Dating a Woman with Borderline Personality Disorder.
Women who suffer from BPD (borderline personality disorder) can profoundly affect the quality of their significant others’ lives. One minute, everything is fine, and the next, you feel as if you are walking on eggshells. You never know how she will react to a situation or to you; will it be with love or anger? Being with her can make you feel helpless and unable to cope. At times, you may want to end it, but simultaneously, you may feel addicted to her. Usually, the relationship is an intense one.
It is estimated that more than six million people in the U.S. have borderline personality disorder, and these individuals greatly impact the lives of at least 30 million others. There is some controversy regarding how many women might have BPD compared to men. Older studies suggest a 75/25 ratio, while newer studies indicate a 53/47 split. The ratio of my caseload is about 75/25, which is why I am writing this article.
What is borderline personality disorder (BPD)?
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition that affects an individual’s thoughts and emotions towards themselves and others, leading to difficulties in daily life. It is characterized by unstable and intense relationships, distorted self-perception, extreme emotions, and impulsive behaviors.
Individuals with BPD typically experience a strong fear of abandonment or instability, and they may find it challenging to be alone. However, their inappropriate anger, impulsive actions, and frequent mood swings can make it difficult for them to maintain meaningful and lasting relationships, despite their desire to do so.
The reason men often find themselves trapped in relationships with women who have borderline personality disorder is due to their ability to make their partners feel special and alive. Their intensity can be infectious, almost like a drug. At the beginning, you may want to be with her all the time, possibly even considering her your soulmate after a very short amount of time. Many times, the sexual chemistry is overwhelming. These women may also make you feel sorry for them, leading you to believe that only you can save them. Then, they might suddenly pull the rug out from under you.
You may feel on top of the world, having met the love of your life, only for her to abruptly push you away. When she pulls away, you may experience a painful withdrawal and yearn to have her back in your life. Then, just as suddenly, she comes back, and you feel like you are with that incredible person again. Unfortunately, the cycle usually starts all over again. This pattern can negatively impact your self-esteem, and you may find yourself obsessing about her constantly.
Here are some red flags that your girlfriend may have BPD (borderline personality Disorder.)
Dоеѕ she immediately ореn up tо you about abuse in her раѕt?
Dоеѕ ѕhе trаѕh her еx-bоуfriеnd or ex-husband even bеfоrе уоu hardly get tоknow her? Dоеѕ ѕhе ѕееm tо go on and on аbоut her еx and how he ruined her life?
Dоеѕ ѕhе have an intense bad relationship with her parents? Especially with her mother.
Is she always ѕауing bad things аbоut her раrеntѕ tо you? Does she blame her parents for all of her problems?
Does she seem to want tо move the rеlаtiоnѕhiр forward at a very quick pace? Maybe showing an intеrеѕt in moving in with you very early in the relationship?
Has she suffered or is currently suffering from an eating disorder?
Dоеѕ ѕhе have temper tantrums in front of уоu and others?
Dоеѕ ѕhе start horrible уеlling fights with уоu and when you try tо lеаvе she bеgѕ for уоu tо stay?
Has she bought you extravagant gifts early in the relationship?
Is she willing tо еxрlоrе risky ѕеxuаl behaviors?
Dоеѕ ѕhе аbuѕе drugs or аlсоhоl?
Does ѕhе ѕееm very quick to fall in love with уоu and almost view уоu аѕ her knight in shining аrmоr?
Does she have a difficult time being friends with оthеr women?
Does she have a lot of associates she calls friends?
Is she always busy?
Dоеѕ it lооk like a lot of bad things kеер hарреning tо her? Thrown out by her boyfriend, trouble with finаnсеѕ, trouble maintaining a job, еtс?
Dоеѕ ѕhе ѕееm to have very compelling excuses and rеаѕоning that explains why these bad things have happened tо her (example, her еx-bоуfriеnd made her run up her сrеdit саrd debts, and that’s why her credit is bad)
If she has one or even two of these traits, it’s probably alright. But if its more than that, it is probably something to look into.
