traits of bpd

Identifying Traits of BPD In Women

Before Relationship Commitment

In this blog post we are going to be answering a very important question. Can a man who has been through a breakup with a woman with traits of BPD, or borderline personality disorder, recognize the traits in the next woman he dates so he can ensure he never has to repeat this experience again.

The answer to this question is actually much more complicated than a simple yes or no. Borderline personality disorder exists on a spectrum with only the most extreme cases qualifying a woman for diagnosis.

But there are countless other women who possess the character traits of BPD who don’t qualify for the disorder. These women only engage in the negative behaviors associated with this disorder in their relationships. And there are some women with personality traits associated with BPD who don’t engage in these negative behaviors at all.

Anyone who has broken up with a woman who possesses these traits will probably recognize them in their full-blown state. But in order to predict whether a woman will engage in these behaviors before a relationship commitment it may be necessary to recognize them in what we will be labeling for the purposes of this blog post their dormant phase.

In this blog post you are going to learn how to identify the three personality traits that when in combination make women in relationships susceptible to behaviors associated with BPD whether they have the disorder or not.

We will then address the environmental factors that can wake up these traits from their dormant phase. You will then learn how to identify the type of woman who does not possess this cluster of personality traits. These women may have their share of personal problems, but they will not go through the same Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde type of transformation associated with BPD.

There is truly no fail-safe way to guard against the possibility that a future girlfriend will turn against you once you open yourself completely to her. But by learning how to identify these traits in their dormant phase you can significantly lower the chances of repeating this unfortunate experience.

We are going to start off by looking at a list of negative behaviors that women with these character traits may engage in within their romantic relationships regardless of whether they qualify for the diagnosis. To see the list, please click the link below:

List of Negative Behaviors In Romantic Relationships Associated with BPD

Now that you are familiar with the behaviors that are associated with women with traits of BPD in romantic relationships, Let’s take a look at the most extreme version of these traits so you can understand what causes this disorder in its diagnosable form.

Genetic Factors of BPD

The disorder of BPD develops based on the presence of genetic tendencies or susceptibilities. These tendencies present in the form of emotional sensitivities that cause difficulties in the area of bonding. In order to make it easier for you to identify a woman who possesses these tendencies, we are going to categorize them into three personality traits.

Tendency No. 1: Being Afraid of Negative Judgment

The way we are going to define the first trait associated with BPD is as a sensitivity to negative judgment. This sensitivity about how others feel about her will extend into every area of a woman’s life. But the way it manifests the most intensely will be in romantic relationships.

To put it simply, women with this trait or tendency feel intense insecurity over their romantic partner’s ability to care about them. This extreme sensitivity causes them to believe their partners are capable of great betrayal. They fear their partner is either going to take advantage of them, humiliate them or abandon them.

Because all human beings are social creatures, we all have a built-in fear of rejection. We all sit somewhere on the scale of sensitivity to rejection from those who are very thin-skinned to those that can let rejection roll off them like water from a duck’s back. A woman with this trait of BPD would be considered emotionally thin-skinned.

Tendency No. 2: High setting of Emotionality

The second tendency is the trait of a setting of high emotionality. An expression we typically use for this trait is emotionally high-strung. We are each born with a certain emotionality setting. A person with low emotionality might experience daily emotional ups and downs that if put on a chart might look sort of like a flat-line on a heart monitor. Unless there is something really good or really bad going on, people with low emotionality are in a fairly neutral emotional state.

If a person with high emotionality charted their emotions, the end result may look more like a roller coaster with lots of highs and lows even when there is nothing particularly good or bad going on that day.

One of the hallmarks of BPD-associated behaviors is emotional dysregulation. Emotional dysregulation is sometimes defined as heightened intensity of emotions and the inability to control behaviors when experiencing emotional distress. Women with the character trait of a high emotional setting are naturally very susceptible to emotional dysregulation.

Tendency No. 3: Romantic Idealization

We all know what romantic idealization looks like because it is a tendency that is encouraged in women in many cultures. Although we often believe that idealization of romantic love is harmless, when it comes to relationships it is anything but.

