What it’s like being a twin in your twenties

‘We get the same marks in the same exams all the time’


Sharing a womb, a bedroom, clothes and looks for the entirety of their lives, being a twin can be both exciting and, probably, a bit odd – particularly when friends and family really can’t tell you apart. But after 20 years together on this earth, what’s it like trying to grow, get a job, leave home and start your own life, when there’s someone identical to you doing the same thing?

I asked what is life like for twins when they finally start to separate in their twenties.

Matt and Ed Jarman, 25, ‘Thumb Twins’

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Growing up Matt and Ed had an affinity to doing different things, Matt works as a self employed bricklayer, working for a groundwork firm. While Ed decided to study molecular biology at Edinburgh University and is now studying for a PhD in molecular medicine. Both, however, pose as thumbs in photos, giving them their nickname.

Ed says: “Matt was definitely bright enough to go to uni, but because I was the first to decide it, he felt like he should do something else.” Ed believes this is a twin way of “hedging their bets.”

“We’re uber competitive when pitched against each other, the easiest way to deal with this without falling out is to do different things. Our mum was advised to split us up after year two… I think that was to do with competition.”

Now that they are older, Ed believes they’ve “mellowed out a bit,” “we get on a lot easier now, more like a friendship than just having your brother around.” Ed isn’t sure whether this is because they’re both “boring adults now”, or that just “being apart that helps.”

Ed has lived in Edinburgh for seven years now so knows much fewer people when he returns home. He says: “I have also unknowingly blanked people, who have later had it out with Matt.”

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“Our mum most definitely dressed us up in matching outfits, the thing with twins is that they can be used as tools of humour from a young age.”

They are both still convinced they probably swapped names and identities until they were old enough to cling to one.

Elliott and Adam Milum, 21
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Elliott and Adam are both professional musicians in the British Army. Elliott has passed out of the Royal Military School of Music and is now in The Band and Bugles of The Rifles, which is one of the Army’s 22 bands. Adam is joining the army a year after Elliott and is currently still studying at the school of music.

Elliott says when they were younger “we looked extremely similar, our mum began dressing us in different colours. Me in blue, Adam in red. We also had name ‘A’ and ‘E’ badges on our uniform.”

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Elliott says: “As twins, I think you’re naturally closer to one other than siblings who aren’t twins. It’s harder to see each other now were in jobs, but we still regularly visit each other. Luckily were in the same friendship ground, which helps us maintain a close relationship.”

Following in their mum’s footsteps who is also a twin, Elliott and Adam said they swapped over for a lesson at school.

“The teacher didn’t have a clue, but you could tell the some of our the classmates knew, many of them being our friends, then the occasional stare from an unknown classmate.

“We always get asked : ‘If i pinch him, can you feel it?’ or ‘Do you know what each other are thinking?’. I can tell you now, that is a load of rubbish!”

James and Alex Ball, 20

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Alex and James are identical twins, they are so good looking God decided to make two of them. Both Alex and James work at Luton’s Vauxhall plant in production operation.

Alex says: “We know how each others minds work and sometimes we know exactly what the other one is going to say. Surprisingly, we don’t have twin telepathy, feel each others pain, or use each other as a mirror.”

They live together and have seen each other pretty much everyday for the past 20 years. James says: “We don’t get on each others nerves. We can survive without each other, but if it’s for a long period of time, you do start to feel a bit lost.”

Alex says: “People tend to get us confused, and they’re so apologetic. But sometimes I don’t even tell them and I just pretend I’m the other twin and hope for the best.”

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James says: “We’ve had girlfriends and we pretty much tell each other everything and anything, but we’ve never dated the same person… I probably would though. I know a guy who went out with twins, he broke up with one and then married her sister, he was a twin himself.”

James says: “My ex hated Alex. They never really got on. I thought it was quite funny.”

Alex: “My ex hated James too.”

Poppy & Dom Moroz, 21, AKA ‘Poppadom.’
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Poppy has recently graduated from the University of Cumbria with a degree in Performing Arts and will be studying her PGCE in September at Bedford College. Dom has also recently finished his LLB at Southampton Solent University and is currently working as a solicitor.

When Dom and Poppy were 10 they decided to watch a documentary on twin telepathy to see if this was a real thing, Poppy says: “For a solid 10 minutes we didn’t speak whilst staring at each other on opposing sofas, it didn’t work.

