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Home > Science & Statistics > The Science of Love > Youngest, Oldest, Middle, and Only: What Your Date’s Birth Order Says About Them

Youngest, Oldest, Middle, and Only: What Your Date’s Birth Order Says About Them

A group of sisters--oldest, middle, youngest-laughing together on a beach.

You’ve already conducted an astrological and numerological compatibility test on your date, but have you looked into what their birth order says about them?

It turns out that where a person falls in their family’s sibling hierarchy—oldest, middle, youngest, and even only—can play a pretty significant role in how they relate to others, especially in a romantic relationship.

It all boils down to the fact that your parents and your siblings were the first people who you interacted with. How you related to each other, and where you fit into your family dynamic, pretty much set the path of your future relationships.

Birth order and its potentially lasting impact on a person’s life has fascinated both the scientific community and us mere Muggles for centuries. It was Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychotherapist, who first recognized birth order as a significant factor in personality development. He believed that “even though children have the same parents and grow up in nearly the same family setting, they do not have identical social environments,” which affects how we deal with tasks, careers, friendships, and relationships later in life.

Which is why determining your date’s birth-order is just one strategy to help assess your compatibility—a theory backed by science and not the stars.

Here’s what you need to know about birth order types, and how it can affect your love life.

If your date is the firstborn…
He or she likes to be in control. Most likely they will choose the restaurant where you’re meeting, and because they’re also known to be conscientious and well-organized, they’ve also scoped out additional activities to explore post-dinner, and will either be early or on time—but never late. Because they’re reliant and overachievers, firstborns are the kind of partners who you can count on for support, both financially and emotionally. Though you might have to prod them to embrace their spontaneous side from time-to-time.

If your date is the middle child…
You’re in for a mixed bag. Bridging the gap between the eldest and youngest child, the middle child is generally known the as Type O child—they get along with just about anyone. Which is probably why in his book, The New Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are, Kevin Leham said middle children tend to be mediators. Most likely your middle child date will be easy-going and have a go-with-the-flow attitude when it comes to date night. Even though middle children are highly sociable, they can also be hard to read. Leham notes middle children are choosy about who they confide in—so if your date opens up to you, it’s a good sign that they trust you.

If your date is the youngest…
Because they’ve fought hard to find their social footing—and because they were mostly likely babied within the family—your last-born date is super sociable, extroverted, and is in need of some extra TLC. Chances are your youngest born date is up for anything, which is super fun and exciting, but because they didn’t take on much responsibility as a kid, they might look to you to take the reins. However, because they spent a lot of time with adults and older children, they get along with a variety of people and is probably the funniest person in the room.

If your date is the only child…
Only children get a bad rep for being selfish, which Adler didn’t help much by calling them “dependent and self-centered.” However, as much as only children are a little spoiled (hey, they didn’t have to share with anyone), they are also known to be responsible, mature, and organized. If you’re dating someone who’s a bit younger than you, but is also an only child, you may find that they’re pretty smart and ambitious. Because they mostly hung out with parents and adults for most of their young lives, you may also notice that their communication skills are strong. Like firstborns, only children are perfectionists but because they’re the sole child, they’re super perfectionists. Your date night will be A+, but will leave little room for flexibility. And if something goes wrong? You can bet they’ll be super hard on themselves.

Although a person’s birth order by no means determines the path of a current or future relationship (a recent study found that birth order does not effect extroversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, or imagination) it’s still fascinating to see how our place within our family during our earliest years could still impact our relationships, years later.

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