Dating Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

Don’t We All Want To Be Loved What Makes Bpd Different

Borderline Personality Disorder & Relationships

BPD is a very broad diagnosis that affects everyone differently. With 256 different symptom combinations, the most common include impulsivity, chronic emptiness, and trouble controlling emotions. It has been estimated that there is one in 100 people living with BPD in the UK, and two in 100 in the U.S., though the actual prevalence is thought to be much higher than these statistics. Overall, people with BPD are 50 times more likely to die by suicide than those who don’t have the disorder.

Many people with BPD are living happy and fulfilled lives, but there are undoubtedly people like myself who are still hesitant to relinquish control in the realm of relationships. After all, internal instability often leads to unstable relationships and what is more destabilising than dating?

They’re Always Analyzing Your Expressions And Actions

Hyper-vigilance over a loved one’s actions can also be a sign someone has borderline personality disorder, according to PsychCentral.

Since a person with the disorder is constantly looking for signals they could be abandoned, they might get stuck thinking a partner’s words or mannerisms mean something they don’t.

If you’re daydreaming, for example, your partner with BPD may think you look bored and worry you’ll leave because it’s their fault. As a result, they might ask a lot of questions about what you’re thinking or why you’re acting a certain way.

According to Smith, consistent and long-term therapy as well as relationships with people who set boundaries in a firm, yet compassionate way can help people with borderline personality disorder reframe their mindsets and control their behaviors.

Dating Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder: A Detailed Guide

Love is a battlefield of intense, powerful emotions that can be hard to control. For anyone with a borderline personality disorder, that emotional intensity is magnified. So how do you successfully navigate a relationship of this type?

The truth is that it is tricky, but by no means impossible, and can be just as functional as any other relationship. Below, we provide a guide to dating someone with borderline personality disorder.

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Unstable Sense Of Self

A person with BPD often does not have a strong, stable sense of who they are, and may even seem to switch personalities, moods, or interests according to how they feel or who they are around. At the core, these behaviors are often driven by their personal insecurities, lack of self-worth, and fear of being rejected or abandoned by other people.

Some of the ways that an unstable self-image can show up in people with BPD include:6,7

  • Adopting personas and personality traits of others to be liked or accepted
  • Going through phases where they have different interests, styles, or hobbies
  • Alternating between states of pride and shame, often in response to their interactions
  • Feeling unsure of who they are or feeling like they have no true self
  • Internalizing expectations, criticisms, and praise given by others

Tips For Loving Someone Who Struggles With Emotional Dysregulation

What You Need to Know When Dating Someone With Borderline Personality ...

Learning to love someone who struggles with emotional dysregulation is difficult. But it is possible.

  • Try to see the person for who they are and not their mental health issues.
  • Avoid blaming them for their behavior or try to change them.
  • Give them space to deal with their emotions on their own without judgment or criticism.
  • Understand that you cant control how they feel or what they do in response to their emotional distress, so dont take it personally.
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    Bpd Symptoms Or Abusive Behaviour

    The partners of people with BPD can sometimes find it difficult, too although many with the condition can build healthy relationships, Ellens* ex partner, she says, struggled.

    The 32-year-old dated a man with diagnosed BPD last year. I dont know how things might have been different if he didnt have BPD, she says. I think I excused a lot of abusive behaviour, because I thought maybe it was part of the condition.

    She explains that he would make me feel guilty about leaving him alone, to the point she started coming home early from work. If we had any kind of disagreement, hed give me the silent treatment, she continues. I made a lot of allowances thinking it was the BPD. He started to leave me every three days hed leave in the middle of the night, then would come back and tell me I was the love of his life.

    She says some of his behaviour was abusive. But is this a fair label to put on people with the condition?

    Thats a really important question that touches on the core of who we are as human beings, says Dr Romaniuk. Having BPD, you are still your own self. It might predispose you to responding in certain ways, but I think theres still a level of responsibility for what you do in a given moment. A lot of the time, the behaviour is not manipulative, but sometimes, it might be.

    She encourages honest conversation between partners if one person has BPD, but also for the person without the condition to have concern for their wellbeing, too.

    Make Sure You Set Limits

    Establishing healthy boundaries is crucial in a BPD relationship. These boundaries are not meant to control or transform your partner, but serve as a way to protect your emotional and mental wellbeing while also considering and respecting theirs. Setting healthy boundaries can be difficult to establish and sustain, nevertheless, they can promote stability in the relationship and help you develop adaptive responses when you are faced with undesirable behaviors.

