Our generation is becoming more and more keen on the idea of living life to the fullest and living a life full of love.
We've learned how to find love and life in various places, from our friends to hobbies like hiking and photography.
But as an only child, there's something quite different about the way we see the world around us and the people we become involved with, both platonically and romantically.
We've come to expect certain things those with siblings may not. And that's allowed me to learn gradually both the good and the bad that comes with being an only child.
1. High Expectations For Life And Love
As an only child, you witness firsthand how amazing love is.
That's not to say you don't experience love in a larger family, but there's something very different about the love in a small family.
Because there are only three of you, there's a bond there that can never really be broken.
Your parents become kind of like your best friends because you're their only focus, and they are the people who care about you more than anyone.
You see that love in your parents always, as they consistently put you before themselves.
They’ve taught you love is above all the most important aspect of life, and that without love, there is no life.
In addition, parents expect a lot from their children.
Because there is no other child who needs to "live up" to his or her "full potential," it's all on you.
As a result of this, you become more goal-oriented and more motivated because there is no competition from siblings.
You have distinct goals much earlier on than your friends who come from larger families.
We learn at an early age love can be found in two major parts: friends and family.
Being an only child influences the way we think about our friends.
Somehow, our friends become our family, and we feel an endless stream of love for them.
We don’t mind going out of our way to be there for them through the good and the bad, we don’t care solely about ourselves and we learn how to put our friends’ needs above ours when they need it the most.
Being an only child makes you a little more loving toward the people around you.
Because there’s only three of you in your family, there is a closeness you feel when you’re with your parents, whether that’s just coming home after a semester away or even just coming to visit them for the weekend.
As only children, we want to be surrounded by love not just from our family, but also from our friends.
We yearn for a sense of comfort from those who matter to us the most.
2. Openness And Comfort In Social Situations
We’re used to being open with our parents and telling them things we don’t tell everyone because we’re the only children.
So, it’s hard for our parents not to know what’s going on in our lives because we're the only one they have to worry about.
When we're put in situations that make us uncomfortable, we don't like to engage because we're used to seeking some sort of comfort in the world, not uncertainty.
However, if we immediately feel comfortable, things are easy breezy for us; it's as if we are at home.
And home is a sanctuary for us. Home is where we are loved unconditionally and where we can go whenever we're having a bad day.
At home, we're welcomed by a warm hug from Mom or Dad, and we feel comforted once more.
3. Strong Beliefs
Regardless of personality, being an only child allows you to develop your own beliefs and know who you are a lot earlier than the children of larger families.
You become more independent and know what you want much earlier on than your friends.
You know what you want, what you need and what you want to get out of life.
You're confident enough in yourself to know your morals to go out into the world to attain your goals.
1. High Expectations For Life And Love
Yes, this can be a negative as well.
As only children, we’re exposed to continuous love, which creates a very concrete image of what life and love “should be.”
However, this image isn’t often consistent with reality.
Only children can easily be manipulated and taken advantage of because of their perspective on love.
Whether your parents are divorced or together, you've still been exposed to that kind of only child "love" that is very different than the love we often encounter in Generation-Y.
As only children, we're used to being the center of our parents' world from the minute we're born.
We've always been the focus of all the love, all the money (whether we like to admit it or not) and all the privilege.
Since there are only three members of the family, there are only two ways the love can go: from the parents to the kid, and from the kids to the parents.
It's a two-way street that sometimes many who were born into larger families don't necessarily understand.
We don't know what it means to share things or be considerate of others' needs and wants.
It's quite common for only children to only think "me, me, me," and it's not because they're naturally selfish. It's because they haven't grown up with any other kind of perspective.
Because only children are so secure in their close-knit family life, it's difficult for us to get out of our comfort zones.
We're not stoked to change our schedules, our lifestyles or our perspectives for anything or anyone.
As mentioned previously, we're very concrete in our beliefs.
Any challenge to our opinions are not highly encouraged because we're very stubborn, and no one has challenged our viewpoints except for our parents.
We may be open-minded, but we don't change what we believe. There is no room for new ideas.
Being an only child has taught me plenty about valuing life and love to the fullest.
We might have higher expectations for life and love, but that also means we don't settle.
If we aren't happy with something, we let it go and move on without hesitation.
We know what we want, and we cherish what we have.