Love is a battlefield of intense, powerful emotions that can be hard to control. For anyone with a borderline personality disorder, that emotional intensity is magnified. So how do you successfully navigate a relationship of this type?
The truth is that it is tricky, but by no means impossible, and can be just as functional as any other relationship. Below, we provide a guide to dating someone with borderline personality disorder.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a condition that impairs the processing of everyday emotions. This is characterized by emotional instability and swings in mood, that may last for hours or days, and are followed by a more stable period. Depression and anxiety are associated with these mood swings.
BPD can have a negative impact on work and home life. They can also test relationships and physical health. Suicide rates are high amongst people with BPD and many people with the condition are prone to arguments and accidental injury.
One way for people who are not sufferers to imagine BPD is as if the world is black and white. Sufferers often view events as all bad or good, with no middle ground. This results in either highs or lows, but with no section of stability in the middle.
A person with BPD may experience happy periods and events for much longer and more intensely than others. However, the opposite is also true, and in low periods they may feel depressed for longer and more intensely.
Living With BPD
If you are living with BPD, you have probably experienced how hard it is to form long-lasting relationships. You may have previously had lots of short term relationships that have not worked out. However, that does not mean all relationships will be like this.
Firstly, you need to build a strong support network of people who understand you are your emotional complexities. These may, or may not, include a romantic partner. By combining this network with treatment, you can begin to deal with the problems that are having a harmful impact on your relationships.
There are a number of treatments for BPD. While they will not solve the whole problem, they can go a long way towards helping you manage your problem.
The first is a therapy course. A therapist will help you understand and assess the decisions made concerning emotional situations. They will help you understand that all events are not inherently bad or good, stabilizing your emotional responses.
You can take medication to help with many of the emotional side effects, though there is no drug to cure BPD outright. This medication will often be an antidepressant or anti-anxiety drug.
Although each BPD sufferer is individual, there are some common thought patterns you can recognize and use to understand how your partner is thinking. The first is that they may feel unloved if they are not being loved by all the important people in their life, at all times. They may also feel that they love others more than they love them, making them often seem overpowering or intent on claiming love from those around them.
A person with BPD will not enjoy being alone and need to be with others. They may also get frustrated when they seek something from someone and do not get, either emotionally or physically.
If you are dating someone with BPD, then it is important to realize that these emotions are not due to your shortcomings. They are a product of a mental health disorder and are emotions that are very real to the sufferer. They would happen regardless of what you have or have not done.
These emotions may also drive the person with BPD to make some irrational and damaging decisions. Dealing with this can be difficult and painful, especially if you bear the emotional brunt.
Dating Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder
Although dating someone with BPD is tough, there are a number of ways you can make the process easier to deal with. The first is by doing exactly what you are doing now and learning about the condition. While this will not stop BPD from happening, it can inform your response to negate any future distress or pain.
You must also be willing to offer emotional support. This will be very demanding, but your patience is the key to making it work. A person with BPD can develop better behaviors, so you just need to support them through the learning process.
Finally, get professional help for the sufferer or for both of you. This can assist you when processing emotions and events.
There are a lot of misconceptions about dating someone with BPD. A lot of time is given to the negative side of the extreme emotions involved. However, extreme emotions also work on the positive side, meaning someone with BPD is capable of giving love and affection in the same way.
Understand that a BPD partner will be sensitive to signals that they may interpret as you wanting to leave them or give up on the relationship. This can lead to a withdrawal or anger and is a time that you must really support them and reassure them.
Build a Support Network
BPD does not stop positive relationships from forming. You must simply recognize the signs, and be willing to support your partner. Do this with therapy and a support network.
If you are struggling to build a support network, then register with Special Bond. We are a community of people with disabilities and mental health issues, who are here to help and discuss dating someone with a borderline personality disorder or helping sufferers to cope. Create an account then come and chat with us today, so we can start supporting each other immediately.