“Dom was actually born with a footprint on his face because I was obviously the baby that wanted all the space in the womb, so for two months he had a footprint on his face.”

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Dom says: “Our mum always tried to make us matching, maybe this was because we could never sleep apart as babies and apparently if our parents tried to split us up we would scream.”

Victoria and Lucy Saunders, 21

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Victoria is currently studying Hospitality Business Management at Sheffield Hallam University, while Lucy works for an Insurance Consultant in Bedfordshire.

Victoria says: “Now we are in our twenties, we get on so much more compared to when we were younger. We have the same friendship group so when I come home from uni it’s easier to see everyone. We’ve definitely got closer as we’ve got older and since I’ve gone to uni. I still think if we spend too much time together we will just end up arguing.

“We still manage to say the same sentences at the exact same time.”

In school they always had the same teachers that Victoria says: “Just couldn’t tell us apart.” Victoria would usually walk in and her teacher would say “Good morning Lucy,” Victoria says: “There was no point in correcting him because it was more than likely going to happen again.”

When Victoria and Lucy got to year 9 they both got their first boyfriends. Victoria recalls a story where: “Lucy got caught being a bit too friendly with my boyfriend by one of my friends, turns out it was just me all along.”

Lucy says: “When we were four or five, we decided the day before a wedding we were flower girls so it would be a goo idea to cut each other’s hair. We were very unpopular with our parents that weekend.”

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Victoria says: “Recently, Lucy has moved in with her boyfriend so I see her a great deal less. I miss her the most when I’m in Sheffield, just because I would speak to her about absolutely anything and she’s always there to reassure me.”

Victoria and Lucy never found if they were identical or not: “We had our blood tested on a study for twins that took all day, they never got back to us. We phoned up to enquire and the hospital said the study never existed.”

Sophie and Katie Dhaliwal, 20

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Katie and Sophie Dhaliwal are hands down the coolest fraternal twins you’ll ever meet. They are half-Indian and half-Fijian and both study at the University of Portsmouth.

Katie is currently doing her placement year at Hays Recruitment agency working in the compliance and strategic accounts department. Whilst Sophie is going into her final year at Portsmouth studying English Language.

Sophie says: “We hated sharing a room because Katie is dirty and messy, and I’m a clean freak.” Katie claims this is an exaggeration and says: “I also used to hate wearing the same clothes as Sophie, when we were allowed to pick our own clothes I used to go OTT on making sure I dressed different from Sophie.

“We don’t dress the same intentionally anymore, but occasionally accidentally.”

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Katie and Sophie live together at university and are extremely close: “We have always had the same friendship group, we do bicker but we get on more than we don’t.”

They claim to have no telepathic superpowers, but “have always got the same marks on every exam we have ever sat.”

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Katie and Sophie spent 10 minutes arguing during my conversation with them about how they both ended up at Portsmouth University, Sophie says: “Neither of us got into our firm uni so Portsmouth was both of our insurance options.

“I always wanted Portsmouth as my back up uni and Katie copied me.”

Katie: “She’s a liar, she copied me.”

Sophie says: “I will feel lost without Katie while she is doing her placement year,” and Katie concludes that “being a twin is kind of like having you’re best friend living with you.”

Jenny and Chris Goodwin, 20

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Chris is currently studying Chemistry at the University of Reading, and is starting a placement year in Australia in September. Jenny works full time as a support worker at a specialist college for disabled young adults.

Jenny says: “Chris calls me a lot when’s walking home drunk, or when he’s looking in the fridge trying to find something to cook. The other day Chris demanded that we brought double the amount of bacon, because it said it was a twin pack.”

Chris says: “Life as twins definitely differs now were older, as we have got so much closer. We always used to argue and all through primary school up to the age of 13, we never really saw eye to eye. Now we are really close. Since we went to a different secondary school we started to get on more. It’s really nice to have a sibling the same age.”

 

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On punishment Chris says: “Our Mum would take the TV remote until someone owned up. I used to love watching TV, but Jenny wasn’t bothered about it. So I would own up all the time, even if I didn’t know what I was claiming up to.”

Jenny says: “I once drew pictures on our Dad’s dirty car, I wanted to get Chris into trouble so I wrote his name on it. I spelt his name wrong and got caught.”