Relationships with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are frequently chaotic, passionate, and conflict-filled. This is particularly true in romantic BPD relationships.
If you are thinking about dating someone who has borderline personality disorder BPD, or if you are already in one, you should educate yourself about the disorder and what to expect. Similarly, if you have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, consider how your symptoms have affected your dating life and intimate relationships.
What Is the Definition of Borderline Personality Disorder BPD?
Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental health disorder characterized by symptoms such as a strong fear of abandonment, impulsive behavior, and unstable but intense relationships. With unexpected mood swings and fast changes in temperament, a person with BPD may struggle with pushing others away. Borderline Personality Disorder patients may also experience extreme bouts of rage, anxiety, and depression.
Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder can cause a wide range of symptoms. Many of them, for example, struggle with mood swings. Their perceptions of themselves and others can also shift rapidly.
When diagnosing BPD, mental health practitioners look for nine different types of symptoms. You must exhibit at least five of these symptoms to be officially diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.
The following are the full list of BPD symptoms:
#1. Fear of Abandonment:
Even something as innocuous as being late for work might cause this fear in someone with BPD. They may try to cling to you or track your movements in order to keep you from fleeing.
#2. Relationships that are unstable:
People with BPD tend to have short, intense relationships. They may believe that every new person they meet is “the one.” On the other hand, they may change their minds and believe that this person is dreadful – there is usually no middle ground for them.
#3. Uncertain Or Shifting Self-Image:
Another sign of BPD is an unstable sense of self. A person with BPD may alternate between hating himself and holding themself in high regard. They may also lack a sense of direction in life, changing occupations, friends, lovers, and ambitions on a regular basis.
#4. Impulsive Behaviors:
People with BPD may engage in impulsive behaviors such as risky driving, dangerous sex, or binge drinking.
#5. Self-Harm Or Suicidal Behavior:
Self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal threats are common symptoms of BPD.
#6. Extreme Emotional Swings:
Mood swings can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.
#7. Chronic Feelings of Emptiness:
People with BPD may express feeling empty on a regular basis. They may try to fill this void with drugs or sex, but this usually does not satisfy them.
#8. Excessive Anger:
Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder may also have a quick temper and issues with anger management.
#9. Feeling Suspicious Or Disconnected From Reality:
BPD sufferers may experience paranoia and dissociation. When they dissociate or lose touch with reality, some people report feeling fuzzy or spaced out.
Treatments And Diagnosis of Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder
A BPD diagnosis is often made by a physician or mental health professional based on psychological evaluations, interviews with the patient, and a study of the patient’s medical history.
Those diagnosed with BPD can choose from a number of treatments, including:
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Prescription drugs or psychotherapy can also assist individuals in dealing with co-occurring issues such as alcoholism or depression.
Ten Tips for Dating Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder
While dating someone with a borderline personality disorder may seem practically impossible at times, there are ways to assist the relationship without having to ride the emotional rollercoaster with them as they bounce between extremes in behavior and mood.
#1. Create and stick to a plan.
If you have a borderline personality disorder boyfriend or girlfriend, you will need to discover a way to manage your own actions in order to handle theirs. Developing coping skills for your partner’s outlandish conduct will help you maintain your sanity.
- Consider your partner’s actions and the consequences they have on you.
- Make a list of all the behaviors your partner exhibits that irritate or annoy you, including instances in which your partner does you damage.
- Create a plan to assist you to control the behaviors so that you can avoid collapsing situations once they begin, and protect yourself so that you are physically and emotionally secure.
For example, if your partner accuses you of not caring about him, instead of crying, you can walk away. Making a plan for dealing with the behaviors guarantees that you are not feeding the symptoms of the disorder by remaining calm in the midst of a problem. You’ll also be able to reinforce more positive, productive actions.
#2. Safeguard Yourself
Another terrible component of BPD is that people with BPD lack empathy for those around them. In their views, their needs and desires outnumber those of others. They frequently mistreat, dominate, and manipulate their loved ones, taking advantage of guilt and a sense of obligation to exert control over those around them.
