Birth Order & Your Love Life

How your birth order affects your romantic compatibility.
Everyone has a birth order or the order you were born into a family. And whether you're a firstborn, middleborn, lastborn, an only child or a twin, your birth order can influence your personality and your relationships, say experts.

"While other factors, such as age, race, and gender, all play a role in shaping personality, research indicates that the number one factor influencing personality is birth order," explains William Cane, author of The Birth Order Book of Love, who has analyzed the birth order of 6,000 celebrities, historical figures and couples.

Birth order personality

Because firstborns are usually tasked with more responsibility from young to look after their siblings, they typically grow up to be dominant, super-responsible, organized and competitive.

Middle child
The middle child is a people-pleaser. He or she is diplomatic, and it's difficult to get them to take a stand. The middleborn also tends to be a little manipulative.

Lastborns are friendly, creative individuals who love challenging the status quo. They're more adventurous than their siblings and are the risk-taker in the family, although they also tend to be needy at times.

Only child
An only child is used to being in the spotlight within the family, so he or she tends to crave attention. Being an only child also means that he or she is unlikely to know very much about the opposite sex.

Twins have a strong bond and therefore always think of the other before making a decision. Their thoughtful nature makes them considerate romantic partners.

Birth order compatibility

When it comes to birth order compatibility, studies suggest that opposites attract and the best birth-order mixes have the least of what Cane refers to as rank conflict: "Two firstborns, for example, have the same rank and would be expected to fight over who's the leader," says Cane. "Similarly two lastborns could be expected to experience conflict over who's to be considered the baby of the relationship."

So which marriage combinations work best? Dr. Kevin Leman, author of The Birth Order Connection, shares his findings:

Most compatible birth orders

Firstborn and lastborn / middle child and lastborn / only child and lastborn
This relationship works great, because the lastborn is going to be the fun-loving partner who teaches the other that it's okay to kick back and relax every now and then, while the firstborn/middle child/only child teaches his or her partner the importance of perseverance and why life should be taken seriously at times.

Least compatible birth orders

Firstborn and firstborn
When two bossy firstborns pair up, there is likely to be high friction. There could be plenty of conflict as both parties fight for control or they could fall into a controller-pleaser mode.

Lastborn and lastborn
Two adventurous individuals may mean double the fun and craziness at first, but with nobody to take charge, this relationship could turn chaotic very soon.

Only child and only child
Control issues aside, neither have much of a clue about the other gender.

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