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Love is in the Stars

First-born, middle child or baby of the family? The order in which you are born may influence your relationships in more ways than one.

Ever heard that old wives' tale about how your birthdate could determine your destiny? As superstitious as it sounds, when it comes to romance, this geomancy may actually be truer than fiction. According to studies by psychologists, the order in which a person is born is closely tied to their personality. And this cultivated personality may in turn influence their romantic relationships.

Personality traits are swayed by a number of life experiences, including parental attention, responsibilities and social learning. To test if people with similar birth orders do indeed possess similar personality traits, psychologists Emily McGuirk and Terry Pettijohn II carried out a controlled experiment with 100 test subjects. The study found that 83 percent of people were attracted to a partner of the same birth order because they had similar personalities.


But will dating someone of the same birth order be a deciding factor for true love?  Not always, according to psychologist Linda Blair in her book, Birth Order: What Your Position In The Family Really Tells You About Your Character. Check out her findings below:


Firstborn and Middle Child

Firstborns tend to be natural leaders, perhaps due to the need to assume greater responsibility early on in life. Conversely, middle children are usually problem solvers as they are often positioned as the mediator between their older and younger siblings. A relationship between these two types could help to balance the values of negotiation and compromise. 


Firstborn and the Youngest

The relationship will probably be well balanced because the firstborn’s sense of responsibility will help to keep the other person in check. Meanwhile, the partner who is youngest in his or her family will be able to inject some fun and relaxation into their other half’s life.


Firstborn and Only Child

An only child usually takes a little more time to pick up on emotional cues. This is due in large part to their having led an independent lifestyle. Results show that there might be instances of slight misunderstanding since firstborns tend to be more private with their feelings. Adequate communication between both would result in a healthier relationship.


Middle Child and the Youngest

The youngest in the family tends to be a little more free-spirited and carefree and will likely influence middle children by injecting some spontaneity in their lives. Since the middle child often has a stronger sense of structure, with some level of negotiation both individuals will be able to share a fun relationship without veering too far from the straight and narrow. 


This article was first published on DUET magazine.