Dating the eldest, middle or youngest child? Here are the red flags to beware of

From socks and sandals, to chasing after a runaway tennis ball, there are many, many reasons why we might get the ick.

And now, there’s a new turn-off in town: birth order.

Dating experts at Bumble have created a ‘birth order dating guide’ which reveals the green – and red – flags that come with dating an eldest, middle, youngest and only child.

And we’re warning you – it makes for some eye-opening reading.

Bumble’s sex and relationships expert Dr Caroline West says: ‘The order of our birth may influence how we behave in relationships, as our family dynamics play a key role in how we experience adult romantic relationships.

‘Whether you are a first born who takes responsibility, a middle child who compromises, or a charming youngest child, our birth order has the potential to shape how we show up in our relationships.’

When it comes to that eldest child, Dr Caroline says they are ‘natural leaders’.

She explains: ‘First born children are often organised, ambitious, and natural leaders. This can be handy in a relationship as plans are easily made and date admin remains minimal.’

However, there are downsides too. ‘There can be issues if they are used to being in control all the time. Equally, if they are left to do all the organising, they may end up feeling frustrated or taken advantage of.’

Middle children on the other hand are a little more flexible. ‘Middle born children may be used to compromise, or playing peacemaker between older and younger siblings, so they can be great at finding balance in relationships,’ says Dr Caroline.

‘However, these skills often come at the cost of advocating for their own needs which can lead to resentment and miscommunication.’

When it comes to the baby of the family, they’re likely to bring a sense of fun to the relationship. ‘Last born children may be adventurous and social as they grew up with older siblings and often tried to keep up with them,’ says Dr Caroline.

‘This sense of risk taking and adventure can be fun in a relationship, but can cause issues when dealing with issues that arise. The initial honeymoon stage is fun and exciting, however last-borns may struggle as this phases passes and develops into calm emotional intimacy.’

And what about those only children? ‘If you grow up as an only child, you might find that you have a well developed sense of independence and maturity. Whilst used to being on their own, only children may struggle with compromise or feelings of loneliness,’ says Dr Caroline. ‘In relationships, this might impact how arguments are solved, or how partners are supported.’

So, when you ask that classic ‘do you have any siblings?’ date question, listen tocarefully…

Bumble’s Birth Order Dating Guide


Green flag tendencies: Organised, Ambitious, Takes charge

Red flag tendencies: Authoritative, Likes to be in control


Green flag tendencies: Adaptable, Peacemaker, Mediator

Red flag tendencies: Self-conscious, Eager to please, Accommodating 


Green flag tendencies: Sociable, Fun, Charming, Loving

Red flag tendencies: Excitable, Carefree, Self-regarding, Daredevil


Green flag tendencies: Mature, Independent, Ambitious

Red flag tendencies: Self-involved, Defensive, Overly-assertive

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