Dating a BPD: Respect, Boundaries, How-To Guide

by Rick on 08/06/2014 · 114 comments

in BPD,Mindsets,Respect

You’ll never succeed in a BPD type of relationship if you never learn how to develop and establish a level of respect for yourself. Through my years of dating and training experience, having a lack of self-respect is the quickest formula for failed relationships.

And it’s not just dating a BPD - any type of relationship you involve yourself in will be more successful the more you’re able to show that you value and respect yourself.

The good news it that commanding respect is not that hard. I’ve figured out how to show the women I date that I do respect myself and you’re not going to walk all over me, control me, disrespect me, etc.

Here are the important factors that you need to know right now so you can begin to implement these in your current and future relationships:

#1: Avoid The Honeymoon Commitment

Almost every single relationship involves some sort of honeymoon period where you’re both in a whirl of emotional highs. You’re both extremely touchy, can’t stop smiling, you’re in the bedroom as much as possible.

I get it, I’ve been caught up in these whirlwind romances multiple times in the past.

Now I have nothing against getting together with someone you like and letting your bodies enjoy each other as much as possible. It only becomes a problem when your fantasies take over.

Do you know what I mean by this? You’re two weeks into dating and you’re already telling each other that you love him or her. Yet that’s just not possible because love is built over a long period of time.

So why do we do this? Why do we say that we’re in love when it’s not true? Because of fantasies in our head.

We all want to be loved and cared for. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it is really a lack of self-respect when we allow our feelings and emotions to carelessly flow free so early.

Next thing you know, you’re caught up in this “rollercoaster” and you simply have no idea how to slow it down. Well, if you didn’t let things get out of control so early on, you wouldn’t be experience the craziness. So take back your self-respect and don’t be so easily committed.

#2: Fantasies and Seeking Perfection

To go a long with what I am saying above, your ideal partner and ‘love’ that you seek is really just a fantasy that you’ve created in your mind over the years. We all have fantasies but it’s important to not try to make them reality.

A BPD will make you feel like you’ve found the perfect partner - if you self-respect.

BPD’s will take advantage of this weakness in you if you let them. But as I outlined in my article about dating a BPD girl, it’s not just a BPD that will gain control over you…

There are a lot of people that will manipulate you, lie to you, use you, control you and more. Self-respect isn’t just something you need to be a better partner… it’s what you need to survive and succeed in this world!

I can’t stress how important it is to calm your feelings and think outside your head for a minute. Take notice of what whirlwind romance and don’t let it suck you up. It’s not the BPD’s fault – this is just what happens.

Squash these feelings of loneliness, bored and love-seeking you have and you’ll begin to respect yourself a lot more. Don’t be so quick to jump into any kind of relationship because it fulfills some fantasy you’ve thought about all your life.

Shameless Plug: If you’re in need of help and want me to personally assist you, consider becoming a member of the Reignite The Fire Community and I’ll answer all your questions and assist you the best I can.

#3: It’s NOT Your Job To Save/Rescue/Help Anyone But Yourself

I have noticed that a lot of the BPD relationship books on the market are full of techniques, therapy and all this other stuff that you can use with your partner to help bring positive change.

Unfortunately, as long as you’re someone that’s weak, passive, no back bone, no self-respect, nothing will ever help you succeed in dating a BPD. You’ll just continue to experience the issues that have driven you into despair.

The WORST thing you can possibly do is scour the web looking for advice to help your partner.

I’m sure that’s what brought you here to my website which I am very thankful for. I do hope you’ll listen to my advice here closely:

The only person you need to worry about is you. You only have control over you and your behavior.

Back when I was getting into my first relationships, I was desperate, needy and desperately wanting to help my BPD girlfriends. I felt like I could save them and pull them into the light.

I went about it all wrong just as most guys do. We try to save our BPD partners incorrectly which actually pushes them away even more. We become more unattractive in their eyes. They can’t help but run.

It’s a really big sign of no respect for yourself when you’re spending all of your time trying to make things right in the relationship instead of focusing on your own goals, dreams, desires and more.

Both men and women make these mistakes when dating a BPD. These skills can all be learned, however, which is why I am here for you.

#4: You Must Educate Yourself

By you stumbling across this article, you are already in the process of educating yourself about BPD. Doesn’t that feel great? I really believe my information is the easiest to digest because it’s all based off of real world experience.

It’s important that you understand that men and women with BPD come from different, usually darker upbringings that you and I.

And while that’s usually pretty obvious to most people, it still amazes me how easily it’s forgotten when push comes to shove.

But this doesn’t mean you go ahead and lower your disrespect tolerance. Don’t ever do that! You’re just setting yourself up for more failure down the road.

BPD’s are usually insecure about themselves, they worry a lot, they can get anxious and more. You already know this.

But did you know that all of these things can easily be suppressed when you’ve shown yourself to be someone that’s strong, demanding of respect and 100% not amused by the outbursts?

Yes, this is completely true! I really want you to read my dating a BPD girl article because it has a letter from a BPD woman describing how her husband is great and keeps the relationship calm and fun.

The more you read about BPD from credible sources such as myself, the more you’ll realize how important it is to first work on establishing your own self-respect, boundaries, tolerances and more.

#5: Find That Edge

Do you have an edge? Do you know what it means to have that edgy side to you that people simply respect and don’t want to mess with?

Bender in The Breakfast Club is an extreme example of what it means to be a jerk. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, then I highly recommend you watch it as soon as you can.

He has an obvious edge to him, does whatever he wants, pisses everyone off without a care in the world and can’t be contained.

You don’t want to be bender. But you don’t want to be the geeky pushover either. You really must find that edgy side to you that isn’t afraid to push people around that get up in your grill.

I had a client from my coaching program email me about how he would just ignore and be silent on the couch when his BPD girlfriend would yell at him. He thought he was doing the right thing because he was non reactive and she would calm down.

However, this is still the wrong way to handle these outbursts. I explained to him how it’s very important to show that you respect yourself, that you don’t like being yelled at, that you aren’t afraid to get up in her space and basically radiate your masculinity all over her.

You don’t run from battle, you don’t cower in the corner when you’re facing a fight. You stand your ground and battle back.

But there is a right way of fighting back and a wrong way. Most people do it the wrong way and become an asshole like bender. Or they do nothing and sit passively like the geek.

It’s important to understand that while a normal girl would dump a nice, passive guy before even getting close to hooking up, a BPD will go out with you, hook up with you, possibly even get in a relationship with you, but leave you the minute an edgy guy enters her life.

Conclusion

I will be the first person to admit that it’s incredibly hard to change yourself. I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but did you know I used to be this insecure, codependent, small-minded, passive man?

It’s why I consistently ended up with BPD women. If I’m proof that change is possible, then I really believe that anybody can change. I’m really glad you’re here on my website because you’re hearing from a true success story.

The reason why I created the BPD Relationship Success Program is so you can have a guide laid out right in front of you. Everything I know is available for you in that guide. So check it out and buy it, it’s only $23.

Did you know that when you stop the habit of consistent improvement, you will fall back into your old self and bad habits? I call this the ghosts of the past coming back.

While BPD’s may have had a rough upbringing, I had the type of upbringing where I never learned how to look out for myself and develop that self-respect. I always had people taking care of me and telling me that I need to please others.

It sucks but it’s just what it is. It’s how I was raised. We all have our own unique story of how we were brought up but we don’t have to keep living that way.

When you eventually reach that level where you’re genuinely confident in yourself, you simply won’t allow yourself to be bothered by BPD behaviors and ‘craziness’.

They’ll actually stop affecting you, and you can truly poor out your love to your BPD partner who so badly needs it.

But in order to get to these levels of BPD success, you will need to first work on being a person that people in general respect.

If your family consistently treats you with a lack of respect, if your friends are consistently being dicks towards you, and if people in general just don’t show you respect, how can you even expect to have any type of healthy relationship with a significant other?

It’s simply not possible.

You need to ask yourself questions such as:

  • Do my close friends treat me with respect?
  • Does my family treat me with respect?
  • Do people in general treat me with respect?

If your answer is no to any of these questions or you’re simply not sure what respect is, then this is what you need to focus on going forward. I really want you to succeed!

What other ways do you know that can help you develop the self-respect that you need? Please share your comments below.

{ 114 comments… read them below or add one }

hello June 25, 2012 at 9:08 am

been there done that. now in the process of commanding respect and sure it pays off! Thanks for writing about what most psychologists don’t even know.

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Rick July 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm

No problem and thanks for the compliments. More good stuff to come soon.

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d June 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm

excellent post Rick, keep it up! I think people always forget how important respect is in relationships. If you’re letting a BPD abuse you, then that’s not okay!

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Chris July 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm

This is an awesome and educating website, a little too late for me though. After a year with a BPD girlfriend (I didn’t even know what that meant when I was with her and I am over 50) I finally called the cops on her after she physically assaulted me and tried to run me down with her car. I was more concerned about her craziness than what she did to me. She was arrested a few weeks later and sent to jail for a few days. She was tried and pleaded to a lesser offense. One of the conditions of her probation was “no contact” with me, which I think for the best. Some of the other conditions were no alcohol, no drugs, meds required (I don’t know what they are) and she could’nt go anywhere where booze was served. That would be a killer for and BPD person. I know she has already hooked up with other guys, but I still wish her the best. I get what it means to be a BPD (at least from a non perspective). I do agree that BPD women are very fascinating, intelligent, witty, charming, creative and interesting, but thinking back, I have attracted my fair share of woman like that (and the abuse that comes with it). This last one met all nine of the DSM-IV criteria for a BPD so it was a crazy ride to hell and back. I have decided I will take some time off from dating and work on myself. Spend more time with my children. But looking back over the last year, would I do it again? Hell yeah. That might sound masochistic (which I am not), but I really learned a lot about myself, relationships, and what makes women in general tick. No offense to women at all, but BPD women are like regular women on acid, adderall and steroids. BPD seems so much more prevalent today than in the past, probably has a lot to do with our post WW-2 disposable culture, workaholic work ethic, etc. I have children with two mildly borderline women and I would ask all dads out there, divorced or at home, to spend as much quality time with your kids as possible. Make them feel safe and secure and love them as much as you can. It’s so important and very rewarding. I also think it would help the next generation avoid the abandonment issues that the last 2-3 generations have experienced. Again, great website, your material is upfront and right on.

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Rick July 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Thanks Chris!

It’s really interesting knowing that you’re 50+ and continues to prove my point that regardless of age, BPD has the same affects on people that don’t know what it exactly is. The key to dating these women is having YOUR OWN emotions in check. People with BPD feed off of emotions and when you react to their craziness, you are basically feeding their emotions. It’s unfortunate that your woman was crazy like that, but remember that you played into it, you fed it, etc. You are 50% of the relationship. It’s your job to have control over yourself. The fact that she got crazy like that means that you’re not meeting her emotional needs. You might not know what those are, but basically it means NOT feeding her at all, not giving into her BS, not allowing her to walk all over you, etc. The fact that she tried to run you over means that you stayed in the relationship WAY too long and now the kids are freaked out.

I agree with you on the children part. Give them all the support they need.

And now you know for the future – regardless of who you date, be the emotional rock. It doesn’t matter who I date these days, BPD or not – BPD doesn’t appear in my relationships because I am unaffected by it. That might be a hard concept to understand, but you’ll get it eventually :)

-Rick

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Mike December 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Rick, Killer site but your reply to Chris (btw I am 57 and yea, Didn’t see this coming) I am an expert now!!, Anyway you state “BPD doesn’t appear in my relationships because I am unaffected by it.” In an intro piece I read, you wrote, you are in a RS with a BPD currently and ones from the past are trying to hook up, So if you don’t allow that why are their so many around,, Yea, Jes sayin

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Rick January 9, 2013 at 2:52 am

They’re around because they live in the same city as me. And they text me. And they call me. I wrote those articles 6 months ago and I am still in contact with them. I am a down to earth, chill dude. I don’t have clouds of drama following me around. People are naturally drawn to me because I am always striving to improvement my life unlike most people. I inspire people. It shouldn’t be any surprise that my exes want to stay in contact. They miss what they had. And it doesn’t bother me to remain friends with them. BPD’s aren’t any trouble at all when you’re not trying to date them. In fact, they’re awesome people because they’re always in a great mood to see you when they do ;)

- Rick

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Bill July 5, 2013 at 6:05 am

Very understandable-”you do your thing, I do my thing, but-YOU don’t do my thing.”

