A week ago, on 28th November, I welcomed my twenty-third year of life. It also welcomed my twin sister’s twenty-third year of life.
Celebrating this day together allowed me to reflect on our wonderful lives together, which brought me to the realisation that many people have ridiculous misconceptions about the lives of twins. I am here to address these curiosities today.
To begin this article, here’s a very brief background on myself, Emily, and the identical twin, Charlotte. 98.8% identical to be precise! Born in 1994 in Hull twenty-two minutes apart (thanks to the inspiration that is my mother) and having no other siblings, we have spent the entirety of our lives side by side.
It has been genetically determined for us to be best friends since the minute we were born; a connection that only twins can understand after sharing the womb together for seven and a half months. Growing up, we naturally shared the same interests and excelled at the same things in school; resulting in us each enrolling on the same degrees at University.
Throughout our lives, we have been asked endless questions, some logical and some not, about our “twinness.” Here are a few facts I’d like to present and at the same time, diminish some of the ridiculous myths of twins we have been repeatedly challenged with in our life.
“Can you feel each other’s pain?”
No. I would like to clarify to the world that no, twins are not physically capable of experiencing the pain of their other half.
I certainly felt this was proved throughout high school, when I would get punched on the arm and Charlotte wouldn’t flinch. People really need to pay more attention in their biology classes.
“Are you telepathic?”
Again, no. Twins are not telepathic, no matter how many twins may try and convince you otherwise.
I do like to admit, Charlotte and I did have a lot of fun in school blowing the minds of our peers when they found out we would chat across the room in our heads. Science would have proved telepathy if it existed, so please don’t exhaust the next set of twins you meet by asking if they can do it. Because they can’t.
“Do you share boyfriends?”
Shout out to all of the sexually frustrated adolescent boys we have encountered in our lives who have been watching way too much online porn. A lot of young males who spent the majority of their lives on the internet seem to forget how real-life society works and therefore don’t have a clue how to filter what they are thinking.
No, boys, my twin and I will not share. As any other sibling, our love lives are kept completely separate. Unless there’s anybody out there who’s completely cool with sharing a partner with their sibling, it’s otherwise pretty weird and generally just fucked up.
“Why do you have the same friends, that’s a bit weird isn’t it?”
Charlotte and I have always shared the same friend groups throughout our lives, even at University when we lived in separate accommodations. Twins, in particular identical twins, tend to have similar personalities and interests.
People find it very easy to get along with both of us, without referring to us as the same person of course, which we both hate, as any other twin would understand. It’s not that we choose to have the same group of friends, it just happens naturally.
“You studied the same degree?”
We studied the same degrees, at both undergraduate and post-graduate level. Growing up with my twin, we found naturally we excelled at the same things in school, and struggled with the same horribly ghastly subjects such as maths.
With us both having an interest in reading and writing from a young age, it was only natural to take on English Language in our A Levels and further at degree level. It is what we both wanted to do, and it had nothing to do with us wanting to be ‘the same person’ – which, by the way, all twins hate being referred to.
So, there is a small summary of the things that people have wrongly assumed about twins. Being an identical twin isn’t just about looking the same and mimicking each other’s sentences. Having a twin is having a best friend for life, even if a lot of the time you want to tear their head off when you spot them wearing half of your wardrobe. Sorry, Char.
I absolutely love being a twin, purely just for the lifetime of friendship and always having someone there. So please, next time you meet a twin, don’t ask them if they are telepathic or if they want a threesome. Just please.