“You’re an only child? Oh that makes so much sense.”
I have heard the aforementioned statement more times in my life than I can count. Yeah, some stereotypes exist for a reason and yeah, maybe I personify a whole shitload of them and at this point in my life I just don’t care anymore that I’m kind of a walking stand-up joke. There are things you should know before dating a redhead (like always bring sunblock), there are things you should know before dating someone from the MidWest (you only THINK you know cold), and there are things you should know about dating someone who is really into EDM (DON’T). The following are a few little heads ups before you get involved with the notoriously most spoiled of all spoiled children.
1. We’re a great plus one to any and all events.
After years of being dragged along to work parties with our parents or being the only kiddo at a black tie wedding we can pretty much hang anywhere, anytime. We are the queens (and kings) of self-entertainment so you really never have to worry about what we’re going to do at your business convention.
2. No, we weren’t lonely weirdos with no friends.
This is one of the most annoying assumptions about only children. Just because you have seventeen brothers (which is WAY weirder, btdubs) and we didn’t doesn’t mean we literally just hung out in a corner of our room crying over the siblings we never had. We are just as socially developed and at times awkward as you, punk.
3. It’s hard to top our gift giving abilities.
After years of pretty amazing birthdays and Christmases we have got gift-giving down to a damn science. We’re the girlfriends and boyfriends who go above and beyond not only because we don’t have an army of siblings to also shop for, but because we grew up on the receiving end and now practice what we observed. You are welcome to try and top us but don’t be shocked when you never do.
4. People-Watching is like a sport to us.
We are perfectly content to just grab a coffee, sit outside, chat and stare at strangers for hours. It rolls back to all of those adult events that we had to attend where we were forced to be “seen and not heard” and it was before the time of the SmartPhone so we made do with creating imaginary lives for the dudes in suits and ties that we were surrounded by.
5. Just because we’re being quiet doesn’t mean something is wrong.
We just know that there is a time and place for being loud and whatever time it was didn’t happen to be that. Sometimes you want to go to the bar and shriek about The Bachelor, sometimes you just want to drink your gin and tonic and think about what it would be like to live without electricity. Quiet time is necessary.
6. Personal space is huge.
It’s not, for lack of a better word, personal. You just have to remember that we’ve literally never had to cohabitate (college and roommates aside unless you’re a total freak like me and weaseled your way to a single in the dorms and lived alone the second you could afford it) with anyone other than our parents so watching someone use our stuff is still a little foreign. And never go through things without asking unless you consider it your own personal suicide mission.
7. We need alone time.
Even the most extroverted of us need some serious “me time” to feel at ease. It’s a balancing act for sure. After growing up with tons of alone time it’s what we need to keep our minds clear, happy, and not super uptight. If you ever see us getting snippy and tense, maybe give us a day to just do laundry and read by ourselves. We’ll thank you for it.
8. We’re literally the worst to sleep with.
We never got shoved into a bed with a sibling because of nightmares or sharing a hotel room. We will starfish, hog the covers and pillows, and kick you until the sun comes up. We also will not even be a little sorry about it. Either invest in a bigger bed or try making a pillow Berlin Wall in between our bodies – but even that barrier or extra space might not stop us from our sleep awfulness.
9. Codependency has nothing to do with being an only child.
That is a personal trait and it not traceable back to the fact that we didn’t grow up with another kid in the house. Most only children are actually super-independent and don’t have the whole “doing things alone” complex that most millennials have. We go to movies alone, eat alone, explore new cities alone – you name it. In fact, calling us needy or codependent is really quick way to insult us.
10. Some of us were crazy spoiled, some of us weren’t.
Generalizing our entire childhood down to one super, super patronizing word because of our family structure is pretty rude. Just sayin’.
11. Don’t assume we’re single children because “something went wrong.”
If you’re right: way to bring up something that’s obviously incredibly personal and hard to talk about. If you’re wrong: way to be a douche. Do yourself a favor and unless it’s brought up just don’t go there.
12. We will probably get semi-age-inappropriate gifts from mom and dad until we’re like 40.
I’m twenty-five and I got an Easter basket. COME AT ME BRO.
13. We talk to ourselves. A lot.
You’re going to catch us giving our fictional 20/20 interview to our reflection and it’s going to be really embarrassing. You’re also going to hear us practicing business pitches and confrontations with friends or just general conversations in the shower. Please don’t film it. Please? Thanks.
14. Because we never had siblings to protect we project that onto our friends.
We’re fiercely loyal and always have your back. We are the first to stand up for somebody and will go down swinging to defend our parents or really anyone else who we care about. If you need anything we will be the first ones there with whatever remedy (ice cream, Girls on DVD, hydrogen peroxide, a partially illegally obtained Xanax… honestly anything) in tow. Have an only child on speed dial. Life advice, really.