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How Your Birth Order Impacts Your Relationships

The fact that your personality affects your relationships is a no-brainer. Then there are theories about your star sign deciding who you’ll be compatible with. But did you know that your sibling rank also has a role to play? Yes, a growing body of research attests to the fact that your birth order impacts your relationships more than you think it does!

Birth Order

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The studies on birth order and personality are fairly recent, yet experts in this field strongly vouch for the theory that they don’t just influence our behavioral traits, but our choice of partners as well as how we’ll perform within a romantic relationship. Still think it’s too far-fetched? Let’s begin by taking a look at each individual birth order personality to understand how much impact the birth order theory has on relationships.

Suggested read: How your birth order affects your personality

First born child

First born

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First born children are the first entries into their parents’ homes and hearts, and as a result, they’re used to their parents’ undivided attention and love – till the next one comes along.

Firstborns are the organizers and planners in the family, and this usually works well when running a home and family, especially if the other partner is happy to let these tasks go. They’re very predictable and reliable, and rarely play games that leave their partners guessing. They’re also a stickler for rules and expect their partners to follow them too. Most firstborns have a caring, nurturing nature, and they extend the same towards their romantic partners.

While being predictable has its advantages, it can also lead to a common relationship-killer – boredom. Being spontaneous and adventurous is not a firstborn talent, and they can come across as a bit dull to other birth order personalities. Being in charge of their siblings for a good part of their childhood, they have a tendency to be bossy and dominating, as well as a bit of a control freak.

Middle child


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Middle children enter a home that already has one or more people ‘in charge,’ and soon relinquish their ‘baby’ position when the next one comes along. This leads to them having to cultivate some serious negotiating skills from the start, so that they can get a word in edgewise.

With their excellent social skills and diplomatic nature, middle children are the easiest to live with among all birth order personalities. Studies show that they are the most monogamous as well, and with good reason. They’re not spoiled, nor are they perfectionists; hence they generally get along quite well with their partners, and are quite diplomatic when it comes to the extended family as well.

However, the accommodating nature of a middle child does have its pitfalls. Their need to keep things peaceful at all times can lead to quite a few unresolved issues, which they’d rather sweep under the carpet than bring out in the open. A complete lack of conflict can be unhealthy for the relationship, leading to issues festering. Studies show that middle children tend to be the most secretive of all, mainly since they’d rather stay silent and keep the peace than talk about a controversial topic.

Youngest child


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The youngest child is forever the baby of the family, and is often treated as such, by parents as well as older siblings. They’re often left free to pursue their interests, and are usually carefree, outgoing, and fun – the life of the party.

This fun nature is carried into a relationship with a youngest child, who ensures that all milestones are celebrated and keeps things young and vibrant. Their good-natured humor can cheer up their partners on a dull day, and their spontaneity provides some much-needed spark to the relationship. They are rarely aggressive or bossy, and are happy to let others take the lead.

On the flip side, the constant ‘baby’ tag can result in an adult who’s not used to taking responsibility or is a little too carefree. This can put a large burden of running a home and family on the other partner, leading to resentment. The evil twin of spontaneity is unreliability, and this can be a problem with the youngest children. Their smooth talking skills may also seem manipulative at times, and they tend to seek out others to take the blame.

Only child


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Only children grow up with adults for company, and hence they’re a lot more mature than their peers; almost being mini-adults when they’re kids. They share many traits with first born children, as well as some with the youngest.

Only children have excellent communication skills, and having communicated with adults all their life, they’re quite good at being articulate and expressing themselves. This works very well in romantic relationships, where miscommunication is a major reason for conflict. Like firstborns, they’re reliable and confident, without being dominating. Like last borns, they’re creative and easy, while being able to take responsibility for their actions.

However, only children can be perfectionists and expect the same from their partners, which can be rather frustrating. Also, since they’ve grown up entertaining themselves, it might not be easy for them to make way for another person into every sphere of their lives. Some only children are also spoilt, and since they’ve never had to share during their childhood, they can appear selfish in their adult relationships.

Suggested read: 21 life struggles only a first born knows to be true

Pretty sure that you’re now convinced about how birth order and personality impact our relationships! If you’d like to know more about birth order and relationships, here’s a look at different combinations of birth order personalities.


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Birth order compatibility

1. First born with first born

Two firstborns may result in a relationship where each other can be relied upon, but it can also lead to a match of control freaks! Every small issue can turn into a power struggle, and there can be a lot of tension.

2. First born with middle child

Firstborns usually gel well with middle children, particularly since the latter is always working towards a peaceful atmosphere. The risk aversion of the first born can clash at times with the rebelliousness of the middle child, but they can work it out as long as the middle child doesn’t sweep things under the rug.

3. First born with youngest child

The authoritative nature of the firstborn and the laidback nature of the youngest child go surprisingly well together. The firstborn takes control, while the youngest is more than happy to give it. There is no competition, but the spontaneity of the youngest can get on the nerves of the cautious firstborn and vice versa.

4. First born with only child

Firstborns share many characteristics with an only child, but since the only child hasn’t had to take on a leadership role, the chances of a power struggle are few. The less the only child resembles a first born, the better the chances of this relationship working out.

5. Middle child with middle child

This may seem like the golden combination, with both partners compromising in equal measure, maintaining peace all the time. However, if both partners end up being too secretive and avoid conflict altogether, it can lead to trouble in the long run.

Suggested read: Your parents do have a favorite child, despite what they say

6. Middle child with youngest child

The accommodating nature of a middle child goes well with a smooth-talking lastborn, especially since lastborns are better adept at talking about issues rather than avoiding them. The middle child’s wide social circle also fits in well with the lastborn’s outgoing nature.

birth order and relationships_New_Love_Times

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7. Middle child with only child

Just as the middle child goes well with the firstborn and the lastborn, they’re generally quite compatible with an only child, who shares characteristic traits with those two birth order personalities. The only child will have to make a little more effort to be on par with the largely social middle, but it’s usually not too hard.

8. Youngest child with youngest child

This is often considered a dangerous combination, albeit one that is super-fun and adventurous. While a first born couple has frequent power struggles, the opposite happens here – no one wants to be in charge! Running a home can prove to be a challenge when both partners are of a carefree nature. Studies also show that a couple of two lastborns has a much higher chance of going into debt than other couples.

9. Youngest child with only child

This relationship depends upon who the only child resembles more – a firstborn or a lastborn. An only child with largely firstborn characteristics of stability, confidence, and leadership will gel well with a lastborn. But an only child who is as carefree as their partner is likely to have a chaotic relationship.

10. Only child with only child

This birth order combination presents some interesting possibilities, but they depend upon who each partner resembles more – firstborn or lastborn – and the relationship dynamics follow the same pattern as with a firstborn-only child or a lastborn-only child.

At the end of the day, these considerations aren’t the beginning and end of any relationship. Besides the various factors that affect birth order personality (blended families, adoption, age gap, gender, etc.,), the basic fact remains that any relationship requires a lot of hard work from both partners. With a positive attitude and honest communication, you can make your relationship flourish and thrive, regardless of your or your partner’s birth order.

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
How Your Birth Order Impacts Your Relationships
You may have heard that your birth order affects your personality, but we now know that it can even affect your relationships and your choice of partner!
Fabida Abdulla

Fabida Abdulla

Fabida is an erstwhile Software Engineer and current Freelance Writer cum stay-at-home mom to her boisterous 6-year-old. In between all the writing, baking, nagging, reading, and cuddling, she manages to blog a bit about her crazy life at Shocks and Shoes. []