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Only Born

Key Phrases:

Responsible; yet can also be spoiled; Perfectionist; Setting high standards; Ambitious;

Most likely to take on the same personal values of the parents;

Many enjoy being the center of attention; Overly protected.


*Note: Only children often carry the characteristics of both First Borns and Last Borns.

Only Born Theory:

The following pertains to Only Children and anyone else whose childhood siblings were at least 6 years apart from their age (older or younger or both).

Only children often carry the characteristics of both First Born and Last Born children. They tend to have the creativity and charm of the Last Born but still have a responsible attitude and the same penchant for perfectionism that First Born's tend to adopt.

Having not been distracted by siblings, Onlies usually assume the same viewpoints and politics of their parents. They're well oriented; being surrounded by adults most of their childhood lives. They're used to dealing with people in positions of authority - giving them skills to have positions of power themselves. They trust their own opinions, are often ambitious, enterprising and energetic.

At their worst, Onlies can have a negative attitude and not pull things together to finish anything. This is partially because they can procrastinate in their fear that they have to do everything perfectly. They may have unrealistic expectations for others and themselves. They can be worriers and pleasers. Yet, as adults, they can work on themselves to be positive and productive individuals if they let go of these characteristics.

Much like Male Onlies, Female Onlies get along famously with those in authority. Conscientiously, they're very aware of their actions and how their actions affect others. However, there may be an overreliance on financial and emotional support from their parents.

Female Onlies (much like Male Onlies) have a special bond with their parents. In lacking a sibling to vent upon, they often turned to parents for peer-to-peer-like socializing, arguing and support. To a Female Only, parents are their whole world for much of their young lives. NEVER criticize her parents in front of her; she may constantly complain about her parents, but that is her right, her arena, and not anyone else's.

Because Onlies have both First Born and Last Born traits, there are many logical choices for compatibility with regard to Birth Order. Onlies benefit from having romantic relationships with both Older and Younger archetypes. 

Their Best Matches:

Last Born

Middle Child


Their Worst Matches:


First Born


Famous Only Borns depicted above:

Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Idris Elba, Jack Nicholson, The Weeknd, Drew Barrymore

Elton John, Selena Gomez, Lenny Kravitz, Adele, Betty White, Shia LaBeouf

Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Radcliffe, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, Charlize Theron, Robin Williams


Betty Baker M.A. Psych, M.Ed

About the Author

Betty Baker is an awarded marriage and family therapist and contributor to the internationally renowned PeaceBuilders® Program - a science-based, research-validated violence prevention curriculum and professional development program for children, grades pre-K to 12.