    Additionally, boundaries in a relationship can help determine what is acceptable and what is not. Bear in mind that this is a gradual process that requires patience and commitment. However, youll find that honoring boundaries will help you both feel more secure in the relationship and promote a deeper sense of trust, intimacy, and respect toward each other.2

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    How To Know If Your Partner Has Bpd

    According to Romeos Bleeding by Roger Melton, M.A., there are three distinct phases of being in a relationship with someone who is afflicted with Borderline Personality Disorder:

  • The Vulnerable Seducer Phase: This phase depicts the person with Borderline Personality Disorder as a victim of love. They will use their previous experiences to denote a feeling or desire to be saved, noting how you are the only one who understands them. Youre special because you really know them, and this can feed into your empathy and your ego. The person with BPD can make you feel loved, needed, wanted, and elated because they want your attention, but also want to make you the center of their world. Things move at a whirlwind pace, almost too quickly, and you might find yourself in an intense relationship before youre even ready.
  • The Clinger Phase: As the person with Borderline Personality Disorder becomes more attached to you, you will notice changes over time. They may seem small at first, but they will slowly become apparent. Sure, your partner will be interested in you, but may no longer be interested in what youre interested in. Theyll use physical and emotional ailments to keep your focus entirely on them, and their mood can start to swing suddenly, from euphoric highs to depth-defying lows. Theyll still think you can save them though, and use this to keep an emotional tether to you, putting their entire emotional and physical well-being in your hands.
  • Things To Know About Dating Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

    Every Way Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Affects My Life | SELF

    Trishanna Sookdeo


    Dating someone with borderline personality disorder can be challenging. Your partner may have major difficulties with strong emotions, drastic mood swings, chronic fear of abandonment, and impulsive behaviors which can strain your relationship with chaos and instability. Nonetheless, understanding BPD, learning ways to cope, and seeking support including therapy can help to shape your relationship in meaningful ways.

    BPD can present a lot of challenges to a relationship, but you dont have to face them alone. BetterHelp has over 20,000 licensed therapists who provide convenient and affordable online therapy. BetterHelp starts at $60 per week. Complete a brief questionnaire and get matched with the right therapist for you.

    Choosing Therapy partners with leading mental health companies and is compensated for referrals by BetterHelp

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    How To Help Someone With Bpd In A Relationship

    Loving someone with BPD isnt simple it requires a lot of preparation and understanding.

    Watching a loved one battle with profound inward distress can be agonizing. Moreover, even ordinary communications can be weighed down with the potential danger of an outburst in case the person with BPD misread your tone or accepted what you say as an indication of dismissal.

    Why A Borderline Person Needs A Caretaker

    Because of their intense emotions, the borderline person needs someone to rescue them, to ease and soothe their fears, and to make life less overwhelming.

    The borderline person would try to push his negative feelings away by projecting them onto someone else someone to accuse of causing the internal pain so he wont have to face it and someone to hate so he wont hate himself.

    Moreover, the borderline person struggles with fear of being alone or being abandoned. They need someone close to soothe those fears.

    So they pull strangers into immediate closeness to transform the pain of feeling lonely into intense love, believing that this person is the one.

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    Increase Your Sense Of Self

    Self-respect is to consider yourself being worthy of high regard.

    To increase your sense of self-respect, you need to start identifying and meeting your own needs.

    These needs include:

    • Taking good care of yourself
    • Protecting yourself

    You also need to start seeing yourself as worthy. This means that you know your own value and treat yourself and expect to be treated according to that value.

    This isnt to say that you need to control how others treat you, but if someone is treating you poorly and you are allowing it, youre not giving yourself the respect you deserve.

    If youre being treated poorly, you need to speak up and let the other person know that you wont be tolerating that kind of treatment.

    Again, you cant change the way you feel about yourself directly, youll need to start changing your thoughts and behaviors around self-respect, before you can feel it.

    Spend some time alone where you wont be disturbed. Use that time to think, read a book, meditate, take a bath, go for a walk, or do anything you want.

    Can Someone With Bpd Have A Healthy Relationship

    17 People Reveal Their Experiences Dating Someone Who Has Borderline ...

    This is the million-dollar question. With therapy and understanding on the part of the neurotypical partner, the answer is yes. But you should be prepared for a wild ride.

    Here are some of the things that you can expect to experience in your relationship with a person suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder:

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    Work On Your Communication Skills

    Every relationship can benefit from working on communication skills. Communication is even more important when it comes to having a partner with BPD. Its easy to get defensive, take things personally, and shut down when were hurt.

    The intensity of emotions and reactions is more magnified when youre involved with someone who has BPD. They can easily view your communication issues as a sign that youre getting ready to break up with them, whether its justified or not. Keeping the lines of communication open will be incredibly important.

    Recognize The Realness Of Bpd

    Individuals with BPD arent just being troublesome or intentionally trying to hurt you.

    Their profound mental pain is being aggravated by their lack of tools to adapt to overpowering feelings.

    You might feel as though your words and acts are not enlisting in the way you expect, which is actually whats going on. This is why you need to figure out how to adapt to this distinction between real factors.

    The right approach to do that isnt to try to persuade them that they are incorrect doing so will probably cause them to feel attacked, and they will probably react by pushing you away. Rather, approve their emotions and recognize the realness of their experiences.

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    There Are Numerous Misconceptions Surrounding Borderline Personality Disorder

    Theres a stereotype that those with borderline personality disorder are bad people or abusive. While this can be the case, it isnt always. Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness, and people who suffer from it can be, and often are, kindhearted and loving.

