Being a Twin

5 Benefits Of Having An Inseparable Bond With My Twin Brother

I get asked all the time what it's like being a twin.

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Once people find out that Luke and I are twins, a never-ending list of questions automatically gets thrown our way. The great part about it, though, is that I love telling others all about our experiences because we are unique. Being a twin is truly unlike any other sibling relationship that exists. There is an inseparable bond between the two of us that can't be broken. Here are just a few things I have experienced from being a twin.

1. First of all, it ended up that we are not both of one sex which means we ultimately dodged a bullet there.

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I know a few sets of twins that are both girls and sometimes it isn't so pretty. Luckily, Luke and I do not have to deal with the dreaded catfights, boy drama, and being in constant competition with one another. Not having to constantly compete means that we are both able to strive toward our own goals while being supportive of another as opposed to just wanting to outperform the other.

2. Another plus is that since I am a female and Luke is a male, I get to wear as much of his clothes as I want, but not necessarily the other way around.

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That means I technically have two sets of wardrobes if I ever need it! I know right, I am extremely resourceful.

3. One thing I also do is go into Kendra Scott, an awesome jewelry store, where you get 50% off a purchase during my birthday month. 

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I admit to kind of cheating the system by bringing Luke with me since he has the same birthday as mine and acts like he's buying stuff for a girlfriend when instead I give him money to buy a few items so I can get the discount instead.

4. I also love that I always had him so I never, ever had to do anything alone if I didn't want to.

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We walked into school together, did summer camps together, and were able to keep each other entertained when we were bored. I never struggled with boredom because the two of us could always find something fun to do together. Imagine walking into school every day together with your twin so much that other students started thinking you were dating. Well, this is what ultimately happened to us before students found out we were twins so that was fun trying to explain to everyone!

5. Luke and I also get to share the same memories as one another.

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Imagine having someone who you can always say, "Hey do you remember that time we.....?" Luckily, we have gotten to share a lot of the same past experiences which means we are able to relate entirely to each other.

I was fortunate enough to have someone whom I could call my best friend and never have to worry about the friendship ending. No matter what has happened in each of our lives, we each have each other to count on. For that, I am extremely grateful to call Luke not only my twin but also my best friend.

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When You Give A Girl A Brother

"No, you cannot exchange him for a baby sister"
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When you give a girl a brother, at first she'll probably cry and ask her parents to exchange him for a baby sister.

When she learns that this is not possible, she'll cave and take him under her wing.

She'll coach him from crawling, to walking to sprinting in no time.

Then she'll teach him the best places to hide for a thrilling game of hide and seek, stuffing him under beds and shutting him in toy boxes.

She'll share her creepiest stories, illuminated by the flickering of her Barbie flashlight in a tent for two in the living room floor.

She'll squeal in delight as she chases him through backyard sprinklers, daring him to run through the freezing water in the summer heat.

She'll taunt him as the two stand back to back, insisting that she must be "1,000" inches taller than him, because bigger sisters are just that: bigger.

She'll tattle when he pulls her by her hair from the couch or takes her favorite toy, sure that Mom will bring justice to the cruel, cruel rein of younger brothers.

She'll teach him all about school, helping him pick his first backpack and suggesting the best color pencils.

She'll find herself defending him against the school bus bullies with her fiery personality, (even though he insists that he can handle it and it's sooooo embarrassing when his sister is threatening to beat up boys for him)

She'll spend her afternoons insisting that her homework is much, much harder than his "baby" spelling words, because she's learning her multiplication facts.

Over time she won't seem to notice that their backyard adventures have been replaced with "No Boys Allowed" or "No Girls Allowed" signs on their bedroom doors.

She'll soon be annoyed when her mom insists that she has to bring her little brother to the high school basketball game.

She'll call her friends insisting that her middle school brother is so obnoxious with his high pitched voice and his sad attempt to grow armpit hair.

She'll complain and call him disgusting when he doesn't flush or a brat takes too long in the bathroom in the mornings.