Dating a woman with borderline personality disorder is exhausting and соnfuѕing. This is because they lасk a ѕеnѕе of who thеу are. One minute she might think of hеrѕеlf as a rеаl реrѕоn and the next minute think of herself аѕ evil and flawed. Thoughts аbоut other реорlе fluctuate rарidlу, as well. She might want to trust others, but at the ѕаmе time, she dоеѕn’t think other реорlе are trustworthy. All of this confusion саn lеаvе her fееling empty, sad, and hollow inside.
The best way to cope is to try to understand what BPD is and how it is affecting you. Learn as much as you can about BPD, its symptoms, and what a sufferer of BPD goes through. Most importantly, take care of yourself first and do not take it personally. A qualified therapist can help you understand what is going on. They can also help you see if you can set boundaries and reduce the drama. A good therapist should be able to give you some strategies on how to try to change the dynamic of the relationship. Remember, you can only do so much since she has to work with you. If it appears it is not changing, do some deep soul searching and ask yourself, “Will I ever get what I need out of this relationship?”
As you can see, there is no winning with someone with BPD. It will always be an intense push-pull. One day you may feel you have it figured out, and the next day you are back where you started from. Will the drama ever stop? Unfortunately, many times these relationships cannot be salvaged.
Usually, these relationships will end in one of two ways. The most common is that she will just cut you off. Suddenly, she won’t talk to you; it’s as if the relationship never happened, almost as if you never existed. She may block your phone and make you feel like a bad person just because you want closure. Other times, if you try to end it, they will not let go and create drama. Sometimes they may even stalk you. Usually, it is not an easy ending.
This article will explain why you would stay in a relationship that continues to make you feel bad. But the main focus is addiction.
I thought it would be useful to discuss the concept of letting go. This is a process of acceptance. I think this is best illustrated in the serenity prayer.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference. “
Co-dependence is one of the most misused words in psychotherapy. What the word means is that you are a partner in your significant others addiction. The addict is addicted to the drug and you are addicted to the addict. This is why you are co-dependent.
Let’s say you were in a relationship with an alcoholic, who also has been unfaithful many times. You can continue to hope and pray that he or she will wake up and stop this behavior. You can check their cell phone smell their breath. These are the things that you feel will help you control their being out of control. There are dozens of examples like this, I can give you. But its denial!!
The bottom line in each of these examples, you are trying to control the uncontrollable. It is only by realizing and accepting that you have no control in these situations that you can gain control. If you finally allow your self to see that for right now, this is the reality. That there is nothing you can do to change another persons behavior. Then you will be free to move forward. This is the courage that is described in the serenity prayer. Having to change or do something else, requires courage and determination. So, if we look at your relationship with the addict and that for the foreseeable future they are not changing; you can leave and free yourself. You will now have control over your choices. You will see that you are powerless over the addicts choices. Then you can let go of your need to fix the addict and finally work on fixing fix you.
This is starting the first step of AA/Al-anon, you are accepting you are powerless over this. You will never get what you want as long as your partner is an addict. You are destroying your life as they are theres. You will only get sicker as they will, l if they try to become control users.
The irony is both of you are trying to control the uncontrollable. It is a disease of control. The answer is let go of the illusion that you are in control. You blame the addict for no letting go of the drug, yet you won’t let go of the addict. Explain to me the difference. Both of you have the same choice, LET GO OF CONTROL.
There is nothing more freeing and powerful as saying, “I am leaving.” When you do this. There is nothing the person or situation can do to stop you or control you. Once you let go of trying to control something. You are finally in control.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
– Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends & Influence People
Have you ever been standing alone in a room full of strangers?
