What’s It Like Dating Someone with BPD


Borderline personality disorder is often confused with a bad temper. And it is not surprising because people with this diagnosis behave unpredictably: they make a declaration of love to their partners and, in a minute, they consider them the enemy number one. How else does BPD manifest? What are the specifics of the disorder and diagnosis? Is borderline personality disorder and dating possible?

dating a man with borderline personality disorder

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder is an emotionally unstable mental state, which is based on the fact that a person doesn’t have enough self-identity: the idea of their “I,” their opinion, their circle of interests, characteristics of their character and interaction with the outside world. This illness most often develops during adolescence or early youth. It manifests itself in emotional instability, impulsive behavior, distorted perception of own personality, the tendency to unstable relationships. What are the borderline personality disorder causes? It is believed that genetic features, an unfavorable emotional environment (according to some researchers, psychological and physical violence suffered in the early years of life, increases the probability of developing this disorder) and low serotonin production (the so-called hormone of happiness) are the causes of the development of this illness. But anyway, there are positives sides of people with BPD – most of them are very talented, creative, inquisitive, and sociable. They sensitively catch other people’s emotions, literally “absorb” the experiences of other people and are ready to “invest” in relationships because they are too afraid of loneliness. This is one of the main things you need to know about borderline personality disorder relationships.

Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

  • To diagnose BPD, psychiatry requires at least 5 symptoms from this list.
  • Fear of loneliness when a person begins to try very hard not to be left.
  • The strong ups and downs of self-esteem, the lack of clear ideas about oneself – what you want, what you like and don’t like.
  • Impulsive action: waste of money, excessive sexuality, risky driving, abuse of harmful substances, immoderation in food. This is how borderline personality disorder in women looks like.
  • Repeats of suicidal behavior, self-harm, the propensity to masochism in relationships with others.
  • Mood swings – anxiety and irritability last for short periods of time.
  • Feeling of emptiness, hopelessness, and boredom.
  • Dating a man with borderline personality disorder, a woman faces his inability to control anger.
  • Strong stress, paranoid ideas, symptoms of dissociation, derealization, and depersonalization appear.
  • Difficulties in understanding the motives of people’s actions, recognizing their reactions and emotions.

So, the main symptom of this illness is excessive dependence on outbursts of emotions and attitudes of other people. Hence, the lack of understanding of themselves and their desires.

Borderline Personality Disorder and Relationships

Are BPD and relationships compatible? Yes! But here are some things you need to know about it.

  • These people experience identity defect

Dating someone with BPD, you should understand that this is the main symptom of the disorder, provoking most of the problems. A person realizes that he/she doesn’t have own habits, emotions, desires and such a lack of personal identity and self-understanding leads to a distorted perception of themselves. Sometimes in a severely stressful situation, there is a feeling of unreality of what is happening – one’s own life is seen as a picture from a movie that can’t be changed. This is a rather unpleasant sensation that aggravates other symptoms.

  • They have unstable relationships with partners

The lack of support in own “I” complicates relationships with others. Such people easily start new relationships, quickly fall in love, adapt to their partner and expect the same from them. But one wrong word or a minor conflict with a partner can turn an emotional swing to another side, and a person with BPD begins to suffer painfully. Not everyone can withstand such instability, so you have to be prepared for this in advance.dating a girl with borderline personality disorder

  • They have the fear of being alone

Loneliness is unbearable for people with BPD. It is almost physical pain, so the fear of a breakup causes panic attacks, aggression or depression. Being alone, these people feel bored and empty. The state of internal chaos forces them to “stick” to someone to find external support. To avoid a real or fictional chance to be abandoned, they manipulate loved ones, they may even physically prevent them from leaving the house. In situations where they completely lose control of their partners, they start thinking about suicide.

  • They have a chronic feeling of emptiness or boredom

Dating someone with borderline personality disorder, you should understand that this is not just emptiness, but an internal emptiness that looks like a black hole. People don’t have their own emotions, so they try to fill the hole inside with anything: adrenaline, casual acquaintances, or different affairs. Discomfort from internal emptiness is often accompanied by physical pain. They complain of pain in the heart, abdomen or chest, but more often they call this experience emotional distress.

