What You Should Know About Dating a Lefty

A woman dating a left-handed man holding his hand.

Happy Left Handers Day! Today, August 13th, we celebrate left-handed people around the globe. All year long leftys live in a predominantly right-handed world, clumsily confirming to standards and products designed for the majority. But on Left Handers Day, a holiday dating back to 1992, the world acknowledges the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed.

So Left Handers Day got us thinking… What’s it like to date a lefty? Are there any noticeable differences, and does hand dominance predict what kind of partner you are? If you’re a lefty, here are some things you might not know. And if you’re dating a lefty, here are some things to keep in mind.

Leftys Know How to Adapt
For starters, there aren’t that many leftys. Only about 10 percent of the population is left-handed, and because of that, pretty much every product is designed for right-handed people. Remember left-handed desks and left-handed scissors back in grade school? Even more common objects you might not realize are designed for right-handed use, like kitchen gadgets, computer mice, and doors. Most people don’t think twice about it, but leftys must learn to adapt.

Leftys May Have Some Er… Balance Issues
Left-handed struggles go beyond just the physical. According to a study published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, leftys are more prone to negativity, and can struggle with processing their feelings. Research shows that certain mental health problems might be linked to left-handedness; leftys have a higher risk of developing mood disorders like ADHD for example. Another study shows that people with certain mental disorders like psychosis, are more likely to be leftys than the rest of the popular. (It almost doubled from 10 to 20 percent.) And among those with psychosis, those who also had schizophrenia had a 40 percent chance of being a lefty.

Why? Brain laterality. Leftys seem to have an imbalance in activity between the left and right hemispheres. About 30 percent of leftys either favor only their right brain hemisphere, or don’t have a dominant hemisphere at all.

Leftys Are Better at A Lot of Things
There are plenty of positives to being left-handed. According to a survey published in the journal Laterality, leftys experienced lower rates of arthritis and ulcers. They have the athletic advantage in certain sports like baseball, boxing, and tennis. They’re also commonly considered to be more creative than righties, and it turns out that’s not just an old wives tale—there’s truth to the claim. Research shows that left-handers are better divergent thinkers, meaning they commonly explore more than one possible solution to a problem.

What does all of this mean in dating terms? The next time you hit it off with someone, pay attention to which hand they favor as dominant. It might not be the most telling indicator of compatibility, but knowing what you know now, it’ll make for an interesting internal study—not to mention a great icebreaker. Of course, don’t take hand dominance so seriously that you miss out on a great potential match. Your chemistry with someone will always be more telling than which hand they prefer!

Elizabeth Entenman

Freelance Writer

Elizabeth is a freelance writer, editor, and advertising copywriter in Brooklyn. Right now, she’s probably somewhere Instagramming her dogs.

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