It is challenging to have a relationship with a person that has borderline personality disorder (BPD), especially since one of the hallmarks of the disorder If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend with borderline personality disorder, dating them means that you will have to find a way to manage your behaviors so you can manage their behaviors. Coming up with strategies for dealing with your partner's extreme behaviors will help you keep your sanity. Think about your partner's behaviors and the effects those behaviors have on you. Make a list of all the behaviors your partner has that upset or frustrate you, including cases where your partner harms you.
‘I was on an unending emotional roller-coaster’ It was Saturday night, date night: I was 21, and I couldn’t wait to spend time with my new boyfriend, Steve.
But when I arrived at his parents’ house, he was still in the basement working on his computer and barely looked up at me when I walked in. “Just a sec,” he said. As I stood there, I began to feel insignificant and stupid for getting so excited when he clearly didn’t feel the same way about me.
The panic was overwhelming. I got back into my car and drove laps around the neighbourhood, crying, until he’d sent enough texts apologizing and begging me to come back. A few days later, I was filled with self-loathing because I couldn’t figure out why I’d reacted so strongly.
We’d only been dating for a few months, and I felt like I’d already morphed into the girlfriend from hell. And that wasn’t the last time it would happen. For the next seven years of our relationship, I found myself enacting similar scenarios over and over again. I was on an unending emotional roller-coaster — cheerful and laughing, then raging with anger or mired in sadness. Any time I thought he had let me down in some way or that he didn’t love me enough, I would throw things (a plastic pail at his car, a glass vase of roses in the kitchen), scream, cry and say horrible things.
I would push him away with all my force, but what I really wanted was for him to love me and prove that he would never leave. What is borderline personality disorder? I didn’t know it at the time, but I was exhibiting classic signs of borderline personality disorder (BPD), the diagnosis I later received from a pair of psychiatrists in 2017, about a year after my relationship with Steve ended.
It’s a mental health disorder characterized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) by the presence of at least five out of nine specific symptoms, including: • intense fear of abandonment; • a pattern of unstable relationships that may include idealizing someone in one moment and then believing the person doesn’t care enough in the next; • rapid changes in self-identity and self-image; • wide mood swings; • inappropriate anger, impulsivity and feelings of emptiness • stress-related paranoia resulting in loss of contact with reality • suicidal tendencies or self-harm (this last one affects about 75 percent of people with BPD).
For a person to receive a diagnosis, these symptoms must significantly impair functioning in day-to-day life. The disorder affects around two percent of the population. Mental illness affects many more though; even celebs like and have shared their struggles with mental health. Though BPD can impact many areas of life, relationships take the hardest hit. “Borderline personality disorder can impact how a person feels about themselves, how they relate to others and how they behave,” says Dr. Valerie Taylor, psychiatrist-in-chief at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.
“Essentially, it’s a disorder of interactions with other people.” ‘I don’t want him to see just how messed up I am’ The relationships in my life that have been most affected are with those closest to me or with those to whom I want to be close; romantic relationships suffer, making it extra difficult for me to be single and dating. As soon as I start to like someone, which usually happens in a matter of two or three dates, the worry that I’ll lose him rears its head.
My logical mind understands that it’s premature to fear abandonment when you’ve only known the person for a week, but my emotional mind is like a computer programmed to search for clues that someone is going to hurt me. A guy waits too long to text, cancels a date, has to take a phone call when he’s with me or compliments someone else and I see flashing warning signs to run for cover and protect my heart. This usually means I check in too often, ignore texts to punish him, give the silent treatment during dates, throw subtle insults and cry a lot by myself because I don’t want him to see just how messed up I am, even though it sometimes slips out.
For a guy who’s only known me for a short time, it all probably seems absurd — like the cool girl he went on a couple of dates with turned into a clingy, insecure weirdo in the blink of an eye.
Watch out for And I’m not just wary at the start of relationships. My fears seem to get stronger with time because endless scenarios crop up that I’m able to read as signs of abandonment. “Say he was supposed to show up for dinner at 5 o’clock, but there was a car accident and he couldn’t make it,” says Dr.
Taylor. “It was completely outside of his control, but that can cause a reaction of ‘If you loved me, you’d have found a way to get here.’” When these seemingly trivial events happen, I can go from loving my partner to hating him. And because I recognize, on some level, that my behaviour is irrational, I worry that my partner will tire of me, so I feel like I need to keep testing him to check if he loves me. It’s an endless, exhausting cycle.
Also, because I have an unstable sense of who I am and frequently see myself as ignorant, lazy and unattractive — though at other times I believe I’m one of the prettiest, smartest women alive — I can’t imagine that someone would love me or want to spend time with me.
According to I Hate You—Don’t Leave Me by Jerold Kreisman and Hal Straus, the layperson’s Bible for coping with BPD, “the borderline’s greatest obstacle to change is his tendency to evaluate in absolute extremes.
