Moving in with a Borderline

November 10, 2010

Perhaps you’ve heard this old joke- What does a lesbian bring to a second date? A: A U-Haul.

Borderline personality disorder is often found in the lesbian community. Untreated BPs (ones that live in denial) move fast. Upon meeting someone for the first time, they might declare that person is their soulmate. Within months they may be engaged to be married. There are a few theories on why a borderline rushes to move in, here are a few:

It’s a Socioeconomic Thing Unless they’re Marilyn Monroe or Anna-Nicole Smith, many borderlines struggle with finances. Like alcoholism and abuse, BPD is much more common when people are struggling to make it by.  BPs may be emotional when it comes to relationships, but when it comes to paying the bills they can be very practical. Moving in or getting married means there’s another person who can pay the rent. While most people would be content with a roommate, a BP needs something more.

Love Addiction BPs are addicted to the high of love or at least the trappings of love. They love the cuddling and the kissing more so than the actual person they are kissing and cuddling. They love the idea of being loved. Moving in would ensure more of that love. When they meet someone who can provide that sense of being loved, they are sure he/she is the One. The problem is a BP’s judgment is clouded by rose-tinted glasses (idealization). As soon as that honeymoon feeling wears off (and it always does) you then have two people living together who realize they don’t actually love each other. In short, you have a disaster waiting to happen.

Security Blanket When you are as insecure as an untreated BP, everything is frightening. But it’s more than having someone to hold them during a thunderstorm or to kill spiders crawling on the wall. It is a fear of being alone.  Being alone drives them… well… crazy. So as soon as someone looks promising enough, they move in to seal the deal. A warm body provides the sense of security a BP needs to feel at ease. The problem here is that, for some BPs, any body will do. Insecurity can easily lead to infidelity.

Locking You In Part of the reason BPs are so insecure is the fear of abandonment that is at the core of the disorder. Everything a BP does at the beginning of a relationship is designed to pull you in. They will say “I love you” and “nobody understands me like you” just to flatter you. They will tell you sob stories of abuse (abusive parents, abusive exes, abusive world). By appointing you chief savior, they are making you feel obligated to stay. Moving in with you or getting married would make it harder for someone to abandon them. In a way, it is an emotional ball and chain.

Proof is in the Pudding In a BPs lifetime, they may have had a chain of broken relationships. Each one adding to the fear that they are unloveable. Each failure only makes them more eager to prove that they can have a healthy relationship. BPs that are unaware of their disorder, will fool themselves into believing the next relationship will be different. Not realizing the problem lies with them and their disorder.

Those unfortunate souls, who have been fooled into believing that a BP wants to move in with them because of the strength of their love, will soon get a rude awakening. The move-in will create that which BPs fear much more than being alone: intimacy. Before you know it, cabin fever will set in. The BP will alternate from being prickly to withdrawn. Untreated BPs pull you in, only to push you away.

Any person with a good head will try to put the brakes on, because they know that intimacy takes time. They also know that anyone who is in this much of a hurry to move in is masking insecurities.  But when you deny a BP what they want, they can quickly turn on you. And it is at this point, you will see how shallow an untreated BP’s love can be by how quickly their heart turns cold. You will be astonished by how quickly they become hostile once the fear of rejection is triggered. If you resist moving in with a desperate BP, you will be kicked to the curb without mercy. The push will turn to shove. They will even devalue and demonize you to justify their harsh treatment. You will also be shocked at how quickly a BP can find a replacement (sometimes in a matter of days). But in time, you will realize they did you a huge favor.

A BP rushing to move in is looking for a quick fix. You are only there for convenience sake. Untreated BPs think intimacy can be forced with physical closeness. They believe the high of shopping for new furniture and picking out the perfect home will erase a lifetime of bad memories. But this is the logic of a BP living in denial. The kind of wounds that plague BPs must be healed with years of therapy. No amount of playing house will cure what ails them.

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