Trying to figure out the different stages of a BPD relationship? Wondering how a BPD relationship evolves over time? Confused in general and wondering what to do?
Well, that’s why I’m here. This article, as well as dozens of others I’ve written, will help you answer these questions. So bookmark my site if you haven’t done so yet.
I regularly write about BPD and codependent relationships because I love helping people reach the success and happiness they strongly desire.
It’s my mission to help men and women all over the globe have better relationships. Understanding the stages of a BPD relationship will help you reach your goal.
I have a soft spot for Borderlines because I’ve dated several over the years. I also have several close girlfriends who have BPD as well as other emotional disorders.
These friendships have taught me a lot about myself, relationships and BPD in general. I’ve coached many clients with BPD and it’s always been a great learning experience.
While BPD may seem extremely toxic on the surface, deep down these people want to find love just as much as you and me.
I don’t like labeling people with BPD, or any other label for that matter, but I realize that I’d be a fool to completely ignore it as well.
The reality is that people with Borderline Personality Disorder are still unique, creative individuals. They can be amazing with the right partner.
But, you need to be aware of the three main BPD relationship stages (there’s probably more but these 3 are the most important).
These stages are the Honeymoon/Seducer Stage, the Vulnerable Clinger Stage and then the Rejection Stage.
Just so we’re clear, these are the stages that I define. Maybe some “experts” have the same belief, maybe they don’t. I don’t really care. These are just the 3 stages I’ve found to be consistent with BPD relationships.
Ultimately want to be able to minimize these stages as much as possible. My goal is to help you limit as much drama and chaos as possible when you encounter these stages.
Before we dive in, I also have a BPD “cheat sheet” that I can email you if you’re interested. Just click here and tell me where to send it. You can read it later for more education.
The Honeymoon/Seducer Stage
It is completely true that people with BPD may appear to be this nice, sweet girl/charming guy that is everything you’ve ever dreamed of dating.
He or she appears to be bubbly and friendly, gives you the attention you crave, and easily seduces you into a whirlwind romance.
You fall for the spell and feel like you’ve found “the one.”
But, unlike what other websites and “experts” tend to preach, they make it out like this person with BPD is some sort of professional manipulator who loves destroying relationships for a living.
Sure, there are some people out there who consciously manipulate you on purpose to hurt you. But this could mean you’re dating a sociopath which is beyond the scope of this article.
What these “experts” seem to forget is that when it comes to ANY sort of relationship, it will always take two to tango. Relationships are 50/50.
If you happen to find yourself seduced into these honeymoon periods, which I have always warned against, is the person with BPD the one to blame?
The answer, in my opinion, is pretty clear:
At the end of the day, you are 100% responsible for yourself. You cannot control the actions of others. It’s your fault if you ultimately fall into the honeymoon period. You signed up for it.
It doesn’t matter what sort of sob story your partner throws at you on the daily. If you’ve got a codependent mentality, you’ll come to his or her aid. You like to show how great of a partner you are.
But, as I’m sure you can confirm, your good deeds go unappreciated. You’re walking on eggshells because you’re afraid of setting your partner off for no apparent reason.
So let me give you a big hint that will help you avoid falling victim to the Seducer Stage:
Doing good deeds and being this “white knight” will never score you any points. In fact, it makes the relationship worse as time goes on.
The problem with having that codependent mindset is your need for approval and love. You feel as if your life would be much worse without your BPD partner.
It’s truly a confidence issue at its core. You give your partner great treatment because you want to feel appreciated and loved in return.
As a result, your boundaries are weak. You’re probably a pushover. It’s easy for your partner to get his or her way with you no matter how much you do for them. You never seem to get what you truly want (which is pure affection and love with zero negative vibes).
But, a relationship with weak boundaries is a relationship that will die a slow death. It will grow more and more toxic as the weeks go by.
This is why BPD relationships evolve towards chaos. Your lack of boundaries and codependent core ultimately is to blame.
Understand that there are people that successfully date those who have BPD. You just never hear about it because they have no reason to write about it online.
What I can tell you is that BPD relationships require setting strong boundaries early on and having the right attitude. Any hint of Codependency and you’ll pretty much fail in these relationships.
The Seducer Stage plays right into your needs and desires. It’s as if this fantasy you’ve had since you were a little boy or girl is finally being fulfilled. You feel amazing in those moments.
Therefore, you are ultimately the one to blame. The Borderline played into your fantasies and you ate it up. You probably fell in “love” right then and there!
You must learn to be realistic about the honeymoon period. Don’t let these amazing moments seduce your heart. Trust that you can have the confidence to let a relationship evolve on it’s own at a slower, more natural pace.
The Vulnerable Clinger Phase
Most people believe that people with BPD have some elaborate plan to “hook” you in with their “masterfully crafted” seductions.
Well I hate to be the bearer of “bad” news here, but people with BPD don’t have these elaborate plans (unless they’re sociopaths which could be the case).
Borderlines don’t wake up in the morning and say “I can’t wait to find a new person to masterfully seduce and then take advantage of and leave them!”
People with BPD are human just like you and me. They want to find love and live happily ever after like you do.
