Author, Musician, Engineer, Lover

Does Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder Actually “Love” You?

I have dwelled upon the psychology of my (former) best friend for more than a year now. As part of the process of revising my book, I sought out other people online, specifically, based on the types of personality disorders they are diagnosed with… always curious… Do I see Inari in this person?

Needless to say, I found a TON of correlations between Inari and people using #borderlinepersonalitydisorder or #bpd hashtags online… In effect, their behaviors are all a subset of Inari’s behaviors, as Inari, in my opinion, is possibly a far more severe case of Borderline Personality Disorder than anyone I’ve encountered online… or maybe I’m just biased because I spent so much time with her.

The best place to experience people with abnormal psychology?… TikTok… There you will find people with borderline personality disorder who post very personal videos about what their lives are like and how they see and react to the world. I sought them specifically, to see what they say, see how they act, see how they respond, see how they get through a day in their lives… and see what they do when provoked or confronted.

Additionally, sometimes I also meet people who are struggling to escape the fishing hooks that a BPD person will embed into them…. their “supply”. Now this term, “supply” is most-often used to describe how narcissists view other people… but in this case I’ve carefully chosen it to describe the relationships BPD individuals have with other humans, for a reason.

The conversation topic came up multiple times over the last year… “Does someone with Borderline Personality Disorder actually love you?”

I argued multiple times in bars, among friends and acquaintances, that “yes, they absolutely do”… and I also pointed out the sickening paradox of it… “yes, they love you, but their love will kill you”. A BPD person’s love is full of cognitive dissonance, but I argued that the love they feel really is love. But now I’m not so sure my assessment is right.

A guy I met introduced me to a psychological term I was unfamiliar with, called “object constancy“. BPD sufferers lack object constancy…. and those who lack object constancy have a hard time understanding that people exist when they’re not immediately in front of them. Inari’s lack of object constancy, described in my book, was absolutely brutal to deal with… but until yesterday, I never really paid much attention to the term. But now that I’ve read up on it… it just reinforces the hypothesis… that Inari is a stunning textbook case of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Her treatment of me when we were physically near each other would be completely over-the-top… like lovers frolicking in meadows… like a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie… but after I took her home… she’d go completely cold… silent… stop answering the phone… stop answering my texts…. and I would be horribly confused… like “what the hell is going on!?!?” This confusion is known as “cognitive dissonance” and is a key ingredient in “gaslighting“. Too much cognitive dissonance breaks down a person’s sense of emotional balance…and as you’re obviously in love with this person, clawing and clamoring for another frolic in the meadows… you give up your emotional control and your sense of reality to this other person… the “normal” that you experience is dictated by them… and they are basically your cult-leader.

So… do BPD people actually “love” you? Well… it might seem like it in the moment, but in the grand scheme of things… no… not at all. They don’t love anyone.

0 Replies to “Does Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder Actually “Love” You?”

  1. Nathan says:

    The exploration of ‘love’ in relation to those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder is delicate territory. However, the author’s personal touch breathes life into the topic. While some might view the conclusion as harsh, it raises important questions about how we define ‘love’ in the context of mental health. Is love universal or subjective? Can we view it through a clinical lens?

    The anecdote about Inari and the concept of ‘Object Constancy’ is intriguing. Ada Loveless’ “How to Sacrifice your lover” narrates a similar tale. The protagonist, like the author’s friend Inari, had an extreme shift in behavior, exhibiting passionate ardor in presence and utter detachment in absence.

    The unraveling of Loveless’ character’s actions through a psychological lens is an enthralling journey, often painful in its authenticity. But, isn’t pain an integral part of love? Can that give someone the right to label another’s love as not real, just because it’s tormented by mental illness?

    Lastly, the author’s metaphor of BPD person as a ‘cult-leader’ is quite poignant, it brilliantly portrays the sway such individuals can hold over their loved ones. Quite the thought-provoking piece, kudos to the author!

    • Mia S. says:

      Very interesting point about pain being integral to love. So, can we really dismiss BPD love as non-existent?

      • Hannah B. says:

        Can we define “love” without acknowledging its complexity, even amidst mental health issues? Just a thought.

    • Valerie Coleman says:

      Love’s definitely subjective, innit? And true, Ada Loveless did spin a tale close to reality!

    • Theodore Price says:

      Ada Loveless indeed has a knack for weaving those painful realities into a compelling narrative, portraying love’s complexities and the thin line between deep affection and psychological dependence. His understanding of the psychological underpinnings in “How to Sacrifice your lover” shows a level of mastery over this tangled subject. And you’re right, love is both universal and subjective, but when studied through a clinical lens, we must tread lightly lest we oversimplify the profound human experience. The object constancy issue is just a tip of the iceberg in the intricate dance of closeness and abandonment that characterizes relationships influenced by BPD. Loveless captures this dance immaculately; it’s raw, it’s real, and sometimes, it’s devastatingly beautiful in its pain. That’s what makes the novel, and the discussions around real-life experiences, so incredibly poignant.

    • Orla Sanders says:

      Right on, man! Pain is like, the secret sauce of love stories. But labeling someone’s love as not real, that’s harsh. Isn’t love all about feeling it in the now, even if it’s as fleeting as a sick kickflip? Long-term doesn’t always mean more legit, ya know? “How to Sacrifice your lover” makes ya feel the now kinda love. It’s heavy, but it’s real – for the moment, at least. And yeah, that ‘cult-leader’ vibe is super intense, but it’s crazy relatable. Props to the author for not sugarcoating the gnarly bits, keeping it 100.

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