Heartbreak From Having High Expectations with Borderline Personality Disorder

Updated: Mar 28

When people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) meet someone who could be a potential partner, they may become obsessed with them. The mind creates high expectations in which the person is idealized. Suddenly their whole world is about that individual, and they can't seem to live without them. This can have such an emotional impact that someone may lose the ability to function in their everyday life.

We can completely lose ourselves to our emotions, making us unable to enjoy the moment. In this article, we'll be looking at the obsession for love, the self-made illusion of having high expectations, and the idealization of a potential partner. Hoping to help individuals with BPD that can identify themselves with these experiences.


BPD creates unrealistic expectations

Setting ourselves up for heartbreak by having high expectations is a horrible experience. Sometimes one single day with a new individual can completely break us for the coming weeks. Why can't we enjoy the moment and appreciate the connection we had with someone? We're always looking for more and don't accept what's already given.


We spend so much time fighting for things we can't control. When we create expectations for the things we can't control, we are destroying the joy that can be felt for being in that moment.


''Expectations are the Killers of Joy.''

Even if you're aware of your own created illusion, the desire for love is too hard to withstand. You might get frustrated with yourself after telling yourself you shouldn't fully commit to it, but you still end up doing so.


BPD idealization on first meeting

With obsessive expectations, you can idealize someone you barely know and create a fake reality within your mind, which doesn't benefit you in any way. Right from the start, there should be no emotional attachment yet, but your mind already created it.


The individual can be far from your standards, but obsessive expectations will appear when the given emotion feels like an addiction.

How can someone with BPD manage high expectations?

From experience, it gets a bit easier every time your expectations aren't fulfilled, but at what cost? It creates a feeling of emptiness. A self-defense mechanism that lets us not hurt ourselves as much as we did before.


You become numb after a while, and because of this, we lose bits of joy or even lose opportunities we should have taken with someone. For some of us, this might be worth it. Sometimes, it's better to feel numb than to suffer each time from having high expectations.


When the connection with the individual becomes closer, your obsessive thoughts will become stronger. For many of us, we can only imagine black and white scenarios. Due to this, you will catch yourself in a situation with two options.


Option 1: Push through while you try to control your emotions. You hope for a relationship as a result but risk rejection and devastating heartbreak.


Option 2: Reject the potential love too early on your terms, which still hurts but seems a little more bearable. You lose the chances of getting a relationship out of it.


Regret is also a part of this equation. When it seems like you know which decision you want to make, there is a high chance that your emotions want to take a whole different turn moments later. It keeps fluctuating, and you'll feel regret with either decision at some point.


Considering this, shouldn't we try and avoid love at all costs when we are just self-sabotaging? With these two options, yes. However, there is also a hard-to-face option 3.


Option 3: You focus on yourself while you ride the wave of emotions. Not creating a black and white scenario, but trying to live in the grey part. Appreciate the possibility of a potential relationship and accept if it doesn't happen.


For some of us, this seems impossible. Since we're dealing with a black and white mentality, we tend to either want it all or want nothing.


When you feel fixated on that one person, remember that there were individuals that came before this. You felt the same way for those individuals. Tell yourself that there were more in the past, meaning that there are more in the future.


Obsessive expectations can come from many different causes, like traumatic experiences or a personality disorder.


''Someone that wasn't loved as a child will get instantly obsessed each time someone shows affection''

If you often get obsessed with an individual and just hurt yourself with it afterward, you might need something like Emotion Regulation Therapy or any other professional help.


Read more on Moving on After a Heartbreak with False Hope