A whole lot of assumptions
Are you an only child or do you have siblings? 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.
Having said that, there might be a grain of truth in there…
Having said that, 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 one of these categories. If you’re dating an only child, for example,
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- 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.
- 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.
- Sharing is a cliché but it’s partially true
Yes, you heard me. They don’t have the best sharing abilities in the world. It is a cliché that is a bit stretched though. 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.
- 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.
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
- 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 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 loved. And that soul fire has to be the main criterion.