Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental health condition. A person with borderline personality disorder finds it hard to regulate their emotions. They have intense emotions, go through extreme mood swings, and often indulge in self-destructive behaviors.
It’s safe to say that dating someone with BPD is challenging. It requires a lot of compromise and understanding on your part. But with proper treatment and mental health support, you can make a relationship with a BPD patient work.
However, it’s absolutely vital to understand this personality disorder, learn coping mechanisms, and preferably consult a mental health professional in order to give your relationship a better chance of success.
Hopefully, this article will be a good first step to dealing with a partner who has been diagnosed with BPD. We’re going to cover all aspects of borderline personality disorder, from whether it’s possible to have a happy relationship to some effective tips for making it work. Now, let’s dive in!
What is BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)?
First things first. What exactly is borderline personality disorder?
Borderline personality disorder is one of the most serious mental and personality disorders that takes a toll on everything a person does. It has an impact on the way they think, feel, and act.
A person with borderline personality disorder has extreme mood swings, difficulty in managing intimate relationships, and overall emotional instability.
People with borderline personality disorder have a huge fear of abandonment and find it challenging to regulate their own emotions, particularly anger and rage. They are impulsive and sometimes dangerous to themselves.
They’re even reckless at times. But they’re the biggest danger to themselves, as they show borderline symptoms such as self-harm, substance abuse, reckless driving, and eating disorders like binge eating.
What are Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Symptoms?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, there are nine criteria for a BPD diagnosis. Here are some of them:
- Emotional instability caused by everyday events, even a minor event sometimes
- Chronic feelings of emptiness
- Fear of abandonment and constant efforts to avoid it
- Impulsive behavior
- Intense anger
- Mood instability
Someone with borderline personality disorder feels emotions so intensely that they struggle to return to stable and calm behavior. When a trigger occurs, people with BPD tend to get caught up in their own feelings and sometimes become a threat to their own well-being.
That’s why they usually end up in unstable relationships and often struggle to maintain healthy relationships.
All these challenges result in poor self-image, substance abuse, suicidal behaviors, impulsive behaviors, mental health issues, etc. It’s very important for someone with borderline personality disorder to seek help and learn to control their BPD symptoms if they want to have a better chance of protecting their well-being and being in a romantic relationship.
Despite what some people think, borderline personality disorder is not the same as bipolar disorder. While borderline personality disorder is, as the name suggests, a personality disorder, bipolar disorder is a mood disorder.
These two have similar symptoms, but are very different. They’re more complex than other mental disorders.
Should You Date Someone With BPD?
Dating someone with borderline personality disorder (BPD) is challenging, to say the least.
Their lack of emotional stability and frequent emotional turmoil is very hard to live with. But not every person is the same. And the same goes for people with BPD.
Despite some common misconceptions about it, people with borderline personality disorder are not bad people. They often get a bad reputation for being toxic and difficult. But that doesn’t have to be the case for your BPD partner.
So should you date someone with borderline personality disorder?
This is a tricky question, and there’s no universal answer to it. It’s up to you to decide whether you have it in your to live with a mental disorder. One thing’s for sure, you need to have enough self-awareness about borderline personality disorder.
Having a partner recently diagnosed with BPD is not easy, but don’t give up just yet. Remain calm and consider consulting a relationship coach or trying out useful therapies such as dialectical behavioral therapy or online therapy.
Can You Have a Healthy Relationship With Someone With BPD?
Even though they go through intense and extreme mood swings from time to time, people with borderline personality disorder have a lot of positive qualities to offer.
They’re fun to be around. They’re exciting, especially during the honeymoon phase. They’re very passionate and giving in romantic relationships, which is usually seen as a positive quality when you first start a relationship with them.
They can be great romantic partners and are known for putting their partners on a pedestal. But just like the honeymoon period has to end, and it’s similar when you’re in a relationship with a BPD partner.
Once the idealization is over, people with borderline personality disorder start to experience some real-life problems. That’s when the struggle begins and when it’s essential to consult a specialist about this personality disorder.
For instance, they realize that nobody can save them from the constant emotional pain that this mental illness entails. That’s when all their dreams start to crush down.
This can trigger their emotional borderline personality disorder cycle, and they can quickly go from the honeymoon phase to the devaluation stage.
