5 Signs Your BPD Relationship Will Fail

by Rick on 07/09/2012 · 27 comments

in Bipolar,BPD

Dating a person with some sort of behavioral disorder (such as BPD) or a mental illness (such as Bipolar Disorder) can be one of the most difficult relationships known to man and I’ll tell you why – the way they think, their emotional level, their experiences growing up are completely different than what most ‘normal’ people go through.

There’s a reason why people with personality disorders tend to divorce 90% of the time and they always tend to be a bit promiscuous. And people that are Bipolar tend to have just as much trouble keeping relationships.

mistakes. DOH!So why do some of us fall so deeply in love with these types of people? Why do we try so hard day after day to make things better? And why do our partners continue to treat us like sh*t when we’re simply trying to help make things better?

The answer is because we don’t know how our loved ones think and as long as we’re uneducated, these relationships will never improve. So, as you’re doing now, your #1 concern should be educating yourself!

Here are 5 mistakes men and women commonly make when dating a person with BPD or Bipolar disorder which keep you scratching your head every night and ultimately an emotional wreck -

1. White Knighting – This is one of my favorite terms I’ve come across recently and it really is a huge problem that we tend to make. You meet a guy or a girl that’s amazing but they’ve got some obvious problems. Maybe he/she’s depressed, being promiscuous, talking suicidal, drinking a alot, etc. and we deep down want to rescue them! Well, here’s the truth… you CANNOT save or change anyone except for yourself! So stop trying to be her ‘knight in shining armor.’

2. Arguing – This is another big problem that we tend to have. Because our partner thinks and perceives things much differently than we do (usually negatively), we tend to get confused at 90% of the things they say or do. The easiest reaction is to argue and tell them that they’re wrong. However, this will never turn out good and you will be hurt in the end. The best thing to do is to try to rationalize why he or she is saying these things and avoid any conflicting responses. Don’t be a pushover, but don’t get in a word war. You will NOT win!

3. Emotional Attachments – This is the biggest issue for those of us that may suffer from co-dependency, a serious issue that I will be addressing on this blog and releasing a book on it soon. It is incredibly important that you focus on your feelings first! If you find yourself sad and depressed because of what your partner is doing, you have codependency issues and you need help! Again, I will be addressing this soon to fix you up.

4. Lack of Boundaries – If you’re not setting boundaries for what you absolutely want and do not want in relationships, you are going to have an incredibly hard time and will always be the one chasing. When you’re dating someone that’s constantly changing the way they feel about you (like a BPD or a Bipolar person), you must NOT be the one chasing. Set boundaries for what you will and WILL NOT accept and don’t get caught up trying to keep them around. It sounds counter-intuitive but the wisest words I ever heard were “If you want to keep your BPD/Bipolar in love with you, you have to know when to leave.”

5. Accepting Abuse – This ties with the one above. If you’re letting your Borderline say hurtful things to you and be an overall bitch, don’t sit there and take it. Either get up and go home or tell her to get out of your life until she calms down. Again, this is all about standing up for yourself and not allowing other people to treat you like shit. Don’t let their illness be an excuse because there are no excuses for abuse!

Big tip for you today – if you want to attract your Borderline lover and keep her in your life, you’re going to have to be the strongest rock that’s ever existed. The moment you get weak, emotional, or sad in front of them is when they’re going to treat you even worse. While these relationships may seem like a giant power struggle, they really aren’t when you realize that nothing your partner does will shake you off your rock!

If your BPD is causing you to pull your hair out, then you need to grab my book The Successful BPD Relationship. I have been dating the same BPD girl for almost a year now. It will teach you everything you need to know about turning these relationships around and getting them back on track.

- Rick

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

malmn March 7, 2013 at 6:33 am

I went out with a BPD for 9 months.
I made all of the mistakes above.

I think there’s something that you are ignoring: No man can be a strong rock forever.
And seriously, who wants to deal with that shit, the control for power, for the rest of their lives??
Who in their right mind would want to manage this shit?

