One of the things I heard a lot when me and my BF got together was – “Oooh a twin, what’s that like? Do you fancy his brother then?”
When we first started dating we were at Uni and the twin was at a different Uni, so I didn’t really think it was any different to dating a non-twin to be honest. I noticed they were super close but then that was to be expected and I thought it was really sweet.
Then we’d all come home for the holidays and I’d notice that walking through shopping centres, heads would turn at the three of us – usually the heads of young girls, so I knew it wasn’t me they were staring at.
I also noticed they would take the opportunity to wrestle each other like deranged cave men at any given opportunity – but this may just be a brother thing I don’t know? They called it ‘rugby’ – I called it scrabbling about on the floor like idiots!
Their old school friends told me that they were affectionately known as ‘the fit twins’ back in the day which sounds very dated now, but I’m sure most people would have KILLED for that at 16.
Josh is the most modest, unassuming person I know, so he was more embarrassed by the so-called ‘title’ than anything else and thinks people only said it because they were twins. Maybe so! I really hope there wasn’t a set of ‘ugly twins’ at the same school – that would have been p.r.e.t.t.y harsh.
If that’d been me with an identical gorgeous sister, I’d have caused as much mayhem as physically possible. As it was, the only boys who noticed me at school we’re ones who saw me as a sister and found the idea that someone might fancy me totally hilarious! (Thankfully the local grammar school boys were a bit more deprived of female attention so that proved beneficial in later years! ha).
So to impart some knowledge…
Here are the things I’ve learnt after spending pretty much all my adult life with an identical twin:
- They REALLY don’t like it when you make assumptions that they should be using their ‘twin powers’ to get girls into bed on nights out – which when you compare it to chatting up a girl with any normal sibling does sound weird – but when drunk and trying to break the ice this was DEF not a good conversation opener (also never ask “what’s it like being a twin?” – they have no f**king idea – it’s all they’ve ever known and they find it annoying…very!)
2. You have to accept (depending on how close they are as friends) that there will always be three people in the relationship. Many times when we first started dating I was paranoid that he was constantly looking at his phone and texting these mystery people….9 times out of 10 it was/is his twin. Once you learn to share them it’ll all get much easier!
3. Don’t be shocked when the twin is NOTHING LIKE your partner in the personality department. Sometimes I find myself getting prickly about a perception or comment his brother quite innocently makes, but I have to remind myself that he’s not my BF and although they look very much alike, many of their values and ways of dealing with situations are different – which is no bad thing, just don’t expect them to react like your BF would and don’t take it personally
4. Nevertheless, having a good relationship with the twin is important – they will always be in each other’s lives, so if you’re lucky enough to have a good bond with them it will help (that goes for any siblings of your partner really). You can mediate between the two if they fall out, check gift/date suggestions and generally have a better understanding of that dynamic between the two – which isn’t always an easy one, especially as they get older. I like to think of my partners twin a bit like a big brother that I’ve also grown up with, we squabble and wind each other up sometimes but ultimately we do care and we know the other has good intentions
5. In my personal experience twins are quite competitive with each other, even if they act like they’re not. So if they see the other twin excelling at something or doing well, they can get a touch of the green-eyed monster and put themselves down in comparison. It’s important to not undermine their insecurities and to support them when they feel inadequate or left behind. Put yourself in their shoes and try to reassure them that to you they are perfect and they shouldn’t compare themselves to anyone else – sibling or not (see earlier post on sibling rivalry in general)
6. Know when to stick your neck out and when to leave a situation well alone. Like any good GF you want to defend your partner if someone upsets them, but as with any family (and especially twins) it’s one of those things where they can moan about it and slag them off occasionally, but you can’t always do the same. A twin relationship is a very close one and at times it can become suffocating and too involved, so it’s easy to get sucked into having a rant, especially if you think something is unfair – but again 9 times out of 10 it won’t go down well. Best thing to do is nod, agree and let them settle it on their own, whilst gently making suggestions in the background. I’m quite an outspoken person, my partner is not – and many times, in many different situations it has annoyed me when he doesn’t put his foot down, say no, stand up for himself – with regard to all sorts of things, but you have to let someone be their own person and deal with a situation in their own way. Hopefully I’ll get better at that one with age! 🙂
7. Finally, in dark nightclubs or bars – try not to slap the wrong arse or grind up against the wrong leg – red faces all round!
I’d love to know if any other partners of twins out there have had similar experiences to me over the years?