What It’s Like To Date Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD is a serious psychological condition. If you find yourself attracted to someone with borderline personality disorder or discover that the person you have been dating suffers from it, here are a few things you should know:

Educate yourself

The first thing to do while dating someone with borderline personality disorder is to find out all you can about the condition. borderline personality disorder is a mental illness characterized by intense fears of abandonment, suicidal statements and gestures, an unstable sense of self, black and white thinking, violent temper, chronic feelings of emptiness and a highly impulsive nature. Check out libraries, bookstores and reliable online resources which will help you know more about borderline personality disorder, its symptoms in a patient and even suggest ways to cope with the disorder in a relationship. Usually a person suffering from borderline personality disorder will have rapid mood swings and short, intense emotional outbursts. While patients of depression and bipolar disorder tend to feel low for several days, in case of borderline personality disorder the intense mood swings usually last a few hours to a day at the most.

Consider if this is what you really want

A relationship with someone with borderline personality disorder is a difficult proposition, even if you are only casually dating him/her. This is because your partner may not only be prone to sudden aggressive behavior or outbursts of temper but also give way to impulsive behavior. Acts like binge-drinking, excessive spending, sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, self-harming and reckless driving are all common in people with borderline personality disorder. What’s worse, a partner with borderline personality disorder who exhibits such impulsive behavior can put you in harm’s way as well. If your date drives recklessly or gets into a fight after a night of binge drinking, there are chances that you would get hurt as well. Even if you ensure your physical safety, having to deal with the intense mood swings and emotional storms of your partner over a long period of time can be highly stressful for you too. So before you move ahead with your dating partner, be honest with yourself and consider if your needs will truly be met in this relationship.

Focus on behavior instead of feelings

If you are serious about dating someone with borderline personality disorder, then you will need to evolve strategies to cope with the mood swings and emotional outbursts of your partner. One of the best ways to do this is to keep the focus on their behavior instead of their feelings. Observe their actions and effects on you and ask them to change whatever it is that negatively affects you. However while you discuss your partner’s behavior, give specific and measurable suggestions so they know exactly what they need to do for a successful relationship. But do not attempt to change how they feel about it since talking about feelings is sure to backfire on you. The more concrete your stance is and matter-of-fact your words are, the more success you will have with your borderline personality disorder partner.

Set specific limits

No matter how much you love your partner, when dealing with a borderline personality disorder patient it is important to set limits so that you don’t get overwhelmed by their unreasonable behavior. So if your partner is verbally abusive and you have warned him/her that you would not talk to them under those conditions, then you must keep your word. When your partner is in the midst of an emotional storm, withdraw yourself and let them know you will be back when they are feeling better. If you attempt to placate them and fix their issue at such a time, you will not only fail to get your message across but run the risk of being burned out and involved in unnecessary and ineffective drama. In fact it is easier for the borderline personality disorder person to move on to the next issue, while you may take much longer to regain your emotional bearings.

Assure him/her of your support

Together with setting reasonable limits to your partner’s behavior, you also need to reassure him/her of your love and support. For instance even as you announce that you are leaving on account of your partner’s temper tantrums, you could say that you will be back later and open to talking when he/she has regained control over their emotions. Since borderline personality disorder individuals struggle with real and perceived abandonment issues as well as black and white thinking, they need constant assurance that you will continue to be a source of steady and constant love in their lives.

Be patient

A person with borderline personality disorder struggles with intimacy and trust issues. So your partner may one day accuse you of trying to leave him/her and the next day feel like he/she cannot rely on you any longer. It may be difficult to have a mature romantic relationship with someone suffering from borderline personality disorder. So don’t rush into a physically intimacy with your partner even if he/she may seem apparently excited about it. borderline personality disorder sufferers are unpredictable, impetuous and evidence of their desire may in reality have nothing to do with love but only as yet another way to play emotional games with you. Thus ensure that your relationship is on stable and mature ground before taking it to the next level.

Get help

It is crucial for someone with borderline personality disorder to undergo psychiatric treatment if he/she is to have any reasonable chances of healing or even managing their disruptive behaviors. So if your partner is not seeing a therapist already, encourage him/her to do so at the earliest. Keep track of the medication that your partner is taking since some of them may be contraindicated with certain types of foods and drinks. Also certain medicines prescribed for borderline personality disorder have side effects which may hamper your sex life as well. In fact it is also important for you to seek counseling if you are looking at a long term relationship with someone suffering from borderline personality disorder. Talking to a therapist or counselor will not only help you to be strong as an individual but also help you to have more fulfilling relationship with a borderline personality disorder partner.

BY KALYANI10 | Futurescopes