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Do only children treat relationship differently?


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A friend of mine reminded me that my ex was an only child and now I'm wondering if that played a role in our breakup. I can see how someone who didn't have siblings might have higher expectations in a relationship. And also may have problems forgiving or making up after an argument because they didn't have to do that growing up. Anyone else have any experience dating only children?

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Yeah, she was pretty selfish in my opinion, when it came to most things she thought of herself first and never me. It's not so much about being an only child, cause one of my best friends was one and he turned out awesome, very self-less.


I think it has more to do with the up-bringing and the person themselves.

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I've often thought about this too. Perhaps only children are used to alot of attention from their parents and that creates high expectations from "spouses". Also only children are not accustomed to having to share anything (toys, bedrooms, hand-me-down clothing whatever).

Maybe they are more independent though too. When you have siblings then you are more used to having "instant companions" whereas the only child has to work harder at making friends.


It's just a general feeling I have.


I bet there are some good articles on this in Psychology today magazine or something.


There are also theories as to the birth order as well.

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I was engaged to two only children and am dating one now. For me the main differences are that the parents are more likely to "dote" on the child so it's up to the adult man not to be a mama's boy, the "no siblings" is a plus and minus because of course it's less complicated to have family gatherings but he might not be as familiar with "sibling stuff" and issues.


I happen to adore and admire my bf's parents. They do dote on him but there's a pretty good balance most of the time.


Oh, and the other big difference -when the parents get older the only child shoulders all of the responsbility for caretaking. On the other hand I think it's worse when there are sibs but the responsibility falls on one person's shoulders unfairly.

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The main thing I saw with my ex was her inability to compromise. Even with the pettiest of things. She had her idea about how everything should work and nothing could change her mind. She went as far as calling me manipulative because I would argue with her lol I'm not sure if that's an only-child thing or not but when my friend brought that up it was like a lightbulb went on.


Stupid example, we chatted online a lot while I was at work and she had a tendency to walk off in the middle of a conversation and come back 30 minutes later. So I asked if she could just let me know when she was leaving for a long time so I wasn't waiting for a response. She could not for the life of her see how that could bother me and tried to spin the argument around as if it were somehow my fault. Thats just one example that came to mind, but there are a ton of little things that make more sense now after taking her upbringing into account.

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I've never dated an only child but I have been friends with several only childs or people with big gaps in between them and their siblings and I can say for sure that it causes problems sometimes.


In my experience, only children are usually worse than age gap children and also the larger the gap, the more likely for there to be behavioral problems. I think it all amounts to the differences in how they're brought up that makes them susceptible to selfishness or emotional immaturity or manipulative behaviors. For example, one friend flat-out told me that she gets a kick out of getting people to do things for her. Stupid things like retrieving things for her or serving her food, etc.


I think they're used to being babied or used to getting that kind of attention or used to getting things their way. It's tough.

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Children from very large families also have behavioural problems. A work colleague is the youngest of about 11 and needs her own way and to be centre of attention all the time.


I was the older son of 2 and found I wasn't really cut out for it and would have preferred an older brother to follow up.

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