The borderline must either be totally perfect or a complete failure; he grades himself either an A+ or, more commonly, an F.” In the dating world, which is rife with rejection, I find it easy to take a guy’s lack of interest in a second, third or fourth date as evidence that I’m the worst person ever and I’ll never find love. The problem is, I’m not completely delusional. It is harder to find a partner when you have BPD because loved ones often end up with “compassion fatigue,” says Hamilton, Ont.-based psychiatrist Dr.
Marilyn Korzekwa. “They run out of emotional strength to continue being supportive. When that happens, they either disappear altogether or they get frustrated and short-tempered, and don’t communicate effectively.” The good news is that most people with BPD recognize that something needs to change and seek a referral to a psychiatrist for potential diagnosis.
That’s what I did. A diagnosis helps you access funded group programs in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) — the gold standard in BPD treatment. The big problem is that the wait-lists to see a psychiatrist can be long, and wait times are even longer for funded DBT groups, so the fastest way to get treatment is to pay for private therapy where no diagnosis is even required.
The catch? It’s super expensive and DBT requires months — sometimes years — of dedication. I’m currently on the wait-list for a 20-week group in Toronto.
In the meantime, I’ve been reading everything I can about the illness and working through The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Workbook, which has exercises in emotion regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness and interpersonal effectiveness to minimize the impact of BPD symptoms. I’ve been learning to distract myself in stressful situations so that I don’t overreact to negative emotions, because no feeling lasts forever and I’m more likely to make smart decisions if I can wait until I calm down.
That way, I’ll avoid saying or doing things that I beat myself up for later. ‘Underneath this girlfriend from hell is someone pretty special’ I want to get better, because I don’t take pride in throwing tantrums, manipulating people or hounding them for attention. I feel horrible for often treating worst the people that I love the most, and I don’t want to keep falling into the same behaviour patterns.
But my BPD traits have been with me so long that they’re at the core of who I am — and they’re not all bad. I’m passionate, intense, sensitive and loving. I don’t want to lose those things. Still, I need to gain control of my emotions and impulsivity, and find a stable sense of self-esteem if I’m going to have a healthy, happy life. I just hope that my friends, family members and maybe a guy someday will be resilient and loving enough to stick it out for the long haul.
Because I have high hopes that underneath this girlfriend from hell is someone pretty special.
best dating borderline personality disorder management - Relationships and Borderline Personality Disorder
First of all what exactly is borderline personality disorder, well it is part of a cluster of personality disorders. There is cluster A, B and C. Cluster A includes schizophrenic and paranoid personalities. Cluster C includes obsessive-compulsive disorders as well as dependent disorders, but Cluster B is where you will find borderline personalities as well as anti-social and narcissistic personalities. Each disorder is defined in its group and just because you are in an individual cluster doesn’t mean that you have all the traits associated with it.
I have a YouTube video quickly explaining what a borderline personality is and what it, means to be one. What is borderline personality disorder or BPD Now that you know what having a personality disorder is like you will be wondering about how does this affect your day-to-day social interactions with people and especially how does this affect how you date.
There are so many questions about borderline personality disorder; like is it safe to date someone who has this disorder, or how to tell if you are dating a personality disorder. Being in a relationship with someone who has borderline personality disorder can be like no other you have ever experienced. You have to deal with a roller coaster of emotions that could be present in your life every day. Being informed about what to look out for can empower you to have a bit of knowledge so that you know how to face particular challenges as they come up.
Borderline personality disorder falls in the same cluster as having a narcissistic personality, but don’t confuse the two, although they may have some similar characteristics, and I do mean some, not many, there is a huge difference between the two. One has human feelings, whereas the other doesn’t understand what being human is.
The borderline personality is a person who knows and recognises their disorder and will most often get treatment because of this. Whereas the narcissist has never gotten treatment for their disorder because they will never admit that they are narcissists so, therefore, will not seek treatment for it.
The narcissist can and will recognise their symptoms in other people but would never admit to it about themselves. Therefore they are extremely dangerous people to be around. There are 23 reasons why having borderline personality disorder could stop you from dating • A fear of abandonment.
There is an imagined fear that everybody you meet will at some point abandon you eventually. This fear is so real for you that you could either abandon your partner first so that you don’t have to go through the pain of rejection or act too clingy therefore fulfilling the self-fulfilling prophecy, they then abandon you.
• You do not want rejection to happen in your life; it devastates you. Just saying ordinary things can lead you to be suspicious of others motives. You tend to jump to conclusions and read too deeply into what someone is saying. An example of that is you may ask your boyfriend/girlfriend a small question about if your glasses suit your face.
Their answer has a double meaning for you, rather than just accepting a simple yes or no it has to mean something completely different. • Mood swings are extreme. You have high highs and soul crushing lows.