Dude, I read a bunch of your articles (they are great!) and I would leave your BPD GF as soon as you can, especially considering that you currently have the upper hand and your head and heart are OK.


Mike December 20, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I have what i now believe to be a Bpd friend. I was that ‘rock’ for her when she really needed somebody.

Trouble is this year i made the big mistake of becoming emotionally involved with her and i now fancy her-but i can see she doesn’t care about anybody elses feelings-its all about HER.

I cant see how you can fall in love with somebody yet remain emotionally detached and therefore weakened.


Jane April 9, 2013 at 3:59 am

I saw my ex off and on, for over a year – distant and guarded a lot of the time, egotistical and everything was everyone else’s fault in his eyes. Little did I know he was doing drugs, met another woman, also bipolar who also does drugs. He treated his family with such lack of regard, always letting them and me, down. All we ever received from him in return for our love was just slyness, deceit and self-absorption. I realise what a lucky escape I had even though the end was painful, almost like kicking a bad habit! Would I date another bipolar guy? NO WAY! Life’s too short to put yourself through all of that – do yourselves a favour!


Allen April 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm

As a young man with bipolar disorder, I agree with most of what this article says.

Now this may seem weird coming from a person who suffers from this mental disease himself, but the first piece of advice I would give to anyone considering getting into a relationship with someone with bipolar is DON’T!. It is simply not worth the trouble. Find someone else. It naturally gets much trickier if you’ve already been with that person for a while and grown attached before you get to know about their condition. That is a judgment call you have to make depending on how precious the relationship is to you – and here I might add, many partners cling on in a noble attempt at “white knighting”. It generally DOES NOT pay.

I personally have never told any of my partners about my condition and I never will. Not even if its a long-time relationship – I’m selfish enough to know that despite all the “be honest” exhortations, its the fastest way to kill a budding relationship. I mean to be perfectly candid, I would never consider going out with a girl that had this disease and I certainly wouldn’t date anyone out of sympathy.

Bipolar disorder has led me to wreck some of the most precious relationships in my life. It is incredibly destructive, a veritable acid or cancer to a relationship. My experience is that most bipolar people need to figure out what level of social interaction is optimal for them. They should certainly not become reclusive (that’s one of the worst things to do in such a condition), but don’t bite off more than you can chew. For example, I love kids but I know in my heart that there is little chance I would be a good father, much less a good husband. But I do enjoy the company of friends and I do enjoy dating many women. Anything deeper than that and I know based on past data that all bets will be off. Maybe someday I will manage well enough to be able to take on more depth in relationships but for now I struggle just to cope taking care of my self and not hurting or abusing others. As in many other situations in life, the key is to know yourself, your strengths and your limitations. Just as an arthritis patient would not realistically think about running a marathon, bipolar disease people should be realistic about their chances in life at relationships. Take one step at a time.


Rick April 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Well stated, thanks for the comment :) I will add that in order to date anyone with a personality disorder, you’ve got to have think skin. A lot of what I teach here is helping guys develop that think skin and to not take things personally. But it’s hard to reach that point which I understand. It’s taken me years to realize this truth. And now I’m spreading the good word.


Dee September 2, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Allen, very helpful words there. Wish they weren’t so true


What'sGoingOn? May 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I’ve been in a relationship for about 2 months with this amazing guy who has bipolar, and I’m getting more and more convinced that I might have borderline personality disorder. So now what?


Rick May 10, 2013 at 4:09 pm

You probably don’t have any issues. These people are good at making YOU feel crazy. You’re probably okay. The best advice I can offer in a comment is to not react to their bull crap.


