My BPD Girlfriend Wants Space: What Do I Do?

George Keen

When your borderline partner asks for some “space,” it can be hard to know what they’re really feeling or why. You might think that the only reason this is happening is because of your own issues and not theirs. But there are many reasons why people who have borderline personality disorder (BPD) ask for time apart from their partners. And even if you don’t understand everything going on in their mind right now, giving them room will help both of you out.

I’ve been through this myself before, so let me share my experience with you. My girlfriend at the time had BPD. She was very volatile emotionally and would often get angry over seemingly small things. It wasn’t just his emotions either—she also got upset easily due to physical pain, which made her more sensitive than most other people. 

This led to lots of arguments where she’d yell and scream at me. When we were together, I felt like I couldn’t breathe sometimes because all I could see was red and she seemed intent on making sure everyone knew exactly how much I hurt her. The constant fighting took its toll on us both and eventually our relationship ended up breaking down completely.

Afterwards, I tried dating again but didn’t find anyone else as compatible as my ex-girlfriend. Everyone else wanted stability while I craved excitement and variety. Eventually, I learned that I needed to take care of myself first and focus solely on doing what brought me joy without worrying about her feelings too much. 

That’s when I met my current partner, who has never exhibited any symptoms of BPD. We haven’t ever experienced anything close to conflict between us, though. So I’m able to enjoy life without constantly being worried about whether something bad is going to happen next or having to apologize for every little thing.

Now here I am writing an article telling you what to do if your partner has BPD. If you want to learn more about BPD and related topics, check out these articles below!

My BPD Girlfriend Wants Space: What Do I Do?

If you’re reading this article, then you likely already realize that your boyfriend/girlfriend has BPD. Maybe you’ve read other articles explaining BPD or seen videos online about it. Or maybe you’ve heard your friends talk about their loved ones’ mental health disorders. Whatever the case may be, you probably know enough to recognize that your significant other needs extra attention or support.

So once you figure out that your partner wants space, the question becomes: How should you handle it? Here are some tips…

Give yourself permission to step back 

There’s no shame in taking a break from your partner if they tell you that they need some alone time. In fact, one study found that those who stepped away from BPD patients actually reported improvements in mood after several weeks. 

Even if you aren’t ready to fully cut your partner off, try to limit interactions with them during times that trigger you. Try to spend less time around them if possible, especially if you live with them.

Don’t blame yourself

Sometimes, we worry that our actions caused our partner’s behavior. For example, perhaps you told your partner to calm down last week and they started yelling instead. While it’s true that you shouldn’t put pressure on your partner by saying things like “you always” or “you used to”, remember that it isn’t entirely your fault. Your partner’s brain chemistry makes them vulnerable to emotional triggers. 

They’ll act differently depending on whatever situation they’re in. Don’t beat yourself up if you weren’t perfect. Focus on learning ways to cope with your partner’s behaviors rather than blaming yourself.

Know that it takes two 

Just because you love your partner doesn’t mean that you can fix their problems. Often, people who exhibit BPD traits still rely heavily on others for validation and approval. As such, they may use their anger and frustration against you to justify themselves.

Try to avoid pushing your partner away

Many experts say that trying to force distance onto someone with BPD will increase anxiety and depression levels. Instead, encourage them to reach out whenever they need help and accept their apologies when necessary. Avoid nagging them to call you when they claim to be busy. By doing so, you show respect for boundaries and allow them to work toward self-improvement.

Be patient

Like I mentioned earlier, it can take months or years for someone with BPD to overcome their condition. Give them time to heal and work towards improvement. Remember that they’re working through difficult experiences and coping mechanisms. Be supportive and understanding.

Do Borderlines Need Space?

While it’s normal for people with BPD to occasionally request space, it’s important to note that borderlines aren’t necessarily selfish creatures. People with BPD crave connection and intimacy, yet they also suffer from intense fear of abandonment. Because of this paradoxical nature, they end up experiencing high amounts of stress and anxiety when separated from their partners.

This means that separating from their partner can cause extreme distress and suffering. 

A person with BPD won’t simply shrug off separation anxiety like other types of phobias. Rather, they’ll become extremely anxious and depressed if left alone for long periods of time.

As such, it’s crucial that you provide adequate comfort and reassurance to your partner during separations. Make sure that you keep communication open and offer regular updates on your day-to-day activities. Tell them that you’re thinking about them and reassure them that you’re safe. Borderlines tend to thrive on routine and predictability, so keeping certain aspects of your daily schedule stable can ease anxiety. Read my other article : average length of bpd relationship

Should You Give Someone With Bpd Space?

It’s understandable that you might wonder whether you should continue interacting with someone who exhibits signs of BPD. After all, your partner asked you for space, so wouldn’t continuing contact violate that agreement? However, providing your partner with space allows them to come home safely to a familiar environment, create new memories, and improve their overall well-being. Giving someone with BPD space can prevent unnecessary trauma, harm, and confusion.

Ultimately, you must decide what works best for your specific situation. Some couples choose to stay together despite exhibiting BPD tendencies. Others choose to separate temporarily until they can identify changes that lead to positive outcomes. Still others choose to explore alternative options like therapy or medication management. Ultimately, it comes down to listening to your gut instincts and knowing your partner well.

How Do You Make Someone With Bpd Feel Better?

Sometimes, helping someone with BPD feels impossible. No matter how much compassion and patience you shower upon them, nothing seems to change. Perhaps you believe that you did everything you possibly could, but your efforts went unnoticed. Alternatively, maybe you’ve tried talking to your partner about improving their treatment plan, but they refuse to seek professional assistance. Either way, it hurts to watch someone struggle day after day.

In cases like these, consider reaching out to other sources of support. Therapy, meditation, mindfulness, and hypnotherapy can all prove useful. These treatments aim to reduce negative thoughts and behaviors associated with BPD. Additionally, medications and supplements like Topiramate and Lamictal target underlying causes of BPD symptoms and can help relieve chronic anxiety.

Another option worth exploring is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). ECT involves using electrical stimulation to induce seizures across multiple areas of the brain. Research shows that ECT effectively treats severe forms of BPD. Patients undergoing ECT usually require general anesthesia, muscle relaxers, and intensive monitoring. Talk to your doctor about ECT if you’re interested in finding out more information.

What To Do When A Bpd Partner Pushes You Away?

You might notice that your partner acts distant or avoids interaction with you when they’re triggered. If you suspect that they’re struggling emotionally, try supporting them in various ways. Ask them questions like “how are you?” and “what happened today?”. Listen carefully without judgment. Empathize with them and acknowledge their feelings. Allow them to vent without interrupting them unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Above all, resist the urge to argue or debate with your partner. Arguing rarely helps and will only escalate conflicts further. Plus, arguing will only reinforce your partner’s belief that they deserve space.

The bottom line is that you need to listen to your partner and respond appropriately. If you truly value your partnership, you’ll want to ensure that you’re showing them affection and kindness throughout this process. Treat them respectfully and kindly, even if you disagree with their requests for space. Doing so will help foster empathy and trust later on.

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