• You are paranoid that people are out to get you. • You have intense feelings of loneliness and have low self-esteem. • You tend to demonise your friends. You tend to have a long list of people who you have fallen out with, for some reason. • You are terrible about making decisions. • You can display destructive behaviours like dangerous driving or major shopping sprees where you max out your credit cards.
• You get very easily upset. Your partner only has to say one wrong word, and you could take it to heart. • You have extreme anxiety.
So much so that is can turn you into a nervous wreck. • If anything bad has happened in your life, you tend to blame other people for it. You tend not to take any responsibility; it has always got to do with other people never you • You have major issues with trusting others. You may have had a few issues while growing up and this has set the foundations for the rest of your life, so you tend to be wary of others • You appear to be clingy one minute and hating the person the next.
You are in a constant state of love or hate; there is never an in-between • Your sleeping pattern is upset because you suffer from insomnia at night. Because of your anxiety you tend to worry about stuff at night, you cannot seem to switch off, so you are awake all night and asleep during the day.
• You always change your mind and make huge decisions very quickly only to change your mind again and again. • You often suffer from panic attacks. With all the anxiety and insomnia and low self-esteem, it can all seem too much for you and you cannot cope.
• You are impulsive sexually. So you need validation, and you want to be loved. • You suffer from rage. • You can attack people with aggression that can seem to them as appearing out of nowhere, but for you, it can seem totally justifiable • You can get so low that harming yourself is normal.
It can be a release for you, but devastating for others close to you to witness. • You sometimes have suicidal thoughts and use this to get your way. • You are highly defensive.
• You lack any empathy skills. • You can be controlling and manipulative, using self-harm and suicide as a test for your partner. So it is not easy having a personality disorder, and I hope you can see why these behaviours can stop you from dating.
Just remember that no-one is perfect. We all have issues that we need to work continuously on. Having BPD doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to be in a loving and committed relationship.
You can have that relationship it will just take a lot of work and commitment on your part by recognising triggers and putting yourself in other people’s shoes. Creating empathy skills will put you on the right path for the rest of your life, and the good news is borderlines tend to grow out of this condition in their 40s. Education is the key to understanding why you or someone you love acts and behaves in a certain way, so don’t assume you have this disorder, alway get it confirmed by a qualified doctor first.
Infographic was taken from on 17 Oct by Jennifer Harry for datingnotice.com Jennifer Harry's goal is to help as many people as she possibly can by offering insights into other people relationships, looking at personality, horoscopes and Tarot.
She is a recovering from narcissistic abuse and will be discussing the actions of individuals, why they do what they do, or say what they say when times get tough.
9. Do you have temporary episodes of paranoia or loss of contact with reality? • • • Do You Have Borderline Personality Disorder? You got: It's Possible You Have BPD PeopleImages/Digital Vision/Getty Images If you've been averse to seeking help before, consider this your wake-up call.
Based on your results, it's possible you have borderline personality disorder (BPD). According to the DSM-V, if you possess five or more of the nine BPD symptoms outlined in this quiz, it may be an indication you have the condition. You may have noticed emotional instability has led you to have extreme reactions to abandonment, including panic, depression and rage. You have a history of tumultuous relationships with friends, family and significant others.
You also have suicidal thoughts and engage in risky, impulsive behaviors, such as unprotected sex and substance abuse. If this sounds like you, it may be time to seek a therapist and discuss treatment options like cognitive behavioral therapy.
It's never too late to get help! THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment. Share Your Results • • • Do You Have Borderline Personality Disorder? You got: It's Not BPD, but You May Want to Seek Therapy Kevin Landwer-Johan/E+/Getty Images Not everyone's emotionally stable or has the best relationships with friends and family, but it doesn't mean you have a serious mental health condition like borderline personality disorder (BPD).
Based on your results, you're far from BPD, but there are some indications of a mental health problem.
According to the DSM-V, if you possess five or more of the nine BPD symptoms outlined in this quiz, it may be an indication you have the condition. Since you chose close to five symptoms, there is cause for concern. If you're feeling depressed or have suicidal thoughts, you should seek a therapist immediately.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment.
Share Your Results • • • Do You Have Borderline Personality Disorder? You got: You Don't Appear to Have BPD Jupiter Images/PhotoLibrary/Getty Images No one's saying you don't have occasional outbursts of anger or make risky, impulsive decisions – some people are more emotionally stable than others. Based on your results, however, you don't seem to have a serious mental health condition like borderline personality disorder (BPD). According to the DSM-V, if you possess five or more of the nine BPD symptoms outlined in this quiz, it may be an indication you have the condition.
Since you do not, you're fine. But you did choose to take this quiz for a reason. If you feel concerned about your mental health, it's probably best to seek a therapist. THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment. Share Your Results • • •
Treatment Strategies for Borderline Personality Disorder