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Rick September 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Thank you for the very kind words. BPD isn’t that difficult to deal with once you establish the boundaries in the very beginning. They’ll either stick around or be gone for good. Nothing wrong with that :)

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Anon November 22, 2012 at 6:48 pm

I have a lot of self-awareness after years battling depression, so I know what my flaws are, but still handled BPD very poorly.

I know how I fed his traits. It’s ying and yang. The more depressed I am or vulnerable, react to his attacks, cry or look weak, the more powerful angry and destructive he becomes.

I know I have his best self, his respect when I am happy and doing my own thing, but he can tell the difference between fake-happy, and real-happy…. so I don’t know how to mask the depression enough not to fed him or put a target on my head.

Obviously at the start of the relationship, one of the things I loved was his compassion towards my depression, as he had gone through that too… so the sudden sadism, was shocking.

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Chris July 20, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Hey Rick, I wholeheartedly agree with what you said. A lot of us (both men and women) don’t know anything about BPD and we do play right into it. And it takes two to Tango. I downloaded your book and found it very insightful, not only for borderline relationships, but any relationship. Great job! I am also reading a book called “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, which has given me a lot of revelations about my own contribution to borderline relationships and why I am drawn to these women and what I do to make things worse. So many guys try to be “nice” and “perfect” and don’t understand why that doesn’t work in a relationship. It never will. It’s a perfect companion piece to your book. So I am shaking off the bad feelings and the financial mess of the last year, licking my wounds and assimilating the lessons learned, and enjoying the summer doing what I want to do. It might not be very exciting or thrilling (like this is the first time I have gone without sex since 1985), but I am happy to be getting to know myself again, spending quality time with my kids, and really appreciating the beautiful world around me (I am a part time professional photographer and see beauty in so many mundane things). One last thought, a few months into my relationship with my BPD ex, she told me that I should “run for my life”. I really didn’t quite get that at the time but since our breakup I have read similar stories from other people in my predicament. If our BPD partner may care enough about us (and/or has a lucid and rational moment), they may very well warn us to leave and never look back. It’s not that they are trying to dump you, I think they just don’t want to drag us into their mad world. So if you are lucky and get a warning like that from your partner, take it very seriously and decide what you want for yourself. It’s a way out if that’s what you want. They are respecting you enough to allow you the choice. It’s a one time offer though. After that, you have to live with your decision. Like Lestat said in “Interview with a Vampire”, “I’m going to give you the choice that I never had”.

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Rick July 26, 2012 at 11:55 am

Hey Chris thanks for the great comment.

If you haven’t done so yet, check out my post on Co-Dependency. This is the underlying problem to the failure of these relationships and 99% of guys out there have no idea what codependency is.

In fact, my next book is going to be completely about Codependency because it is absolutely a HUGE problem that people never know they have. Once I got my codependency issues solved, my life has really taken a major turn for the better. I’m not even attracted to BPD’s anymore lol, I simply don’t have the time to deal with their B.S. drama.

- Rick

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Dani August 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Hi, I just wanted to say that I found your article very interesting and I am looking for advice, you obviously know what you are talking about. I am currently in the process of being diagnosed with bpd after suffering with the symptoms for as far back as I can remember. I have so many questions and feel like I should give up on the idea of sharing my life with anyone, children and marriage seem like completely alien and un achievable objectives, however I am torn between feeling like it is my right to have a loving relationship, and feeling as though it is unfair to put anyone through being close to me, I don’t want to hurt anyone but my distructive patterns continue and my love/hatred/obsession/disgust/depression/euphoria hit me and whoever has the misfortune to be close to me at the time) In huge tidal waves.
Any advise would be greatly appreciated I am very lost. Joining a nunnery on the other side of the world is not an option.
- when should I tell someone I am dating that I have issues with my emotions?
- how can I help them help keep themselves safe , so that I hae a chance of Somthing loving and meaningful rather than heartbreaking and distructive!?
Please help.
Yours in anticipation
Danielle

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Cindy August 31, 2012 at 10:49 am

Rick,

Do you have any advice for a non woman dating a BPD man? We have been together 3 1/2 yrs and things will seem good for a while than I will catch him on dating sites, he now hides his phone all the time, I snooped and heard a voice mail from another woman telling him I told you I would follow you why dont you answer your phone? I confront him and he denies denies denies.. He had an affair on me a couple yrs ago and I still have anger and hurt over it, he has been been chatting on a dating site after I confronted him about the voice mail even though we supposedly made up and have been going to movies even got a hotel room in san diego and we had a great time.. he went on the chat before or after the movie, and chatted after we got back from san diego after I went to bed late at night.. I dont understand how they can act like they are in love with you, and keep doing that.. its like he is addicted to other women.. he does rage when I catch him but he will never admit to anything.. only the one time when he had the affair and the woman started stalking both of us.. he admitted it, said he made a huge mistake.. he would never do it again. etc.. several months later I found a text on his cell to some woman saying it was so nice meeting her and he would love to take her out sometime.. I thought everything was fine.. it hurts me so badly, and maybe I am stupid or whatever but I keep taking him back.. I do love him very much dispite his bpd and all.. he pays my bills and helps me with groceries, we dont live together.. he wont move in probably cause he wants to keep cheating.. he has that bad side and he has this really caring good loving side.. like jekyl and hyde.. any advice?

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Rick September 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm

I think you can apply most of what I teach. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or a girl – at the end of the day, it’s all about making yourself better and commanding respect. Don’t let him lie to you, don’t let him hurt you. If he does, walk out or make him sleep on the couch!

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Anon November 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Hi Cindy and Rick,

I’m also a female, with a BPD male. I can relate to Cindy, with the very strange behaviour. Mine also pays rent, bills, trips over backwards for me.

I wrote some more things here but felt they were too identifying, as my situation is very specific. I’ve left only things that could apply to many BPD men.

He’s not cheating (I would never tolerate that, and made that clear from day 1)
In fact he has been cheated on, so I felt sorry for him, and know he wouldn’t do that to someone else.

When he was in the first year of honeymoon phase, i thought he was perfect. I’m creative, passionate and intense, I don’t have BDP myself, but have depression.
So I have my own clingliness to an extent, and when I saw how emotional/sensitive, yet masculine, assertive he was, it seemed like the perfect combo!
How many kind, generous, strong guys out there are also just as clingy/affectionate as a woman???
He asked if it was ok, and i was blissfully happy with it. Sometimes I was secretly annoyed by someone that almost sits on top of you on the couch 24/7, but I’d rather an affectionate guy, than a cold one.

Then suddenly when the realtionship was going very well, we lived together things are all good…he starts the hot-cold cycle…going in the opposite direction…
This was frustrating as I was studying when we met, had many friends at that time, and he’d get so jealous when I’d speak to them on the phone.

After a year I lost many friends, he got bored.
So before all my socializing, was cause for jealousy, now he mocks my loneliness and lack of social life. Now he also went from an introvert to an extravert, suddenly having all these friends, now I have pretty much none! I feel needy, lonely and dependant.
How he twisted the situation….its baffling. But when he was the needy one, I was kind about it, introduced him to my friends, and did not yell at him about it.

So now I have very few friends…
I can love him, but still feel as soon as its possible I should let go, even though he’s my only friend right now, its a Jekyl and Hyde friend that will suddenly be nasty, so not worth it. Maybe it will force me to start again, sadly all my friends are now mutual friends with him too.

He’s also gone from over sharing, to super-secretive.

I feel BPD will put up and do more than an average person…but in return they give you back any emotional issues 10x..

I think the relationship can work if you have many friends, your own life, so as Rick says when they go cold, you are not alone like me. You need to be able to have people to go cold on them back.
He knows that he has someone to come back to because I’m stuck!

I am still being strong, but it takes him more time to feel lonely than I do, as he was many friends….
So seeing my friends are friends with him…*sigh* He’s more likable on the surface.

I know if I had my own circle of separate friends, I could play hard-ball right back at him, because I would no longer cater to his jealousy, or drop everything for him.
When he wants attention, he wants it then and there.. .if I could walk out I would, despite missing him, out of self-respect, but I don’t have a dime. (or anyone else)

I am aware this is very pathetic, but I don’t even know where to begin or who to talk to, as he was my best friend.

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Anon November 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm

He also said typical borderline things, like how I’m “too nice” which was weird as I felt so sorry for him, about his exes cheating and being bitches. At first he seemed so relieved to have a soft-hearted person like me.
How do they hide their true natures for years???

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Rick November 27, 2012 at 10:37 am

Dating a BPD man seems to be a much more difficult process than dating a BPD woman. However, the reality is that this isn’t a genetic disorder – it all has to do somewhere in their upbringing, some traumatic experience, lack of real love, etc. I grew up in a loving but basically a religious, anti-sexual/anti-intimacy family and ended up having some major codependency issues. I’ve since fixed these issues. Codependency can be JUST as damaging as BPD behavior. Most of the non’s that get into relationships with BPD’s suffer from codependency. Just like BPD, codependency is a serious disorder and is NOT genetic — it’s due to upbringing. It’s usually caused by parents that put shame on being sexual and even intimate and being honest with your feelings. What ends up happening is that when you grow up, you become desperate for intimacy but you’re also trying to hide these intentions which means you’re not being honest to the person you like NOR yourself. Can anyone tell me of a relationship that worked out when you’re not honest? You become intensely needy and allow yourself to become a pushover just for a little bit of love and intimacy. This obviously creates a very toxic situation.

My family for as long as I can remember teased me about girls from a very young age all the way through high school. They NEVER offered support. I always felt like I was being shamed for liking girls even if this wasn’t there intention at all. Me and all of my brothers rarely ever talked about any girls we knew due to this teasing. I think this is a very common issue. What ended up happening in my case is that I thought it was taboo to like girls. Intimacy becomes this fantasy that I wanted more than anything. Such bullshit. I never told my parents when I was going out with girls, EVER. Because of this upbringing, I ended up becoming desperately obsessed with intimacy. So when I got a girlfriend, I wanted to do nothing but touch her all day. This is classic codependency and extremely unattractive. You end up spending all your time and effort trying to please your partner INSTEAD OF focusing on yourself and improving your life.

I really want to dedicate this site to codependency just as much as it’s about BPD. The reason being that it’s just as serious of an issue. Getting help for BPD means becoming knowledgeable about yourself as well as the disorder. It also means changing your mindsets and dropping this codependency issue you’ve had forever. BPD’s love the attention that codependency people force on them early on, but as with ALL relationships, neediness ultimately is unattractive and so BPD’s run :)

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ANON February 16, 2013 at 5:27 am

Hi Rick,

Thank you for your reply. My email did not notify me of a response.
Your reply is candid and I appreciate you opening up and sharing about your life; it’s inspired me to return the gesture in my comment here. You have said some very thoughtful things.
I have come back here after making some changes and progress, but yet again having difficulty with respect.

Progress:
I now have a wide circle of acquaintances that are not his mutual friends.
Seeing over the 5 + years of involvement with him, it is still incredibly hard to start from scratch as an adult and work on building new friendships.
They are still acquaintances as turning an acquaintance into a friend takes time and effort. But out of this large circle I see maybe three of those people with potential to be friends that I spend time with more often.

You are correct about BPD male being a different can of worms. Most BPD advice is about women with BPD, and there are some things that just don’t apply or are very different ball game.
There are also some core things that are the same.