Many women who idealize a love interest end up devaluing their partner after the honeymoon phase of the relationship ends. Since no man can live up to an idealized version of himself, most women who idealize are eventually disappointed.

When a woman’s respect is based on an idealized version of her mate, the mere presence of human flaws can trigger disrespect. If a woman with this trait is not mature enough to recognize her tendency to idealize, she may begin a phase of devaluation of her partner that can last the duration of the relationship.

All three of the traits in this cluster can cause problems for women in relationships. But it is the combination of these traits that cause the complex negative behavior pattern most men experience from women with traits of BPD in their relationships.

Now that we have identified each individual trait, we’ll look at what happens when all three of these traits are present at once. We’ll start with the very weakest version of this cluster of traits. In its weakest form, this cluster of traits can be beneficial. When these tendencies are present in their weakest form, we will have a woman with qualities of caring, warmth and emotional sensitivity.

This woman will have strong interest in being emotionally connected to her romantic partner. She will be extra sensitive to a man’s emotions and probably quite empathetic to his needs. This triad of traits in its weakest state produces qualities that can spell out a very promising relationship partner for most men. Women with a very weak version of these traits may not experience problems in their relationship due to these traits.

But when we imagine these qualities in their extreme form we begin to see a very different personality type emerging. If a woman is too sensitive to negative judgment we see a person who takes everything we do and say personally, who feels criticized over any disagreement and who fears rejection so much she sees the potential for betrayal in her partner’s every move.

When we add in high emotionality to someone already very sensitive to being taken advantage of, being humiliated or being abandoned, we may end up with a woman who instigates conflict. When her emotions get too high, she will enter a state of emotional dysregulation where she believes everything she feels no matter how irrational it may seem to others.

When we introduce romantic idealization into this already toxic mix we get a woman who enters a cycle of desperate need for closeness followed by giving her partner the boot when her fear of being taken advantage of, humiliated or being abandoned takes over. This triad of traits in their strongest form can lead a woman into episodes of rage, destructive impulsivity and relationship betrayal.

When this triad of traits is either too strong or the woman also has abuse or trauma in her early childhood or early adulthood, she may find herself in too much pain to function normally. Once these traits lead to dysfunction in everyday life, a diagnosis of borderline personality may be made.

If you know the history surrounding a woman with a strong version of these traits, someone you suspect could have the disorder of BPD, the tell-tale signs of BPD will be observable. Women with this disorder tend to leave a path of destruction towards themselves and towards others behind them.

But a woman with moderate traits associated with BPD may not have a negative history at all. Her traits may lay dormant until an outside circumstance triggers them into life. Let’s now take a look at the environmental triggers that can activate the negative aspect of these traits in their moderate form.

Trigger No. 1:

Romantic Intimacy

The most common trigger for women with moderate traits associated with BPD is romantic intimacy. They become triggered from the realization that they are vulnerable and can be easily hurt by their relationship partner. This realization is often delayed because the obsession with romantic love is powerful enough to overcome their fear of intimacy for quite a long time.

The defining issue for women with this cluster of traits will always center around her ability to trust her romantic partner. The most common trigger pattern for these women is as follows:

1. Her obsession with romance will fuel idealization that leads her to think a man is the perfect partner who will be incapable of hurting her.

2. Her idealization phase will wear off and her oversensitivity to negative judgment will trigger her into believing he is going to take advantage of her, humiliate her or abandon her.

3. She will become emotionally dysregulated due to high emotionality and will come to believe that her fears are real.

All of the negative behaviors that her relationship partner experiences after getting too close to her are simply defensive coping strategies designed to protect her from the mistaken belief that her partner does not have good intentions and is planning to hurt her.

Many of these women have no idea why they have the urge to put their partners down or why they keep feeling surges of anger that result in ugly episodes. Not being aware of their relationship insecurity, most of them just assume that their partner must be doing something wrong to deserve their anger.

