BPD and the Relationship Dilemma

September 6, 2022 Desiree Brown

When you live with borderline personality disorder (BPD), you live with the BPD relationship dilemma. What is the BPD relationship dilemma? Well, I just made it up. But, it might sound familiar if you or someone you know has BPD. For me, at least, relationships used to feel like an impossible paradox.

What Is the BPD Relationship Dilemma?

When I first learned what BPD was, I was floored by how much of it was familiar. I have experience with many of the symptoms listed in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Still, the abandonment and relationship aspects really hit home. I didn’t use to understand why I was so desperate to be in a relationship or why I would swing from infatuation to disgust.

I wanted a partner so badly that it physically hurt to be single. But I could lose my feelings at the drop of a hat. I used to say my curse was to forever wish for companionship but never entirely acquire it.

Healing From the BPD Relationship Dilemma

As with every aspect of my recovery, learning about my BPD symptoms has been the key to addressing them. When I’m reminded of an emotion I had during my formative years, I sometimes unconsciously reenact the dynamic from the original context — even if it’s not beneficial.

This information is helpful when dealing with unwanted relationship behaviors. Nowadays, when I feel triggered in a relationship, I identify the emotion that’s being triggered, and I try to remember the first time I felt that way. When I find the original context, I deal with the initial hurt. Being aware of the original context is often enough to disarm the trigger.

How have you learned to overcome your BPD relationship dilemmas? Let me know in the comments.

APA Reference
Brown, D. (2022, September 6). BPD and the Relationship Dilemma, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 16 from

Author: Desiree Brown

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August, 18 2023 at 10:44 am

I find myself sabotaging every relationship I have ever had. Almost subconsciously, I flip a switch and all feelings or emotion is gone. I've even gone as far as to cheat on my partner who in my heart I know I want to spend the rest of my life with. I have a severe sometimes crippling sense of doom and abandonment at all times. Like i can't believe he loves me or that im worthy so i give a reason to not be loved. I feel insane for this logic and he is the most patient man, and just wants to help me

August, 18 2023 at 8:44 pm

You're onto something deep – this twist and sudden switch in emotion could be linked to the belief in being unworthy of love. The crippling sense of doom and fear of abandonment is something I'm also familiar with and relating to your comment gave me a lot to think about. Thank you for sharing and reminding us that we're not alone in this chaos.

Star van der Zee
March, 14 2023 at 4:13 am

I’m having a lot of trouble. My BPD seems from my ptsd. This is the first relationship that I have been in since I was raped… x3. I’m struggling so badly. I know in my heart that I love him but he fights me at every turn. I don’t know what to do. I know I am justified in what I say but I will start using your method. Thanks. Maybe things will get better or at least easier. But I have my doubts. 😢

Mel Bender
September, 6 2022 at 10:09 am

I relate to a lot of what you’ve written here, Desiree. It’s a great tactic to try to trace these feelings back to their origins when they arise. That’s a strategy I’m going to try in the future! :)

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