As far as my unbringing.. It was actually very similar to the BPD! and a little in common with you too.
I find it interesting if you look at the points below, you might see how similar, but slight variations that must have made all the difference.
It still boggles my ming how a slight change in scenarios we both shared resulted in him BPD more prone to rage, and me more prone to depression.
:
-I was sexually abused over a few years by a male family figure and/ he was raped in a single violent act by another man as a child.
-I was raised by a single mother with no father in picture,/ he had divorced parents and was raised between both.
-He was isolated and alone a lot as child./ I had many friends.
-We both left home at an early age. He did by choice (or so he says)/ I was under pressure to leave. I wasn’t prepared, I felt it hampered me as I didn’t learn many life skills./ He left it forced him to learn his own life skills.
-I had happiness at school with other young children,/ he did not.
-He had anger issues as young adult + daredevil./ I became nervous and the opposite of that. Risk adverse.
-He had parents that always wanted more out of him, nothing was ever good enough./ My mum put a lot of fear into my head and was always a homemaker.
-His parents didn’t have time for him as a kid. /My mum had generous time for me (she was also very sweet), then suddenly withdrew it.
-Besides a period abuse my childhood was happy, /his sounds lonely.
-I had support at some times./He didn’t. The person he trusted passed away.

So similar, but I’m sure you can see crucial differences.

As far as what you said about yourself, sex was not shamed, in fact we had liberal family in many ways. We were also not religious.
However I can relate to negative emotion denial. I’m not sure if this is the crucial difference between him and I.
When I was growing up my mother pulled away as soon as I displayed teenage depression. Sadness and anger were not allowed, and she would eerily smile instead of being sad. Everyone had to be happy and nice. Depression and anger were shamed.

I have improved myself in many ways. Some things have improved, but I still have major respect issues. I tell him I will not accept verbal abuse or swearing or certain rage behaviors but he does them anyway. I’m at a loss of how to enforce the respect as he doesn’t really care if I pull away or do certain things.
His black and white attitude says basically: “be happy/deal with it, or call the police”
There’s no middle ground/solution between love/acceptance and total freak out.
He has not broken any laws, has not cheated, and in his mind verbal abuse is not a crime so there is no punishment…

There should be a middle ground between totally kicking someone out and being a doormat!

I apologize if this was too long!

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jaci September 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I am a woman with BPD and I admire this tactic. I’ve actually have told the men in my life to do similar things. It’s like I need to be put in my place. If they don’t, I’ll eat them alive unfortunately. And believe me, it makes me respect them immediately. Thanks for this!

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John David September 3, 2012 at 11:48 am

This is an EXCELLENT write-up, Rick. Appreciate it greatly. In the aftermath of my relationship with someone who might have BPD, I have reflected and pondered, just to help me to get my ‘game’ right. I don’t ‘play games’ with women when dating, but your article confirms what I have come to think: dating IS a game, at first, at least, for many people out there, and respect is so important, as you wrote. I think I tried to establish respect just a little too late, after our ‘honeymoon’ stage, which lasted about four weeks. I was probably too accommodating at first, by going out with her at least three times a week and talking a lot on the phone in between. When we got into the clingy, and then push/pull phase, we had several break-ups, but I stayed calm and got her to ‘stay’ with me. She was definitely playing mind games at this point, probably testing me to see if I was really all in. She even commented at one of these times, ‘Are you done yet?’ I did finally stand my ground back in mid-August when she reached out to me after ten days of no contact..I was just leaving her alone, and then wham, she texted me out of the blue to hang out. I said it was a possibility, but I was concerned. She didn’t like what I had to say, so she told me I was too selfish anyways, take care! After she queried me in response to my text after that, asking me ‘how do you research a heart?’ I just told her that I found out about me and we both deserve to be happy. Now, we’re going on two weeks of no contact. If we were to talk again, I would do what you recommend. Set the firmest of boundaries, no sex, and guard the new boundary(s) like a border collie, or a pitbull ;) Thanks again, Rick, your word is bond!

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Rick September 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Hey thanks for kind words. Yes, you have got to establish everything very early on like when she does her very FIRST crazy spell, you have got to be like WOA GIRL WTF instead of sitting there like a pussy and taking her abuse. Good job man! It’s all a learning experience.

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Michael October 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Hey Rick,

Your words are awesome. I also grabbed your book; good stuff. I split with my ex a little over a month ago. I actually don’t know if she has this disorder but i know she’s got something. She display many of these signs but not as extreme as what has been portrayed. She also displays many signs that don’t fit (taking blame, reaching out, etc). Anyways, i’m a strong person but i let shit slide for a long time thinking she would realize she’s being unreasonable. Finally after the breakup i’m not holding back. I let her know exactly what I’m not tolerating or subjecting myself to with her or anyone. She started calling/text again recently but that shortly ended after i discovered she had cheated. Surprisingly she came out with it all & how “messed up she is”, how much she regrets it, what can she do to fix things, how she’s going to change, etc. I simply told her maybe one day in the future she will have changed & things will be different but things wont be different any time soon. I reiterated what i’m not tolerating & how i am not going to be disrespected or treated badly a second longer. Communication from then on has been sporadic. She’s made attempts to contact me & so have I. Recently, i finally decided to drop all her belongings off at her house since she has STILL not come to get them. This made her lash out in a fit of upset tears followed the next day by an angry text. I simply let her know i did not give her things back b/c of anger but that it was time she have them. She called me “unhinged” which i followed up by a simple “yes, i’m unhinged”.

I know you know when i say this but i feel a very strong attraction towards her. I of course love her but i can definitely move on. While i have no idea if she has BPD or how extreme her illness is, I’ve heard many things about these people either never coming back or coming back to you again. Should i be expecting her to reach out to me one day in an attempt to come back? She’s still very young. If the circumstances were right, i would probably take it slow with her and be the strongest person in the world. But again, i’m not sitting around waiting for this to happen. I’m living my life for me under my terms, end of story.

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sarah November 15, 2012 at 7:53 am

Apologies again having problems with the site
WE ARE NOT all controlling users who abuse people and chew them up and spit them out when we have sucked them dry.Most BPD’S I know although are hard to fathom underneath the illness are kind loving generous warm hearted people who just want to be loved and not rejected for being ill which this post in my eyes promotes.This post just adds stigma to an already misunderstood illness

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Rick November 16, 2012 at 8:48 am

Sarah you are absolutely incorrect about my post. You automatically assume that I think that all BPD’s are evil and sluts and whatnot. IF that were true, why the hell would I waste my time developing a site to help people successfully date Borderlines? Ask yourself that question. This post is NOT directed towards BPDs – it is directed towards men that have allowed a BPD to treat them like shit for too long. Do all BPD’s treat their partner’s like shit? IF the guy is weak and accommodating, then YES 100% of the time. But these guys continue to take it. And you continue to date them. So it created a toxic environment and the only way to solve it is for the non-BPD to stop being a pushover.

P.S. I love you. Email me and we’ll chat :)

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sarah November 20, 2012 at 7:12 am

Well Rick as I said in my posts your opinion is valid and I respect your opinion but I still disagree with your theory that all BPD’S will treat their partner like shit if said partner allows.My main gripes with your post were the fact that you said that if a borderline doesnt get attention they will sleep around with 4 or 5 men(or words to that effect)and the fact that you focused solely on the negative challenging aspects of a borderlines behaviour.Also I know a lot of non sufferers who will treat their partner like shit so it doesnt just apply to this condition.I didnt intend to attack you or your views but your post to me screamed of negativity and stigmatised thinking and I have shown it to a non sufferer so its not me feeling attacked because I am a sufferer.All I would ask is that if you want to highlight the behaviour of a borderline that you make it a more rounded post including the very bad which I admit are very prominent in bpd’s but also acknowledging the very positive aspects of most bpd’s.

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Rick November 20, 2012 at 11:50 am

I have highlighted the behavior of a BPD. And yes, normal people do the same actions as BPD’s – just not nearly as often. BPD’s sleep around and cheat 10 times more than non-BPD’s. That is a fact. Now does this apply to every single BPD? No, but it applies to about 98% of them. Now while you make think you’re a sufferer, do you understand how many men are affect by BPD behavior? The fights for no reason, the outrageous accusations, the cheating, the lying, the cold shoulder for no reason? Sorry, but us nons go through WAY MORE suffering than a BPD ever goes through. BPD’s live in a fantasy world for the most part. BPD’s are the most selfish individuals on the planet and the only way to date them is to set boundaries and put them in their place when they get out of line INSTEAD of taking the abuse. My mission with this website is to STRENGTHEN the partner, not demonize BPD’s as I understand they’re human and I make mistakes just like they do. We are all guilty of sin.

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amanda December 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm

“Sorry, but us nons go through WAY MORE suffering than a BPD ever goes through. BPD’s live in a fantasy world for the most part.”

I disagree. A non can walk away whenever they want. Borderlines live in a complete nightmare (fantasy? please.) and can’t just flip a switch in their head to make it cooperate. It takes a lot of extremely hard work to change these brain patterns. You NONs complain too much, seriously :P (hehe). As a recovering borderline, I find your advice in this article extremely effective and true. Although I agree that my behavior has been extremely selfish, as soon as someone points it out to me I want nothing else than to change that pattern. So I don’t agree that I am a selfish person!

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Rick December 20, 2012 at 12:23 am

Hi Amanda, I appreciate your response. If a girl is able to admit to herself and her partner that she’s a borderline, then yes you are correct. However, often times what happens is a guy will be dating a borderline but have no idea. They don’t know what BPD is until they start to heavily search Google. It took me a few months to learn what it was when I was dating my first borderline. So what happens is that the girl won’t ever admit it or even bring it up to her boyfriend, and the boyfriend isn’t ready to walk away because he has no clue that there’s an illness involved. He starts to think he’s actually causing these problems. Walking away is basically admitting failure at being a good boyfriend. My comment was referring to a situation where a BPD never opens up about her issue to her boyfriend and this is the case where the relationship is always toxic and the non suffers big time due to the lack of honest communication from the BPD.

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robert February 19, 2013 at 11:49 am

Just found this site, and this thread has made the biggest impact on me. The conversation between Rick, Sarah, and Amanda…blows my mind. “A non can walk away whenever they want”-Amanda..really? How about when your BPD gf, threatens you with suicide if you leave? “You NONs complain too much, seriously :P (hehe)”-Amanda. Complain too much?!? deal with a person with your disorder for a few months, before making such a statement. You will never be able to comprehend the pain that non deals with a BPD, cause you see the world in a completely different view from non’s. Is it really a disorder, or are these women just self-absorbed people. I have felt sorry for too long, but every time I read about this disorder from a BPD perspective, its always “poor me”, what about the shit you put people through? Ironically, by expressing that you were the victim (both Sarah and Amanda), you have proven the complete opposite. BPD’s can be treated like princesses, as I have with my ex…and you will get misery in return.You (BPDs) just want to be loved, yet you push away those that love you, and blame those that love you for not loving you enough..mindfuck. I am trying to get myself back, as I have lost a huge part of myself pleasing someone that gave me shit in return. She cheated, abused, lied and deceived me. These men that deal with this are good kind-hearted people, they search online for answers, swallow their pride and stick by their BPD partner despite friends and family advice to leave. Treat them like shit and they stick around….have fun dancing with the fucking devil.

P.S. Rick I am so sorry to be saying these things but its become a reality for me. I have lost all hope and respect for these women. Please persuade me otherwise.

Robert November 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm

You could waste your life dealing with some defective individuals BS (I wasted 27 YEARS) or take the advice of almost every “non”. Drop them like a stone & RUN. Got kids? Take them with you. I would guestimate that there might be 15..20% of women who are worth persuing a relationship with. These BPD ones are toxic to the core for husbands & children. Drop them like a stone & RUN. They are poison.

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Rick November 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

Robert, you are correct with your statements. Most people SHOULD drop them and run. Most people are not capable of dating a BPD. However, the reality of life is that it’s simply hard to get up and just walk away. I offer legitimate advice and solutions for people here not found anywhere else. I have been dating a BPD for about a year now and we haven’t had any issues for a long time. Why? Because of my past experience and knowledge about it. Yea I wrote a book on it and yea I am monetizing this stuff but hey, I put a lot of effort into learning about BPD in the past, spent a lot of money and spent a lot of time writing a book and creating a CD that isn’t crap like everything else out there. Learning how to better your life and relationships for 30 bucks is nothing. These relationships are salvageable but require a change in mindsets and behavior.