The next factor we will look at which can cause moderate traits of BPD to emerge during a relationship has to do with a cluster of traits. But it is not the woman’s traits we will be addressing but the traits in her male partner. There are certain personality traits in a man that can be the trigger that causes a woman with traits of BPD to engage in negative behaviors toward him.

The cluster of traits in her partner that can trigger negative behavior is what we might call the personality traits of a nice guy. Let’s take a look at why this cluster of traits in men so often brings traits associated with BPD to life.

Trigger No. 2:

The Traits of a Nice Guy

It may be surprising to hear that qualities we consider positive in a man could trigger negative behaviors of BPD. To understand why treating a woman with traits of BPD well can cause her to treat you poorly we need to take a closer look at the characteristics of a nice guy.

There are many men and women who are naturally capable of trusting others. They tend to be very non-confrontational and peaceloving individuals who are quite comfortable with intimacy. Their personality type allows them to trust others easily, and they do not have a great deal of fear around being controlled or taken advantage of.

Men with this nice-guy combination of traits generally do not feel any need to be dominant in their romantic relationships. They are interested in connection rather than control. They are protective and supportive of their relationship partners, and it doesn’t occur to them that they would need to have the upper hand.

In a sense we could say the nice guy is the virtual opposite of the woman with traits of BPD. In comparison with the nice-guy type, a women with moderate traits of BPD will be plagued with insecurity within her relationship. She will experience a chronic sense of powerlessness and a constant fear of being taken advantage of by her partner. Her feelings of helplessness and vulnerability will drive her to continually want to gain the upper hand.

The way people who have fear of being controlled by others gain the upper hand is very often by putting others down. They do this as a defensive strategy to get back a feeling of power when they feel too vulnerable.

But putting others down depends on a certain amount of cooperation from the person whose self esteem they are trying to lower. A person with a nice guy personality is naturally open to his partner. This vulnerability allows a woman with moderate traits of BPD to exploit his good nature.

Let’s now take a look at a third factor that can trigger a woman with moderate traits of BPD into life. We’re going to take a look at the environmental factor of social status.

Trigger No. 3:

Social Status

Having high status, either through beauty, birthright, or the influence of a narcissistic social environment, can instill a false sense of entitlement or superiority in a woman with moderate traits of BPD. This false sense of entitlement can easily lead her to believe she is deserving of special privileges.

Women with moderate traits of BPD who are afforded special privileges are especially susceptible to engaging in negative behaviors in their relationships. Their natural tendencies are often dampened because these behaviors are considered anti-social and unacceptable in everyday society.

These women may not believe they have to follow the same rules as others which frees them from such social restrictions. This freedom can cause them to engage in negative behaviors towards men before relationship commitment.

Most men who are seeking a healthy relationship know to steer clear of these entitled women, but for completeness sake, here is a list of behaviors of high-status women with moderate traits of BPD:

Early signs of jealousy
Reports of mood changes or moodiness
Early signs of inappropriate anger
Testing you to see if you will submit to her wishes
Expression of judgment, anger or blame at her previous relationship partners
Interest in alcohol-fueled activities
An expectation that you financially provide for her early in the relationship
Reversion to childlike behaviors
Controlling or dominating behaviors
Possessiveness or acting demanding
Reports of volatile relationships from her past
Excessive texting or complaints about response to texting

The last area we will be looking at is the most difficult to predict in women with any version of this triad of traits. We are going to address how divorce can trigger revenge in women who have traits of BPD.

Trigger No. 4:


Almost all people suffer from bouts of humiliation when going through the process of divorce. But women with traits of BPD may have extreme reactions to divorce that can cause them to act out their revenge fantasies regardless of the consequences. They may launch smear campaigns designed to ruin their partner’s reputation in his community or at his employment.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal costs can be incurred if a woman with traits of BPD decides to drag her ex to court over minor issues. Women with BPD may also find that family court is a viable outlet for their victimhood. Accusations of abuse towards an ex as a form of revenge is a common form of BPD behavior associated with divorce.