You don’t recognize anyone. You’re not even sure you belong there, and you have no idea what to say. You think about darting for the door or at least jumping on your phone so you don’t look like a total loser. Or maybe just the thought kept you from showing up in the first place.
I’ve been there. More than once.
But I can also link almost all of my business or personal success back to the friends I’ve met – often at events that could have felt just like that.
In a couple days, a lot of us will be heading to Portland for the World Domination Summit – probably my favorite event of the the year for hanging around people doing the things you didn’t think could be done.
When I first went to WDS, I knew two people and Live Your Legend was just an idea. I left on Monday morning with dozens of new friends. Friends who not only understood me, but who showed me a new type of possibility – one that landed me right here.
It is experiences like this that have made environment and connection the heart of how LYL helps people find and do work that matters. It’s why we created our How to Connect with Anyone community and it’s why I decided to create today’s rather in-depth guide.
Because it all starts with connection.
And nothing beats showing up in the real world.
As long as it’s actually fun… So this is meant to be a resource for you to return to before or during a live meetup of any kind – conference, event or just connecting with someone new at the cafe down the street. It’s all universal. If you’re headed to WDS, print this out for your flight and to refer to over the weekend – or for the next time you’ll be around a bunch of new faces.
Also, once you’re done, I’d love to hear your best in-person connection technique in the comments.
There’s a lot to cover, so I’ve broken things down into a few sections. Now, let’s make some friends…
32 Ways to Immediately Connect with Strangers at Live Events
I. Get Your Mind Right
None of this stuff works (or is any fun) if you aren’t coming from the right place…
1. See strangers as friends you haven’t met yet. Thinking about a room of strangers is often intimidating enough to keep you from ever showing up. It’s also usually not true. If you’ve picked an event that aligns with who you are, the people you’re about to meet are your people. Approach conversations knowing you have beliefs and ideas in common.
Reframing strangers as friends also makes it a lot easier to know what to do. With good friends, we listen, try to help, make introductions, remember names and talk about shared passions – all of which we’ll cover below. We do not try to dominate the conversation, shove our product or website down their throat or think about how we can use them to move up some ladder. Treat them as friends you’ve yet to meet and the rest of this stuff becomes pretty obvious.
2. Know that there’s possibility in every conversation. I’ve experienced enough serendipity to know that every new event or interaction has the potential to lead to a new friend, partner or idea. Approach new people that way and it starts to become self-fulfilling.
3. Realize everyone is as scared as you are. No matter how unknown or well known someone is, we all share fears of being in a room with no familiar faces, feeling lonely and not fitting in. That’s natural. Your situation is not special. It’s normal. As soon as you realize you’re in the same place as everyone around you, new faces start to feel a lot more welcoming.
4. Be there to help. Sure, you want to meet people to help build out whatever you’re working on, and that will come. But real connection is built from genuinely caring about serving the people around you. If that’s not your intention, then you’ve come to the wrong place and most of your efforts will backfire. Constantly come back to adding value. People will feel it and your conversations and results will be all the richer for it. Remember Carnegie’s quote above.
II. Make a Plan
Getting the most out of a live event starts long before you get there, so in the days or week leading up, lay out some groundwork…
5. Know and research people you want to meet. Some of the most important interactions often end up being the people you never saw coming. But you still want to create as much luck as possible. Write down the names and a few notes about the people you know will be there who you’d love to connect with. Do some research on their current projects and know what you want to say when you happen to connect. What idea could you share? What specific piece of their work could you sincerely and personally thank them for? Keep this on you during the event.
You could also make a Twitter list so you can follow and interact with them during the event. Thanks to Caleb at Fizzle for that one.
6. Reach out in advance. Go back through your list and send short notes of anticipation. Remind them who you are, let them know you’re excited to meet and how and when you hope to cross paths. Make it a super short email and follow with a couple tweets or other social mentions so they can associate your face with the name and note.
