what he was talking about at that point but I told myself that it wasn’t right, so I played dumb, and I wanted to make sure that he knows the boundaries of our brotherly relationship.

Me: Yeah man. I know. I love you too. You’re really important to me, and I couldn’t ask for a better friend.

Athlete: I love you in a romantic way.

I didn’t really know how to reply to what he said, but I kept asking if he was sure.

Me: When did you start feeling like that about me?

Athlete: I don’t know. I may have found the courage now because of last night, but I loved you even before last night.

Me: Are you sure about this?

Athlete: Yes. I love you.

That’s when I replied with the dumbest message in the history of text messaging.

Me: I love you too.

Athlete: I’ll see you next week. 🙂

It wasn’t until the next Friday after the conversation when the Athlete showed up. I tried to not be awkward when he came over. He seemed like the usual, so I decided to act like the conversation didn’t happen. I was on my laptop, lying in bed when he decided to show me his favorite Korean drama. While we were watching it, he asked the most random question ever asked to me…

So when are we going to kiss?”

I don’t know what it was that hit me, but I think when someone lovingly asks you a question like that, you would automatically have to do something about it. I leaned in, and our lips met, and I knew that there was no turning back after that.

That same night, I made the dumb decision to actually make us official. We started talking about our future together, and other stuff about where our relationship could lead that I almost forgot that his older brother was my ex.

Although he was younger, the Athlete is way better at handling relationships than the Pianist. While this made me feel really good, I started realizing this is going to end badly. One day, he’s going to have to come out to his family and might introduce me to them. How would he and his brother react when they find out that I dated both of them? With that in mind, I decided to break up with him almost three weeks into the relationship. We remained friends, and my friendship with him is just as tight as my friendship with his older brother.


The Moral of the Story

I can easily justify that what I did was all for love. Dating my ex’s brother wasn’t my biggest mistake; not telling him about my previous relationship with his brother before we started becoming really close friends was my biggest mistake. Honestly, I think it was that friendship that started it all, and had I told him about the Pianist before he started developing any kind of feelings for me, I could have prevented something like this from happening.

From my perspective now, I wouldn’t want a friend or anyone that I know to be in a situation like this. But if ever there is someone out there who is planning to get themselves into a relationship with a relative of an ex, here are two pieces of advice that you could choose from:

  1. Don’t date any of your ex’s relatives.
  2. Before you get into a relationship, make sure they know about your past with their relative.


The Revelation

This recently happened and I decided to put this on the last part because this is the best part. I told the Athlete about his brother, and I wasn’t expecting myself to be the one surprised by the revelation. Here’s a screenshot of the summary of the conversation. Thank God and Mark Zuckerberg for Facebook.

P.S. I had the Athlete’s permission for this post.

P.P.S. They’re half-Koreans, and according to the Athlete, this kind of thing doesn’t really bother them.

Every Wednesday, I’ll be posting essays about life. Got any questions? Click here.


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