Chris July 14, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Really like your straightforwardness about this type of relationship . I been w a woman for 2 years we are a same sex relationship.
I was searching via google within the first year at what was going on w my partner. Why she would blame, argue ,call names, hit, threaten and so on.
I finally kept coming into web sites on bpd and when the moment was safe I told her. She had some serious doubts since it was all me that has the problem. But she is now in DBT and working on herself but it is still a constant struggle . I’m constantly having to leave my home because she taunts me w accusations, criticism , and blame when she is in her episodes . Yet it feels like just straight up meanness !! I love her w all of me but I find I need time to recover and to refind my feelings that I feel for her because I get gaurded and resentful . Well just a bit of my story I’m not a saint but I’m definetly not the monster she says I am. I am needing help to keep our lives from going into the trash can.


Ann September 2, 2013 at 5:01 am

Hi Rick,
Im just wondering if I could possibly get some advice from you, I mean I’ve read your posts here about bipolar…
I met this guy and dated for a month (only), everything seemed perfect in beginning of our dates, and till that end it was good, only lasted for a month, he decided to not continue two days before I was with him, we were so happy and I didn’t expect him to have a relationship with another girl two days after we spent the night together.. He says his feelings come and go… :( but prior to that he was so sure I’m the right girl for him… Is it common for bp to leave just like that ? I know it’s only one month but I fell for him.. :/ i feel I’ve got codependency as well… :( i am trying to forget him to think its only a month, but that one month felt like forever. We chat everyday, going to movies, dinners, dates, I remember one night we were out on a dinner date, he said he can kneel in front of me to ask me to be his gf, that he’s sure I’m the right girl for him… I fell for him in a month, I just couldn’t believe what he’s done, that two nights ago we were together and happy, then two days after he’s in a relationship with another girl and messaged me that his feelings come and go that it’s best to stop communication…. I just don’t get how a person can change their feelings in two days, :( he’s obviously lied to me when he said he won’t date other while we’re dating… :(


Rick September 3, 2013 at 6:53 am

Yea the problem is you guys hung out way too often too early. This route is the extreme route – it will either work out really well for the long run or it will end abruptly and you’ll get hurt. In the future, you’ve got to take relationships at a much slower pace. Don’t be so eager to get into a relationship. A mega red flag that you need to be aware of in the future is when someone is saying how you’re the right person and how they are in love with you and it’s only been a few weeks lol…


Ann September 4, 2013 at 6:34 am

Thank you for the advice Rick. I’ll have to do that when someone comes along In the future. I still can’t forget this guy even though it’s been three weeks since his last message. But I am feeling bit better as days go by. Sometimes I wish I should have Listened to my friend when she said something is not right from that first week we dated but still I went for it so now I ended up getting hurt.


Dawn November 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Hi All,
I have been married to my BP husband for 11 years, he was only diagnosed 5 months ago, but our life has been hell for over 6 years since the mental illness took hold (he also suffers from OCD, Anxiety etc). We have two children together. I have tried endlessly to be there for him and have made ALL of the mistakes listed above. Before his illness took over, we were very, very happy together. He is proposing we stay together for the sake of the kids, but I don’t think this is a good idea. He often tells me ‘it’s over’ for him, but he also can’t bear the thought of being responsible for breaking up our family and hurting me anymore than he already has. He says I am an amazing wife and appreciates all I have done for him, but he just doesn’t see that there is any hope of getting back what we used to have. Then other days he says he loves me and wants to make it work. I keep saying that living a lie is a lifetime of hurt and unless he can commit to working on the marriage it won’t work. He is committed to taking his meds, and see his dr regularly. I don’t know if there is any hope here? He is currently living on his own away from the family home. I took a stand in the spring and told him he had to get his act together or we were done. Shortly after this, he was given the BP diagnosis. Everything I read suggests I run for the hills, but I still love this man, and we have been together almost 20 years, have built a life together. Any thoughts or opinions are appreciated. Thanks folks.


Rick November 10, 2013 at 9:59 am

Again this further proves that BPD isn’t hard to deal with by itself. It only becomes difficult when there are other diagnosis added on like bipolar or OCD or anxiety, etc. There are always other issues it seems. Anyway, space is always the best thing for these situations. Just let him do his thing, make him come to you. Do not be a pushover as you need to keep your respect!


