Does Birth Order Really Matter In Relationships?

When it comes to relationships, we're always looking for an answer to finding "the one." For example, if you're a Libra, should you date an Aquarius? Or, if you do, is that a recipe for disaster? Will our love language and apology language have some sort of bearing on the success of a relationship? According to some, the answer is yes, while to others, it sounds like nothing more than bupkis and just another way to try to explain things when relationships fall apart. Which brings us to birth order — could birth order be the ticket to happily ever after?


"Each of these birth-order positions has specific characteristics," psychologist and author of "Birth Order: What Your Position in the Family Really Tells You About Your Character," Linda Blair wrote in an excerpt of her book published in the Daily Mail. "Not only are they likely to apply to your new [partner], but they also apply to you ... Among the most difficult partnerships are those between two first-borns. If you're both highly competitive, conflict is very likely when both of you want to be in charge."

But what Blair does here is suggest that all firstborns have the exact same traits, which doesn't seem likely in a world where personality types run the gamut. 

Does birth order matter?

Even if one wants to lean into the concept of birth order having an effect on relationships, either in a good or bad way, the problem is that not everyone adheres to their birth order's characteristics.


"I think the stereotypical assumptions are that the oldest child tends to be a caretaker and responsible but also bossy, the youngest tend to be more easy going or get along with people more easily or can be known to be a bit more rebellious or spoiled, the middle is trying to find their role or can be known for being the glue in their families, and only children can be very independent but have the stereotype for being spoiled or selfish," relationship expert and therapist Rachel Thomasian tells TZR. "These are absolutely not steadfast rules. I know oldest children who are very needy and only children who are very compassionate ... everyone is a unique story but I do believe that birth order affects how parents relate to each child and helps shape their child's personality."


By this account, two firstborn children can be in a relationship together because if one doesn't fall into the stereotype of what a firstborn child is and the other one does, then they end up complementing each other instead of constantly banging their heads together because they're so similar. But on the flip side of this, there are other experts who have studied birth order and have found that it might not have any sort of effect on personality at all, even as children grow into adulthood (via The Washington Post).

Birth order matters if you want it to matter

For those who need birth order to make or break a relationship, that option is always there. Just like those who need to believe that their astrological sign and that of their partner is the reason behind the success of their relationship or the downfall of it. Even though science has proven that such a thing as astrology actually doesn't impact relationships, if you need to believe otherwise, then go for it. Sometimes it's easier to put belief in something else so we don't have to take responsibility for the fact that our relationship is the way it is because of the two people in it.


Takeaway? If we try really hard, we can let any and all outside forces dictate its effect on our relationships. We can be a firstborn on the lookout for someone who's the youngest in their family's birth order because, as professor of psychology Catherine Salmon, Ph.D., tells Women's Day, "The baby of the family tends to be the type who needs attention; the firstborn, who was alone for a while in the family, doesn't need to seek attention, because he or she usually got it," thereby creating a "good mojo." Like any self-fulfilling prophecy, we can make it work for us. But even if we do, it doesn't necessarily mean that you can thank your 50 years of marriage on birth order.