The problem is that both you and the person with BPD have issues with love and it causes these relationships to fail.
Despite what you may think, you have enabled the BPD behavior that you’re experiencing. When you learn my relationship system, you’ll understand this truth.
The Clinger Phase happens once you’ve been seduced and fully invested in your partner. It’s extremely predictable and expected when it happens.
It will come in the form of the Borderline complaining about life (first world problems), calling and texting you about how he/she is “sad”, how they miss you so much, how they need you to come over, etc.
The Clinger Phase begins with a shift towards negativity. Instead of the BPD being this fun, positive, highly energetic partner, they start to share all these stupid first world problems they are going through.
Problems with his/her friends, problems at work, problems with family, problems with roommates, etc. Small, basic problems just to complain about to you.
It could be other things as well. The point is that this shift will eventually occur. When it does, you’ll know that you’re transitioning out of the Seducer Phase.
The problem is that if you’re needy and desperate for love, you’ll eat this stuff up. You’ll sit on the phone and listen to him/her complain for hours about life.
You’ll hop in your car and drive over to cuddle all night because she’s had such a rough day. She’s a damsel in distress and needs her Hero (you) to come to her rescue.
And, due to your codependent need for approval, you gladly accept. You love to be there for her and help you figure things out — without giving you any sex.
That’s how you know the Seducer Phase is coming to an end. You feel like you’re “growing closer” to your partner, but the intimacy is much less than it was before. Instead of having sex, you’re just cuddling and being there for her.
But you don’t mind. You get to be her Hero, right? You believe what you’re doing is the right thing and it will make the relationship even stronger.
Well, as I always say, the Hero gets ZERO.
By allowing the Clinger Phase to develop, you are actually responsible for the relationship to start its descent towards death. The relationship will become more toxic as your needs are no longer fulfilled.
Since you allow this Clinger Phase to develop, the Borderline will keep this up until he/she is no longer attracted to you. You’ll then move into the Rejection Phase.
BPD behavior is extremely predictable when you know what to expect. These phases always happen. The way you make a BPD relationship work is by not being a part of these phases.
I hope this makes sense. It’s an inner battle with yourself because you want to be the borderline’s hero. You love rescuing the damsel in distress. But, until you train yourself to stop being the rescuer, your BPD relationships will fail.
The Rejection Phase
This brings us to the “final” phase according to BPD “experts”. I guess people with BPD just randomly decide to start hating us?
Here’s the thing: out of every single healthy, fully-functional adult I’ve ever known, not a single one of them likes to be in a relationship with someone that doesn’t have their own life going on.
So when you decide to give up your own life and fully focus on your partner with BPD, you actually become the one responsible for pushing away your partner.
Now you’re going to argue back and say how everything you’re doing is intended to “help” or “please” or “try to make things better” or whatever.
Do you know what we call these sort of people that do that? People-pleasers. These types of people are actually very unhealthy for relationships because a people-pleaser has lost sense of him or her self.
Boundaries just no longer exist because everything you’re doing is now with focus on your partner. There’s no more Independence. You’ve now become a full-fledged, deep Codependent and this is the quickest way to ruin any sort of romance, if there was any left to begin with.
Apparently people with BPD have some elaborate plan to control you and then “bring out the hater”. But this really is just a load of BS.
Again, relationships are a two way street. If you really allow your all of your thoughts, behaviors and emotions to be completely “controlled” by your partner, who’s responsible for that?
The truth is that at the end of the day, the only thing you have control of is your own self. Nobody else can control you. This is purely scientific. You have 100% reign over your mind and your thoughts.
So to believe that people with BPD have this elaborate plan to “hook” you and “control” you is just pure BS. This is just classic irresponsibility and blaming. But the only person to blame for becoming “hooked” is yourself.
These “experts” like to talk about how this “rage” is fueled by some trigger that you cannot seem to identify with. Well, it’s actually pretty easy: it’s the fact that you’ve become so addicted and obsessed with your partner.
Because you’ve lost full sense of your own self, you’ve become very unattractive in the BPD’s eyes. It’s not just a BPD thing – nobody likes to date someone who is overly attached and obsessed.
Because all of your thoughts and emotions are heavily on your BPD partner, you’ve literally put your own sense of well-being completely into your partner’s hands – 100% your own doing.
This is a HUGE responsibility that no one wants to have. This is why they rage at you. You can’t seem to figure it out, but if someone decided to throw all their responsibility onto you, you’d probably rage as well.
I know this article might seem like I’m attacking you. But I’m not.
I’m just being real and showing the other side of the coin here. I want to open up your mind a bit.
I want you to put your feet into the shoes of your partner.
I’m tired of all these “gurus” and “relationship experts” talking about how BPD is this “serious mental illness.”
But in reality, it’s not nearly as awful as you hear.
My goal with this blog is to help people be more aware of themselves so they can see how their own actions, poor mindsets and bad habits can cause further problems in the relationship.
After everything I’ve written above, you should already have a really big idea of how you can improve yourself and the relationship immediately.
There’s a ton of really bad habits that people do all the time that contribute to more and more toxicity.
If you enjoy this information, then take a look at my new course.
Questions? Story to tell? Leave a comment below to get the discussion going.