45 Questions to Ask Your Brother-in-Law to Strengthen Your Bond

Skip the awkward small talk.
Questions to ask your brother-in-law
Photo: Getty Images | FG Trade Latin
wendy rose gould headshot
Wendy Rose Gould
wendy rose gould headshot
Wendy Rose Gould
The Knot Contributor
  • Wendy Rose Gould is a freelance reporter based in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Along with The Knot, she contributes to Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, Insider, Verywell Mind and others.
  • Wendy has a degree in editorial journalism and a second degree in philosophy.
Updated Feb 01, 2024

Getting to know your brother-in-law is one of the best things you can do for your relationship with your partner. Not only does it demonstrate a genuine interest in the family, but your in-laws also offer unique insights that help you better understand family dynamics. These questions to ask your brother-in-law run the gamut, ranging from silly and lighthearted conversation topics that allow you to ease into your friendship, to deeper questions about his own life and interests, your partner and their childhood and the family at large.

Whether we're talking about a future brother-in-law, your partner's brother or someone who's married into the family, let these questions to ask your brother-in-law guide some of your conversations and strengthen your bond.

In this article:

Things to Talk About With Your Brother-in-Law

Your brother-in-law is someone who'll be in your life for the years to come, and investing time and energy into your relationship can help ensure he becomes a great friend to you. Here are some general conversation topics that lend themselves well to improving your friendship.

  • His personal life and interests
  • Funny topics and insights
  • Family history and dynamics
  • Your partner (if they're siblings)
  • Advice-related questions
  • General life topics

Questions to Ask Your Brother-in-Law About His Life

A good rule of thumb when getting to know someone else is to simply ask about their life. These questions help you get to know what makes your brother-in-law tick and can lead to more conversations down the road.

  • What's a moment from your past that really formed who you are today?
  • How did you choose your career path and do you feel like you're on a good trajectory?
  • Are there any personal goals you're currently working towards?
  • What's your favorite way to spend a random weekend?
  • What are some guiding principles or mantras in your life?
  • Is there a specific hobby you've always wanted to try?
  • What's something you've learned about yourself recently?
  • What's the best local restaurant you've been to recently and would you go back anytime soon?
  • What's a hobby or interest in your life that you spend time doing each week or month?

    Funny Questions to Ask Your Brother-in-Law

    Sometimes, it's the lighthearted moments that bring you closer together with someone else. These sorts of questions are an opportunity to let your guard down a bit and just hang out without any pretense.

    • What's the weirdest food combination you've ever tried and secretly enjoyed
    • If you had to pick a theme song for your life, what would it be and why
    • What's the funniest thing that happened to you recently that you haven't shared with anyone yet?
    • If you could have any superpower for a day, what would it be and how would you use it to your advantage?
    • Did you have any weird or embarrassing childhood nicknames? Did any of them stick?
    • If you could switch lives with any historical or fictional character for a week, who would you choose?
    • What two celebrities would play your parents in a sitcom?
    • What's the most embarrassing song on your go-to Spotify playlist?
    • What's the weirdest reason you've ever had to explain to someone why you were late?

    Questions About the Family to Ask Your Brother-in-Law

    Here's a fact: Your brother-in-law likely has deep insights into the family dynamic that other friends simply don't. This is especially true if he's your partner's sibling, but is also true if he's married into the family just like you. Is there anything you've learned about this family over the years that I should know?

    • What are some family traditions you loved growing up and plan to incorporate into your own family?
    • What's your ideal way to celebrate big holidays and birthdays?
    • How does the family usually celebrate milestones, like graduations and career achievements?
    • Have cultural or religious beliefs shaped your family's values and traditions?
    • Are there any unique family dynamics I should be aware of?
    • Are there any special recipes or dishes that have been passed down through the family?
    • Are there any hilarious or memorable family inside jokes that everyone still laughs about?
    • Are there any ongoing debates or friendly disagreements within the family?

      Questions About Your Partner to Ask Your Brother-in-Law

      If your brother-in-law is your partner's sibling, then consider him a wealth of information about who your partner is. They grew up together, after all!

      • What "role" does my partner seem to play within the family?
      • What was it like growing up with my partner?
      • How have you seen my partner evolve or change throughout the years?
      • What's one or two of your favorite memories with my partner?
      • How would you describe your relationship with my partner?
      • What do you think is my partner's most admirable quality or trait?
      • What's a funny, odd or endearing habit of my partner that you've noticed?
      • How would you describe the dynamics between my partner and you/their siblings?
      • Do you and my partner have any shared interests or hobbies you bond over?

      Asking advice from someone does a few things: First, it gives them a chance to provide insights into how they see and move about the world. Second, it creates a moment of vulnerability by opening yourself up to another's perspective. And finally, it shows that you trust your brother-in-law's opinions.

      • What's the most valuable piece of advice you've received in life, and how has it benefited you?
      • How do you approach and overcome challenges or setbacks in life?
      • Do you have any advice or insights about how to best support and understand my partner in different situations?
      • What advice do you have for maintaining a healthy and strong relationship with a partner?
      • What helps keep you motivated and enthusiastic, especially during challenging times?
      • What's your approach for nurturing important relationships, both within the family and with friends?
      • How do you handle change, and do you have any advice for people who find it overwhelming or challenging?
      • Do you have practical tips for achieving a healthy work-life-family balance?
      • What's something you wish you would have learned earlier in life?
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