It’s no secret that when you were born affects your personality, but did you know that birth order affects your love life, too? In fact, youngest siblings can make some of the best significant others, and it turns out they’re especially well-matched for oldest siblings. Clinical psychologist Linda Blair says, “the first-born ideally wants someone he/she can love and nurture, and the last-born wants someone to look after him or her.” I had to stop a minute when I read that.
With a much older half-sibling I’m technically both an oldest and middleborn, but I definitely qualify as older sibling mentality. And all this expert talk reminds me a lot of when I was dating this guy who was the baby of his family. In some ways they’re right— there was a sort of inherent compatibility of him being needier and more self-involved and me falling more naturally into the nurturing “let’s keep it together and be supportive” role. In our case it was too asymmetrical, which maybe isn’t surprising.
Youngest siblings have “often been cared for by so many people in their life that they can expect others to take responsibility for them,” eHarmony says. The weird thing is that at one point I’m sure I said “he can’t wrap his mind around anyone else’s needs and expects every one to pander to him, he’s older than me but he’s just like my little brother“. And just because it didn’t work out with that last-born I dated, doesn’t mean it won’t necessarily in the future. So here are some of the best things about dating the youngest:
1. They Spice Things Up
If you were an older sibling, it might have seen like the last-born could get away with breaking the rules. You weren’t imagining it: Frank Sulloway’s research shows that youngest children are far more likely to rebel against authority, maybe because (as research from Duke University and Washington University found), the severity of the punishment is less for younger children. As an adult, this means they’re less scared of rules because they were so often allowed to get away with it breaking them. It means that there’s a fun, silly irreverence, that some of us can do with a dose of.
2. They Have A Sense Of Humor
Youngest siblings tend to develop a sense of humor early. Why? Well, as Crissy Stockton says ” Do you know how much crap youngest kids get from their siblings? Not having a sense of humor was never an option. To this day they’re a playful partner, they love to have fun and laugh.” A UK Study by YouGov backed this up— looking at nearly 1,800 participants from multi-sibling families they found that 46 percent of last-borns were the funniest.
3. They’re Spontaneous
Another added bonus of being the youngest of the family is have a flair for the unexpected. A 2010 study of Adelphi University of 90 pairs of siblings found that the youngest are more open to new experiences, since they’ve witnessed the challenges their siblings have overcome. This is especially helpful for a type A personalities. They can help you cut loose a little bit! Unplanned can be fun and sexy.
4. They Have Great Communication Skills
Don’t think that just because they were the baby means they can’t speak up for themselves (*resists urge to yell “NOBODY PUTS BABY IN A CORNER”*). In fact, a study by E. Hoff-Ginsberg in Applied Pyscholinguistics found that younger siblings had more advanced convervational skills, perhaps from working harder to make themselves heard in groups. All the better for a relationship.
5. They’re The Life Of The Party
Not only are they conversationalists — the youngest sibling is often charming and knows how to seduce a crowd since they grew up with more laid-back parents, Human Behavior, Parenting, and Education Expert Dr. Gail Gross told Huffington Post.
6. They Keep Calm In A Crisis
Along with observing, youngest siblings can often sail through the chaos that surrounds them, because they grew up doing that. Stockton observes that “youngest children have the benefit of growing up watching their older sibling(s) make mistake after mistake, and come back from it. Youngest children aren’t the type to freak out or have a knee-jerk reaction, they know failure or disappointment is natural, and just the starting point to something better.” For those of that can get overly anxious or panicky, a dose of perspective is great to help keep you grounded.
7. They Think Big
A study by Concordia University published in the Journal of Cognition and Development found that youngest children had a higher curiosity about conceptual knowledge, rather than procedural knowledge (like basic how-to instructions). It’s a good anecdote for those of us who tend to sweat the small stuff.
8. They’re More Likely To Be Creative
Turns out being the youngest gives your creative juices some room to flow. A survey by Careerbuilder of over 5,000 workers across the US wanted to see if there was a relationship between birth order and jobs, and there was: youngest children were more likely to work in creative industries like writing, design or architecture. And we all know creativity is sexy.
9. They’re Independent
Since parents tend to be more lenient with the youngest child, they may even be more independent than their siblings, Dr. Gross explained to Huffington Post . A person who appreciates their freedom, has their own interests, and is self-sufficient? Sexy.
Originally posted on Bustle