They show impulsive, self-destructive behavior Their own experiences are simply unbearable, and, trying to cope with them, they inflict damage to themselves. It can be numerous tattoos on the theme of evil or death, risky driving style, overeating. Other destructive habits may include alcoholism, drug addiction, unprotected sex, masochism in relationships, etc.

  • They are unable to control their actions

It is not surprising that with such a set of instability factors, this illness provokes big mood swings. At the same time, periods of euphoria are replaced by unreasonable aggression, outbursts of anger, paranoia. Difficulties in controlling bad mood lead to addictive behaviors: fights, attacks on other people or animals, offenses, and so on.

  • They have mood swings

The mood is one of the most painful topics in BPD. These people may wake up with depression, by noon, they find reasons for joy, and in the evening, they want to lie down and lock eyes at one point. Such emotional swings are often accompanied by pain, which exhausts morally and physically.

Having BPD relationships, it is quite difficult to understand how the world of these people looks from the inside. But behind the described manifestations of the disorder, there is torment, and the depth of pain of people with BPD scares even the doctors. Due to the similarity of symptoms with other mental disorders or somatic manifestations, diagnosis and the search for the right treatment is often delayed for years. So, if you are going to start dating with such a person, you need to know how to do it right and, most importantly, you must show support for your loved one!

Dating Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

We have advice for those who are in a relationship with a person with border disorder.

  • Wait for the right moment

It is difficult for people with this diagnosis to think clearly when their emotions are at their peak. So, dating a girl with borderline personality disorder, avoid discussing problems in a relationship until she feels calm. And don’t take to heart what she says about you when she is under stress. The same concerns women who face borderline personality disorder in men.

  • Repeat that everything is okay

Every relationship gives rise to a lot of hope for what a partner will be. But the realization that relationships include a range of emotions and that sometimes people can be bored with each other and this is normal relieves tension.

  • Beware of being trapped

People with this illness can threaten suicide to keep your attention. If you stay with a partner just because you are afraid that he/she will not survive without you, it’s time to ask for help.

  • Stay inquisitive

The need to constantly cope with the fact that your partner is furious or feels helpless can lead you to panic. But try to distance yourself from these experiences and ask your partner what is happening inside him or her. Your curiosity will be the best medicine.

Do everything to prove that it is safe with you

How to deal with someone with BPD? It is easy! A partner just has to understand that he or she can relax and calm down being with you. Make it comfortable.

  • Eliminate everything that could trigger an uncontrollable emotion

This can be communication with unwanted individuals, some negative news, too stressful situations.

  • SpeakBPD relationships

Remember that people with BPD often can’t unequivocally assess the situation or themselves, their feelings. They can talk about completely opposite things. It is important not to point out these contradictions, you should neither doubt the veracity of the person’s words nor show that you suspect a partner of something.

  • Avoid reproaches

If you want to shame such a person, it is better to give up this idea. They are very sensitive to criticism, especially when people are trying to condemn them. This is important when you are involved in dating a woman with borderline personality disorder.

  • Express your thoughts and desires

If you want a person with BPD to do something, you should explain all the steps as clearly as possible. There should be no omissions, conjectures, and doubts since such a suspension of the internal state causes negative emotions.

  • Respond calmly to attempts to draw you into an argument or an unnecessary discussion

Being in an irritated state, a person with BPD may intentionally put pressure on you and start a conflict. If you succumb to this, the level of stress will increase, and the situation may worsen.

  • Don’t “treat” such a person by yourself

Even if you have read all the scientific information about BPD, this doesn’t mean that you can deal with it without the help of specialists. The approach must be very professional and delicate, otherwise, you can make it worse. A person with this disorder is not able to perceive information the way you want to convey it. He or she can think out some meanings, even rebuild phrases that he/she hears from you under own perception. Your dialogues shouldn’t concern mental processes and deep experiences. If a person speaks about their own feelings, this is good. But if you start some kind of therapy with your partner, this can turn out to be even greater problems. Loving someone with BPD, just try to start a dialogue related to life and other external things.

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