What Is It Like Dating An Only Child? (25 Important Things To Know First)

Last updated on June 12, 2022 by April Maccario

I must admit this topic really strikes home for me. While I’m not an “only child” completely, I was one for the better part of my childhood until my mother remarried and I had stepsiblings. It wasn’t easy growing up, unsure of how to get along with other children. My stepsiblings already had a tight bond when I met them, so I didn’t really learn how to share.

I think only children are given the stigma of being spoiled and selfish when really they just never had a chance to develop in the way that they should. Instead of being taught how to share, they were left to fend for themselves, play alone, and grow up too fast because most only children are around adults the majority of the time. 

So, what does this mean if you are dating an only child? 

It actually gives you many key insights into the mind of an only child. In this article, we’ll take a hard look at some of the personality traits, needs, wants, desires, and developmentals, you may witness if you date someone who is an only child. 

What You Need To Know If You are Dating An Only Child

1. We Are Very Independent

we are very independent

If you are dating someone who is an only child, you may find that they can do things for themselves. This is because, most likely, their family wasn’t always around, and they had to learn how to fend for things alone. They didn’t have siblings who they could turn to for advice. Just give us space in a relationship, and we’ll come around!

2. We Like To Talk A Lot

It’s true that I love talking, especially when the subject is me! However, no one enjoys a one-sided conversation, so many self-centered people have adapted and learned how to ask insightful questions to get to know the other person and to not seem selfish. Talking about oneself just comes naturally to only children, so listen up and show interest.

3. We Will Take Good Care Of You

Only children tend to know how to nurture the ones they are in relationships with. This is because of the independence they learned during their childhood; they know how to fix problems on their own and will make sure you are well taken care of. Let your partner play “nurse” when you are sick; it makes them feel wanted and needed.

4. We Are Creative Individuals

Hey, being an only child isn’t the easiest thing in the world. We often had to live our lives alone, so we made things up. I remember playing “pretend” all the time, using my imagination to act as if I had siblings or other friends around. 

Those who were alone growing up probably have active imaginations still today. Just give them room to be as creative as they want, and you’ll get along with them just fine.

5. We Like Our Alone Time

This is a pretty obvious one; those who are used to living independent lives enjoy having time to themselves to recharge their batteries and to check in with themselves. Give them the space they need if you want to continue to have a healthy relationship.

6. We Like Spending Quality Time With Others

we like spending quality time with others

When we are in the mood to spend time with others, we like to focus on that person completely. We enjoy narrowing our attention to a single person rather than a group. Spending quality time with another person gives us a chance to ask great questions and to get to know them better without any distractions.

7. We Don’t Enjoy Debates

Arguing isn’t a useful activity for us; we didn’t grow up with a large family, so we aren’t used to having a lot of bickering. We didn’t have brothers and sisters to fight with, so try to limit the arguments to only the important stuff.

8. We Can Be Obsessive

When we get into something, we really get into it! For example, if we take up a new hobby, chances are we are going to talk about that hobby non-stop. Give us a chance to talk about our obsessions, and you’ll have no trouble coming up with great conversation topics.

9. We Enjoy Sharing Our Opinion

When a topic we care about comes up, you can bet it will grab our attention. Ask for our advice to win us over in no time!

10. We Like It When Things Go Our Way

While we probably have adapted to being around others or maybe learned how to share in another way, probably if you’re dating someone who is an only child, they are going to be a little selfish. It’s just easier for us when things go according to plan and the way we want them to go. This doesn’t mean we always have to have our way, though. 

11. We Are Very Close To Our Parents

You can expect us to have our parents on speed dial. We are close to our parents and look for their opinions on how we should live our lives.

12. We Enjoy One-On-One Conversations

Focusing on a single person is much easier than trying to understand what a whole group is talking about.

13. We May Have Overprotective Parents

We are the only person that our parents had to raise, so of course, they are a bit overprotective; they are looking out for our best interests!

14. We Like Being Around Mature People

we like being around mature people

We are used to being around adults, so having mature conversations comes naturally. Getting along with those who are older than us is pretty easy because we didn’t have a lot of kids our age to hang out with growing up. 

15. We Will Probably Insist That Our Family Approves Of You

We value the opinion of our family, especially that of our parents. If they don’t find you acceptable, it could be a deal-breaker, so be sure you put your best foot forward when meeting the folks for the first time. You’ll want to make a really good impression. This means you should dress nice, and show you have good manners.

16. We Find Sharing To Be A Bit Of A Difficult Activity

Sharing is something we didn’t learn how to do naturally, at least. Instead, it’s a bit hard for us to understand the needs of others, but this, of course, depends on how old we are and what our life experiences have taught us.

17. We Tend To Be Overachievers

I know I’ve always made it my life’s mission to make my family proud of me! This means that I reach for the stars with the actions I take, with everything I do, and with all my goals. I want to meet the approval of others, so I tend to aim high in life! 

18. We Like To Speak Our Minds

We are used to thinking out loud, so talking about whatever is on our minds is a natural occurrence. Ask what’s on your girl or guy’s mind to really get to know them.

19. We Love Attention

It’s true; we’re used to being the center of attention. It’s just how we were brought up. Make sure you are ready to give the attention needed in a relationship.

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20. We Love It When You Show You Care

We love quality relationships, and what better way to show you want to be with us than to show you care. Bring home daisies or send a cute text, and we’ll know we are on your mind during the day!

21. We Don’t Always Want To clean Up After Ourselves

Okay, so maybe our parents picked up after us as we grew up and didn’t teach us how to stay neat and tidy. This isn’t true for everyone; just be aware that this might happen!

22. We May Have Difficulty With Conflict Resolution

Like not learning how to share, only children often have difficulty resolving conflicts in a constructive way. Just show patience, and you’ll have no problem getting along with us.

23. We May Take A While To Commit To A Relationship

we may take a while to commit to a relationship

Being committed to another person doesn’t come naturally; just give us time, and you’ll find that we will come around and want to commit. Whatever you do, don’t try to rush a commitment with an only child. This will just scare us off!

24. We Love Getting Gifts

We don’t have to be spoiled or anything; just show you think of us during the day from time to time, at least.

25. We May Be Overwhelmed In Group Settings

Remember that those who are used to being alone don’t really feel comfortable in group settings. This means that you need to stick by their side during parties, at least until they find someone else to talk to. If you are dating someone like this, just work with them as they learn to be around large groups of people.


Does being an only child affect relationships?

For some people, being in a relationship with an only child means they must adjust to the only child syndrome, which states that only children are selfish and spoiled. Of course, this isn’t always how only children act. Many only children tend to be warm and caring.

Does being an only child affect personality?

Some only children have parents who baby them, always giving them their way. This can make them shy or uncomfortable when they are around other people because they don’t know how to behave; instead, they think that other people should adapt to their solo personality style.

Does an only child get lonely?

Many times, only children don’t get a chance to interact with others as often as those who have siblings do. This is because they are by themselves most of the time. Many only children adapt to their circumstances and become very well adjusted, though.

What are the odds of being an only child?

According to the Seattle Times, the odds of being an only child in America is 20%. 80% of parents have decided to increase the size of their families to have more children. Parents often do this so that children can learn how to share and bond with one another. 

Is it better to have siblings or be the only child?

Having siblings teaches you how to get along with other people; it helps develop your people skills, teaching you the right way to interact with others. Only children may become introverts, but that doesn’t make them worse off. Many only children develop unique skill sets.

To Sum Things Up…

What only child characteristics do you see in your significant other? How have you best-handled people like this? What have you learned on the subject based on your experience?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Please comment and share this post if you enjoyed it!

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April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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