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Cal December 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm

The girl with uBPD that I dated dropped me a lot of clues that this was how she wanted to be treated, but I didn’t pick up on it until it was too late and our first push cycle had begun (we’re still in it). Examples:

1) One instance when we first started hanging out a lot, I had a set time that I had to leave for another commitment. She really got after me to break off the appointment and stay with her instead. After numerous refusals from me, she apologized and said she was “being a brat” because she wasn’t used to guys telling her no.

2) I mentioned a girl that was really after me at my high school reunion a few years ago. The girl was very hot (in fact, she used to be a stripper – my girl had seen a pic of her and went on about how hot she was). My girl asked me why nothing happened with her and I told her that I was married at the time and I wasn’t going to let anything happen. My girl asked me if I had shut the other girl down every time she tried to make a move, and I told her that I did. My girl then commented that it was no wonder the other girl pursued me all weekend, because shutting a girl down like that makes them want you and come after you more.

3) Often when I discussed my impending divorce with my girl, she would get after me about how I was handling things. She’d tell me that I was being a pushover and that I needed to show some backbone. I needed to define boundaries for what I’d do and what I wouldn’t do, and be absolutely consistent and and stick by them, while being firm, but not being a dick.

4) Whenever I expressed confidence in myself as to my looks and skill with pulling women, it generated an immediate response about how sexy my confidence was and how much women love a man who is confident and shows no fear.

I’ve come to realize that those were subtle ways she was telling me what she wanted in a guy. Like Rick says folks, you have to learn to read between the lines. I’d like to think I’m slowly getting there.

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Rick December 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Well she actually told you exactly what guys should do right here: “I needed to define boundaries for what I’d do and what I wouldn’t do, and be absolutely consistent and and stick by them, while being firm, but not being a dick.” This is exactly what I preach. Easier said than done however.

Crawl before you walk. Walk before you run.

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Cal December 5, 2012 at 7:36 am

You’re exactly right. She told me that in the context of what I should be doing with my soon to be ex-wife, and I didn’t pick up on it in the context of our relationship. Hopefully, she’ll be back around after she’s had “some time by [herself] to think about things” and I can begin putting this into practice.

Thanks for the reply, Rick. I’ve bought and read both of your books and the advice they contain is essential for guys.

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dave December 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm

hello, was in a three month relationship and then an eight month friendship with a bpd women. I am codependent but have been working on it and I think I am improved as I understand boundaries and balance much better. Erroneously maybe, I kept getting pushed back in especially toward the end of our friendship. I was trying to help her and support her as a friend because of all the crap she was going through. I said I needed a break from the friendship and all hell broke loose. I was called unfaithful and a bad friend. Really it was about me establishing some boundaries with her and being thrown away for it . Anyway, i have recently contacted her because I do care about her as a friend. Its been all me and my efforts. I have done alot of research on the disorder and feel like i know where I stand as I sparked the rejection and abandonment issues and she freaked previously. we had no contact for 5 months and we have actually had decent interaction lately. anyway, i feel like I am in a place now where there is little trust and much fear from her. I wonder why she even entertains the idea of communicating with me. you must understand I see her as a friend, not someone to date. Any advice at this point to try and gain some respect from her, as I am not feeling like I am receiving it. Can you explain more how non-dating relationships between a non man and a bpd women can be improved after being split, especially if there is new communication that seems somewhat amicable.

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Rick January 9, 2013 at 3:08 am

Dude you broke up with her so why are you trying to entertain her and be her friend? That’s like a slap in the face man. Imagine if she broke up with you and then asked you to be just friends? No one likes to be friend-zoned. If she wants to be friends, then be friends. But if she’s disrespecting you, then ignore her until she changes her behavior. Simple as that.

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chim chim January 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Rick,
I’d like to first thank you for writing this. This article is 100% “on the money”. I was in a relationship with a suspected BPDgf for over a year. I say suspected because it was never openly stated. Only after the 2nd (final) breakup did I learn what BPD was. I’d never heard of it before. The fact is, many people don’t know about this disorder. Often people say “oh, maybe she’s bipolar”. She may be that too, but BPD fits her like a glove.

I played it cool, aloof, for many months. Only a few red flags were visible (low self-esteem, some idealization of me, etc). Though a few months in, I remembered she started with the “I’m afraid to fall for you…I’m afraid you’ll leave me. I thought it was simple insecurity, which i’ve seen before. She had many redeeming qualities, so I chose to put the red flags in my pocket for a while. My aloofness for all those months was like a flame to the moth. Things were quite awesome at the 6-8 month mark. I warmed up to her around this time (bad move). The cycle didn’t start until almost a year in (after she met my friends and family, etc…AFTER showing what a considerate “darling” she can be). As time went, I found out more and more about her (childhood neglect, alcoholism, drug usage, possible rape in teen years).

Then the slight put downs (boundary busting) started to occur. I basically blew them off…that was my error in judgement. At the time, it didn’t feel like “testing” to me. I confronted her a few times about the mood swings and the occasional coldness, and that I didn’t exactly enjoy being in her presence when she was like that…but I thought of it as mere PMS (again, I’d never even heard of BPD at the time). We went away for a weekend…all in all it was a “perfect weekend”, until the 2nd night…BOOM. A Major fight about nothing important is what ensued. Next came the extreme jealousy, then the irrationally pointed arguments. If I closed the door differently than before, it seemed “fishy” to her. She started to interrogate me about other women. I’d dated a few jealous women before…maybe she just needed re-assurance…that’s what I thought. Then came the first breakup, a short one, just beyond the 1 year mark of the relationship. She started a fight with me…a prelude to the breakup. I remember saying to her, asking her in a calm tone, “Well, this entire thing/problem is all on YOU…Why are you sabotaging this?”. No answer. My boundaries were being tested, and I didn’t even know that’s what was happening. I truly believed in my mind she was acting this way because our relationship started moving in a direction, and that she was just scared. We were broken up for a few days…she called me. I didn’t answer. I waited a day and called her back. I told her I was going away for a while (which I was)…and wouldn’t be talking to her for a few weeks. I said when I get back, we can talk. When I got back, we saw each other. She acted like she did when things were seemingly perfect in the relationship…full of excitement and happiness. There I was, still in the mindset that she was semi-normal, and just insecure and afraid. I believed, for some reason, that there was hope for her, and maybe us. Though, I remember thinking once, “In the past, I wouldn’t have put up with this…why is this time different?” I started to realize that it was about Control & Manipulation (due to her insecurities). My RESPECT for my self was not 100%, and so was hers for me. I still got a few “shots” in here and there, showing that I was alive. The sex was still as hot as it ever was. When she asked about “other women” coming over when she wasn’t around, I said “You should’ve seen the two (women) that were over last week” (which never actually happened). Her face turned white. Maybe that was just a small “test” of my own. I think I needed to know what was going on in her mind. But, I know that I should have walked away after the 1st breakup. The 2nd breakup happened barely more than 5 weeks after the first.

Sorry for the long-winded story. But to get back to the premise…It’s about RESPECT. You MUST:

1) RESPECT Yourself first (and only)
2) Put her in her place EACH and EVERY TIME she gets out of line (tests you)
(That’s what they do…they TEST YOU.) My aloofness was the wrong way for me to handle the situation.
3) If she breaks up with you, or talks about breaking up, etc…TELL her to go ahead and pack her bags, and to watch her step walking to her car.
4) If she wants to get back together, claiming she’s afraid to lose you, TELL HER that afraid or not, she’s doing a pretty good job at “LOSING YOU” already. If you are not married/or with children, I don’t recommend taking her back if she tries.
5) If indeed you like the excitement and intensity of a relationship like this, and opt to take her back, SET THE TONE, STAY SOMEWHAT MYSTERIOUS, and above all…RESPECT YOURSELF, Each and every time the need arises.

It’s kinda like dealing with barbarians. They only know Respect for the enemy (you) if you Respect yourself and aren’t afraid to show it or act upon it. This may mean extreme actions on your part (and I don’t mean physical actions, I mean tactical actions).

Chim Chim

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Rick January 9, 2013 at 2:49 am

Hey Chim,

Awesome post, thanks a ton man. I completely agree with a lot of what you said. And that’s why I created this site – to educate people. It’s pretty nice that she waited a year to get crazy on you. My previous BPD started acting like this 4 weeks into the relationship, lol. We dated for 9 months and it was always up and down. I do think you handled yourself well. These relationships are actually great learning experiences. After dating a BPD, if you actually learn from it you become a rock solid dude. NO ONE can fuck with you ever again. I became much more attractive in general and my exes are still calling/texting me to this day. I think them for the experience ;)

- Rick

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Bpd Sufferer January 2, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Reading comments I totally support this article but feel sad people have such a terrible opinion about borderlines, we are all individuals and while our disorder influences us it doesn’t totally define who we are, I happen to be the most loving and giving person you could meet, I struggle with abandonment issues however and seperation but I fight to get better with every bit of will I have, it’s a terribly painful disorder and I will never say its not hard on the non bpds because it must be such a struggle, I have made so much progress the last 6 months and what I will say is it takes all different people to make the world go round and even a non bpd can be an arsehole, it’s how hard you try that matters…. I do not self harm, I do not cheat and I take responsibility for my b.s, my boyfriend is very proud of me and I hope this inspires other bpd sufferers to seek help, it can be done, it’s raw and painful but the benefits outweigh the negatives…. A bpd individual can be creative, empathic, loving and so much fun to be around, it’s just learning the triggers and ignoring the emotions that aren’t really real. Please try not to alienate those of us who genuinely have suffered and do not wish to do anyone harm, we are individuals and do not wish to be lumped together. Brilliant post however, noone should accept abuse of any kind and there should be boundaries and self respect in any relationship, bpd sufferers should not by pass this

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Rick January 9, 2013 at 2:44 am

Thanks for this comments. At the end of the day, there are bad people and good people. A personality disorder doesn’t define who you are. As we know from all the shootings going on, prescription drugs trump any type of personality disorder like BPD. I would take a BPD over a normal person of meds prescriptions any day. And if you want to know my opinion, I happen to believe most people with personality disorders were probably on some sort of medication when they were young and it caused some bad brain development. It sucks I have to focus on BPD because that’s the rage these days, but the fact is that there are much more deeper issues going on than just a personality disorder. It’s a label and nothing more. If you’re with someone that’s abusing you no matter what you do, forget the labels and get out.

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Art January 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Rick,
I’ve found a girl through a dating website who let me know only 3 weeks into our conversations that she is BPD. She wants to date. How do I get out of this – she knows my name and my phone number?
Thanks.

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Rick January 9, 2013 at 2:29 am

Ignore her calls. Easy.

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Olivia January 11, 2013 at 2:54 am

Well this was offensive. I was 17 years
old when I was diagnosed with BPD and have suffered through a constant state of pain for about a year now. I went through three hospitalizions in a year and have just decided to leave college so I could focus on getting better.

But you? What you wrote is highly disturbing and frankly it makes me sick. I have been through the motions with my relationships but I have never “left” because I got bored with them, it was because I was so uncomfortable with the abuse that I had previously suffered prior to these relationships, I would cry when touched. If you truly researched the Internet, maybe you would have considered this and put it in your article.

What your describing is possibly the most toxic relationship I can imagine. For a man to treat a BPD like that? And vice versa? That’s pure manipulation. Why would anyone put up with that? I’m not sure if your misogynistic or biased, but perhaps if you had done more research/studying you’d realize that you cannot categorize an entire group of people based on what you’ve seen or read. If the BPD is so hard to deal with and you feel like you’re being used, leave. Don’t spend the rest of your time instructing other people on how to “leash” around their BPD partners to make them stay. It’s just disgusting. We are real people who have real problems, and you have absolutely no idea what it’s like unless you’ve experienced it for yourself. Dating someone(s) with the disorder doesn’t count. You can’t imagine the pain we live in. We’re like this for a reason you know. Now go back to Google, and read up on it some more.

