Why Do I Miss My Twin?

I have never meet a twin who didn’t ask themselves or anyone who would listen: “When will I get over missing my twin?” So, most simply and basically stated, here is my answer. Most likely never! Although in time you can understand your longings, which will definitely help you to expand your world. The attachment that twins share is primary and makes an everlasting and indelible mark on personality development. The outcome of such intense closeness is related to the quality of parenting that twins were exposed to in infancy through the teenage years. Were mom and dad real hands-on parents or did the twins parent one another?

Profound attachment, often referred to as the twin bond, determines the direction of life choices for twins as they grow and develop. Because twins have different childhood experiences, of course, not all twins are alike. Not all twins love each other and revere their relationship. Some twins are just stuck in the mire of their closeness, their anger and their longing for harmony. Even when twins remain conflicted and are unable to resolve their anger and disappointment with one another, they still miss each other. Fortunate twins who have a strong sense of themselves as individuals and are able to resolve their differences can support one another through difficult life situations. Twins who see themselves as individuals are resilient enough to fight and miss each other and reconnect for help with happiness or despair. Twin attention when needed is certainly one of the best parts of being a twin—the gold ring on the merry-go-round.
The twin attachment teaches us about the power of  human connection and how deep intimacy and understanding gained through shared lived experiences is a life-sustaining force that promotes a positive sense of self or contributes to negative thinking, depression, and self-destructiveness. Unfortunately, twin closeness can be an enigma in our individually driven objectified technological world, which is intensified by the onlooker’s idealization of twinship as the perfect intimacy. The nuances and comfort of emotional closeness and attachment can remain a mystery to individuals who have had more distant family relationships and are yet desperately seeking out understanding from others. This quest to just find the intimacy you want is promoted by internet websites that match lonely individuals seeking love. Twins who are born married know that intimacy is more complicated. They also know the comfort of having a close ally, and in fact, expect that they will always have someone at their side through thick and thin.

From birth, separation for twins can be fraught with anxiety, pain, and confusion. Careful parental negotiation of separation issues in infancy and childhood helps twins learn to tolerate being separate from one another. Parental attention to learning about single children through play and interaction in addition to learning who they are as individuals is crucial. No matter how well parenting proceeds in developing individuality and coping strategies for separation, it is inevitable that twins will miss each other and long for other close relationships. Nontwins just do not get this problem of intensely missing the other person. And twins don’t really understand how nontwins can conquer being alone. So whatever the age of the lonely twin, I can totally understand the experience and empathize with the suffering that twins feel and hold onto when they feel like “something” is missing in their life.
Missing your twin seems to have many aspects or facets which may not be observable to the untrained eye of friends, children, husbands, and even parents. Missing your twin can include the following:
1.  Feeling awkward in social situations that you used to attend with your twin, such as school and family events.
2.  Feeling the need to be with your twin even though you have the ability to make it on your own while shopping, studying, changing the oil in your car, cooking, etc.
3.  Thinking that you are explaining yourself to a new person, but you are not effectively explaining yourself to anyone except your twin brother or sister who is not in the room. At these strange times some people will think you are a “freak,” although your twin never judged you like that; she just gave you honest feedback.
4.  Needing to connect too deeply with a friend or associate or in another social circle. In other words, longing for more intensity in a relationship that is just perfunctory and based on small talk.
5.  Believing that someone really cares as much about your ideas as your brother or sister. Believe me, other people don’t care, because they do not share your lived experiences and are not invested in your identity.

How to Move On
Realistically dealing with your feelings of loneliness will involve a long and sometimes treacherous journey, which sensitive close family and friends can readily see but not really understand. You have to accept that separation anxiety from your twin is very intense and difficult to manage in a mature and productive way. Missing your twin can make you feel desperate and hopeless. Blaming others for being an inadequate twin substitute is a non-productive way of acting out your anger at your twin or your internalized anxiety. Often used, rigid thinking about the perfunctory nature of small talk in comparison to the closeness you share with your twin can lead to immature solutions—jumping in and pretending that you are in a twin relationship, or withdrawing. And, to make matters worse, nontwins do not understand the intensity of your emotional turmoil and your need to feel connected. Here are some strategies that will help you. They helped me as I made my journey into the nontwin world.

1.  Talk with your sister or brother and other twins who can understand and respect your loneliness.

2.  Enjoy your ability to feel close to other people, while keeping in mind that others may not understand or may take advantage of your sensitivity. Protect yourself from instant intimacy theft.

3.  Learn how to develop nontwin relationships and enjoy what they have to provide, which most likely is freedom from your twin’s point of view.

4.  When you feel too nostalgic, remember about the hardest part of being a twin, which is always having to consider another person.

5.  If you are in the middle of a serious life crisis you can predict that you will miss your twin more intensely.

6.  Look for a therapist who can understand your struggle.

7.  Don’t panic; other twins are suffering with you.

8.  Prize yourself and others will too.