Every couple of years the topic of identical twins hits the front cover of Newsweek. In fact it's about time now--be watching! Most people find the topic fascinating. The relationship between identical twins looks good from the outside; a seamless interface, and they seem to enjoy one another’s company so much.

Research confirms that, indeed, identical twins are more altruistic to their sibling than fraternal twins (just siblings born at the same time) or regular siblings. They care about each other and show it in their actions.

Identical twins also function exceptionally smoothly as a team and as such are a model for another important "team" -- marital partners.

Research says having identical genes helps with some of this, but that the rest is because they spend exponentially more time together than regular siblings. Putting together my insider's-knowledge ;-) with research, here are some tips for learning how to have as much fun in your relationship:

1. We're in it for the long haul.

Kids, of course, have to see it that way because they can't leave, and most of us do commit more to blood relatives, perhaps because of the “selfish gene” theory (amplified because twins share the same genes). Whatever the reason, when the thought of parting simply never occurs, it smooths over a lot of rough spots in the road. You can focus on “what can we do to get beyond, over, around, or through this” instead of “I’m outa here.”
QUESTION: Every time you don’t get along, do you
(1) put a little more weight on that foot that’s always halfway out the door, or
(2) consider that 25 years from now, this particular thing isn’t even going to register on the radar screen?

2. Best, best friends.

Twins are notorious for closing rank when attacked from the outside. When a third person threatens to disturb the equilibrium, they turn and face the enemy together, with a united front. Identical twins are usually well-liked (since they know how to get along), but they don't "trade up".

QUESTION: If someone tries to come in between you and your spouse -- a mother-in-law, someone who wants to have an affair, or your savvy teenage daughter who wants to “divide and conquer,” do you
(1) take the bait or
(2) laugh, because nothing’s going to get between you and your best friend, the man/woman you married.

3. Let's ...

This is the sweetest word in the English language, when it's followed by, "Yeah, let's!" "Let's" is the contraction for "Let us," and is a continual part of twins' lives. "Let’s learn how to dive ... let’s make friends with ... let’s try that new food ...Want to?" "Yeah, let’s!"

There’s the underlying assumption that doing it with your buddy is more fun which applies to cleaning toilets as well as watching movies! What couples can miss, is that doing things together is bonding. It may not be as efficient, but, hey, that's for the workplace. What a married couple can give one another that no one else can, is time together.

QUESTION: What do you say when the house needs cleaning?
(1) Let’s tackle this and then we can go to the movies for a reward. or
your job. or
(3) Why should I help you clean the house? You can do it yourself. or
(4) It’s more efficient if I do it myself.

4. All trails lead to ...

At the end of the day, whether you've won or lost the account, the promotion, the confrontation, the tennis match, who will be there to celerbate with you or to help you take the blow and bounce back?
QUESTION: Are you there for your partner
(1) in body, because you live in the same house so you gotta show up (but reading the newspaper and working the remote keeps you inaccessible), or
(2) fully present – emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.

5. What’s good for him/her is good for me.

If I helped my twin polish the Chopin piece for the piano recital and it went well, everyone was happy – mom, dad, the piano teacher, me, her. The sun shown all around.
If she helped me get the dishes done quicker, everyone was happy and there was more time to do something fun.

Everyone happy is a description of the forcefield you live in.

(1) Rant and rave about your rights and entitlements, the Rules of Marriage According to You (or Dr. X), and who’s "doing all the giving" and who's "pathetic". or
(2) Do whatever it takes to keep the sun shining on your communal world remembering there are not "winners" and "losers" in marriage, either you both win, or you both lose.

6. Share and share-alike.

In high school, we shared all our clothes. Why? We could do the math. It's a fact of life that when you share, things multiply and you get more, not less.

(1) try and commandeer all resources like money and time for your own pursuits and benefit? Or
(2) do the math, and find that if he succeeds, you succeed, and that a boat you both can enjoy together might be a better investment than a hunting lease he’ll go to alone.

7. Two heads are better than one.

We moved every three years as my father worked his way up in his profession. Difficult for any kid, it was greatly cushioned because we always moved with our best friend. We did it together. When we hit the new school, we brainstormed about how to get along with the new kids, who would be the friends to make, how to handle the English teacher, how to find your way home ...

(1) Use and appreciate your partner’s brains mentally
or (2) Consider it a competition and you’ve got to be the smart one, so she can’t be. Or
(3) Attack him/her every time he/she “treats you like a kid,” “tries to tell you what to do,” “thinks they know it all” or “dominates” you by sharing their wisdom and knowledge.

8. Are you there like the Cheshire cat’s grin?

Sounds a bit sugary to you, all this togetherness? We fought, oh yes, probably worse than regular siblings do. So what? The bond was never broken. With the assumption of "forever" as solid as it is in childhood, what difference if you fight?

QUESTION: Do you (1) do everything possible to preserve the peace, including compromise your principles, lose your “self” in appeasement, withdraw into stony silence rather than “upset” things, make small, stuff it down and begin the road to festering resentment, and/or choose a path of continual retreat from the relationship or
(2) fight and make up, and don’t make a memo of it.

9. She said/He said. I know because I took notes

Studies with twins show they have a silent language, usually understood only by the two of them (and maybe an observant parent). When I did a study on two twins for graduate school, I have a pair of twin over to my house to observe them. At one point they were sitting out back on the porch swing, and suddenly, without a wordor action I could discern, without even turning their heads to look at one another, they rose and headed for the swimming pool together. It was uncanny.

Words are not the most important way we communicate, usually not the most effective, and definitely not the easiest way. 90% of communication is nonverbal. To build this nonverbal attunement, you have to spend a lot of time in close proxixmity with the other person.

(1) Talk like Venus and Mars and cause galactic bad feelings? Or (2) Touch her cheek with tenderness, press your hand upon his forearm to center him when he’s angry, give him thatmlook when his mother starts acting weird again, to let him know you understand (what words can’t say) and that he’ll be fine, have a secret signal for when one of you has had it and it’s time to go home?

10. Yeah, but it’s easy when you’re the same sex, and kids.

No, same-sex couples have their problems, and childhood’s easier than what?

However, we don’t get along as easily now. Why? Because we live far apart and don’t get to see each other much. I don’t read her as well as I used to. We argue more.

Do you (1) give your relationship token time, energy, and being together? Or (2) spend so much time together than you’re deeply attuned?

Author's Bio: 

Providing coaching, Internet courses around emotional intelligence for your personal and professional success. I train and certify coaches worldside. Email for info on this fast, affordable, comprehensivea, no-residency program. Are you a shy guy looking for that special girl? Visit http://shyguyscan.myblogsite.com for resources and coaching.