Despite these hard struggles and emotional triggers, a healthy relationship with someone with BPD is possible. However, you need to find a way to cope with these cycles, disruptive BPD symptoms, and extreme mood swings.
It’s essential to get professional help for your BPD partner if you want to maintain a happy relationship. Professional therapy is the key for both partners in this case because it can be of significant help in dealing with a borderline personality disorder.
How to Live a Healthy Relationship With a BPD Person
Just like every mental disorder, borderline personality disorder has different degrees of severity. Although it’s not easy, living a stable relationship with a BPD person is very much possible.
When you love someone with all your heart, and you both learn to cope with this mental health disorder, you can have a fulfilling and loving relationship.
The key to living a happy relationship with a borderline personality disorder person is to get an accurate diagnosis for their mental health issue and find the right therapy and professional advice.
Couples counseling is also a way to create healthy boundaries and encourage responsibility in your relationship. Remember that dating someone with borderline personality disorder is tricky, so it’s essential to set firm limits and not feel responsible for your partner’s erratic actions.
A strong support network is also vital for people with this type of personality disorders, that includes family members or some kind of affordable online therapy.
One thing’s for sure; you can achieve a healthy and stable relationship with a BPD, so stay strong and seek support.
12 Reasons To Date Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder
1. People with borderline personality disorder are not bad people
Despite the popular belief that borderline personality disorder means you’re toxic, these people are not that bad. They’re not bad people. They’re just people with mental health struggles.
Just like everyone else in this world, people with BPD are dealing with their own mental health problems. While they are more extreme and challenging, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people with BPD are toxic.
With proper treatment, borderline personality disorder can be in control. And those who are in danger of developing BPD can make it work with the right partner.
2. They can control their intense emotions with the right therapy
As mentioned already, people with BPD have a good chance of keeping their condition under control. With a strong support system, they can prevent destructive behaviors and take care of their mental health.
Dialectical behavioral therapy is one of the most effective treatments for people with borderline personality disorder. Given the fact that the main struggle for BPD is emotion dysregulation, this therapy focuses on learning to manage emotion dysregulation.
Even though they are more intense and extreme than yours, your partner’s emotions are as valid. Try to understand their past and possible trauma that resulted in BPD. This may help you accept this personality disorder and learn to live with your partner’s BPD.
3. They are kind and loving
Another stereotype about people with BPD is that they are mean and abusive. Again, this doesn’t have to be the case for every single person with borderline personality disorder.
Everybody is different. We all have different experiences, and people with BPD are the same.
People who suffer from BPD can actually be quite kind and nice. They’re often hard on themselves but not on others that much.
4. BPD relationships are possible when you have strong personal limits
Dating someone with this personality disorder is not easy, but it’s very much possible, especially if you love them with all your heart. If you accept your partner with the complex mental illness that comes along, you can make it work.
However, a strong sense of personal boundaries is a must. You need to be able to protect your own personal limits.
Their emotions shouldn’t get through to you, especially when one of their BPD cycles begins. If you’re able to set firm boundaries and build resilience, you can definitely make it work and find a way to be happy together.
5. Borderline personality disorder is not permanent
Another thing to have in mind is that borderline personality disorder is not permanent. It is very much treatable. That’s why it’s absolutely vital to seek professional help for your partner’s condition.
The stronger the support system, the better!
Don’t be shy, because the right BPD therapy can make all the difference in your partner’s life and your relationship.
6. Dating someone with borderline personality disorder can be rewarding
Even though dating someone with this mental disorder can be a challenge, it can be very rewarding. When you manage to make it work with someone you love, it’s always a fulfilling and rewarding feeling.
So, if you love someone with BPD, don’t give up just yet. Try to make it work and you might realize that it was worth your while in the end.
7. They are passionate
People with BPD are often passionate and loving. Despite their complex disorder, they can offer you so much if you just let them.
So, try to fight all those stereotypes about BPD off. Every relationship is unique in its own way. And with the right tools, you might be very happy with your partner after all. You’ll never know until you try it.
8. Borderline personality disorder is not an intractable disorder
Unlike narcissistic personality disorder and bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder is not an intractable disorder.
Narcissists make their loved ones and partners miserable. But this is not always the case with people with BPD. Unfortunately, they are their own hardest struggle, and they’re miserable to themselves.
9. You are stronger together
Everyone needs a strong support system around them. And this is especially true for people with BPD.