Chris November 22, 2013 at 6:46 am

Hi Rick,

I have made all the same mistakes that you have talked about. Me and my ex BPD had a big fight, she now lives with her mom. I been trying to reach out to here but nothing seems to be working. We had a great conversation the other night about just being there for my daughter and working on our selves; then she raged about the fight we had. She hung up in face and i tried to call her back. What should I do and will she come back ?


Rick December 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm

When a girl hangs up on you, don’t call her back. That’s just retarded. Why are you chasing her? I don’t teach you guys to chase women around here so please stop doing it. Let her come to you, go find someone else in the meantime. Big world, lots of fish in the sea.


lisa December 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm

hi i started seeing a lad who is bipolar i knew this right from the start, we would talk every day through texts n see each other once or twice a week, recently we spent our first night together, since then he has said he feels messy in his head and hoping its not because of me, communication is pretty minimal right now just the odd text here and there, im confused as to if he wants me to hang on or let go , letting go is not what i want but need to do what is right for him, im unsure how to go about this conversation with him without confusing him or messing his head up even more :(


Dave January 12, 2014 at 6:35 am

Hi Rick,

I recently went through a really painful and confusing break-up with my ex girlfriend due to manic-bipolar. I’m 33 and she is 28. We met online when she contacted me in May of last year. She was in hospital at the time getting tests/blood tests for a couple of weeks but was eventually let home and she moved back to my home city to be close with her family and start a new job. We started dating soon after that and hit things off quite quickly but I always let things go at her pace. She was incredibly giving, affectionate and passionate with me even bringing me gifts for my house and coming over to cook me wonderful dinners if I was stressed after a long days work. We had loads in common loving the outdoors, cooking, martial arts etc and everything felt effortless between us. I did notice some scaring on her upper arms but she does landscape gardening as a job and is a bit clumsy at times so i assumed that was from the job. We made plans for Xmas and she invited me to attend her Xmas party dinner with her and spoke about going on a trip someone together in the new year. She was excited about getting a new flat so we could spend more time together and I helped her move house once she got the keys. In November a few days before i was due to come stay with her we are texting/talking on phone as normal saying that she misses me etc and then literally a few hours later is breaking up with me on the phone saying she can’t do this anymore and is only going to end up hurting me, her head isn’t in the right place and has things going on at home she can’t talk about. She ends the call by hanging up and breaking down as she says ‘bye’.

We don’t talk for a week or so and chat eventually but she says she feels terrible about how she handled things and that there are things she finds too difficult to talk about. Just before Xmas we chat again and I notice she was already back to online dating and has a new photo up on facebook of her and a new boyfriend a month after we split up. She messaged me saying that she is going to tell me the truth about things that she never wanted to talk about – she is manic bipolar and rapidly self destructive and took a turn for the worse at her mums house and attempted some really stupid things resulting in her mum taking her back to hospital. She said she had to end things with me after that as she didn’t want to end up hurting me and would never have got involved with me had she known her condition was going to cause problems again. Finished by saying this was very hard for me to tell and that the guy in the photos was someone she met after coming out of hospital.

If she was so worried about hurting me then how can she just jump into another relationship like nothing happened and not worry about hurting the new guy? Are things going to be different with him? I just feel devastated that she showed me so much affection and built me up as this great boyfriend to then just do a 180 and replace me with a new guy. Is this normal for for someone with manic bipolar disorder? I know I should be thankful this happened but why do i feel so hurt by something that only lasted 4 months?