But the most damaging form of divorce revenge is known as parental alienation where one parent turns the child against the other parent. Most of us are aware of how easy it is to influence a child. Without doing or saying anything outright, a parent can easily communicate their feelings towards their ex to their child.

Children are extraordinarily vulnerable to expectations of loyalty. Parental alienation is a very easy and convenient way for a woman with traits of BPD to inflict the most painful kind of punishment imaginable on her ex.

Because so many people who don’t have traits of BPD find themselves unable to remain emotionally regulated during a divorce, it may not be possible to predict whether a woman with these traits, even in their weakest form can stay regulated enough to resist divorce revenge.

Now that you have a clearer concept of the traits of BPD and the circumstances that can trigger negative behaviors in romantic relationships, let’s turn our attention to those women who do not possess traits of BPD.

Women Without Traits of BPD

Let’s first define what we mean by a woman without traits of BPD. All human beings are at least a little sensitive to what others think about them, especially in their relationships. We are all also susceptible to occasional high emotions. And all of us may idealize when we fall in love. When we refer to women without these traits we are really referring to women who have less sensitivity in this area than the average woman.

In order to be able to identify a woman who does not possess this cluster of traits we need take a close look at how personality traits usually present in both men and women. We will find that women with traits of BPD have an unusually strong concentration of female character traits. Women who don’t have traits of BPD generally have a more balanced combination of mostly female but also some male characteristics.

Although the idea of having character traits more common in the other gender might seem alarming, it is important to note that we all possess a combination of male and female traits. These traits may influence our behavior slightly, but we have a lot of free will in how we express ourselves. We also have the ability to develop different sides of our personality. For this reason no one but us has to know our true ratio of male and female traits.

You may not see any noticeable difference in a woman with traits of BPD compared to one without them. However, just as we can find clues that lead us to identify a woman with these traits, we can also look for clues that identify a woman without them.

In order for you to be able to more clearly identify women without traits of BPD, we are going to look at an imaginary spectrum of common female characteristics on one side and common male personality characteristics on the other side.

What we are going to find is that the farther over to the left side or female side we go, the more interest and sensitivity we will find around bonding. As we move farther out to the right side or the male side of the spectrum, we will begin to find less interest and even insensitivity to bonding.

You will notice that at the extreme right side of this imaginary spectrum we have the condition of autism. Although autism is not a condition related to BPD, it is a condition that happens to include very little interest in bonding and often a low emotionality. It is on this spectrum to help you to better understand the full range of human interest in bonding.

traits of BPD

As you can see on this diagram, the place on the spectrum that a woman without traits of BPD usually sits is somewhere in the middle. Compared with most females she may have a lower than average emotionality, a lower than average interest in all things romantic, and a reasonably thick skin when it comes to rejection.

She may be a little more rational and even-keeled than most women. You may notice that she may not seem as empathetic as many woman are, and she not be initially as warm and inviting as you may be used to.

There may be less passion, excitement and less sexual chemistry since a woman who does not have traits of BPD will not be driven by intense emotions. You will probably notice her taking a step-by-step approach to get to know you and establish trust before she declares you the love of her life.

On paper this type of woman might seem perfect for a man who has been through the ringer in a relationship with a woman with traits of BPD. It may seem like a no-brainer to make the decision to rule out all women with even the weakest traits of BPD and simply choose a woman who doesn’t have traits of this disorder in any combination. But there is one more challenge that can add complexity to this seemingly simple decision.

Sexual Attraction and Women With Traits of BPD

We have been talking about traits of BPD in women. But there is another area we need to address in order for you to have all the information you need to make safe and healthy choices in selecting your next relationship partner. There are a few universal male personality traits that can make staying out of relationships with women with traits of BPD more difficult than you may think.

The truth is, the traits that make women susceptible to behaviors associated with BPD are actually behaviors that most men find very attractive, even in their most extreme form and even when a man knows for a fact that they will lead to relationship pain. We will find that even though we may wish our instinctual drives would correspond with common sense, the magnetic appeal of sexual chemistry can often overpower our intellect.

