Our childhoods influence our adult selves immensely. The way we’re raised, by whom we’re raised and with whom we’re raised makes all the difference.
Being an only child is interesting. Personally, I have sisters, but I have dated several only-child women, and I have to say… they’re unique.
They have a distinct combination of a need for independence and dependence that I haven’t encountered anywhere else.
But it isn’t just only child women — it’s men just the same. Only children can be difficult people to date, but at the same time, the relationship can prove to be incredibly rewarding. It’s an intriguing experience.
1. They have no problem taking alone time.
…Which can be both great and terrible at the same time. People are very particular with how much time they want to spend with the person they are seeing.
The problem is that this particularity varies from day to day and often, even hour to hour.
He or she won’t give you the attention you want when you want it — unless, of course, what he or she wants is to give it to you.
When he or she needs space, he or she will take it.
2. They’re more egocentric than most people.
When you basically spend your entire childhood in a house with only adults — who you couldn’t possibly relate to — you tend to direct your focus inwards and on yourself.
When you don’t have any brothers or sisters to play, learn and share with, you build yourself an ego — an ego that is too often reinforced by parents raising an only child. It’s easy to spoil an only child; it’s much more affordable.
Of course, not all only children are spoiled by their parents. Nevertheless, growing up without someone your age to share your parents’ attention with does affect a child.
3. They have interesting relationships with their parents.
Not all parents are great parents, and most children are devil incarnates — the relationship between parents and their children can be… off at times. When people don’t have siblings, their earliest friendships are often with their parents.
Or rather, their first attempts at friendship are with their parents. Some parents get along incredibly well with their children, building strong bonds and a healthy level of trust.
Other relationships are far from ideal. I dated an only child, who had a great relationship with her father but a horrible one with her mother. Not all people get along — not even if that person is your parent or child.
Then you have those parent-child relationships that are way too close for comfort. These only children rely on their parents for much longer than average, often never being able to psychologically detach themselves from that dependency.
When there are siblings involved, there’s a bit of a cushion between parent and child.
4. They’re very creative.
Growing up, I had plenty of friends and spent plenty of time playing and hanging out with them. I had a curfew, however — an early one.
I remember that most of the time after school, I’d just go home and stay home. I would still want to play and mess around, but I had sisters.
Only children will spend a lot of time on their lonesome. No parent has time to spend all day with his or her child and wouldn’t choose to do so even if he or she did; parents want some time to themselves just like every other person.
Being an only child often forces you to rely more on your imagination, which matures into creativity with age. Having a creative lover has its own set of ups and downs, but generally speaking, it’s for the better.
5. They tend to experiment more.
This will of course vary depending on upbringing and, of course, bodily chemistry, but think about it; if you don’t have any brothers, you’re more likely to get time alone… And what do we like to do when we’re alone and hit puberty?
This isn’t just guys — it’s girls just the same. I always imagined women experimenting with masturbation and sex at a much later age than men.
Experience has taught me, however, that the exact opposite often proves to be true. What this does mean is that you have a partner who knows how to enjoy his or herself during sex — should make it better for the both of you.
6. They crave constant attention.
They’re used to getting regular attention from their parents and are likewise likely to develop that need for attention further when forced to make friends outside their family. Often at times you will find that only children are the centers of social circles.
They have a need for attention, and if they can’t get it by making friends, they find other ways to get it. Everybody likes a bit of attention, but only children tend to crave it more.
This gets tricky as only children likewise like their personal space. This is why you will often find only children harder to get close to, to convince to open up.
This is also the reason why them getting their personal space will often turn into them satisfying their need for attention from a different source. Unfortunately, that other source sometimes turns out to be another man or woman.
7. They’re hard to hold down.
They crave attention, require their freedom and are quick to get up and leave if it means protecting their egos. Only children are hard to hold down. They are hard to convince to open up to you and trust you.
They will often refuse to allow themselves to or admit that they love you. They aren’t used to letting people in. Not that they don’t want to, but often find difficulty in doing so.
Then, because relationships often end up doing more harm than good, getting their heartbroken doesn’t make opening up again any easier.
Do yourself a favor and — if you’re dating an only child — don’t lose his or her trust. You most likely won’t regain it.
8. They will love you fully.
Only children are used to concentrating their love; they don’t disperse it freely, but direct it very specifically. They may not be overly willing to open themselves up to you, but when they do, they tend not to hold back.
Only children are very picky about whom they let into their lives — something we would all do better to learn.
They have a small family, a small circle of individuals whom they trust and aren’t eager to let just anyone in — especially if they did so in the past, only to end up regretting it.
But when they do fall for you, when they finally allow and admit to themselves that they love you, they will love you with all their soul.
They will place an incredible amount of trust in you because to them, you are incredibly special. You are special enough to join their little family.
9. They just don’t want to share you.
Obviously, the best relationships strike a healthy balance between the time you spend with your significant other and how you prefer to devote the rest of your time.
Dating only children comes with a hefty amount of selfishness on their part. Of course, it’s adorable.
Once you start dating only children, you become just another thing they don’t want to share — it’s what makes them such impassioned lovers and territorial friends.
It won’t always be the healthiest quality in them, but it is the one that will make your relationship last. And who can complain about that?
by Paul Hudson
A young writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur, Paul Hudson (@MrPaulHudson) has been writing for Elite Daily nearly since the start. He primarily addresses the successes and downfalls of love and life.