Aaron February 3, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Hi Rick. I’ve been dating a BPD woman for about 6 months now. Todays actually the first day I’ve done research online about a successful relationship with this disorder. She’s truly an incredible person who has a heart of gold, but when its bad, its absolutely horrible. Through my own trial and error of putting myself in her shoes for the past 6 months I’ve became stronger than I ever have. My hardest struggle is letting her go when I don’t understand why she’s became upset. To top everything off, she’s also 20 weeks pregnant with our child. I’ve learned that arguing almost anything that comes up is the worst thing to do and to wait until she has became calm after the initial confrontation to discuss anything. I’ve literally been to hell and back with this relationship, but its the true person I see inside of her that keeps me here.


ED March 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm

I.m convinced that most bpd have axis 11 borderline, I see some sort of sociopathic behaviors as well


Sam March 10, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Been in long (on and off) relationship with “difficult” person. Noticed that we never could get close. Anything that required vulnerability on her part was deflected in some way. Blaming, irritability, low, palpable anger (counselor even said so), inability to be alone (5 BFs), is “observant” and proud of it, no (real) friends, manipulation by instilling fear (lose of relationship/sex) Well, the best time I ever had with her was when I just “stopped.” Mostly due to exhaustion, but mostly due to smartening up. I didnt chase or argue. And I hold my ground (btw-calls me “stubborn”). She’s on to new BF – but still sends smoke signals. These types will test one’s resolve, but like children, they respect inner strength. And she was my best teacher. Good advice on here. Be prepared to leave and do so if need be.


winnie March 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm

I think my friend has BPD. The last three years has been one hell of a rollercoaster…One day I opened up to her to tell her that I was feeling sad bec I was getting insecure ON THAT DAY…hormonal. Next thing I know she sends me a text saying we are too close and it makes her uncomfortable…So I gave her space. last week someone we know died..I went to console her at her daughter’s swim meet. She obviously did not want me there. I left one hour later…and now back to cold shoulder. she’s never going to be normal!!!!


Rick April 10, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Actually, you screwed up here. BPD’s don’t like to hear about your feelings. Women in general don’t like to hear this stuff. It’s weak. So, I personally choose to not express my feelings and while girls I date ‘complain’ about it, they never actually friend zone me or anything like that because of it. I believe that being mysterious about your feelings is crucial to dating women, especially a BPD. Women will hate me for saying this though lol but it’s true. Women love a man that doesn’t ever reveal their feelings.


Fiva March 29, 2014 at 11:57 am


I just want to say that despite all negativeness you find about relationships with BDPs, I must say that it is just partly true. The other part is that-there is always a way of handling it with a rational and warm behavior. I personally managed to find an optimal way to fight with the issue without taking everything personally and against me. My relationship with a BDP was critical, but I educated myself and I really tried to see where was the problem. Communication is very important in those moments of fear. Be calm and understandable in the way you would like to be listened in your difficult moments.


Jim April 13, 2014 at 11:25 am

I have been in a co-dependent relationship with a bpd woman for a little over a year. Made all the classic mistakes. Rode the roller-coaster, beat my head against her wall, dealt with the sudden weird rages and all that. That’s my fault. Thought I could fix it.
Then my father died. If you really want to see a BPD in all their “glory” just have a need for compassion and support. She started a fight before the funeral, then said my mourning was self pity.
I’m done. I’m packing all my shit and moving back to my old apt where I’d turned off my power and sitting in the dark until I get paid.
It’s like dating an alien who looks like a human being but acts like a 3 year old raised by the Manson family. Well, five days out of the week at least. The fight before the funeral really was the last straw. But I don’t blame her. I blame me for putting up with it. Won’t happen again. Thanks for the articles


Mary July 8, 2014 at 1:24 am

I don’t think that being sad or depressed as a result of what your partner says or does is necessarily a result of codependency. It is just a natural, human response and when you are close to someone it is sometimes inevitable.


Rick July 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Well I disagree because if you’ve got control over your own emotions and you’re not DEPENDENT on your lover, then you shouldn’t be feeling long periods of depression over BPD behavior. It’s all about educating yourself and putting yourself first. If you disagree with that, then you’re codpendent :)


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