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Rick January 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I get two types of BPD’s that respond to my posts: the ones that thank me for speaking the truth, and the ones that lash out like Olivia above. Nothing in my article is about manipulation. In fact, I speak against game playing and manipulation. These types of behaviors only create toxic situations so why would I endorse them?? It doesn’t make sense. Tell me then Olivia, how should a man treat a girl with BPD? You should know that I am an expert on this topic. Put me up against any psychologist, author, whatever and I guarantee I know more about BPD than any of them. If someone wants to leave, then they should leave. I tell guys this all the time. But if they want to stay and make things better, then they need to start respecting themselves first and foremost. Simple as that.

You have most likely been misdiagnosed as your condition sounds much worse than BPD. Step 1) Get off the meds. They’re nothing but trouble in the long-run and all they do is suppress the rage. 2) You can’t get better when you’re on meds and not working towards something. You should have stayed in college. 3) You’re offended by my article only because it speaks the truth. I wouldn’t have gotten an emotional rise out of you if what I stated wasn’t truth. You would have simply clicked the back button and gone back to Google. So thank you for proving my points.

It also sounds like you’re secretly in love with me. However, I am not single at this time. Sorry.

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a woman who is not BPD September 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm

@ Rick- you give really good advice on boundary setting. Even though I am a woman dealing with this behavior with a man (not a partner, but someone I can’t easily extricate from my life) I do think you give good advice. The thing I struggle with about your response to the above commenter is that I kind of empathize with her frustration. Given that DBT helps these individuals recover, I can understand her frustration with being lumped in with those who have not “done the work”. When you are openly antagonist (albeit funny, I must admit) you may inadvertedly be communicating that you think that their efforts (past or present) to make healthier choices are irrelevant. No matter how you slice it, that’s hurtful. Maybe Olivia is in the baby steps phase of things where she is trying new behaviors instead of her old dysfunctional ones. There’s something to be said for speaking gently to those “in process” so they are not derailed. I am not denigrating the sum total of your words here, all in all you give really solid help- just mentioning a concern that may possibly help you fine tune your message for the individuals in relationships with recovering BPD sufferers. :)

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Rick October 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm

I give hard, realistic advice. That’s just how I roll. While the past happened, dwelling on it doesn’t help anybody. I get mad if I think about my past relationship mistakes so I just try to not think about it. Which is why we’ve got to always be moving forward. It’s like I understand that all this crap happened in your relationship in the past, but dwelling on it isn’t going to help. It’s all about what you can start doing right now to make positive change. And if its too late, then its too late. But at least youre moving forward.

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chim chim January 13, 2013 at 7:20 am

BPD SUFFERER,

I hear what you are saying and I feel for you and your condition. I don’t doubt that you are a caring person and the other points you have made. My ex got pretty much the best “me” I could give, or have ever given in a romantic relationship. I cared, but never smothered her. The hardest thing for me is knowing that we truly had a mental connection. When things took off in the relationship, we just clicked. I know that she cared about me. But her own dark, depressive swings were so hard on her, she had so little to give. I could also see it in her face as plain as day, and feel it. After many many months, she made the statement “What’s the point of all this? Life?” I was floored. I replied “Why are you saying this?” She said this 2 days after we had an excellent time out together. It was crushing. Her self worth was so low, and it would manifest itself in different ways like this. Another time she told me that she was a “bad person”. I told her she was not a bad person, and cited the ways that she was good. Her 2nd, part time job entailed working with troubled kids (probably due to her own family situation). Once, a young girl (a child case) was leaving the institution. My ex cared about her so much, and bought her gifts to take home. Her “good points” were clear, and I brought light to them by telling her how highly I thought of her for caring about these kids this way. She would immediately belittle her own actions by replying, “oh well, it’s just my job”. She IS a good person. She just doesn’t know how to believe that, or to believe in herself.

Look, I can say to you that I LOVE this girl…maybe more than I’ve ever loved anyone. I know her good points, and I haven’t forgotten them. It’s part of the reason why this is so difficult for me (and probably for other non-BPD’s on here). If this girl/woman was a b!tch or just evil, moving on would be far easier on me (and I wouldn’t be here commenting on this site). It’s HARD because I DO care. I DON’T HATE her. I do however hate the manner in which she handled things. When things got rough, I proactively asked her, “Do you want to see other people? Do you want me to start seeing other people?” She replied “No” each time. I’m pretty sure she cheated on me (with my replacement), which maybe evidenced by the jealous accusations (possible shame projection of her own transgressions). Still, I DON’T HATE her, as hard as I may try. I think I will love her as long as I’m alive. I’m pretty solid nowadays, but I still think about her everyday. I’m dating others, but still, I think about her. I don’t know how long it will be before I can truly “want” someone else the way I wanted her. I’m angry because of this fact. I’m angry because of the way she sooo wanted me to fall for her, and did so many things right to ensure that. And when I finally did, after all those months, she began to recede and push me away. I’m angry about the lies, etc. I’m selfishly angry because I thought in my mind she could’ve been “the one”, and that my friends and family liked her so much. I’m unselfishly angry because of her condition, and what it has done to her.

Her mother/experience did one he!! of a number on her. But, I KNOW SHE IS GOOD, somewhere inside.

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Alaynia January 30, 2013 at 11:47 pm

I am a bpd sufferer waiting to be formally diagnosed and wanted to commend you on this page and forum. It is very accurate and gives lots of practical tips for survival.

The problem is that like myself many women do not know they suffer from bpd and have been misdiagnosed for years so can’t possible begin to understand the condition themselves. I have just ended a four year relationship again ( I have lost count of the times I have ended it previously). The site highlights the condition and raises awareness which can only ever be a good thing. The people who are offended by this site are missing the point.

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Rick February 18, 2013 at 3:55 am

Exactly. BPD is such a wide label, it really makes me sick. That’s why in my new book I make it obvious that using BPD to label someone is just a cop out and instead the focus should be on emotional unstability. That’s really all it is. I believe it’s possible for everyone to have control over their emotions, some more than others, but still… Either way, admitting there’s a problem is half the battle. Both men and women in relationships need to talk to each other about issues and not ignore them and hope they go away like most people do.

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what2do February 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Hi Rick, I moved in with my girlfriend a few nths ago and I’ve recently ust discovered my girlfriend has bpo. Things would be good for a few weeks then BOOM out nowhere she blows up at me and I’m like what the fuck did I do. Once I did my research and came accross this site and others did it all start to click. I am too nice to her ,always trying to be there for and worry about her needs and forgotten to care about my own well being. Needless to say I’m doing exactly what I shouldn’t be doing with someone who has bpo but like I said I didn’t even know about it up until recently. You said on one of your posts to never move in with a bpo but I want to know if I already have can I change my behavior towards her as you say and expect to be able to make it work and continue living together? I told her to move out the other day because I told her I’m sick fighting with her but what should be my next move? I do love her and i know she loves me , I just wish I found out earlier so I could’ve handled things differently e.g understand her disorder better. Thanks

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BJ February 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Yeah, let me tell you the reason this strategy works… It basically takes the BPD’s greatest fear and uses it against her. The thing that BP’s fear more than anything is abandonment. So to use abandonment as a tool in order to control a BP is the same as you taking a gun and threatening to shoot me unless I do what you want. I am not at all saying that this strategy doesn’t work, because it DOES (at least in the short term). ALL I am saying is that it’s a very big hammer to use against someone that you theoretically love. DBT works far better than fear in curing and controlling borderline behavior.

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Rick March 3, 2013 at 9:00 am

Hmm, well this post has nothing to do with fear and controlling. Plus you’re comparing a gun to threatening to leave a relationship. But I never actually said to threaten to leave or whatever. Don’t know where you got that. And no, DBT doesn’t work. If it did, I wouldn’t be coaching people that have tried DBT on a daily basis. But go ahead and keep reading your BPD books. They’ve obviously got you scared. Ever wonder why certain people out there have no issues whatsoever with their BPD partners? Think about it buddy.

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mike March 3, 2013 at 8:01 am

I have a 44 yr old woman whom I love unconditionally for four years. She was raped by her brothers from age 13 to 15 and kept it a secret for 25 yrs. I have always been there for her and very forgiving when she has acted out, cheated, etc. She is a sex addict. I thought she beat it. She went to classes to figure out why she would degrade herself and said she did figure it out. She was so proud of doing that and happy. I was so proud of her. She thanked me for being and staying in her life. She always told me i kept her stable and kept her from her worst enemy, herself. That was so special. That was six months ago. She moved out last month to her own place to supposedly work on some issues. What i didnt know as that while she was in the process of moving out and telling me how much she loved me, she was texting a guy who she had an affair with 1.5 years ago. That was devastating. Whats really inhuman is that at her work there’s a 24 year old who shes been sleeping with for yrs. The man she is with now is this 24 yr old’s uncle. In one of her texts I saw last month and this dropped me to the floor is she texted this nephew about sex, describing how nothing was happening. The nephew text back too her asking dont u watch porn and her reply was yes. This I couldnt believe what I was reading. When i approached her about it crying, she said it was just a power thing. I’ve been trying to talk to her, reach her true logical self. I cant, she is in denial of what she is doing is immoral n deplorable. Im afraid for her and where she will end up. I really love her and cant stop crying that shes dancing with the devil. I talked to her last friday and told her she was in denial of her terrible self destructive and degrading existence. She unbelievably texted back that she was completely happy and really loved this guy and for me to move on and leave her alone. I text her back n told her that she is is like a monster. I told her that her decisions and terrible addiction has caused her to throw her life away. She is living a nomadic existence, loss of her true self, loss of innocence and truth… so sad and tragic. She has called and called the past week. I didnt answer the calls. Dhe called twice last night. Please help me.

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Rick March 3, 2013 at 8:42 am

This is a classic case where you think you own her life and her decisions and that you know better than her. Dude, she likes to have sex. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not immoral, she’s not dancing with the devil. The only thing immoral here is you thinking that you know better than her. Grow up.

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bryan stallard March 6, 2013 at 10:47 am

I,m pretty sure my (ex?) woman has this disorder to some extent. I also think that I display some of the co-dependant signs. The relationship is 80% great but very tempestuous the rest. She drives me totally nuts at times which is very unlike me as normally I’m easy as a summer breeze. She can turn on and off like a light. Clingy as a blanket, cold as a dip in lake Superior. The biggest thing for me tho is she won’t get a job! I have been paying her way for over 2yrs. ALWAYS an excuse! Is this in any way typical for BPD? I don’t understand how she can remain flat broke thru life. How big a role does alcohol play into this? …..bryan

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Rick March 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Yea you need to get her off of your support. Time to make an ultimatum bro. Either she gets a job or you leave her.

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bob February 13, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Mine was the same. ..barely ever worked. ..always some excuse…she’d maybe give me $30 to help with the bills for the month…wtf.?…just like a child…she’s 55 and still lives this nomadic life with never any money…now I’m totally in debt cause of her bs. ..it all happened gradually though. ..she was from USA so couldn’t work in Can at first…then once married I was responsible for her…ya I got scared cause I was concerned for my family if she fkd me over…

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Rick March 9, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Sorry to hear Bob, that really does suck. Yes it’s absolutely true that age MAKES NO DIFFERENCE when it comes to BPD. In fact, BPD’s get worse as they get older as long as they don’t fix their issues. I talk about this a lot in the new BPD book I’m writing so I can’t wait to get it out to the world.

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malmn March 7, 2013 at 4:36 am

This is a great webpage! Thank you!
Everything above describes my latest ex!

