The problems of dating an only child

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Oldest with Middle This can be a fine pairing most of the time, but the middle child's tendency to mold herself around her partner may leave her in danger of not following her own dreams.

Of course, a lot depends on how domineering the firstborn partner is, and how "classic" the middle child's accommodating personality is.

Relationship Tip: Try to suss out whether you have controlling tendencies (which you should keep in check so you don't overwhelm your younger-sib spouse) or if you both are acting like "babies." Youngest with Youngest These two can have a lot of fun—a pair of carefree, risk-taking lovers nearly always do.

But the classic conundrum here is that no one wants to be in charge.

Figuring out your own birth-order personality, and that of your significant other, is simply one strategy you can use to assess your compatibility, adds Catherine Salmon, Ph D, professor of psychology at the University of Redlands in California, and coauthor of the upcoming book, The Myth of the Middle Child.

Here's what you need to know about birth order types—and how they mix, match, mesh or clash.

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However, some middle children (probably for the same reasons as above) can be secretive. Beloved, treasured, and in many cases babied for much longer than their older siblings (and often by their older siblings), the stereotypical youngest of the brood tends to be less responsible and more devil-may-care, with less of a hankering to take charge. In fact, many "grow up" more quickly than kids with sibs, thanks to how much time they spend with adults, says Dr. Wondering how different birth-order pairings typically get along romantically?Onlies with Anyone Unlike the other birth-order positions, only children haven't been studied as much, says Dr. "Most people assume an only child will resemble a firstborn in relationships," since they are, after all, first, but that doesn't take into account the fact that an only never had an advisory (or bossy! An only with a firstborn can be a good match if the only child acts less classically "firstborn." And an only with the lastborn can present issues, says Dr.Salmon, if the only has had little experience with the relatively immature, attention-seeking behavior of the baby of the family.Middle with Middle Too bad Jan and Peter Brady couldn't marry!Their smack-in-the-center, sensitive, compromising natures would have given them an edge in keeping a relationship healthy.

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