III. Show Up
Here’s what to do once you walk through the door…
7. Smile. I wish I didn’t have to mention it, but it’s too easy to forget when you’re immersed in new surroundings. Smiles are contagious. They show confidence. They make people want to be around you. Any smile is better than none, but also try not to grin like some connection-deprived clown.
8. Obey The 3-Second Rule. I first learned this from a professional pickup artist years ago, but it works magic with any new person. This is your 80/20 rule – it will lead to more interactions than anything else on this page. The rule is simple: When you see someone interesting to talk to, you have three seconds to walk up and say hello. Wait longer and you’ll either overthink it and screw it up or overthink it and never approach. Not sure what to say? It doesn’t matter. Anything is better than nothing, because it takes you from being a no-name in a sea of faces to being an actual person with a story (who had the courage to say hello). If it’s someone you’ve always wanted to meet, you’ll at least be able to open by thanking them for their work and how it’s impacted you.
I shared this rule at my How to Connect With Anyone talk at WDS in 2012 and the next day, a woman named Erica wrote me an email. Here’s one sentence from it:
“I am a very nervous introvert but after finishing your workshop, I went on to meet roughly 70 people in one afternoon and 115 in one weekend!”
She included the list of people she’d met. This stuff works.
Here’s a little bonus video on The 3-Second Rule from Module 2 of our How to Connect With Anyone course on Overcoming Approach Anxiety & Creating Instant Physical Rapport.
9. Warm up. The 3-Second Rule isn’t just for people you recognize. Use it to talk to anyone who looks interesting. And in the beginning, apply it to everyone you see. It’s just like warming up for a race or big talk. You gotta get some reps in and build confidence. Do that by saying hello to anyone you can, when there’s nothing at stake.
10. Take notes. Write down names and memorable details immediately after meeting someone. I keep a list in my iPhone. You could even do this during your chat as long as you tell them what you’re doing – that you really care about remembering their name and following up about something cool they’ve mentioned. They’ll probably be flattered. Better to use a paper notebook than phone if doing this in person, so they don’t think you’re distracted. Notes will make you much more likely to remember them during the event and follow up with something meaningful once it’s over.
11. Know names. No excuses here. No one’s good with names unless they try. Repeat it back to them. Write it down. Introduce them to someone else. Picture a friend who has the same name. If you forget, just ask again. In a pinch, you could introduce them to a friend without mentioning the new person’s name, so hopefully they repeat it back (or ask your friend or spouse to always introduce themselves when they approach you and someone new, just in case you’ve forgotten). Then use it every time you see each other. Hearing your own name makes people feel on top of the world, especially from someone you wouldn’t expect to remember.
Also, don’t expect others to remember yours – make it easy for them by quickly mentioning your name the next time you meet, especially if you’ve only met once before or if it’s a distant acquaintance you haven’t seen in a long time. And definitely never say something like “so do you remember my name?” or “I bet you don’t remember me.” I’m surprised by how often I hear this and all it does is make the person you’re talking to feel like an ass. People forget. Be nice.
12. Take pictures. I love taking pictures with people I’ve met. It’s a fun way to remember folks, get them to remember you and also great for follow-up. Have fun with it, but don’t be pushy.
13. Bring a small group together. Invite some new friends to dinner or drinks that night or for a little workout. Or with enough advance notice, set up a little party for folks you know and want to meet. That’s what we’re doing with our LYL pre-party and beer tasting on Friday at WDS. I invited all of you as well as a bunch of personal friends and people I’d love to meet.
14. Know your elevator pitch. I don’t like the term, but everyone’s familiar with it. What’s your 30-second story of who you are, what you’re doing and why you care so much? Have something sharp and concise, but be ready to modify to fit the person you’re talking to. And share it with some excitement!
15. Know what you want to say to those you know you want to meet. Do your homework so you don’t get caught fumbling when you bump into your idol in the bathroom (best to wait until after you’re both done, though…). What do you want to thank them for? Who do you know in common? What idea do you want to share? How can it connect with and help their work?