I dated a woman with BDP for about 9 months. I didn’t know about BPD until we broke up and started looking around online for help.
Well even if I didn’t know anything about BPD and this website, I knew early on that something was ‘off’ with this woman. I considered dropping her but she was (and still is) one of the hottest women I have ever met. I really, really wanted her. Anyhow, I knew she was ‘special’ and without any advice or guidance I actually did everything that is prescribed above (I was really smart, patient, tactical and took zero BS), and it worked! I got the girl!!! I was quite proud of my achievement and the work I had put in. … that good feeling didn’t last long at all.
The things is that she never quit. For months and months and pushed me and tested me, and I started to weaken but I didn’t realize it. I was being influenced and falling into her manipulative ways. She kind of brainwashed me over time. Looking back, I was so exhausted from battling with her (doing what is recommended above) that I lost energy to fight back and that’s how she eventually lost respect for me and took control of relationship.
Big mistake.
You know, I actually broke up with her close to 20 times and every time I took her back (hoping things would improve – and she’s so hot – stupid me!). It’s clear now that I should have just dumped her and never taken her back the first time!
Lessoned learned!!!!!

Normal , healthy men looking for a serious relationship need to avoid women with BPD.
It’s NEVER ever gonna work out. Or at least you’ll never be happy.
The biggest piece of advice I can give the guys here is: Run for your life if you see the red flags early on and don’t stick around for any reason, even if she’s hot!!!!!
Good luck!!!

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Rick March 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm

They’re not as bad as a lot of people make them out to be. It’s just that if you’re weak and passive, they eat you alive. If you’re strong and masculine, there shit doesn’t affect you. So while you’re saying you ‘did everything right but still failed’ simply means you didn’t do much right at all. Sorry to tell you but most women in general act like BPD’s when you’re a passive dude.

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WoundedPumpkin March 8, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I should send this to my ex …

I am also a BPD sufferer who basically told him if he doesn’t have a spine, I will eat him alive. And I did. I also walked away, which a lot of people are probably thinking, “isn’t he lucky” … he probably is lucky in some respects, but so am I … i can further work on myself. i do not plan to be in another relationship because I am that well aware of my actions that I am better off alone for the forseeable future (guys can now breathe a sigh of relief, bahahahahaha). And I am comfortable enough in myself that I can be alone and enjoy my own company.

I did DBT for 2 years and I agree it does jack shit. I took myself off ALL medication (with the doctors help, I don’t need more issues in my head through doing it the wrong way), and the only difference in that is, I can think and feel a bit more then when on medication, instead of walking around like a zombie.

I will say I am sick of the false portrayal on ill informed websites about what exactly is BPD … this site, I am pleasantly surprised about which is nice …

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Rick March 10, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Thanks for the great comment and proving the fact that DBT does jack shit, along with med. The solution in today’s society is ‘If you’re different, go to the doctor. Get on med. Get therapy.’ What a fail.

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Nick March 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm

wow, just wow

My mind has been absolutely blown when I read about BDP for the first time last night, as weekend just gone I think my GF and me split up – we had a text argument about something really stupid, I cant even remember what, and her last one to me ended something like ‘dont ever text me again’, the next day I deleted her from my FB, that night another text from her ‘nice to see you deleted me from FB, didnt take you long did it. Take care’. well last night I was trawling through to see what I might have done wrong, and came across BPD – it is her TO A TEE. I just wish I would have found out a few months ago so I would have handled it better, I put it down to PMT and her having the injection. She hasnt been back in contact with me, and I havent with her either…..

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Travis March 16, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Thanks for the info Rick. I stumbled upon this site looking for something else related to bpd, but im glad i did. I’ve been dating a bpd girl for 6 months now, and its had its rougher times, but i figured some of this out on my own and im glad i have this validation that my actions are the right ones. im caring and stern. It took a few months to figure out, but out of desperation i found that when i appeared to stop caring, she almost instantly changed her attitude. When she tries to hit my ego, i just smile and laugh it off like you suggested and it works every time. we still have our issues but we manage. Anyway thanks for your hard work. Saves the rest of us non’s alot of heart break.

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Rick March 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Great to hear man :) These women just need a strong man in their life who won’t let them walk all over them. Glad you are doing well.

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Hugh April 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Rick, I just found your website today and bought your e-book. I thought my girlfriend was just crazy but she does have abandonment issues. Initially when I started dating her our honey moon phase lasted about 6 months. Sex was amazing. She would text and e-mail me all the time. Of course I would do the same. And over that course I became a wuss and coddled her at her beckon. Then we got into one fight and boom she completely changed over night! And after reading everything in your e-book and website is exactly how things are happening! After things hit the fan and I’m trying to figure out what’s going on. Everything you’ve stated is true! However I’m learning to be a man and be strong. I notice when I’m nice and caring giving her attention she like pulls away or acts mean to me. However, I’m just holding strong and being indifferent. She is affectionate and cuddly. It’s like a night a day difference! I couldn’t understand her behavior until after I read your ebook and website! I just need to man up and be like a rock! Regardless how things go with my girlfriend. I am comfortable knowing I am a better man through it all. I feel empowered and not so helpless by my BPD girlfriend. Thanks!

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Mayra June 25, 2013 at 11:54 am

Hi, Im a BPD woman and I can tell you why we pull away when your caring and attentive….. its like playing with a cat you know sometimes they like to be pet and then they snap at you when they had enough… its the same with us, we love attention but the minute we feel smothered we bite… its unfortunate but sometimes its a (on our terms) kind of thing…. im very affectionate and caring and loving but the minute you give me the same in return or too much of it I get overwhelmed. and need a break. I dont like being alone (not in a relationship) but im so used to having my space…I hope things work out for you. we can be great women.

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Rick July 1, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Great cat analogy :) That’s actually how all women are to be honest.

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Mayra July 2, 2013 at 6:37 am

lol! that pretty true.

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RESPECT April 3, 2013 at 5:18 pm

DUDE YOU ROCK!!!! iAM GONNA DEMAND RESPECT FROM MY bpd….

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Allie April 7, 2013 at 5:32 am

Hahahaha.

I have not read your book, however, the one MAJOR flaw with the thinking here is the fact that BPDs need control of situations since their own lives are such an emotional maelstrom.

Guys (and yes I said guys….women dating a BPD I apologize for this), the one major thing they will do is GET PREGNANT. You can play the Gone With the Wind card (my BPD ex loved that movie) over and over but eventually you will be having sex without a condom and the risk of getting her pregnant goes thru the roof. At that point, they have control and guess what? With control they lose respect for you.

The moral of the story? You cannot win (BPDs are infamous for creating no-win situations and this is a BIG one). Do not trust them to be on the pill. They are chronic liars.

How do I know this? I dated one on and off for 3 years and when she sensed I was done and emotionally leaving her she went off the pill. Three weeks after breaking up she TEXTED me that she was pregnant. Yes, texted me. Classless.

Basically, she attempted to hi-jack my life. No happy ending for her on this one. I fought back and Lord only knows what she feels now.

Guys…..these women will entrap you and that is that flaw to the control strategies presented. Your “control” is not real if your gun is loaded. And even if not, she may cheat on you and you could end up with an STD (yup….got HPV from her too).

Like Robert said, RUN!

You don’t win with these women. Mine loved it when I simply threw her down on the bed and went at it with her when she misbehaved. Yeah, they can play that game but they hold the cards (house ALWAYS wins…..think Las Vegas….you can win sometimes, but you will ultimately lose).

I speak from experience. And I have some wisdom here. I am not a young buck (think more along the lines of Bambi’s dad, lol).

When mine got pregnant and we got back together for a short period her demands were crazy (money, cars, moving in with her own bathroom….OMG!). A month or two later (after first trimester so she could not abort my child), I filed a protective order against her and her house of cards began to crumble.

The silver lining to this story is I have a beautiful baby and I am winning the custody battle. God works in strange ways……

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Rick April 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I agree with you completely as dating someone with severe emotional issues just isn’t healthy. That’s why my focus is not about dating a BPD but instead about developing yourself to be a great person which will only bring you great relationships. But, it requires that you don’t fall for those emotionally wrecked women. A lot of guys still do. It’s my goal to help people become the best they can be which will weed out the emotionally weak partners. And that’s the direction I am now going and what my new book is all about :)

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Starr April 12, 2013 at 8:58 am

I am a lesbian and my ex girlfriend after looking up on different web sites I see that my ex has this disorder. Do you have an email address Rick?

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Rick April 20, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I have a contact page where you can email me but realize that I’m extremely busy and 99% of my time is helping customers. Thanks :)

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Sean April 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I have a very tricky sitation going on with my girl and the article actually made me more confused as to what to do. So I see/have sex with my gf(she has BPD traits but not sure if she really is one) once every 10 days or so, but we chat almost daily. I want to see her more often – like once or twice a week. You say not to be passive in the article and to raise my voice and set boundaries. On the other hand though, if i say i want to spend more time with her, isn’t that needy? Once or twice a week is not a lot for me but for her, who knows? Just to clarify we are exclusive. In the beginning of our relationship like 3 months ago i raised my voice about seeing her more often, she took it very personally and said that she wants to have her freedom and doesn’t want to feel forced to do something and we nearly broke up, so i am a bit hesitant what to do now. What should i do in my situation?

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MJ April 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Rhett Butler’s the man.

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Julia April 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm

This is funny. When I realized I had BPD, I had already screwed up my relationship. I can tell I’ve been through a lot of those situations on my last relationship. And add another person who is emotionally instable, you’ll have the recipe for disaster and a lot of suffering.

I gotta say that some assumptions you’ve made are not true to me.
My ex-boyfriend was constantly complaining about me never telling the truth about how I felt (because I was constantly changing my response and my behavior towards our relationship).
That’s when I started playing a chess against I don’t know what. I was constantly watching my behavior, filtering my emotions, trying to be consistent, planning how to say things to him, trying to predict the next move, my next emotion. It was so heavy on me. And on him as well, because I wouldn’t complain or say anything, but he could tell I wasn’t ok. And he kept accusing me on lying and not telling the truth about how I felt.
So, no matter how I acted, if I told him how I actually felt (and that is the emotional roller coaster), I’d be inconsistent, and a liar. If I tried to take control of my actions (because after years learning and trying stuff, I still can’t truly control my emotions), I’d be a liar as well.

When the relationship turns into a game, there’s no way of winning, because you’ve lost when you started to play it.

I’ve talked about BPD with my current boyfriend since the day we met. Yes, I was that traumatized. And yes, we started dating within less than a month since we’d met.
It took him some time to understand. He said he felt like I was trying to push him away for saying all those things about me. We talk thing through. We spend a lot of time just talking. When I feel like I’m just no good, I tell him, and I tell him that I need time alone. Because any social interaction would just be destructive to me and to others.

I try to cope with BPD, depression and anxiety disorder. My advice for anyone who wants to deal with a person with BPD would be to just don’t mix personal problems with relationship problems. BPD is a personal problem. Anyone who has it, will have it, you being around or not. That doesn’t mean that you can be insensitive to the person’s feelings, because they are true (even if it last for a second), and the person is suffering with them as well. Just try to talk things over. Make sure you both understand what’s going on. If things are too much for you, and the relationship becomes a burden, then you both are not ready for that. And understand that as you are doing your best to make it work, so is the other person.

