What is the average length of a BPD relationship? (+7 Relationship strategies)

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Page last updated: 10/11/2022

In this article, we will be answering what the average length of a BPD relationship is. We will also be taking you through the stages of the BPD relationship cycle and also listing out a few coping tips that you can use in such a relationship.

What is the average length of a BPD relationship?

The average length of a BPD relationship is 2.5-5 years. However, this number varies as some studies have shown that the average length is about 7 years. At the same time, there are numerous case studies showing BPD relationships lasting for decades.

The reason why there is no set number for the average length of a BPD relationship is because everyone poses different symptoms at different levels of intensity. This can lead to varying circumstances in the relationship and can cause each one to have a different length.

Stages of BPD relationship cycle

Those who have BPD and start a relationship with someone often go through a relationship cycle. The different stages of a BPD relationship cycle have been described in the following section.

Stage of Idealization

This is the first stage of a relationship with someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder. In this stage of the relationship, the person will often idealize their partner as the perfect person and may seem them as being completely faultless

In this stage of the relationship, the person may do grand gestures and seem like they are ready to fully commit themselves already. Those who are close to them will find that they are obsessed with the newfound love and may see them doing impulsive things.

Stage of Insecurity

The next stage in the BPD relationship is where the trouble begins. In this stage, the person may start showing signs of insecurity over the relationship. They may often suspect that their partner does not love them truly.

They may also grow increasingly fearful that their partner is getting ready to leave them or abandon them, especially if they have criticized them about something. The partner may not realize this since the communication might not be too open at this point.

Stage of Anxiety

After the stage of insecurity, the person becomes convinced that their partner is going to leave them and develops anxiety as a result. They may voluntarily put distance between them and their partners.

This is often done not because the person really wants to end the relationship, but because they want their partner to prove their love for them. In this stage, they may want the partner to openly prove their feelings with some gesture or action.

Stage of Conflict

In this stage of the BPD relationship, the person may bring up many conflicts with their partner. There may be frequent fights between the two people, some of which can be very explosive and physically violent.

Stage of Ending

After a while, the partner may eventually emotionally tire out and may voluntarily step out of the relationship. In this stage of ending, the person with BPD may apologize repeatedly and may bring up grand gestures, making promises that they will not repeat their behaviors.

Post break-up stage

In the event that the partner does not come back, the person with BPD will find it hard to move on and may indulge in self-harming behaviors. They may loathe themselves, blaming them for everything that has transpired in the relationship.

BPD can lead the person to believe that nobody truly loves them for real and everyone will abandon them someday or the other. When a relationship ends, this thought gets drilled deeper into the person’s mind further strengthening their false belief.

Coping tips for a BPD relationship

Not everyone with BPD will go through these stages in the same manner in the same levels. But having BPD can certainly make a relationship tricky. At the same time, there are many ways to make the relationship stronger and more stable. Some coping tips for a BPD relationship are:

  • Encourage your partner to continue their treatment. If you are dating someone with BPD, make sure that they are regular with their treatment since this condition may often cause them to stay off their medications as the symptoms reduce after a while.

At the same time, it is also important to stay alert of the warning signs that some stress-factor has been triggered. When you become alert of the signs, your partner will also increase their self-awareness, helping them recuperate.

  • As a partner of someone who has BPD, you can also learn more about their condition and what its trigger factors are. This can also show your partner that you genuinely care about them and are going to be there for them.

When you are learning about their condition, you also need to remember that they are much more than their BPD. They are still a person with their own personal needs and desires, and these have to come first before their condition.

  • If you are dating someone who has BPD, you can even try incorporating some relaxing activities into your daily life as part of their healing process. BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder can lead to extreme stress levels but activities like yoga can help.

You can also participate actively in the exercises so that they have a buddy to work with. Aside from relaxation activities to bring stress levels down, you can even use mindfulness activities to help them enjoy the present moment with you as much as they can.

  • Personality disorders can also take a heavy toll on the self-care and healthy routines that are necessary for our physical and mental health. It is this cycle that often makes recovery very difficult.

If you are in a relationship with someone who has BPD, you can help their journey by making sure that they eat a healthy diet at the right timings. This can seem overwhelming, even tandem to babysitting, but it need not be so.

You can simply start practicing these healthy routines on your own. Your partner will eventually pick up these habits as they take inspiration from you. In this way, you both will be able to build a healthier life together.

  • In many stages of the BPD relationship cycle, the person may often to get abusive in some way or the other. And therefore, one important aspect that you need to do as soon as possible is to set clear boundaries with them about their behavior.

You can practice staying calm and not lashing back when they start becoming insecure. You can also incorporate a mutual friend if you find that you cannot handle your partner during their anger episodes, just for emotional support and safety.

  • You can also open up their friend circle to include more people they can trust and lean on. This can not only be healthy for your relationship, but can also help them start trusting others and build their social circle as well.
  • If you feel that you really cannot stay in the relationship any longer and you need to exit it as soon as possible, present your case in a calm and logical manner. At the same time, you also need to be prepared for outbursts of anger from the other end.

Also understand that your partner will definitely try to make amends for their behavior and may apologize in grand gestures. At the same time, you also need to be aware of their relationship cycle stages which are going to continue if you decide to get back with them.

Conclusion

In this article, we have answered what the average length of a BPD relationship is. We have also taken you through the stages of the BPD relationship cycle, listing out a few coping tips that you can use in such a relationship.

If you like this article, please post your comments and questions in the space below.

Citations

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316562228_Romantic_Relationships_of_People_with_Borderline_Personality_A_Narrative_Review
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00430/full
https://scholar.umw.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1471&context=student_research
https://www.centerwatch.com/clinical-trials/listings/condition/21/borderline-personality-disorder/
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/pmh.1547
https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2021-18096-001
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-58001-x
https://www.health.com/condition/borderline-personality-disorder/borderline-personality-disorder-relationships
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/toxic-relationships/201909/the-drama-loving-borderline