I’m a relationship expert — here’s why you should be careful dating an only child

I’m a relationship expert — here’s why you should be careful dating an only child

It’s not me, it’s you.

Many people are quick to spot relationship red flags, such as selfish, sneaky or dismissive behaviors, but how many siblings a significant other has might provide clues, too, according to a dating expert.

Jaime Bronstein, a California-based relationship therapist, revealed you should be cautious about being with someone who grew up as an only child — although it’s not all bad.

“If you are dating an only child, look for red flags regarding not feeling prioritized enough,” Bronstein told The Post. “If you are doing all the work in the relationship and putting in all the effort, then it’s time to communicate your needs.”

She explained that issues with sharing, avoiding conflict and high expectations can be negatives to having a partner without siblings.

Relationship expert Jaime Bronstein revealed the pros and cons to dating an only child. Shutterstock

Relationship expert Jaime Bronstein revealed the pros and cons to dating an only child. Shutterstock

“Sharing can be difficult — cliche but true in some instances. Only children might have had less practice sharing or compromising, as they never had to negotiate with siblings,” Bronstein added.

The author of “

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” explained that a lack of sharing can show up in your relationship through difficulty compromising, which can lead to a confrontation that an only child would prefer to avoid.

“Some only children might not be used to dealing with sibling conflicts, which can translate to avoiding confrontation in a relationship,” the expert said.

Another con to dating an only child can be fulfilling their expectations: Since they grew up being the only priority in their parent’s lives, they always expect the best.

Some only children struggle with sharing, avoiding conflict and high expectations. Shutterstock

Some only children struggle with sharing, avoiding conflict and high expectations. Shutterstock

“Being the sole focus of their parent’s attention can sometimes lead to only children having high expectations for themselves and others, which can put pressure on a relationship,” Bronstein detailed.

In a case study conducted by Bronstein, she revealed how a divorced patient of hers realized how her only-child behavior, such as selfishness and being “spoiled,” played a part in her failing marriage.

“[The patient] mentioned that she hates being told ‘no.’ It’s hard for her when she doesn’t get her way. This is something that she has dealt with her whole life and has played out in her adult romantic relationships,” said Bronstein.

Other couples have faced similar situations when dealing with a selfish partner.

“An only child is not used to sharing things or used to making decisions taking someone else into account. This leads to selfish behavior at times that could put off a partner. But it’s not in their system to be inclusive, so it will take time to work on this attitude,” reported Bonobology.com.

Sibling-less partners enjoy their alone time and independence, which some partners view negatively. Shutterstock

Sibling-less partners enjoy their alone time and independence, which some partners view negatively. Shutterstock

Another case study Bronstein disclosed is about a married man who struggles with conflict between his spouse and children. He prefers to avoid arguments due to his lack of experience with sibling confrontation.

“Since he didn’t have siblings to argue with, any type of conflict makes him uncomfortable,” the expert shared.

She explained how “upbringing, personality and other life experiences also play a major role in determining how an only child will show up in an adult romantic relationship.”

While there is an upside to dating sibling-less children, Bronstein admitted that maturity, independence and communication skills are positives to dating an only child.

“Only children often grow up to be independent and self-reliant, having been accustomed to spending time alone,” she declared. “This can translate into a mature and self-sufficient partner.”

However, being too independent can be viewed as a negative trait of your significant other.

“You may feel they don’t need you or want to spend less time with you than you want,” but “only children tend not to be needy, so if you require a lot of attention, an only child is probably not the one for you.”

“Some only children might not be used to dealing with sibling conflicts, which can translate to avoiding confrontation in a relationship,” the expert said. Shutterstock

“Some only children might not be used to dealing with sibling conflicts, which can translate to avoiding confrontation in a relationship,” the expert said. Shutterstock

Bronstein advises to “watch out for the only child’s need for independence and space. If they express feeling smothered, try to respect that or at least come to a compromise.”

Many partners without siblings tend to be more mature, because they grew up around older crowds instead of children within their age group.

“Growing up without any siblings, only children tend to mature quickly as they socialize more with adults, resulting in a partner who is mature and responsible,” Bronstein added.

Being surrounded by adults allows the child to gain better communication skills.

“Because only children are used to communicating with adults from a young age, they may develop strong verbal skills and be able to express themselves well in relationships,” she said.

Experts from Psychology Today agree that children adapt to adult-like behavior.

An “only child has no siblings with whom to connect, to be compared to, to compete against, or to do conflict with, the child becomes ‘adultized’ from identifying with and interacting with these primary parental companions,” the magazine reported.

If the bad outweighs the good in your partnership, Bronstein wants you to remember there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Bad communication “can easily be fixed if the only child is open to making the relationship work and improving themselves. On the other hand, if you don’t see any changes in behavior, then it’s best to move on,” the relationship coach declared.

However, Bronstein wants to remind people that only children need and deserve love just as much as people with siblings do.

“Look at the only child as a person; you might be surprised at their ability to participate in a healthy and successful relationship,” she said. “It’s all about communication, compassion and understanding each other.”