People with borderline personality disorder or BPD have very intense moods. They are unstable in relationships and think that things can only be all good or all bad. People suffering from this disorder are always fighting perceived abandonment and rejection. They feel empty and see abandonment and rejection even when it does not exist. Such individuals need tons of reassurance.
Dating Someone with BPD
Have a Plan
If your loved one has BPD, you must manage your behaviors effectively to manage his or her behavior. Developing a plan of dealing with his or her extreme behaviors will keep you sane.
Go through your partner's behaviours and think how they affect you, identify your partner’s behaviors that upset or frustrate you and make a plan to handle all these situations so as to keep you safe physically and emotionally. Having a plan also ensures that you can stay calm, avoid feeding the disorder’s symptoms and reinforce productive behaviors.
Learning more about BPD disorder increases your understanding of your partner’s behaviors. Individuals with this disorder attack others aggressively and are sometimes very defensive. You may feel like such a person is pushing you to extremes as he or she manipulates and guilts you into uncomfortable actions or emotions. When you educate yourself, you will understand how your partner sees things and you can protect yourself and set boundaries efficiently.
Guarantee Your Love and Support
If you are dating someone with BPD, combine setting reasonable limits with constant reassurance of your love and support. For example, if you say that you are leaving because of temper tantrums, reassure your partner that you will be back to talk about this issue when he or she has controlled his or her emotions. People with BPD fear and easily perceive rejections, and only see things in black and white. Your loved one needs constant assurance of your love and support to feel safe and loved.
Realize that your partner understands emotions differently and does not have coping mechanisms to handle emotions efficiently. Understand your partner’s behavior and the role you play in his or her life. Remember that you cannot heal him or her. Only committing to professional help can really help them. Note that the disorder cripple’s an individual’s emotional understanding and capability. Hence, you may never have an emotionally mature relationship and your partner may never meet your emotional needs.
Establish Boundaries and Limits
The extreme behaviors in people with BPD include yelling, being defensive, laying blame, and threatening suicide. These behaviors will worsen if you do not respond to them emotionally. But you have to set personal boundaries and limits to take better care of yourself and your partner.
Identify which behavior pushes your limits and make the consequences clear to your partner if the behavior persists. For instance, let your partner know that you will call the police if he or she keeps threatening to commit suicide. Suicides attempts are a common symptom and it's vital to take all suicide threats seriously.
Individuals with BPD do not show empathy to others. They think their needs and wants are more important than other people’s needs and wants. They control, abuse and manipulate those around them. If you are dating someone with BPD, identify the things that your partner manipulates you to do. Determine what you will do or not do to protect yourself from such behaviors. You must protect your financial status, body, and belongings.
Do not allow your partner to manipulate you to being his rescuer and take responsibility for all his or her irresponsible actions. For instance, do not replace a car after he smashes it or bail her out if she fails to pay her credit card debt. Your loved one will not be inspired to change if you keep protecting him or her from the consequences of irresponsible actions.
Give Honest Feedback
Do not support your partner’s belief that he or she was treated unfairly unless if you are sure that was the case. Individuals with BPD do not know how their behaviors affect others. If the person was fired from his or her job, give honest feedback stating that you understand how bad it feels to lose a job. But do not agree with his or her belief that he or she is fired because the employer is awful and mean if that's not true.
Apply the Four Ds
When dating someone with BPD, learn to delay, detach, distract and depersonalize in heated situations. To delay, you should request to talk about the issue later after thinking over it. To distract, you can ask to go for a walk, instead of focusing on the current issue. To depersonalize and detach, you must understand that your partner’s attacks are part of his or her disorder. So do not take them personally or allow them to upset you.
Avoid Escalating Arguments
You partner is likely to misinterpret your actions or words. He or she may respond to constructive criticism negatively or may accuse you of patronizing him or her when you offer a compliment. Explaining your intentions may cause his or her emotions to escalate. Do not escalate an unproductive argument. Stay calm and sane even when your loved one’s behavior makes you feel defeated, frustrated, and powerless.
Be Patient with Your Partner
Your partner may struggle with trust and intimacy. He or she may claim that you are trying to break up with him or her and claim that you are unreliable on the next day. Building a mature sexual relationship with a BPD person is difficult. Avoid rushing into physical intimacy even if your partner seems interested. Individuals with this disorder are impetuous and unpredictable. Their desires may even not be out of love but an emotional game.
Compliment Your Partner
People dating someone with BPD are not used to compliments. Actually complimenting your partner for little things will build your trust and influence. Compliment him or her for good behavior. For instance, compliment them for handling stress well or stopping bad habits like yelling at you. However, determine your partner’s mood before giving a compliment. Wrong timing could lead to an extreme reaction. Your partner may never show appreciation for your compliments but they may go a long way in building their self-esteem.
Find Professional Help
A person with BPD cannot manage his or her disruptive behaviors and heal from the disorder without psychiatric treatment. Encourage your partner to see a therapist as early as possible. Check the instructions on your partner’s medication because he or she may be required to avoid some foods and drinks when under certain medication. Some BPD medications may also affect your sex life. You also need counseling if you intend to start a long-term relationship with someone having this disorder.