Are you an only child or do you have siblings? This is a question almost everyone has been asked at least once in their life. Whether it was in school, at a random date, by a colleague, by the annoyingly prying stranger at a social gathering, we have all dealt with it.
The information about the number of times your parents reproduced holds some precious secret to your personality it seems. While there is enough scientific data to back this assumption, it doesn’t make the question any less prying.
It’s almost as if someone’s trying to size you up and is passing judgment on you without even knowing you when they ask this question. But when you are dating an only child you would realise that the person has some distinct characteristics because he has grown up alone without any siblings.
Why Dating An Only Child Is Different
There can be sometimes distinct differences between an only child and someone who grew up with siblings. Only children have grown up generally in a smaller, nuclear family model, while someone with siblings has more people around when they grow up. These facts are generalised and there are always exceptions, but they do prove the law. These differences are especially noticeable when you find yourself in a relationship with an only child. If you’re dating an only child you will see the person has some distinct characteristics because of the way his life has shaped up.
What To Expect When You’re Dating An Only Child
The best part of being in a relationship with an only child is that they are very adept at household chores. Since they are the ones who have been helping their parents most of the time or left alone when parents went out to work, they know housework well. They can spend time on their own and are usually not the cribbing sorts and they have a great interest in books and music. If you are dating an only child then these are the 6 things you should expect.
1. An only child is very independent
You will be dating an independent person who’s also not afraid to be alone. Only children get a lot of bad press, because of the false notion that they take time adjusting to other people and are loners.
While being an only child gives you the ability to be on your own without getting bored, in an age where more and more people find it difficult to survive solitude, only children perform well.
They are also not particularly adamant about you spending every hour of every day with them. They get that you’ve got your own life and want to enjoy their own life too.
2. Strong bond with a parent
They have in most cases awesome bonds with at least one of their parents. Only children tend to get a lot of undivided attention from their parents. In most cases, they have a very close relationship with at least one of their parents. They value this connection and their parents’ approval of you matters more to them than you’d expect.
3. They like to have own things
Only children aren’t spoilt brats of the world who take everything. They’re just used to have a suitable amount that is theirs; thus sharing anything isn’t second nature to them. They have grown up sleeping alone in their beds. They sleep with their own quilt. They have their own small spot, own book space, own gadgets. They aren’t used to sharing, but that doesn’t mean they can’t. They just need to be reminded that when spooning the idea is to be close to each other and not hog the bed and the comforter.
4. They want a big family
Most single children have experienced living in a small wonderful family, and while they are grateful for the experience, they want to have a lot and I mean a LOT of children and go through that experience. (I’m an only child and I’m aiming at being a parent to seven. In the age of population explosion adoption is a great idea but yes, I’m aiming at seven kids. Do. Not. Judge.) So if you’re planning to marry one, you might have to imagine a big family.
5. They are direct about their feelings
When you grow up as an only child, you’re not going through the channel of your sibling when getting some information to your parents. Neither do you have an extra family member to process what you go through, so you talk to your parents? About just about everything. As mentioned before, only children usually have amazing bonds with their parents. This is one of the reasons why. This also means that dating them makes things easier. They don’t hold back when they’re feeling something.
They might not be all extroverts, but they’ll be eloquent about their emotional expression, which can be great in a relationship.
6. They do seek attention when they’re around you
Even though they can deal with being on their own, when they’re with you, they need you to look at them, hear them, see them, love them. It might sound annoying at first, and attention seeking has traditionally been used as a negative term, but remember that they’re doing this not because they think you’re an audience, but because your attention validates them. They’re giving you an important role in their lives. So yes, it might feel like it’s all about them, but they’re not just craving attention, they’re craving validation and love.
They’re also good at communicating directly, so if you bring up this as a problem at a certain point, after initial struggles, they might just get it and back off.
Only Child Problems In Relationships
If you are dating an only child then you will see that because he has frown up alone there are things he isn’t used to doing that could lead to only child problems in a relationship. We list 5 problems you could face.
1. Too attached to parents
Tuhin’s (name changed) wife was an only child and after their marriage he found it appalling that she would call up her father five times in a day even though they lived in the same city. And when it came to her investments she would take the decision after consulting her father and sometimes she wouldn’t even tell Tuhin about that.
Tuhin appreciated her bond with her father but gradually he felt left out from her life that led to building up of resentment and frequent fights between them. But being an only child she never realised what she was doing was wrong. Neither did her father realise that his interference into her home was not welcome.
2. They could be selfish
An only child is not used to sharing things or used to taking decisions taking someone else into account. This leads to selfish behaviour at times that could put off a partner. But it’s not in their system to be inclusive so it will take time to work on this attitude.
Related Reading: 12 Signs You Have A Selfish Girlfriend
3. They always want their own space
Space is not ominous in a relationship and every couple should give space to each other but when you are dating an only child you will have to realise that space is part of their system and they cannot do without it. If they want to watch a movie alone then don’t feel hurt that they are not interested in a movie date with you. It’s just that they are used to watching it alone and enjoy it that way, just as they are possessive about their book collection or Blue-Rays and just love their book nook.
4. They want to be spoiled
Their parents did spoil them. Their lives revolved around their only child and from attention to material things they always showered it on them. So if you are dating a single child be aware that for them a relationship could mean getting spoilt with gifts and constant attention. If you aren’t the kind who is capable of that then this could lead to tiffs and fights.
5. They take too much stress
Since an only child has all the responsibility to make their parents proud they could always be having the feeling that they are not doing enough to succeed. They could be working 24×7, holding great jobs but there could be always a sense of inadequacy that could stress them out.
Single children are not a specifically different species that is great or horrible to date. They are unique the way everyone is. These are all generalised, most common attributes and should not dictate your choices when dating or loving someone. As the great late Robin Williams would put it, unless they set your soul on fire every morning when you see them, it isn’t love. And that soul fire has to be the main criterion.