Can you be dumped by someone with a borderline personality disorder?
In this article, we shall answer the question “can you be dumped by someone with a borderline personality disorder?” We will explain in depth what borderline personality is and also look at the diagnostic criteria causes and risk factors.
We shall also look at how to cope in a relationship with a person with a borderline personality disorder.
Can you be dumped by someone with a borderline personality disorder?
Yes, you can be dumped by someone with a borderline personality disorder. They have negative traits of irritability, mood swings and impulsiveness and push people away, even those who love them and want to have a meaningful relationship with them.
You can heal by engaging in self-care activities, which we shall list later in this article. We understand that dating a person with borderline personality disorder can be challenging and the end can be sudden and devastating.
For this reason, we will provide you with sufficient tips to help you get through such a period.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
BPD (its acronym) is a mental disorder that affects how you feel about yourself and other people. It also causes problems in carrying out normal day-to-day activities. People with BPD have a negative self-image, find it difficult to control emotions, and have a series of unstable relationships.
People with BPD dislike being alone and have an extreme fear of abandonment. However, their negative traits of irritability, mood swings and impulsiveness push people away, even those who love you and want to have a meaningful relationship with them.
The symptoms of BPD start in early adulthood and seem to worsen in young adulthood, however, the symptoms improve with age and one can function normally with BPD.
Signs and symptoms of BPD
The signs and symptoms of BPD include:
- Feelings of sadness and emptiness (long-term)
- Severe mood swings. Some people feel suicidal and then feel better after a few hours. Mood swings vary; some feel better in the morning and some in the evening
- Having upsetting thoughts, i.e. thinking that you are a terrible person
- Auditory hallucinations. Some people hear voices in their heads telling them to harm themselves.
- Prolonged episodes of hallucinations, i.e. hearing voices and delusions, i.e. believing that your family members want to kill you
- Self-harm, i.e. cutting yourself with a razor, burning your skin with cigarettes. The symptoms might go to the extreme of trying to commit suicide.
- Engaging in reckless behaviour, i.e. having unprotected sex with strangers, binge drinking and extreme use of drugs, and going on shopping sprees.
Causes of BPD
There is no single cause that can be identified as causing BPD. However, there are factors that predispose you to get BPD. They include;
There is a likelihood of BPD genes being passed from one generation to another. Research has shown that if a twin is diagnosed with BPD, there is a likelihood that the other one will have it too. There is no gene for BPD, so these findings should be treated with caution.
Problems with brain development
An MRI showed that people with BPD had a problem with the development of parts of the brain that regulate mood. They include;
The hippocampus; regulates behaviour and self-control
Amygdala; regulates emotions
Orbitofrontal cortex; involved in planning and decision making
Altered levels of the neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, have been linked with depression, aggression and failure to control destructive urges.
Common environmental factors common in people with BPD include exposure to long-term fear or distress, experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse, parental neglect, and growing up with a family member with a mental illness.
Unresolved fear and anger from childhood can make you put unrealistic expectations on other people, like expecting people to be like a parent to you, expecting others to bully you, idolizing others and behaving like others are adults and you are not.
How does BPD affect relationships?
Many people with BPD often have many short-lived relationships. This could be due to:
- They purposefully break off relationships for fear of their partners doing it
- Their partners not being comfortable with the challenges that come with dating a person with BPD
- Unrealistic expectations in relationships
- A simple argument can trigger an emotional rollercoaster
- They idolize and devalue people quickly
Despite all these factors, a relationship with a person with BPD is not impossible. Treatment, combined with a positive support system, can help you find stability in managing your emotions and in your relationships. Better coping mechanisms will help you react to situations in a way that will not harm you or your partner.
Reasons people with borderline personality disorder break up with you.
BPD relationships are riddled with instability because of BPD symptoms. For example, a person with a borderline personality disorder may shift from idealizing (holding their partners in high regard) to devaluing them when reality sets home that anyone can make mistakes, even when meaning well.
Another cause of instability is the shift from needing constant attention to total isolation. As a result, persons in a relationship with a partner with a borderline personality disorder may not know what to expect from their partners. A constant state of instability can eventually result in a break-up.
Because of the constant need for attention and fear of abandonment, lying can easily crop up to get the attention of their partners or manipulate them to stay committed into the relationship if they perceive any signs of being abandoned.
This is a classic symptom of borderline personality disorder. It is not uncommon to find persons with borderline personality disorder struggle with sexuality issues such as early sexual experience, more partners and more casual sexual experiences.
As a result, issues of infidelity cripple the relationship and finally result in a breakup.