    While the origin of borderline personality disorder is not fully known or understood, experts speculate it arises from a combination of genetic, environmental, and cognitive factors. Theres no gene linked to borderline personality disorder, but close family members have an increased risk of developing borderline personality disorder.

    Childhood trauma, such as sexual or physical abuse and neglect from parents, can also put individuals at an increased risk of developing borderline personality disorder. Furthermore, there may be a neurological factor involved in borderline personality disorder, as sufferers lack the ability to regulate their emotions, a task performed by parts of the brain.

    Another common misconception is that borderline personality disorder is permanent. Although BPD is a personality disorder, its treatable those diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and treated can go into remission and no longer exhibit the symptoms that would lead to a clinical diagnosis in the first place.

    The reason? People with NPD, says Gilbert, tend to make other people miserable, while people with BPD make themselves miserable.

    Be Prepared To Offer Validation

    How Does Borderline Personality Disorder Affect Romantic Relationships?

    Its easy for people with BPD to feel insecure about themselves and their relationships. They often experience abandonment sensitivity as well as a tendency to withdraw from relationships due to a fear of intimacy.

    If your partner has BPD, they may constantly watch for signs that you might leave them, experience intense periods of jealousy and interpret even a minor event as a sign that abandonment is imminent. When your partner communicates their feelings, make them feel heard and show compassion for what they are experiencing regardless of whether you agree or disagree.

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    Embrace All Your Emotions:

    If you live with BPD, you may notice you overthink a lot, especially in romantic relationships. For instance, if you sense a shift in your partners feelings, you may start to panic and overthink about whether they will break up with you. Instead of focusing on the thoughts, focus on the emotions you feel. Are you scared? Nervous? Sad? What are the feelings trying to tell you? By naming the emotion, you can focus on why youre feeling that way and cope with the distress better.

    While these arent foolproof methods for managing BPD symptoms while dating and arent a substitute for therapy, they can be an excellent place to start your journey. You may find it easier to trust yourself and your emotions and trust the people around you and your partner.

    Move From Caretaking To Self

    Letting go of caretaking, youll need to rebuild your individuality and your sense of self-esteem and self-worth. The way to do this is through self-care.

    This may involve making friends with emotionally healthy people, changing your negative self-talk, identifying your own needs and meeting them, treating yourself lovingly, etc.

    Self-care doesnt mean self-absorption. Youll still be able to take care of others, but this time not at your own expense and without strings attached.

    Stop waiting for the borderline persons approval or support.

    Your own approval and support is all you need to create the life you want.

    This may require you to learn how to withstand the borderline persons disapproval.

    This will also require you to know more about yourself: What you want to do with your life. How you want to feel, think, and act.

    Get busy thinking about yourself and what you want to achieve.

    Individual therapy and support groups can also be a great source of support and validation.

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    Is It Bipolar Disorder

    BPD is often accompanied by other mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse. However, many people believe they have bipolar disorder when they have BPD or vice versa due to their similarities. Symptoms of both BPD and bipolar disorder include mood swings and impulsiveness. However, unlike BPD, the mood swings of bipolar disorder can last for weeks or months and are not triggered by external conflicts or upsetting life events.

    While BPD causes people to experience abrupt swings in mood, self-image, behavior and relationships from moment to moment, bipolar disorder is defined by alternating periods of depression and mania. These two disorders also require vastly different treatment plans.

    Can People With Borderline Personality Disorder Really Love

    What Is It Like to Date When You Have Borderline Personality Disorder ...

    Absolutely. Many women who have been in a romantic relationship with a man with BPD speak about how fun, exciting, and passionate a BPD partner can be. They are spontaneous, ready to try out new things, and dont just sit around the house watching sports all weekend.

    You wont be ignored when dating a man with BPD! Women who date these men say that it is their capacity for intense emotion and desire for intimacy that makes them very attractive, especially if past partners have been incapable of emotional intimacy.

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    Bpd Love: Dating Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

    On their own, relationships are challenging. This is especially true during the teen years when many are exploring first loves, first bosses, and the other difficulties that come with forging new and lasting relationships throughout high school and beyond. Having a mental health condition that leads to frequent changes in emotions and mood adds a certain amount of difficulty to maintaining successful relationships. People with borderline personality disorder or BPD often have rocky, complicated relationships. This applies to both their personal relationships such as boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, or wives, as well as platonic relationships such as those with siblings and family. Romantic relationships, while indeed possible, present a unique set of challenges for both the individual with BPD and their romantic partners.

    As previously mentioned, someone with borderline personality disorder experiences frequent shifts in the mood. One minute they may be doting, affectionate, and caring, but the next, their emotional state may change. They may suddenly feel overwhelmed and smothered and feel the need to getaway. This can lead them to push their partner away even though they had been working to draw them closer a few hours ago. With treatment at a teen-focused treatment center like Hillcrest and continual support from family and romantic partners, someone with BPD can have a successful, lasting, healthy relationship.

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