You’re always stronger when you have the support of your loved ones. BPD is a challenging disorder, so the more support, the better.
10. Couples counseling can improve your relationship
Another reason why you should consider dating someone with BPD, after all, is that you have access to professional counseling for couples. With constant couple therapy and BPD individual therapy, there’s a bigger chance of success for your relationship.
These therapy sessions can make your bond even stronger because you get to work on your communication skills together. You get to be open and upfront with each other. And you get to have quality time for yourself every week.
11. You can practice open communication together
Open and honest communication is key in every relationship, especially in BPD relationships. One of the skills that you will definitely learn at couple therapy is open communication.
And where do I even begin when it comes to the importance of communication in relationships? It’s one of the most vital aspects of successful romantic relationships. If you want to make it, you will need to learn to communicate effectively. And this is what you will learn together in a BPD relationship.
12. You can achieve personal growth
Last but not least important reason you should date someone with borderline personality disorder is the opportunity for personal growth.
You will get to work on yourself, too, as your partner works on their emotion regulation. You will learn, grow, and expand your horizons.
And most importantly, you will learn to love someone for who they are and accept them just the way they are.
Why You Should Not Date Someone With BPD?
Whether or not you should date someone with this disorder is entirely your decision. So, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s up to you to decide whether you’re able to live with this serious mental disorder.
When deciding whether you have it in you to date someone with BPD, it’s important to understand and learn as much as possible about the disorder.
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information about it, you can make the decision yourself. So, here are some things to have in mind about people with borderline personality disorder:
- Their inability to regulate emotions can often lead to self-destructive behaviors such as reckless driving, lack of physical health, self-harm, binge eating, or suicidal behavior;
- They have an intense fear of abandonment that can cause a significant rift between you two;
- BPD tend to have an unstable sense of self, meaning their frantic BPD episodes can lead to low self-awareness;
- They tend to suffer from instability and fear of intimacy;
- BPD is not a bipolar disorder;
- They need a strong support system to help them live with borderline personality disorder;
- It’s very important to seek professional help and find the right therapy for their personality disorder;
- They have frequent mood swings.
Why Do BPD Relationships Often Not Work?
There are many reasons why BPD relationships don’t work out.
People with BPD are pretty sensitive and complex. Their disorder makes it hard to regulate emotions and maintain relationships as a result. This is why BPD relationships often don’t have a happy ending.
People with BPD are more prone to impulsive behaviors and rage. They experience mood swings that often pose a problem to their relationships.
They often start out by idolizing their partners and exaggerating their positive qualities. However, this can quickly turn to devaluation when they start to exaggerate their partner’s flaws and negative traits.
They may feel out of control at times, especially if they feel they’ve been rejected (or will possibly be rejected in the near future). They fear abandonment and rejection, so they tend to be more clingy and manipulative.
Also, when they’re not receiving proper BPD treatment, these frantic BPD episodes can lead to suicidal behavior and dangerous self-harm.
Dating someone with this disorder is hard, which is why these relationships often don’t work out in the end.
Trauma From Dating Someone With BPD
Dating someone with borderline personality disorder is an emotional rollercoaster. It can extremely exhausting and overwhelming, especially if you’re not getting any additional support or professional help.
So, if your BPD relationship didn’t work out, you might end up with some emotional baggage, better known as trauma. It’s equally important for you to seek help.
Don’t let those traumatic experiences get in the way of your life. Ask your loved ones for support, or get in touch with a professional coach to help you out. Your mental health is at stake, so don’t underestimate the power of self-care and professional therapy.
Thanks for taking the time to read my article. I hope you found it helpful and that you understand what it’s like dating someone with borderline personality disorder.
Remember that everyone is different. Some people with BPD are abusive, but that doesn’t mean that your partner will be the same. Every disorder has different degrees of severity, and so does borderline personality disorder.
So, if your partner is kind, genuine, and loving, their borderline personality disorder is not likely to change their entire personality around. It’s true they will have a hard time regulating their emotions and controlling their intense mood swings, but that doesn’t mean they’re a bad person.
With the right therapy and a strong support system, your relationship stands a good chance against this complex mental disorder.
If I can help you in any way, don’t hesitate to ask. I’d be happy to provide some specific advice on relationships with borderline personality disorder. Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below; I hope I hear from you soon!