She'll bribe him with fast food so that he doesn't tell mom that he heard her on the phone all night with some boy past curfew.

She'll still insist that her algebra homework is so much harder than his freshman English class (because that's so ninth grade).

She'll tell him to go away as she cries alone in her room, because she doesn't have a date for Homecoming. But he'll wait patiently outside the door with the dress shirt and pants that he bought to be her escort in her time of need.

Time will pass, and she'll begin to see that the little brother who she once towered over, the one she saw walk for the first time, the baby who she was sure she wanted to trade, has been replaced with a man.

A man now towers nearly a foot above her head, voice booming with maturity, and driving his own car to high school basketball games.

A man who helps her move into her college dorm, trying to hit on her roommates, and later coaching her through her math homework via text messages from home.

A man who asks her for advice for his first dates, asking if his cologne is too strong or if his shoes match his outfits.

A man who defends her when the two of them are out and about, and some guy just won't leave her alone.

A man who now gives her advice about her life choices, with full honesty and wisdom beyond his own age.

A man who inspires her, teaches her, and challenges her.

Because even when she's no longer "1,000" feet taller, or he's too big to fit in the toy box anymore, when you give a girl her brother you've given her a best friend for life. A teacher, a protector, her savior, and her biggest pain. But regardless what time brings: the changes, the heartache, the success; he will always be there. When you give a girl a brother, you've given her the one of the most important men of her life... and although she may know know it at first, one day she will thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Carolina Heart Photography

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When You Are The Youngest Of 6 Kids

Having five older siblings is the greatest blessing I could have ever asked for. I get best friends for life.

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I am probably one of the luckiest people on the planet because I have so many brothers and sisters. I have three brothers and two sisters. I'm the youngest of the six, so I have had a pretty interesting experience growing up with a big family.

My oldest brother is ten years older than me. All of my siblings were born in the 90s and I wasn't, but I wanted to fit in with them. I had to make sure I watched the same TV shows and movies that they did so I could relate to them. I tried to play the same games that they played, such as SEGA and Nintendo. I was not very good at any of them, but I was just happy to be with my siblings.

Going to school was always interesting because I always had a teacher that one or more of my siblings already had. Every year in school from 1st grade to 12th grade, I always heard, "Oh, I had a few of your siblings." Then, for the rest of the year, my teachers would slip up every once in a while and call me one of my sisters' names. I understood, though, because all of us look alike, so I would just go along with it and act like that was my name.

With my sisters, the three of us look like triplets, even though we are years apart. I get called Jess or Jen a lot by my parents. By process of elimination, they eventually figure out my name. I'm used to it as I respond to anyone who calls me by one of my sister's names.

Being the youngest, I get to see all my brothers and sisters accomplish many things. I watch what they do and learn from it. The problem for me has always been that all of my siblings are brilliant. I have always had to live up to the standards that my siblings set. It hasn't always been easy.

It can be frustrating because anyone that knows my brothers and sisters will automatically compare me to them in terms of intelligence. For example, I took AP Statistics in high school. I knew my teacher had a few of my siblings who were very bright and did well in that class. My teacher probably thought I was an idiot because I struggled in that class.

I have to try and prove to people that I am my own person and that I am just related to really smart people.

I never needed to worry about friends at school because, at the end of the day, I always had my five best friends at home. When we were all younger, we had our own sleepovers and parties, and we played games all the time.

Whenever I needed help with homework, I had my own free tutors at home who were willing to help me understand algebra and biology. Even in college, I still go to them when I need help with an assignment.

They took care of me when I was younger whenever my parents were working. I had my other five parents who were ready to take care of me. They still take care of me today.

Now that I am an adult, I have had to start doing things for myself. It's kind of weird.

I always had everyone else do everything for me or with me. If I needed to go somewhere, they were my chauffeurs. If we went out to eat somewhere, they paid, but now I can drive myself around and pay for things with my own money.

At the end of the day, I have five best friends for life. For me, that is all I need.

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