Whether they’re romantic or platonic, relationships may be different for people who have mental illnesses. When it comes to BPD, people experience unique and overwhelming emotions in romantic relationships especially. Some may say that relationships with people who have BPD can’t last — so let’s get to the bottom of it.
What It’s Like Having Borderline Personality Disorder
If you or someone you know has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), you may notice that having this disorder can impact how people process their emotions. Some people with BPD may be known to show signs such as:
- Being impulsive
- Rising quickly to intense anger, anxiety, or depression
- Being more prone to injury, fights, or aggression
- Having episodes lasting from a few hours to several days
- Having a hard time finding a middle ground — have extreme highs & lows
It can be difficult to maintain relationships with people who have BPD, especially romantic relationships. While these relationships may be very rewarding and passionate, they’re also known to get tumultuous.
The Science of Falling in Love
Basically, having a partner with BPD may be overall more intense than being with someone who doesn’t have it. However, this means that these people are completely invested.
Here are just a few ways that relationships involving BPD may differ from other romantic relationships:
- Affection – People with BPD are either extremely affectionate or withdrawn, which may be confusing for those who don’t have the disorder.
- Abandonment – Lots of people are scared that their partner isn’t happy; but when you have BPD, you may be in constant worry that they will leave
- Approach – If you notice that your partner is acting a little different than usual, you might talk to them about it; people with BPD may instead withdrawal out of fear
Since people with BPD may have a harder time upholding lasting romantic relationships, it’s been rumored that they aren’t able to love. So if you’re considering starting a relationship with someone who has this disorder, it’s important to understand their behaviors and emotions.
Loving Someone With BPD — Can They Love You Back?
Romantic relationships involving someone with BPD can be considered dysfunctional for several reasons. A few of the issues that might arise are:
- The person quickly feeling smothered
- Sudden withdrawal
- Fear of intimacy
- Frequent lying
- Impulsive and aggressive sexuality
- Public outbursts and arguments
While these behaviors can make a relationship rocky, people with BPD can also bring a lot of joy. People affected by this disorder are known to be fun, exciting, and passionate. This makes them very devoted and caring partners who are physically affectionate and enjoy spending time with their significant other.
People with BPD tend to have shorter-lived relationships because of their behavior; but successful and long-lasting partnerships are possible. In fact, their partner’s stability might have a positive impact on them as the relationship progresses.
Maintaining Healthy Relationships
At the end of the day, people with BPD can fall in love; it just takes some work from both sides of the relationship. Treatment is the first step — options may include:
- Individual and couple’s therapy
But more importantly, people with BPD need a strong support network. As long as they are putting in effort, they should learn to develop healthy coping mechanisms and react in ways that are less harmful to the relationship. As long as both partners are pulling their weight and being patient, a happy and healthy relationship is very possible.
To learn more about symptoms and behaviors of people with BPD, contact our team of mental illness professionals at 866-488-8349