What is the ‘dating birth order theory’ on TikTok?

Alice Sjöberg
A man and woman facing each other while smiling

People on TikTok are going crazy over the dating birth order theory as people try to figure out if their birth order has anything to do with how compatible they are with their partners.

Dating and relationships continue to be huge topics on TikTok, inspiring several different trends including everything from tests you can do on your partner, to theories on how to find the best partner for you.

Recently, there has been an increase in references to a relationship theory called the ‘dating birth order theory,’ with many users finding the theory fascinating.

But what is the dating birth order theory, and is it true? Here’s everything you need to know


What is the dating birth order theory?

Dating birth order theory on TikTok is essentially a way to test compatibility with someone you’re dating based on the traits you’ve theoretically inherited from your position in your family’s birth order.

Stereotypically, firstborns are ambitious, natural leaders, and perfectionists. Middle children famously are diplomatic, empathetic people pleasers, while youngest children tend to be the wildest and have a bit of a sense of entitlement. Meanwhile, only children are independent, grown up, and potentially a little selfish (similar to firstborn).

According to the theory on TikTok, these traits impact what person you might end up with in the future.

Some say that a relationship will ultimately fail between someone who comes from a family where they are the eldest sibling and the other person who is the youngest sibling from their family.

The reason given for this is because the eldest’s actions towards the younger will be “parental” and sets a tone in terms of the relationship dynamic.

Where does the dating birth order theory come from?

Although this theory has recently gone viral, it actually dates back all the way to the early 1900s, when Alfred Alder, an Austrian psychologist came up with the idea that you can have certain personality traits depending on your birth order within your family.

It’s then been studied how these positions “may be correlated both positive and negative life outcomes,” according to researchers.

Like anything that’s thousands of years old, the theory could be outdated for various reasons. So, the professional advice from modern experts is – when it comes to dating – take it with a pinch of salt. 

If you want to know more about the relationship trends on TikTok, check out our guides:

What is the viral ‘12 questions’ relationship test? | What is the ketchup test on TikTok? | How to do the moon phase soulmate trend | What is the viral ‘shoe theory’ on TikTok? | What is the “girlfriend effect”?

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