To defend yourself from this behavior, consider what your loved one frequently asks for, guilts you into, or abuses you until you give it to them. Then, make it plain what you will and will not do to protect yourself.
You have the right to safeguard your body, possessions, and financial status. For example, if your loved one manipulates or influences you into giving him your entire income so he can purchase a new automobile, you can respond, “I’m not going to give you any money anymore. You must earn money in order to purchase the items you desire.”
#3. Maintain a realistic perspective
A person with BPD does not have the same knowledge of emotions and does not have the necessary coping mechanisms to manage them effectively. You must have a realistic awareness of your partner’s conduct and your role as a “caretaker” in his life.
You should also consider the possibility that your partner will never learn to meet your emotional requirements. So, you cannot “cure” a loved one. Your loved one must be committed to healing himself or herself through therapy.
You should also be aware that the dysfunction caused by BPD in a person’s life cripples their emotional capabilities and comprehension, making it unlikely that you will be able to have an emotionally mature relationship.
#4. Make Use of Compliments
People with BPD are not used to being complimented. To create trust and influence in your partner’s life, complementing them on even the most insignificant things they do may surprise you and go a long way.
Compliments can also be used to praise positive behavior, such as “I know you were stressed out yesterday, but you handled it incredibly well,” or “I saw how you stopped yelling at me.”
However, keep in mind that you must gauge your partner’s mood. When you give a compliment at the wrong time, it can elicit strong emotion.
You may never receive a verbal answer, an expression of gratitude, or even an insult in response. However, it may work for some people with BPD, particularly if they are looking for compliments. Attempt for as long as you are willing. Because a person with BPD has low self-esteem, you could be helping them.
#5. You Should Establish Limits And Boundaries With Your Partner
Setting — and keeping to — limits can provide much-needed structure to your relationship. When establishing relationship boundaries, open communication is essential. Communicate your preferences, values, restrictions, and general desires as a person to your partner in a clear and concise manner. Setting boundaries can help your partner accept responsibility for their behaviors, keep you from putting up with bad behavior, and build your relationship.
It is critical to maintain calm and level-headedness when establishing these restrictions and boundaries. Your companion may initially interpret your efforts as rejection. However, if you can maintain your resolve, these boundaries can promote a healthy and successful relationship in the long run.
#6. The Three C’s
It’s easy to blame yourself for your partner’s irregular behavior and symptoms. Perhaps you believe you have done something to enrage them. Alternatively, you may feel accountable for any relapses they may have. As a result, it is critical to remember the three Cs: cause, cure, and control.
- You’re not the ’cause’
- You can’t cure it.
- You have no control over it.
Your partner’s sensitivity is frequently caused by BPD. Forgetting this and blaming yourself for your partner’s behavior can be harmful to your mental health as well as their treatment. You have no influence over the behavior or actions of another person.
#7. Some people with BPD have a troubled past, but not all of them.
While this is not true for all BPD patients, many are struggling with the consequences of an abusive and traumatic upbringing. If this is the case with your partner, he or she may have difficulty trusting others and creating personal relationships. Many child abuse survivors believe they are unlovable and will never find true love.
#8. People with Borderline Personality Disorder are prone to feeling insecure about themselves.
People suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder are prone to feelings of jealousy and rage. This inclination arises from their fear of abandonment, which can force them to overreact to any event, no matter how minor. They may want constant confirmation of your love and dedication to them.
#9. You Can Attend Couples Counseling
If you suspect your partner has BPD but they refuse to get treatment, couples counseling may be beneficial. Couples counseling can teach you how to communicate with your partner more effectively and manage your relationship more efficiently. This may persuade your partner to seek BPD treatment if they previously refused.
Couples counseling, on the other hand, could be an excellent supplement to regular counseling and treatment for BPD. Many of these resources might help you discover healthy ways to deal with stress, such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing.
#10. Rather than being their caregiver, encourage responsibility.