16. Find common ground. Building rapport is all about finding things in common as fast as possible. This can be mutual friends, cities, travels, ideas, businesses, fears, whatever. Being at the same event means you’re already starting with something. Build from there.
17. Know your ABC stories. The more you know your experiences, the higher your odds of quickly finding similarities as you ask questions and learn their story. An easy exercise for this is to write a 1-2 sentence true story about yourself for every letter of the alphabet (My friend Tynan taught me this one). Ask a friend to help if need be. “A” for me might be that I went on a safari in Africa and we almost ran into an elephant in our 6-person motor boat. The point isn’t to tell everyone all your stories (definitely don’t do that) – it’s to have a refined lens for listening to theirs and seeing how you can relate. It also makes for much more memorable conversation.
18. Be interesting, ask interesting questions and become contagious. Do whatever you can to interrupt the usual small talk pattern. Share passions. Anything’s fair game (well, almost). Ask about fun things like recent adventures or what they’re most excited about right now. Tell them the same about you. Don’t ask, “So, um, what do you do?” There are much more entertaining ways to get to that question. One of my go-to questions is, “So, what are you building?”
People want to be around people who are excited about what they’re doing. Energy and passion are contagious. Let it rub off on the people you’re with. But don’t dominate the conversation. Let them do more talking than you. Then play your energy off the things you learn.
19. Meet on their level. If someone is quiet and reserved, you being your wild and crazy extroverted self will likely turn them off. Tone it down to where they are. Your goal is to make people feel welcome and safe. This creates rapport. You can still be contagious without making people feel like you’re crazy.
20. Be with them and only them. If you’re talking to someone then talk to them. Do not glance all around the room looking for more important people. That sucks. Encourage others to talk about themselves – then listen and actually hear what they’re saying. Make it a game to listen so intently that you pick up on how you can uniquely relate and help.
21. And while we’re on don’ts, DO NOT retreat to mindlessly checking your phone when you don’t have someone to talk to. Leave it in your pocket on “do not disturb”. Anytime you notice yourself pulling it out because you feel alone, use it as a trigger to apply the 3-second rule.
22. Create a time limit. This is especially important for influential people who are constantly being bombarded. Open up by letting them know you’re headed to dinner in two minutes but just had to say … then offer a memorable thank you and quick idea. If natural rapport and conversation grows from there, go with it, but still only stay a few minutes. It’s much less awkward for you to decide to walk away than them trying to leave. Or if they’re talking to someone, you could just walk up, touch them on the shoulder, apologize for the interruption and say a quick thank you and good bye, and maybe that you’ll try to catch them later in the weekend. Find a way to make contact, but be respectful of their space.
23. Change seats. Don’t sit in the same place during every session or eat or stand in the same area throughout the weekend. Most people do, so show up somewhere different and see who else you can bump into.
24. Take advantage of transitions. Walking into and out of a venue is a natural time to start up a chat. So is any transition. It usually feels less awkward than walking straight up to someone. Say hi to the people beside you. Who knows, the woman in the stairwell might be your future business partner.
25. Make and share introductions. Once you meet someone, think about who else you know that they’d have fun with. If you see a group of friends, introduce everyone to the new guy. Also make an agreement with a few friends that you’ll introduce each other to the people you meet.
26. Be the host. Act as if this is your party. If you see someone alone, go say hi. I don’t care if you don’t know anyone else. Make someone else feel welcome. And you’ll both have someone to talk to. Offer help, directions, introductions, whatever. If you’re headed to a meal, invite them to join. A few years ago, I was at an event where I saw one of my biggest mentors and hugely successful author wander around looking for a place to eat – so I invited him to join us. Made for a hell of a lunch. Remember, no one wants to feel alone. Always be welcoming.
