How to deal with False Hope for someone with Borderline

Updated: Mar 22

We, humans, love the concept of hope. But there is a dangerous side of hope that you can deceive yourself with. False hope after a heartbreak. People with Borderline Personality Disorder(BPD) often experience paranoid thinking due to the extreme amounts of stress that come with a breakup. It often expresses itself through false hope, which makes the situation even more painful in the long run.

When you're trying to move on from a heartbreak, you might experience a sense of hope. In this article, the beautiful side of hope will not be shown. We will be exploring false hope formed around relationships. Not what someone else can give you, but the false hope you give yourself.


What do people with BPD do after a breakup?

If the individual with BPD is the one who instigated the breakup, they have most likely forgotten about the other person and moved on. This is because the partner has been devalued and is now seen as a bad person who is unworthy of their attention. Sometimes a false narrative is created where they have never truly loved the individual.


If the partner initiates the breakup, the individual with BPD will feel unloveable, lost, devastated, completely empty inside, abandoned, filled with confusion, sadness, and regret. During these times, suicidal ideation and self-harm are more prevalent.


After a breakup, paranoid thinking is common due to the overwhelming emotions and excruciating pain. Paranoid thinking is a symptom of BPD that often expresses itself through delusions, mostly false beliefs, and hallucinations. This is a way for the brain to cope with the situation. Heartbreak is often accompanied by a great deal of stress, which can lead to paranoid thinking and false hope.


While false hope might give someone the confidence to keep going in the short term, it's not called false hope for nothing. In a slightly longer term, the impact will be even worse when the realization of self-deception is realized.


BPD and false hope in a relationship

Giving yourself false hope can be a dangerous form of self-deception. It's harmful and will mess with your sense of well-being. To understand how one can fool themselves with false hope, imagine the following:


2 People are in a relationship, and one decides it's not the relationship they want to be a part of and decides to move on. The one that is left behind still has hope.


"There's still a chance for them to come back."

Someone hopeful will wait for the other to come back. Convincing yourself with minimal information that there is still a chance. Using this minimal information to come to irrational conclusions. Conclusions that evoke expectations to only realize, moments later, that it is false hope.


The part of you that realizes that you're giving yourself false hope won't prevent you from letting it happen again. It repeats because there is nothing so important as getting ''the one'' back into your life. This effect can take months, even years.


Losing someone isn't instant. It's a process. It happens every morning when you wake up thinking about it and every night falling asleep while missing their warmth. Inside your thoughts, you are losing them over and over again. It hurts as much as the first time you lost them.


''The future can't get better than where I was.''

Nostalgia is a liar and will make it hard for you to move on. It shows montages of the best memories you had while omitting the truth. The truth is, not every experience is meant to last forever.


The lesson here is that you should've fully experienced it at the moment and not taken anything for granted. Accepting that it will never go back to how it used to be, is the start of a new beginning.


The self-judging loop

For some of us, it can be particularly painful to be alone. It can especially be painful when we lost someone that, in our mind, was the person we were supposed to be with.


''I am the person to blame that I'm alone.''

The pain can be felt even worse when thinking that the relationship didn't work because of something we did.


Maybe we were too anxious, insecure, jealous, controlling, or stressed. You can torture yourself with guilt, shame, and self-blame. Putting yourself in this self-judging loop.


''That person would still be in my life if I didn't...''

It's a circle that doesn't take you anywhere practical or productive. There is no need to analyze something you can't change. These thoughts don't get someone back. It doesn't help you do the work to move on or to be better. It keeps you exactly where you are.


We have established what false hope can do to someone after a heartbreak. Now, how do we move past false hope?


3 Lessons for someone with BPD on how to move on after heartbreak


1. Stop waiting

Waiting until something happens is a form of hope. Don't act as if your ex is coming back. Pull away from the false hope, and act as if your ex is never coming back.


This sounds horrible, but this is not any different than what's already happening. If your ex decides to come back, you act at that moment.


2. Stop making assumptions

Don't assume the relationship would have been perfect if you had done things differently. You don't always know the real reasons why someone else made their decisions. They give you their reason, but that's often the most convenient and easiest reason for them to tell you. You will never get to know the full story.


When you would have brought more to the relationship, it would reveal more from the other person, changing the whole dynamic of the relationship. So, you never know what would've happened. With assumptions, you only hurt yourself.


3. Stop believing in the ''The One''

While you are convincing yourself this was the one person for you, your ''one'' moved on without you.


As much as you loved someone, or how incredible it was, and all these great things, it cannot represent that dream relationship if they didn't choose you. Someone that is not choosing you is actually the farthest away from being a dream relationship.


Take your time to move on, but eventually, you need to let it go. You will be unhappy for the rest of your life if you don't. There isn't one person who is solely capable of fulfilling the role of ''the one''.


You can always be disappointed that it wasn't the right person, but you can't grieve thinking that it was the only person. The right person can only be the right person if it's 2 people choosing each other.


How someone with BPD can turn heartbreak into something positive

It's all easier said than done. A piece of you just died, and it feels like you're going through hell. That version of you, going through hell, has to come back and say something. That's the version this world needs. Die, resurrect and speak about it.


Everything you're going through adds more flavor to the stew. It makes you stronger, more interesting, more complex, more compassionate, and more empathic to other people. What's most important is that it allows you to bring more to your next relationship.


You don't have to avoid the pain, but forgive yourself for your weaknesses and for the decisions you've made. Forgive yourself for what looked like dumb mistakes and turn them into something positive. In time you will realize you are living without the person you thought you couldn't live without.


Accept that this chapter in your book is over. It will forever be one of your favorites, but you cannot keep rereading and hoping for a different ending.


Read more on How to survive heartbreak with Borderline Personality Disorder?