If you’re the eldest child, you’re probably a responsible person. You like taking care of others, stick to the rules and strive for perfection. Your perfect partner might well be a youngest child - because opposites attract.
The upside of being the eldest child
Looking at the pictures in your photo album, you probably see two radiant young people with their little prince or princess. You were the first child, so your parents didn’t have any parenting experience yet. There are probably more pictures in your album than in your siblings’ albums. During the first years of your life, your parents focused completely on you, and they probably conversed the most with you: simply because there was no competition of other children. You were cherished.
The downside of being the eldest child
The fact that your parents were inexperienced, has its downside, too. According to Linda Blair, British psychologist and author of ‘Birth Order’, says eldest children often feel their parents’ nervousness. In their first years –depending on how old you were when your sibling was born- you were probably mainly around older people. You compared yourself to them, causing you to set high standards for yourself and longing for other people’s approval.
Who’s your perfect partner?
Of course, your ideal match depends on several factors. However, according to Linda Blair, psychology tells us some things about it. Opposites often attract, so chances are you fall for a youngest child. Other eldest children, or only children, are too much like you, especially if both of you like to take the lead.
Typical eldest child features:
You respect authority and stick to the rules
As a young child, you were used to having adults around you. That’s why you tend to look up to people who are older than you, or who are in a powerful position.
You like to take the lead
According to research, eldest children often have a leading position in their jobs. That’s probably because they learned to be responsible at a very young age: they were the eldest, so they had to be the wisest (and you could act bossy with your younger siblings).
You worked hard at school
As an eldest child, you probably did your best to please your parents and teacher. Perhaps you even let them decide what to study for you. As an adult, you might be focused on pleasing your boss, too. Do you have a good sense of language? That might also be due to your place in the birth order, according to Linda Blair. You started developing language very soon, because your parents talked to you a lot.
Parents don’t do it on purpose, but they tend to give their eldest children a lot of responsibility, more than their youngest children. This taught you to take care of others at a young age, and you’re probably still very caring.
If you were very young when you had a brother or sister, you are probably highly self-critical. According to Linda Blair, when a sibling is born, young children draw a conclusion: mommy and daddy don’t like them as much as they used to, so they wanted a new baby. As an adult, you may still feel like you’re not enough sometimes.
Want to read more?
Linda Blair, ‘Birth Order. What Your Position In The Family Really Tells You About Your Character.’ Little Brown UK, 2013.
Text: Dorien Vrieling - Photo: Kevin Gent