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Is a long-term relationship possible for someone with BPD?

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

Having unstable relationships is a known symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder. If you have BPD yourself or have ever been in a relationship with someone who had BPD, you may know how difficult it is to stay in that relationship. Most of the relationships are short-lived but is it possible to maintain a healthy relationship in the long run?

A Romantic Relationship having Borderline Personality Disorder

Having a relationship with an individual that has BPD can become psychological warfare. Most people would suggest staying away because the chances of the relationship being healthy are so minimal since someone with BPD is too psychologically destructive. In some cases, this would be true. However, BPD can express in many different ways, so there is no definitive answer to whether you can have a successful relationship or not.

Despite the destructive symptoms that people with BPD and their loved ones must deal with, individuals with BPD frequently possess several beneficial characteristics that can make them good romantic partners at times. In addition, many individuals who have been in a romantic relationship with someone who has BPD describe their partner as interesting, fun, and passionate. Many individuals are attracted to people with BPD because of their strong desire for intimacy and deep emotions.

People with BPD frequently describe putting their new love partner "on a pedestal" during the start of a new relationship. They believe they've found their soulmate, someone who will save them from their emotional turmoil. Idealization is the term for this type of thinking.

When reality settles in, problems start to emerge. When a person with BPD finds that their new partner isn't perfect, their idealized image of the perfect soulmate shatters. Individuals with BPD are known for their black-and-white thinking. As a result, people with BPD may abruptly go from idealization to believing their partner is a bad person.

When a person with BPD detects a real or imagined change in their partner's emotions, they may withdraw instantly. They can feel offended and upset over something that would not bother someone without BPD. And may even develop obsessive tendencies.

Despite this, I do believe it is possible to have a long-term relationship with someone who suffers from BPD that is not toxic. It relies on how stable the partner is, how aware everyone is of the condition, and how severe the borderline symptoms are for the relationship to work.

Awareness of BPD

Since individuals with BPD have an unstable self-image, they're mostly unaware of their intentions since it changes frequently. As a result, people act on their emotions without understanding why certain things evoke such intense feelings. If you're a consistent reader of MentalCurve you'd know that BPD is heavily linked to childhood trauma.

The first and most significant step is already taken if the individual with BPD is aware of their disorder and its symptoms. When the symptoms are known, everyone can at least understand why certain mood swings, behavior, and actions are taken. It doesn't justify the behavior, but to get a grip on this condition, we first have to understand why certain behavior occurs.

If you suspect your partner has a condition like BPD, it's crucial to talk about it, even if it's a difficult subject. It's helpful to have a better sense of what's going on behind someone's feelings. It's also important for you to avoid getting stuck in a toxic relationship. Involve a mental health professional or a therapist in the situation if possible.

Everyone with BPD, especially those in relationships, should visit a therapist once in a while. I understand how unpleasant it may be, especially if the person with BPD believes it is unnecessary. I am also as rebellious as can be, but I must say that talking to a therapist once a week does well.

The stability of the partner

The partner plays an important role in maintaining this type of relationship. The partner must be stable enough to withstand the emotional ups and downs. It's best for the person with BPD that the partner reacts with the same emotion to different situations and does not play along with the intense emotions. Someone with BPD will often mimic your behavior. If you behave stable, the person with BPD will become more stable.

The severity of BPD symptoms

It also depends on how severe the BPD symptoms are for the relationship to work. Everyone experiences and expresses it differently.

The intention behind someone's actions and behavior can determine if the relationship can work. Is someone with BPD pushing you away out of fear of abandonment or out of vindictiveness? Both scenarios are possible, and it can be difficult to pinpoint which one you're dealing with. If someone acts out of fear, it can be managed by simply understanding the emotions followed by treatment. In some cases, if it is intentionally destructive behavior, it could be a never-ending story, and you should indeed avoid it.

In the end, the relationship has to be fun. It is simply more difficult than having a relationship with someone without a disorder, but I think it also brings many beautiful things with it.

It's essential to understand that, despite your personality condition, you can have a healthy relationship. Treatment combined with a support system can assist you in establishing emotional and relationship stability. Treatment will not cure BPD, but it will help you learn to cope with the symptoms and behave in ways that are less harmful to you or your partner.


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