When someone struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder, emotions are felt on a much more intense level. Plus, the individual suffers from a diminished sense of self and abandonment issues while dealing with the symptoms of the mental disorder.
The person is readily triggered. Reactions are largely unpredictable, with a tendency towards impulsiveness. The culmination of these issues can put a dating partnership in shambles.
A mate will often feel the need to tiptoe through a conversation, uncertain which thing they utter or action they take will cause a reaction.
Even if things are going smoothly for some time, there is always that question in the back of the mate’s mind of when a flare-up will occur or if the BPD partner will abruptly decide to break the partnership off when experiencing a period of rage.
How to deal with a BPD person you’re dating
Mates dating someone with BPD face a wealth of struggles, particularly considering a “hallmark” of BPD would be unstable partnerships.
Mates engaged in a relationship with someone suffering the disorder hope to maintain it and will attempt to do so however they can. That will include becoming educated and learning varied tips to guide a healthy functional union.
You might find the circumstances virtually impossible sometimes. But there are steps you can take without the need to ride the same waves of varying degrees of moods and emotions with your mate. Let’s look at a few tips meant to help guide you through the extremes.
Establish a strategy upfront, and don’t stray from that
When you become involved with someone who suffers with borderline personality disorder, you might not realize at that moment what you’ll be facing. Straight upfront, the first thing to do is to become informed by educating on the disorder and all it involves.
Dating this personality means you will need to have a strategy in place for not only managing your partner’s extreme behaviors. But stabilizing your own so that you don’t become emotional in your reactions.
As an example, if your mate accuses you of not caring for them, a good response would be to step away from the situation instead of sobbing or becoming hurt.
You don’t want to “feed” the disorder’s symptoms. Instead, remain calm and in control, helping to instigate more productive, positive reactions.
Maintain healthy boundaries
The pattern for those experiencing BPD is extreme. These individuals will become exceptionally defensive with yelling, blaming, accusations, and threats of suicide (not always feigned).
Often these behaviors elevate if you are not emotionally responsive, meaning if you don’t become emotional and ride the waves with them.
A method for attempting to control the extremeness of their behavior is to create and maintain healthy boundaries without floundering. The BPD mate will stretch these to the limits, but you hold the cards.
You have the opportunity to express the fact that the mate is pressing your boundaries and explain there will be repercussions if they continue.
As an example, your partner continues to make suicide threats. In response, you can indicate you will phone the authorities if the threats continue. It should be enough to get them to the point of calm. Still, if this doesn’t work, you must follow through with the consequences.
Attempts of suicide are common with this disorder and should always be taken seriously.
Individuals suffering with borderline personality disorder display behavior that implies a lack of empathy for the people in their life. It is within their thought process that their desires and needs supersede those of anyone else.
They will attempt to control, abuse, and manipulate the people in their life using these individual feelings of guilt or obligation in an effort for a power play.
As a form of protection, it’s vital to consider how your mate accomplishes this with you. What are you guilted into, or how are you abused until you give in.
Let your partner know the things you’re willing to do and not do to ensure a sense of self-protection, a personal right to keep your body safe, your finances, and your personal effects.
As an example, if a partner attempts to abuse or use a power play to get you to turn over an entire payroll check so they can impulsively make a significant one-time purchase, you can retaliate with the fact that you will no longer be turning money over to them.
It will be their responsibility to earn money if they hope to make extravagant purchases or buy anything for that matter.
Be realistic with your expectations
A borderline personality disorder is a severe and profound mental health disorder. The BPD personality doesn’t have a healthy thought process concerning emotions, nor do they possess the coping skill to efficiently manage their feelings and emotions.
It’s, again, vital to develop a thorough understanding of this personality, the behaviors, and the caretaker role. It’s also crucial to recognize that this mate may be unable to learn how to meet the emotional needs of a partner in a relationship.
You will not personally be the one to cure your mate. Your partner will need to put forth an effort to work towards healing with adequate therapy.
BPD creates an incredible amount of dysfunction in the individual’s life to the point their (quote) “emotional capabilities and understanding are crippled” (end quote), making it unlikely for an emotionally mature partnership to develop with this person.
Compliments are always a fan favorite
Everyone loves compliments. A person living with borderline personality disorder isn’t used to getting these. To garner trust and establish influence within your mate’s life, don’t forget to offer compliments for even the most minor efforts.
- Keep reading: What to do when you can’t talk to your husband?
The reactions could surprise you. Let them know when you recognize how well they handle a stressful moment or when they catch themself screaming and choose to stop.
Providing compliments at the wrong time could have an opposite reaction making it vital to pay attention to the mood before offering it.
As a rule, people with this disorder suffer from low self-esteem. While there will likely be no reaction to the kind words verbally, no gratitude, not even meanness, it has the potential for working with some individuals, particularly those who long for compliments. It might be perfect for your partner.
Misdiagnosis is not uncommon with the mental disorder
Another reason to educate when a loved one is diagnosed with any mental disorder is there can be instances where misdiagnosis occurs, particularly in the case of borderline personality disorder.
Being informed helps you and your partner. If your mate is unaware that they have the disorder and those in their circle are unaware, there can be a great deal of confusion about why the unusual behavior occurs.
The disorder is commonly referred to as “the misunderstood disorder” since it occurs in conjunction with other mental illnesses like bipolar, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and even substance abuse.
If you see that your mate is treating, but the dynamics are not matching the behavior, request that the professional look into the possibility of BPD.
Loving the person with borderline personality disorder
Establishing a partnership with a mate suffering from borderline personality disorder will sometimes feel like you’re enduring a “love-hate” “push-pull” union. One moment you find the person needing you and clinging, but the next, you’re shoved to the side.
Individuals with BPD strongly desire to feel love. Unfortunately, the extremeness of the disorder puts them in a continuous position of loss of the ones they love. With love lost, the fear of abandonment is magnified.
These things suffered by the BPD individual and projected onto their loved ones are symptoms of the disorder. They’re harsh for the victim and not something they intend in a purposeful effort to inflict harm or to be “hateful.”
It’s a disorder with awful consequences for the sufferer and those who watch them suffer.
No one can force someone to get help if they don’t recognize they have a problem or aren’t ready to reach out. That doesn’t mean that you can’t reach out to a counselor for yourself, and with enough commitment and continued effort, you will likely, over time, be able to convince your partner to come with you.
It simply requires them to feel they can trust you, eliciting a sense of consistency and having an authentic face of concern and care. But the person who enters the life of a mate with BPD must already have a strong sense of self.
Meeting these demands and the needs can begin to make you feel like you’re losing who you are or “disappearing” unless you are a strong, vibrant human already.
It’s also critical to maintain a self-care routine to keep yourself well, establish and retain healthy boundaries, and seek support from an excellent mental health professional.
The expert will not only assist with a care plan. So it is the most productive possible but ensure you maintain the optimum mental health for yourself.