Keep in mind that you are not their parent or hero. It is common for people to take on the role of caregiver for their BPD spouses. They may regard them as fragile creatures that must be cared for. Giving in to these urges might lead to an unhealthy dynamic between you and your partner.
Instead of a devoted caregiver, they may benefit from a firm partner who emphasizes responsibility. You can still offer assistance, but that doesn’t imply you have to save them from their consequences anytime they get into trouble.
#11. Managing BPD Can Be A Time-consuming Process
Maintaining patience and setting reasonable goals are critical components of your partner’s recovery. While change can and does occur, the process does not happen overnight. Remember that taking small efforts can help your partner succeed in managing their BPD.
#12. Learn More About BPD
One strategy to keep your relationship with your loved one is to educate yourself about the disorder so you can comprehend your loved one’s behaviors. People with BPD may frequently attack you forcefully or become extremely defensive, and people frequently feel dragged to extremes as they are manipulated and guilted into different emotional states and acts they do not feel comfortable doing.
Learning about the disorder will help you better comprehend how your loved one feels. Recognizing that your loved one has a completely different emotional perspective will assist you in protecting yourself and adhering to boundaries.
#13. Recognize that misdiagnosis is common.
With BPD, information is power, and if the person doesn’t realize he or she has the disorder, and the people around them don’t know, they don’t understand why their loved one is acting the way he or she is.
Because it frequently co-occurs with other diseases such as “depression, bipolar disorder, substance addiction, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders,” BPD is known as a misunderstood disorder.
If your partner is being treated for another disorder and that disorder does not fully explain the parameters of her behavior, have the doctor investigate the potential that she has BPD.
#14. Recognize that extreme behaviors are symptoms of a larger problem.
A relationship with a person with BPD is sometimes described as a “love-hate” relationship, in which your loved one is needy one minute and pushes you away from the next. You and your dating spouse could be in a borderline personality disorder relationship cycle.
People with this disorder have a tremendous need to be loved, yet their excessive behaviors keep them constantly on the verge of losing that love. Their tremendous fear of being abandoned is exacerbated by their loss of love. These are symptoms of the disorder, not manifestations of callousness or an attempt to harm you.
#15. Use the Four D’s
If the situation appears to be escalating, use the Four D’s: “Delay, Distract, Depersonalize, and Detach.“
- Delay: “I’d want some time to think about what you’re saying. Let’s discuss it afterwards.”
- Distract: “How about we go on a walk?”
- Depersonalize and Detach: Recognize that attacks, no matter how personal they appear, are a part of the disorder, therefore don’t take them personally or become upset about them.
Misconceptions About People With Bipolar Disorder
- BPD Is Untreatable: While there is no one-size-fits-all cure for BPD, the disorder can be treated. People might lessen the severity of their symptoms via hard effort and treatment.
- Only Women Have BPD: While mental health specialists formerly believed that more women than males were diagnosed with BPD, new studies have indicated that the rates of the two genders are equivalent.
- People With Bipolar Disorder Are Violent: It is critical to avoid stigmatizing people based on preconceptions or exaggerations. People with BPD, like any other human being, require compassion and assistance.
People with BPD are frequently misunderstood, whether due to prejudice or a lack of knowledge about the disorder. As you are dating someone with borderline personality disorder, you may find that your relationship with them improves after learning about BPD and how to enhance communication and set boundaries.
If you or someone you know is seeking BPD therapy, The Soulmate’s qualified mental health specialists can assist you in overcoming your challenges and obstacles.
Dating Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder FAQ’s
Can a person with borderline personality disorder feel love?
Persons with BPD can fall in love; it just requires some effort on all ends of the relationship. The first phase is treatment, which may involve individual and couple counseling.
Do borderlines cheat?
Some people associate BPD with infidelity, although there is presently no study that establishes a link between BPD and an increased probability of cheating.
Can someone with BPD be a good parent?
People with borderline personality disorder can be extremely effective and nurturing parents, but because the symptoms of BPD can be very acute, this takes considerable effort for many people.