The study of how birth order affects personality began with the pioneering psychologist Alfred Adler (1870-1937), who theorized that a person’s temperament and tendencies are significantly shaped by his place in the sibling group. Research over the past century has confirmed just how much birth order influences education, career choice, earning potential, and many other factors.
Which brings us to eligible firstborns and whether they might make a wonderful dating partner—and perhaps a lifelong partner for you. Take a look at these qualities and decide for yourself:
1. Firstborns have brains, and know how to use them. These men and women tend to score higher on IQ tests and reach higher levels of education than their siblings.
2. They are frequently movers and shakers in society. Driven to succeed, firstborns occupy a high percentage of leadership positions in business, education, and the military.
3. These men and women have high earning potential. An extensive study showed that firstborns are likely to make at least $100,000 more annually than their siblings.
4. Your partner will help with domestic duties. Because firstborns are often given lots of responsibility by parents—doing chores, caring for younger siblings—they are conditioned to pitch in.
5. Your firstborn partner is in good company. Among countless famous firstborns are Winston Churchill, Barack Obama, Kate Middleton, Hillary Clinton, Oprah, Brad Pitt, Ben Stiller, and Harrison Ford.
6. They are self-motivated. Because of their desire to please and achieve, they don’t need a lot of external incentives to get moving.
7. Firstborns got an early head-start. An oldest child will receive approximately 3,000 more hours of quality time with his or her parents between ages 4-13 than the next sibling.
8. These people are confident. Because firstborns were the sole focus of their parents’ attention and praise early on—and because they didn’t have older siblings to ridicule them—their self-assurance was bolstered.
9. They are goal-oriented. They grew up with parents who celebrated every first milestone and new skill level.
10. You might date the next president. Twenty-eight out of forty-four U.S. presidents (64 percent) have been firstborns or functioned as firstborns (such as having a large gap between a much older sibling).
11. Or you might date a future astronaut. Of the twenty-three American astronauts sent into outer space, twenty-one were firstborns (the other two were only-children). All seven astronauts in the original Mercury program were firstborns.
12. Your partner likely has strong leadership abilities. Growing up as the leader of a sibling group, these people aren’t afraid to take charge.
13. The eldest is usually responsible and reliable. He/she developed these qualities by caring for younger siblings and taking on grown-up tasks early on.
14. They strive to be role models. Firstborns were looked up to by their siblings and often served as an example at home and school.
15. Firstborns are thinner. A study conducted by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism showed that the oldest child is typically taller and thinner than those who come after. Some kids have all the luck!
For further exploration, pick up The Firstborn Advantage by Kevin Leman or Birth Order by Linda Blair.