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Kris May 20, 2013 at 10:32 am

This was a great article. I have never been more confused in my 30 years of living, since a recent breakup just left me completely shocked and…of course heartbroken. I could not for the life of me figure out how it went from ‘You’re the love of my life’ to ‘I don’t think you love me, I need space’ to ‘I can’t sleep at night i miss you so much, I want my heart to be yours but I don’t know if that’s possible since you’ve hurt me so much’ to ‘BAM. never talk to me again, I’ve moved on’. It was a cycle I wouldn’t welcome on my worst enemy. Sure, I could have taken my confidence and walked away, but I fought for what I believed in, which at the time was love, and since I was told I did such a crummy job at loving him, all that made me want to do is try and fight harder–which probably looked more weak in his eyes. Anyway, it was all so….strange. I should’ve known from the beginning: I was the chase–always the one that he was pursuing, and he’d send me pages of emails at the beginning with way too much info about his past and opening up, telling me he had a persecution complex but had gotten better in time….he’s a successful surgeon who is beyond good looking, so I couldn’t even understand it when he would constantly tell me how ‘insecure’ he was and how he felt he never fit in anywhere. At the time, I found it to be endearing; that someone could be so painfully honest with themselves, but the more I think about it, the more I saw how much he wrestled with the fact he didn’t fit in, but blamed me at times for making him feel that way. He didn’t drink much at all, and constantly felt people judged him for that, yet what was ironic, was when I drank (had more than one glass of wine) he’d get uncomfortable, which had me walking on eggshells whenever I did want a glass of wine. I brought it up to him one night, and he got really upset and basically broke up with me, saying he can’t make me happy. Ahhh just writing this stuff out makes me sick to my stomach, b/c I knew it wasn’t healthy to make up/break up every week, but somehow I was convinced it was my fault, which is why I would always fight for us ot get back together. I had a communication problem, as he said, and my approach was horrible (he was right in that I would often get frustrated and not know how to get my point across, so in that I can def see hurt feelings) but to always end it….it took such a huge toll emotionally on us, b/c I spend the bulk of our relationship, working to get back together. Towards the end, during our ‘space, is when I really lost my self respect…..I didn’t know he had anything wrong with him, and couldn’t understand how he would go from one extreme to the next (one night it was 6 hour conversations about the past and words I said to him when we first met–he would always bring that up and never seemed to get over it…) and then the next night it was ‘i dont’ want this anymore..’ and then the next day it was another 6 hour conversation…ALL about his feelings…and how I made him feel. I asked him’well hey..what about all the good times..all the amazing coversations we have had together’ and he openly admitted to me that he blocked those out, b/c he needed to protect his heart now, since I had broken it. I realize I was in a no-win situation, but I realize that only now, 4 weeks after we split up for good…and the things that followed our breakup were devastating. This guy told me he was left by his ex wife (7 years ago) on his bday and it crushed him beyond repair and he hated that he never got the closure from her…so for him to do almost the same thing to me, I couldn’tmake sense out of. He screamed at me when he ended things for good, telling me to never contact him again and that he had moved on, and so I went on vacation with some girlfriends to try and heal, and there was a pic taken with some of my guy friends on a sailboat which I am guessing he saw on lovely Facebook, although he took me off his friends beforehand, yet kept one of my closest friends on–not sure why–but he obvs saw the picture, and though he claimed he had moved on and never got jealous, a day later, he posted a pic of him and some new girl and put ‘in a relationship’. Mind you, this guy hates FB and is 35 years old, so very disturbing behavior and I couldn’t make sense why he’d do that. Then he reached out to my friend saying he would like to talk to him, but my friend just called him out on how bad it looked and how it looked like I was cheated on…ANYWAY…this was 2 weeks ago and I haven’t reached out or reacted to the whole relationship crap–just can’t believe how quickly they’re able to move on. I am not a therapist, so it’s not like I am certain he has BPD,but so much does make sense about it. He once told me he was so scared of someone really getting to know him (yet it was his dream), b/c in the end, he thought I would be sorely disappointed. I know that any negative words I said, he pounced on, and would somehow revise history a bit to almost convince himself that I was not a good person to him. Anyway, not sure if this all makes sense, at this point I am just writing. I am heartbroken, and damn, what I’d give for the guy to just reach out to me, apologizing for the behavior and give me a solid ending (sounds so cliche but..)…it’s the feeling I have of being so easily replaced and…need I say worthless. It’s a daunting feeling…and feeling tricked. I DO have self confidence, but my heart just fell so damn hard and it has really just messed with me. Anyway–thanks for reading, and posting this article.

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Mayra June 25, 2013 at 11:38 am

I am a BPD woman and you are so right! me and my ex boyfriend just called it quits again and I got really tired of the back n forth and I know my triggers and I tried explaining that to him but for some reason my back n forth feelings get the best of me. I know I care for him a lot n love him but when I get aggravated or annoyed I question my true love…. I cant stand when he constantly vows his love n dedication but not because I don’t appreciate it but just because I don’t need the constant reminder. I want him to have a backbone and not be so quick to do for me cause like I have told him before, everytime he says im gonna be there for you I will do anything for you, I tend to respond with “I didn’t ask you to be my rescuer, I don’t NEED you to do anything for me”.. but when I have asked for something and I feel he is ignoring me I go into a “you don’t care about me and you ignored me so I dont ask for anything anymore cause I feel as if he disappointed me. I tell him all the time to review BPD and he will have a better understanding on why we have these ups and downs.. but I dont like to be smothered and he is such an awesome guy any normal woman would be blessed to have him by their side. Its just hard for me to adapt to him since I am used to rocky relationships and my childhood definatly plays a huge role on why I developed BPD. I am what is considered a high functioning BPD whereas I know my triggers I acknowledge my condition and I have worked on calming down my rages when I get angry and I do want to get help. Everyone deserves to be happy, its just harder for me (us BPD women) to believe that we are capable of being happy and not hurt like we have been over and over again. I dont like that he gets his feelings hurt by me and I do apologize to him, but I also tell him the things I dont like…but he continues to do them..i wish him the best and I pray one day I can overcome this damn thing so I can have my chance at happiness….

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Rick July 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Eh, to me BPD is blown way out of proportion. Guys that understand women don’t really deal with these types of relationships. Like I no longer date women with any sort of attention whoring or emotional issues because it’s annoying more than anything. It’s like having to baby sit a 10 year old at times. Yea I used to date them and I have none of the problems that others have with them, but that’s because I learned like you said on how to treat them. When you figure out this fine line, it changes from a rocky relationship into an annoying one because she starts doing odd things for attention – just like a cat.

The solution for girls with BPD, and I continue to say this over and over again, is for them to simply get busy with hobbies and date a man that’s also a busy guy. You’ll learn quick fast that you can’t pull the same stuff because you’ll lose a great guy. You can’t push him away because he’ll just move on to one of the 18 other girls that are pursuing him. And you cant get clingy because youll push him away.

The problem with a lot of BPD girls is that they continue to date chump after chump – because the chump guy will put up with that poor behavior. And this makes things even worse. Or better yet, get in a long distance relationship because then youll have no choice but to only see your partner every weekend or less. These seem to be the only relationships that ‘work’ these days for BPD’s. However, I don’t recommend long-term relationships for normal people because they suck! Only a chumpy dude would hop on that train.

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Mayra July 2, 2013 at 6:26 am

I agree, but I am a very busy mom and I cannot stand when a guy cannot understand that, they want my undevoted attention but I cannot give that, for instance the constant calls,,,i can say I will call you right back and then two minutes later my phone is going off the hook and texts after texts with things like “oh your too busy to pick up your phone what are you doing” and then when I blow a fuse and get pissed off im the wrong one? Im a mother of 4 great children, I work full time and when I have time to breathe from being a mom or working, im doing stuff like laundry cleaning shopping for food etc (still doing mommy things), I prefer to be with someone who is not an attention seeker and not so mushy, I am looking into seeking counseling, and I just don’t have the “time” to be in a relationship so I don’t want to be tied down at the moment. can you blame me? im trying to get myself in order with this emotional issues and im already busy as it is. I try to control my anger bursts but sometimes I get pushed to far and its not fare when im trying to control this thing lol.

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Lyra July 13, 2013 at 1:17 am

Honestly, this clumps BPDs into a simple category, but do we do that for the entire population of the human race? No. This pertains to people with BPD as well. At least this article is geared to the idea of helping people out with dating sufferers dealing with BPD.

Firstly, I suffer with BPD and am currently seeking two forms of psychiatry help which has help me improve dramatically. For me, if you treat me good, I will treat you good too. If you treat me like crap, I will either treat you as so, or leave. I am quite self-aware and know that I am not the only person who is. I am a honest, thoughtful, outspoken, positive, and caring individual. Like all people, I do have mistakes and I learn from them as best I can.

To tell you the truth, I make start off head strong when it comes to love. I have an idea what kind of man I am dating. Its when his true colors show and he turns out to be something not at all like what I thought he was like, this is when I lose interest. Like this time, I began a relationship with a man that I perceived as smart, independent, humorous, and affectionate. After three lovely months, his true colors surfaced. It took time. He turned out to be demanding, possessive, needy, negative, and bossy. It took time for me to break up with him, but one evening, he was so rude to my twin brother. I dumped him.

Now that I’ve been in therapy for over two years and still counting, I take things more slowly and get to know the man I am dating much more. As of right now, I am mainly focusing on recovering and on my education.

I’d like to see some articles written by the professionals covering BPDs from a more intellectual light instead of reading articles from men who’ve encountered mean girls who’ve torn them to bits. In fact, in most cases…its just from one measly relationship and often, its in the perceptive of a uneducated individual who simply ruins the image of BPD. I’ve talked to many professionals and they have informed me to not believe any of the negative garbage online.

Most of us with BPD are not as horrible as depicted in the media and online. You cannot clump a huge population together and say they are all like this. Some of us are actually quite opposite. For me, I only have 3 symptoms of BPD. It only takes two, so think about that.

Thanks for reading.

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Rick July 30, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Actually I’m very clear that BPD is different for every single person that has it. That’s why you have to apply everything to your particular situation which is what I’ve been saying. I don’t even like using the word BPD anymore because I hate clumping people into categories.

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Bobby July 18, 2013 at 11:05 am

I just wanted to concur with much of what was written above. I am dating someone I suspect has BPD or at least abandonment issues and lately things have gotten rocky. I have instinctively been challenging her, even pulling the Rhett Butler act and laughing at her when she expresses these irrational fears about other women. I am not a chump, by the way, but there is just a certain sweet, innocent quality to my girl that allows me to see the good in her and makes me want to be there for her if I can. She is contrite and apologizes when she knows she has gone too far. She is great looking but has never married because maybe nobody has taken the time to understand her. If there are techniques that can settle her down, there is no doubt in my mind that a great girl lies underneath … a hidden jewel that I might have been the only one lucky enough to find and the only one smart enough to understand her. I think I’m doing this for the right reasons, not out of weakness but out of strength. But am I delusional?

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maria July 27, 2013 at 11:07 pm

i am amazed at what i am reading. ive been suffering for many years and went thru many relationships thinking that i am now unworthy of love because i simply can’t love like other people do, and i will end up hurting people who care about me. I recently broke up with an ex because i couldnt take the rollecoaster i was putting him thru anymore, i was hurting him constantly and he simply couldnt understand why i was on and off from day to day, and i couldnt find the words to explain to him whats wrong with me or even help him cope or know what to do. I thought i was going crazy and doomed for life, because i know i am letting go of a great guy because of a disorder i have to live with. Ive given up the thought of being happy with someone because i know i will be happy for 2 days and then careless for 5 days for absolutely no reason, and being attacked with questions such as “why are you cold, what is wrong with you, what did i do, do you love me, you dont care about me anymore” angers me because i feel like i can’t be myself and i can’t control who i am, this creates even more distance until the person just becomes hurt and i get even more angry and depressed because im hurting them and i hate that i am this way. Your article really helps alot, thankyou for this amazing insight. everything else online that ive checked about how to help a partner cope with someone with BPD was very negative, mostly saying that we are loveless and people shouldnt waste time and energy on us. This is an article ill be showing my ex so that maybe he will understand my demons.

M.

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Rick July 30, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Yes he needs to not be pressuring you like that. Even non-BPD’s hate that.

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Kev August 1, 2013 at 3:12 am

A great site and what I would add to this article is this: The reason why the above works, is that BPDs have thin emotional skin and no adult emotional skills. They therefore require someone who can help to regulate their emotions by offering routine and structure. Someone who will be a constant, continuing force.

You have to continue in the role as a caretaker but you have to do this with detachment from their mood, behaviour and the idea that changing your behaviour will make things easier. It won’t.

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Rick August 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Right, you have to treat them like a 12 year old in an adult body. The minute you lose your back bone, you’re going to get owned.

