#4 – Only Child Syndrome

This is number four of the top 30 reasons for why normal people should not date a superhero(ine). Remember supers! This is all in good fun, BUT if you see yourself in these reasons you should consider altering your behavior in order to keep your beloved!

Trigger Warning: Use of Only Child Syndrome for comedic purposes, if you are an only child and it upsets you when people use OCS tropes to make a joke, you might want to skip this post.

[In no particular order, except for number one because that’s my #1]

Note: This piece will be written using gender neutral pronouns (ze instead of he/she and hir instead of she/he and him/her) in order to make this non-heteronormative. I consider “bro” and “brah” gender neutral. I use them in my day to day life to refer to people of all gender identities.

4) Only Child Syndrome

Most of your classic superhero(in)es grew up without siblings (Spiderman, Captain America, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Bruce Banner, and Black Widow). There are definitely exceptions (Hawkeye, Green Arrow) and I am not sure what the hell to do with Flash since he technically grew up with another kid in the house, but it wasn’t until later and then he fell in love with her – so we’re just going to leave him out of this. The thing is, only children are a very, very special breed. I will admit right off the bat that I am your typical youngest child (I still tell everyone that I am the baby and I get quite competitive for attention and affection, and very rarely get along with other youngest children), but I did date an only child and, while you can’t base everything off one case, my therapist, of the time, assured me that he was not atypical.

Only children are independent, just think of the whole “NO! I can do it myself!!!” vibe that you get from every single superhero(ine) we meet. They can build coalitions as seen by Avengers, Justice League, Fantastic Four, and X-Men (X-Men is a bit of an exception because those superhero(in)es have a much more diverse background than the stand alones), but those coalitions are usually very in the moment, don’t last long and have A LOT of issues – just look at Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. Tony and Steve are quintessential examples of this “I KNOW WHAT IS BEST SO I AM GOING TO DO IT MY WAY AND EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG!!!” I am not saying that every only child is like this, but more that, if an extreme independence streak is typical of an only child (grow up alone, have to figure out how to play by themselves, be self-sufficient) you kind of have to assume that it is going to magnified in the SUPER only children.

Only children also tend to be more achievement oriented. Do I really need to say more? Every super is all about SAVING THE WORLD, and what is movie night with popcorn compared to that? It’s not really an achievement to get to the grocery store when doombots are running around the city. Well, it’s an achievement for the day-to-day individual, but for an only child superhero, killing all the doombots might be more important and go up higher on their list of achievements.

Going in hand with the independence streak is, they prefer to do deal with everything alone. They need to be alone to process and figure things out. Now this is not a bad thing, some people process by unloading everything on people, some people do it by sitting down and picking through it in their head for four hours. The PROBLEM is that superhero(in)es’ factory default setting is to NEVER TALK ABOUT ANYTHING. So they process it alone and then neatly tuck it away in their feelings box and continue stoically into the night. This also combines with the only child secret keeping skill,  which combined with their SUPER SECRET IDENTITY means that they just don’t see the reason to go running off any telling anyone ANYTHING.

I can’t say I rule out dating all only children, because that’s just discriminatory, but only child + superhero(ine) can make for a pretty nasty ball of aloofness and secrecy, not because they’re assholes, but because they grew up as the focus of their parent(s)’s attention and as a result grew up independent, mature, goal-oriented, and not really convinced of the importance of sharing every last thing with their significant other. Which is then combined with all the previous reasons to not date a superhero(ine) and you can see why I am recommending EXTREME caution when considering involving yourself in that mess.

To all my only child readers – you are beautiful and awesome just the way you are, all people have messed up traits associated with their position within a family. I am needy, attention-seeking, and have dependent tendencies, which may be because I am the youngest child. My boyfriend is an oldest child, he has the independence, maturity, and needs to process alone thing going for him.

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