Feelings of mistrust and suspicion are a common characteristic of borderline personality disorder relationships. Because of the fear of rejection and abandonment, persons with BPD are always on the lookout for signs of real or perceived rejection and abandonment.
Because of this reason, BPD relationships are riddled with chaos, which culminates in a breakup.
Fear of abandonment
The fear of abandonment may influence persons with BPD to act in ways that are dramatic and damaging to the well-being of the relationship, including lies and manipulation. In the long run, suspicion causes mistrust, which leads to the deterioration of the relationship and eventual breakup.
3 ways to survive after being dumped by a someone with borderline personality disorder
Engage your support system
Breakups can be difficult times full of emotional turbulence. For this reason, avoid staying alone for more than is necessary. Instead, spend time with your close friends, family and if your symptoms are intense, make a point to visit a therapist who can help you cope and manage intense emotions.
Engage in self-care activities
Self-care activities such as sufficient sleep, having a healthy balanced diet and keeping in touch with your feelings through journaling, help you body and mind operate at optimum conditions that enhance the ability to process and cope with grief and intense emotions ensuring that they do not get out of hand.
Accept that the breakup happened
It is normal to have high expectations for a relationship, especially in the honeymoon stage, where things are blissful. Unfortunately, for people dating persons with borderline personality disorder, relationships can come to an abrupt end that catches them unawares. The experience can be shocking and painful, but accepting that the relationship has come to an end helps you to stop dwelling on what has already happened and instead, start focusing on the future without the person.
Tips on how to improve a relationship with a person with BPD and how to improve trust
Tips on improving your relationship with someone with BPD include:
Take care of yourself
Most relationships with people with BPD are focused on meeting their needs and wants and this can be exhausting. Use words of affirmation to communicate to your partner that you also have needs that you would also like to be met. For example, “love you and want to be with you, but there are some things that I am missing”.
People with BPD can be manipulative and use any means to get what they want. It is important to create boundaries, including things you can and cannot tolerate them. Clarify that some behaviors like using threats, going through your phone and belongings, etc. will make you fall apart and cause a rift between the two of you.
BPD is manageable and therapy can help the person develop positive coping mechanisms for their stressors. For this to happen, your partner must be open to the idea of trying out therapy, as resistance will not yield any fruits. You can suggest couples therapy for them to feel more comfortable and understood.
Couples’ therapy will be crucial in expressing your feelings too and getting help. A self-help group would also be helpful, as people with BPD like it when they are understood and what is better than a group of people going through the same struggles.
The condition should not play the leading role in the relationship
Although the illness should not be ignored, do not make everything happening between you two be attributed to their condition. Educate yourself about the illness to help distinguish between symptoms of the illness and your partner’s personality.
Do not be your partner’s therapist. In as much as you have educated yourself about the illness, refrain from assuming the role of a therapist. The best you can do is to be there for your partner and offer support.
Treatment for BPD
There is no medication for BPD but medication can be given for the symptoms that manifest, i.e. antipsychotics, antidepressants and anxiolytics
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy will help you respond to emotional situations with positive coping mechanisms and with reason and proper judgment. This will reduce seeing things in white and black.
This is necessary if you are experiencing extreme symptoms like suicidal thoughts and attempts, or hallucinations and delusions that are affecting your daily functioning and relationship with others.
In this article, we discussed what borderline personality is, looked at the reasons persons with a borderline personality disorder break up with their partners, and how to survive after a breakup with a person who has a borderline personality disorder. Besides this, we discussed the symptoms of borderline personality disorder and how to cope with the disorder. We hope this information educated you about borderline personality disorder so that you can become a good mental health ambassador.
Frequently asked questions: Dumped by someone with borderline personality disorder
How do breakups affect people with BPD?
Breaks ups can cause depression, intense mood swings, impulsivity, and trigger self-harm and suicidal ideations in persons with BPD.
How do borderlines deal with heartbreak?
Persons with BPD require a strong support network that can help them process and cope with intense feelings and emotions.
What emotions do borderlines feel?
People with borderline personality disorder experience intense feelings of fear, sadness, anger, emptiness, and suicidal feelings.
NHS. (July 17, 2019). Causes- borderline personality disorder. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/causes/
Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault. (28th November 2021). Romantic Relationships Involving People With BPD. Verywellmind. Retrieved from:https://www.verywellmind.com/understanding-romantic-bpd-relationships-425217
Zambon, V. (5th November 20020). Borderline personality disorder and relationships. Medicalnewstoday. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/borderline-personality-disorder-relationships#social-media-relationships