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Micah August 6, 2013 at 7:17 am

Hey Rick, I loved the article. I was with a Bpd last year and it was the worst relationship that I had ever been in. I broke up with her 9 months ago and life is good now. A lot of things you wrote in your article is true. I learned to stop being a passive nice guy, I now put myself first. I’ve changed who I am and I love I like being the sort of bad boy type now. I get a lot more respect from women now. You are right when you change the way you treat women they start to respect you and chase you. I now set boundries and if a woman can’t respect my boundries then they have to go. I have zero tolerance for disrespect. My ex didn’t respect me at all, she even told me that she wouldn’t respect me. So one day after dating for 10 months I got tired of her shit and told her I wasn’t happy and wanted to end the relationship. She Freaked out and had an anxiety attack when I told her this. After that incident she was always paranoid that I would leave her which I eventually did. This is a wonderful article that many guys need to read. Thanks to my Ex I’m a better person and I’ll never let another woman disrespect me.

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Josh August 15, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I am male 23 diagnosed BP last week after dodging therapy for presumed Bipolar disorder for 2 1/2 years.
This article has made more sense than anything else I’ve read on the matter and I am grateful. It’s as if you’ve had cameras hidden in my head all this time.
Thanks and thanks.

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Nina Burris October 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm

This should be the same technique to use for someone with Bipolar disorder since they are so similar. Am I correct in my assumption? I remember in the beginning of my relationship with my bipolar boyfriend I would just agree with him breaking up with me and when he would threaten the relationship I would sometimes grab my stuff and get ready to leave and he would stop me. It seemed like when I had more time invested in our relationship I would get upset more. He actually would pack up all his things and leave when I wasn’t there. This happened a couple of times. Now we still see each other. We no longer live together though and I don’t think we are boyfriend and girlfriend. I need to stand up to him, but somehow still be supportive! We have been together on and off for 2 years! I do love him or I would have forgotten him a long time ago. I like the concept of what you are saying and I am going to put into practice what you are saying! Just learning the fine line is what I need to learn!!

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Rick October 6, 2013 at 7:39 pm

It’s not a technique. Stop thinking that way. You’re just setting yourself up for failure when you’re trying to do something to win. Instead, think of it as BEING somebody. BE a person that demands self-respect and you’ll naturally influence those around you to treat you with respect as well as the boundaries you set for yourself.

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Bree November 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Dude you just saved me some ‘couch’ time! I was involved with a BPD, but I called him a liar to his face. His reaction made me feel like a douche. After reading this post, EVERTHING fell into place. This Dude’s favorite movie is GWTW! He was watching it before the scene where he was going to make our breakup public. When I tried to reason, he kept provoking me. When I called him a liar, he freaked. I just walked off, like Rhett (I don’t give a …)

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b November 29, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Rick, what I find so interesting is that not once have you asked yourself why you have dated so many women with BPD. No person with a healthy, secure attachment style would tolerate a Borderline for more than a minute once the crazy making behavior became apparent. Why are they drawn to you? Why would you continue to date them? Most people never have the unfortunate experience of dating a Borderline yet you have dated multiple Borderlines.

I also find it interesting that the one girl who wanted to be with you and put in effort to keep you is the one you dumped to travel. Perhaps you have some attachment issues of your own to sort out? Are you codependent? Avoidant? Sounds like a bit of both? If diagnosing other people is your thing you should probably examine yourself first.

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Rick December 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Where are all these people showing up making up stories? Anyways, relationships are about enjoying each other. It’s not about this Disney love that you and most people are looking for. That simply doesn’t exist and is false. Whether a girl is BPD or not, it doesn’t matter. They both behave very well around me because they know that I won’t tolerate bad behavior. You might as well assume that everybody has BPD and treat everyone the same. That’s what I do and I have very healthy, fun relationships free of drama.

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Osvaldo December 14, 2013 at 11:17 pm

I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

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sara January 14, 2014 at 4:04 am

Your writing has many good points and good advice on how to become more aware about self respect. But I will tell you and everyone here that dealing BPD: RESPECT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. It doesn’t matter how many personal borders you have. BPD people have no self worh and no self respect so even if you have plenty of it they do not understand the concept of it. So don’t hit yourself in head if you are or have been in relationship with BPD person and feel your border were overfloaded with the persons agression etc. Good luck!

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dan January 22, 2014 at 12:56 am

Hi Rick,
I started putting some of your actions into reality. But I have a slightly different problem. I have an ex friend who has BPD that I want to cut completely out of my life. I was able to keep out of life for the past 2 years and now she used the courts to force her way back in.

I’ve have informed her that I would not be giving her my phone number nor will I be speaking to her. Yet she tried to get my cell number not once but twice.

Do you have any techniques in getting rid some like this. I was force to take back into my apt. And I’ve reach the point that I can’t even stand to look at her.

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Marco February 13, 2014 at 2:21 pm

It’s uncanny that a flawed person like a borderline is always looking for Mr or Mrs Right. They are the equivalent of Don Juan. Here, to understand you have to read Ortega y Gasset essay on the soul of a Don Juan. What’s important for them is the hunt not the quarry. They are better off with an avoidant person and usually people that have some success with them are exactly that. But then, an avoidant person is not less flawed than a borderline. Their relationship end up as tragically unsatisfied.

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Rick March 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Everyone is looking for the perfect Mr or Mrs Right. That’s how we are. However, at the end of the day we always attract what we project. So if you seem to end up dating these lower quality types of people, that just means that you yourself have a lot of issues as well. So dating a BPD really is a good indicator that you need to work on yourself a lot as well.

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mark May 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Hi rick,
what do i say or do to attract my bpd ex gf back?
Is there anything i can do similar to a non bpd?
Just curious

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Erica May 22, 2014 at 2:24 am

I’m co-dependent, I’ve greatly improved in respecting myself but I still allow the things my BPD boyfriend says to upset me. I know it’s his disorder but yet I take it so personally and try to fix it (even being late to work because of the outbursts :/ ) I know I just need to walk out the door when the outbursts start (he even tells me to leave because he knows how he’s behaving). I’m constantly being accused of cheating even though I’d never hurt him that way. I usually laugh when he accuses me because I know how ridiculous the thought of me cheating is (in my mind) I know he worries every day.
I love him more than anything like all the others seem to say about their BPD partners. I’ve known and talked to him for 10 years and we’ve been dating for almost 3. been on our share of roller coaster rides, we have a house together and as rick says, when times are good they’re really good. He told me just last night he couldn’t wait to go to sleep, so his thought processes would end and hopefully wake up in this morning and be in a different mood/mindset.
I’ve found the best thing to do is if they say something extremely hurtful don’t let them see that it hurt you. I’m not saying to take it by any means but I’m a girl, emotional and currently realizing and working on my co-dependency problem and learning to respect myself in all relationships of my life. but when I cry because of the hurtful things he says it seems to make the situation worse. instead of thinking “I know this is his disorder, don’t let someone else make you feel less about yourself”.

I know now I just need to walk away. I need to go to work, go for a drive and let him cool down. Nothing you say will calm them or change their mood. Usually I come back from work or give him a day or two of not letting his mood and actions decide how I feel about myself and his outbursts stop. I guess I’m mostly writing to figure out my own situation and to get over the outbursts that happened earlier today where I failed to let it go and we just argued round and round. it’s better to just walk away and come back to talk when both of you are more emotionally stable.

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whapadang August 8, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Just got through dating a bpd who shows all the classic signs. Unfortunately, I only saw them after I had a psychiatrist friend tell me when I was explaining her bizarre behavior after breakup. I just went through stop sign after stop sign and disregarded what she was telling me-”no good in relationships”, a “runner” etc. She was hot and vibrant and exciting and I have to admit I just tried to “fix” her through attention and love and showing her how much I cared. Clearly, it had the opposite effect. Closer and more intimate we got, more she freaked out. Went out for about a year and weekend we broke up, she gave me flowers and told me I was the best thing and thanked me for loving her, I babysat her kids and then after two nights on a sunday morning I was let go. Have had no contact in about two months and be fucked if I will contact, I am working on keeping my self respect and moving on. Also realized that my ex-wife was also one and thats my fault and I need to get my sensors better tuned. But stay the hell away from them is my advice as you do not want to give them any sense that you are grieving or missing them. Way I look at it is their loss and probably our gain.

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Rick August 8, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Hey sorry to hear. My advice is to only stay away from them if you can’t handle them. They need strong, well-grounded lovers. If you’re weak in any way, they will exploit that weakness and lose attraction for you. Thanks for your comment :)

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ThankYouRick August 12, 2014 at 8:35 am

REDO:

Rick, please clarify:

“A BPD will make you feel like you’ve found the perfect partner – if you LACK self-respect.

BPD’s will take advantage of this weakness…”

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Rick August 12, 2014 at 7:51 pm

There is NO SUCH THING as the perfect partner. So the fact that you may feel like you’ve found ‘the one’ goes to show how easily controlled you are. You’re trying to live out a fantasy which is very bad as I’ve said multiple times. When any woman is leading the relationship, it’s going to fail. So if a BPD is making you feel like you’ve found the best partner, she’s probably leading the way. You should never feel like your partner is perfect. That’s just a really bad sign and why your relationship will ultimately fail because perfection is a myth :)

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Dede October 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Rick, your info is the most realistic practical ive ever read on bipolar experiences and advice. Your smart, have developed yourself from experiences and even kept your friends, and made a book with profits on many levels, very smart. I notice and respect. Do you ever date non bipolar people? Ha id love just have some conversations with yu. No im not bipolar though.
Hit me up!

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Rick October 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm

I don’t judge people or try to figure out what ‘issues’ they have anymore so I really don’t know! I think the girl I’m dating currently has some codependent and BPD issues, but at the end of the day, I believe every single one of us has issues so I don’t judge anymore. I just now what women want so it doesn’t matter who I date anymore. Give me time with a woman and they fall for me fast :)

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James November 14, 2014 at 11:22 am

I think my wife has some sort of personality disorder. And i am positive my girlfriend before her has it. when my wife and I got together everything I did was fine with her at the time. But after we moved in together things started changing she tarted disliking my work (truck driver), and other things I did whenever we met and so on. so slowly I started bending and changing thinking it would make her happy I only took truck driving jobs that were local and home daily. even then she would have to be in constant contact with me wondering where I was what I was doing why I was stopped for 5 minutes even. things got worse and worse to the point I agreed with her and decided to get out of trucking all together but due to the lack of money I had to get back into it and she said if I did we would be completely through and she would divorce me. Finally I decided to stand my ground and go back into trucking and moved out, because she said I could not stay there and do that job she would not allow it. after being gone one day she is already texting and messaging people that she seen before we even got together. my question is, is she really a borderline? if a borderline thanks you will not allow yourself to be controlled by them will they want to end the relationship, because I have told her we do not need divorce we can work this all out.

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Rick November 20, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Who cares if she’s a borderline? Bro, the fact of the matter is she’s trying to control YOU. That’s a big no no. You got to do what you can to support yourself. If she ain’t down with that, why be with her? This is a classic example of WHY you shouldn’t be with her. Fuck that woman. She’s an asshole. You should have called her a cunt and told her to go fuck herself. That’s my advice.

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Dede October 16, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Smart man, i will definitely read your book, as yu have some experience and wisdom to share in variety of areas. Thanks!
But i wouldnt mind tht cup of coffee with yu, your words in your books ill have to adjust….ha…have great day.

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RecoveringSiri November 16, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Rick I have a question. Why is it that my BPD current husband/ex never posts any pictures of him with his baby mama (she is also a BPD and Grandiose Narcissist…way worse and way more controlling, extreme, condescending, and irrational than him) on his social media pages, such as Facebook? More importantly, why doesn’t she even try to put pics of them on his page? Before she had their newborn child (who is now 11 months), she loved having pics of them on his page and putting it in myself and trying to hurt me, but now she never puts pics of them on his page and neither does he. All I see are pics of him and the baby girl. But if they are together, why do they no longer put pics of themselves together on social media sites anymore? Just curious.

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Rick November 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Who knows, probably because they’re over that phase? I don’t know.

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