People With Borderline Personality Disorder And Relationship  

Do borderline personality disorder (BPD) relationships work? It depends on the partner’s tolerance and acceptance.

BPD relationships are usually intense and emotional. At the same time, it is often a conflict-laden and chaotic love relationship. Romantic BPD relationships exhibit numerous ups and downs resulting from frequent mood swings.

If you are in a relationship with a BPD man or woman, you must know about this mental disorder and how to deal with it. You can have a happy romantic relationship with a borderline personality, woman or man.

Relationships with someone with borderline personality disorder 

What makes a relationship with a BPD person unique and special?

Without a doubt, borderline personality disorder is an unusual category of mental illness.

People with this mental disorder often fail to recognize that their emotional outbursts differ from typical human behaviors.

BPD patients fail to understand their behavior’s implications on the person they live with. Usually, they don’t realize the relationship issues arising from their mood swings, unpredictable behaviors, and intense reactions.

Furthermore, your romantic engagement or relationship with someone with BPD can have recurring conflicts and crises. You become like a hostage, under obligation to fulfill your partner’s whims and fancies. You try to appease your lover or friend out of fear of their violent behavior.

Most importantly, managing your relationship with a BPD person requires patience and tolerance. Having skills and a knack for deescalating crises and improving your partner’s mental health would be best.

Behavioral traits and symptoms of BPD 

How can you tell your partner is a BPD patient?

Symptoms: In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), mental health professionals conclude from a series of diagnoses that the chief symptoms of BPD include “intense, unstable, and conflicted personal relationships.”

Indeed, only a psychiatrist or competent mental health professional can accurately diagnose a personality disorder.

However, learning about BPD symptoms lets, you know if your partner is a BPD patient. Some of those prominent traits and symptoms are:

  • Extreme mood swings such as euphoria to intense self-criticism
  • Quick changes in attitude toward other people
  • Strong fear of separation or rejection
  • A sudden feeling of fear and smothering intimacy leads to withdrawal.
  • Makes threats of suicide or self-harm
  • Unsafe behaviors like drug abuse, reckless gambling, overspending, or violent sex
  • Sudden and frequent outbursts of anger
  • Lack of empathy for others
  • Fear of cheating or lying by the partner
  • Highly impulsive and unpredictable behavior

Related article: Causes of BPD

Is it possible to have a romantic relationship with BPD?

Many are unaware of the difficulties of entering into a romantic relationship or living with a BPD partner.

First, despite several intense and impulsive symptoms, many people with BPD are kind and caring. They have strong emotions and intense feelings for their partners.

They are usually normal people with positive qualities and outlooks. They have a strong passion for love and romance.

In addition, many say that a romantic relationship with a person with BPD is exciting and passionate. Despite the ups and downs in the relationship, it is possible to have an intense romantic relationship with BPD persons.

Treatments for someone with BPD

There is no reason to become disappointed and frustrated if your partner has borderline personality disorder issues.

Both of you may need a mental health expert to manage the relationship.

Fortunately, several proven therapies and treatments can help your partner with BPD.

Mentalization therapy (MBT)

MBT is a specific psychodynamically oriented psychotherapy to help BPD patients. It helps people differentiate and separate their thoughts and feelings from those around them.

Mentalization therapy involves a close examination of a person’s emotional status. It examines the relationship between emotional states and behavior.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

DBT provides clients with the skills to manage painful emotions and reduce conflict in relationships. It develops key behavioral skills such as mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.


There isn’t any specific medication available for BPD treatment.

Doctors may recommend anti-anxiety or mood-uplifting medications to improve interpersonal relationships.

Some medications might help treat depression, anger, mood swings, and impulsive behavior in BPD patients. For instance, mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotic medications may reduce BPD symptoms.

How can you make a BPD relationship last?

A long-term relationship with a BDP person takes work. Everything works out well in the initial stages of the relationship.

People with BPD may show more emotion and care for their partners than normal people. They begin to idealize their partner as the best match for them.

However, the bonhomie between the partners soon dies out because of the BDP partner’s behavior dichotomy.

If your life partner is a BPD patient, here are some ways to build a lasting, healthy relationship.

Try all possible ways to recover

Recovery from borderline personality disorder involves eliminating its symptoms. It involves eliminating self-harming threats and the intensity of behavioral disorders like emotional outbursts.

The recovery process will involve psychotherapies, medication, and constant efforts to recover from the disorder.

Restructuring the home environment

Make your home environment calm and relaxed. In times of crisis, family members should avoid anything that can cause anxiety or stress in the patient. It is better to avoid any discussion on the disorder and the issues arising from it.

People with BPD should get enough opportunities to express their feelings and opinions at family gatherings.

Family members and the life partner should spend much time with the patient in fun and laughter activities.

Never make the patient feel like their mental illness is a serious problem at home.

Prevent the occurrence of conflict

Indeed, you can avoid conflicts in your BPD relationship by listening and reflecting. If you have to disagree with your partner, then do it most courteously and politely.

When you acknowledge the other person’s emotional perspective, there will be little room for conflict. Also, ask your BPD friend open-ended questions that prompt them to share their problems.

Make sure you have good communication during a crisis

When your partner with BPD often argues or reacts, you should not become defensive and react similarly. It is because BPD patients struggle to compromise with the different perspectives of others.

In such situations, you should patiently listen to their points and cause dissent. Do not take any personal offense to such arguments.

Acknowledge their points and make courteous suggestions to improve the matter.

When the individual feels like they are being heard, the crisis subsides.

However, leave the scene if the crisis or argument escalates into threats or flare-ups. You may resume the conversation and friendly chat only when your friend is calmer.

Skillfully tackle their attempts to hurt themselves

A BPD partner may threaten or attempt to hurt themselves at the peak of a crisis or emotional breakdown. It happens when the individual is saddened or cannot express emotions verbally.

Furthermore, you must take the initiative to provide psychiatric or medical aid to treat such issues.

Never talk about suicide or self-harming behavior of individuals lest you put such thoughts in their minds. Instead, let them open up to themselves and provide professional assistance if necessary.

In addition, give due importance to any suicide or self-harming threats made by your lover or friend with BPD. It may be attention-seeking, but they can have a strong inner compulsion to harm themselves.

BPD romantic relationship breakup

Breaking up a romantic relationship with BPD is troublesome.

People with borderline personality disorder have a strong fear of abandonment and rejection. It can break the mental stability of the person, leading to desperation and pondering suicide.

The BPD person knows the gravity of an unhealthy relationship, yet he does not let the relationship go. The pangs and fear of breakup are very high in marriages or long-term relationships.

Undoubtedly, it is necessary to seek the help of a psychiatrist to counsel the patient. It eases the aftermath of feelings of bitterness and abandonment.

The final thought

The key to maintaining a relationship with someone who has BPD is to find ways to cope with the cycles of crisis and normalcy. Also important to encourage your BPD partner to get professional help to reduce these cycles. Couple therapy may help BPD relationships last.

Contrary to general belief, research has confirmed that individuals with BPD are capable of ardent romantic relationships.

But, their relationship will have many ups and downs with sudden mood swings and tantrums.

It should be noted here that some studies suggest that women with BPD are capable of strong relationships but prone to frequent conflicts. Those with extreme BPD symptoms find it difficult to maintain friendly relationships with others.

The research also shows that BPD personalities, especially women, have less interest in sex.

In conclusion, people with BPD should remain on a continuous prognosis that includes medication and counseling. It is difficult to overcome this issue fully. However, the relationship with BPD can still be happy if the partner understands and addresses the issue correctly.

Read next: Do I Have Borderline Personality Disorder?

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