27. Embrace the party. This is crucial. Most the real connection happens between events and after hours. Share unique experiences – get up early for a workout, jump in the river or go bungee jumping (if that’s your thing). Skip a session for an afternoon beer with new friends, go out and do some partying together, get your dance on, stay late, get a little tipsy. These are the non conference things that bring your guard down and turn acquaintances into lasting friends. Take your pick. Be creative. Get a little crazy. And always be sure to dance – that’s my signature move on the right…
IV. Follow Up
The event is just the beginning. What comes next is where the lasting friendships form…
28. Send a note and add some value. In your follow-up, thank them for something specific and find a way to offer an idea, article, talk, book, whatever that might help with something they mentioned when you met. Make each note unique and memorable. Do it within 24-48 hours, max. If you wait longer, you’ll probably never do it or it’ll get lost. Send an email as well as snail mail and maybe a tweet. If you have a fun picture, print it out and put it with the letter.
29. Thank speakers even if you didn’t meet. Send a note to the people who left an impression and tell them why.
30. Write about them. For the past couple years, I’ve published summary postsabout WDS with mentions and links to the people who taught me something. Then I’ll include a link in my followups.
31. Find a way to connect in real-time within a few weeks. If you care about keeping up, prove it.
32. Be You & Allow Others to Be Them
This is the blanket that covers the whole process.
When you’re around accomplished people, it’s easy to want to puff your chest out and be someone you’re not. The problem is that people see straight through the bull sh*t and it kills rapport. Be open, vulnerable and unapologetically you. This connects way better than some Superman story, and makes people actually enjoy being around you. Plus, you being uniquely you helps inspire the person you’re with to do the same. And that’s a rare gift.
Do that and you become unforgettable.
Stop worrying about what to say or what to do. Just show up and care about who you’re talking to.
We’re all coming from the same place. We’re all at least a little nervous. We all wonder where and how we’ll fit in.
And we all want to connect with people who believe in the same things we do.
Have you ever felt like you’re the only one who’s different? Growing up as the one Japanese boy anyone had ever seen I often felt like I was the only one and in that way I was the only one. This sense of difference led to isolation and was the breeding ground of alienation.
In order for a relationship to succeed you need to work on it every day. Sometimes communication problems develop which can make this hard. This can be caused by past resentments, unmet expectations, mistakes made by one or both people in the relationship. My role as a couples therapist is to repair the communication and get both partners to work together for the relationship instead of against each other.
How it works
In couples therapy, the focus of treatment isn’t just one person, it is the couple itself. The therapy is brief, solution-focused and specific, with attainable therapeutic goals. In the first session the issues are explored and then goals are set. These goals are worked on and monitored as we go forward. In a short amount of time sessions are usually moved to every other week to allow you to learn work out conflicts and issues with less input from me.
As we progress my office will become a safe haven, where problems can be discussed without fear of pain, judgment or retribution. In my office you will learn a better way to express your needs and hurts with your partner. By using specific interventions and techniques, hurtful and destructive patterns in the relationship are changed to create a stronger, more open and meaningful relationship.
Situations where couples therapy can be helpful:
-Communication is breaking down
-There is diminished sexual desire and activity level
-You find that you are replaying old arguments and resurrecting old hurts
-You are finding yourself feeling resentment and contempt for your mate most of the time
-One or both of you are having an affair
-Money seems to be a source of conflict frequently You feel that you are being suffocated by the relationship
-It feels easier to avoid talking about issues
-You seem to be fighting about your children all the time
-Infertility issues are tearing the relationship apart You are worried he/she doesn’t care about you anymore
-You are finding yourself worrying that he/she is cheating
In couples therapy you will learn to identify negative patterns that are getting in the way of the relationship and friendship you once felt. We will work on how the two of you can stop blaming each other so you can work through your problems without creating new hurts and resentments. You will learn how recognize and then to avoid power struggles. I will demonstrate and model healthy ways to communicate and relate to each other, which will strengthen the quality of your relationship