Therefore in order to understand the role of instinct when it comes to attraction to women with traits of BPD, we need to take a closer look at how male and female personality traits affect our behavior when it comes to romantic and sexual attraction.

The difference between men and women on a physical level can be easily identified through the observation of sex organs. But the differentiation between a male and female based on their behavioral traits is not so cut and dried. Although most of us inherit our male and female behavioral traits in a common cluster, there are often slight variations, occasional mishmashes and even reversals of male and female characteristics.

But there are also examples of people with high concentrations of male or female traits that we may not have the ability to map scientifically but which we all seem to recognize from simple observation.

In order to identify a high concentration of male and female traits, let’s first take a look at a list of what most of us would consider common male and female behavioral characteristics.

Common Male Behavioral Traits:

Rule Breaker
Low Emotionality

Common Female Behavioral Traits:


We may not know exactly what causes some men and women to have extremely strong expressions of male or female behavioral characteristics. But one thing many people know from experience is that an overabundance of these characteristics can be too much of a good thing when it comes to relationships.

Let’s now take a look at what happens in individuals who have excessive abundance of male and female behavioral characteristics:

Excessive Male Behavioral Traits

Independence——————Lack of Intimacy
Rule Breaker——————–Criminality
Hierarchy————————-Narcissistic Behavior
Low Emotionality————–Lack of Empathy
Breadwinner——————–Status Seeker

Excessive Female Behavioral Traits:

Connection———————-Fear of conflict
Bonding————————–Over-sensitivities to threats to relationships
Nurturing————————Lack of independence

As you can see, even in this very basic list of common characteristics there is a negative aspect to most of these traits in too strong a concentration. Yet interestingly enough, no matter how clearly we may be able to see that people with strong concentrations of male or female characteristics are bound to cause trouble in our relationships, we seem to find ourselves irresistibly attracted to them.

Since attraction is one of the most important criteria in most men’s choice of female partner, knowing that the very traits you might want to avoid in a relationship partner could also be those that you find the most attractive can be helpful in understanding your past choices and may help guide you in the future.

But it is not only the animal magnetism of strong female traits that influences male attraction to women with traits of BPD. Just like men with strong male characteristics seem to know how to show off their assets to their advantage when around women, women with strong combinations of female characteristics have a very high aptitude for presenting themselves in exactly the way that will draw a man to her.

One of this ways that this high aptitude can present itself in women with traits of BPD is through sexual behavior. We commonly hear from men who have been trying to move on from relationships with women with traits of BPD that one of the reasons they feel they cannot let go is the powerful sexual chemistry that existed between them.

But what they may not realize is that women with pronounced traits of BPD are intuitively able to mirror many types of preferences, particularly male sexual preferences. Sexual chemistry, even if created through mirroring, can produce a powerful bond which can make a relationship with a woman with traits of BPD very difficult to let go of.

Realizing that female hypersexuality may not be the best indicator of sexual compatibility can allow you to understand why your bond was so strong and also may allow you to pay attention to a possible cautionary sign in the future.

Romantic Attraction and Women With Traits of BPD

The final area we are going to be covering in this blog post has to do with another natural tendency in some men. Just as we may talk about a woman with BPD idealizing her future love interest, there is also a level of idealizing that some men engage in that they may be unaware of when choosing their romantic partners.

This form of idealizing does not seem to come from childhood issues or personality traits. It may simply be caused by the powerful chemistry that is set off by visual cues in the male brain. Interestingly enough, we are not talking about sexual cues. They would be more accurately defined as romantic cues.

The initially observable qualities that may set off this chemical reaction of romantic feelings are often described as impressions that a woman might give off. They may be impressions of vulnerability and sensitivity, of kindness and warmth. But sometimes the mere presence of female beauty will create an impression that this woman also possesses the rest of the package that a man is looking for.

This form of instant assessment without a careful vetting process can leave men very vulnerable to exploitation by women with strong motivation to present themselves well but who may lack the internal qualities to match the outer package. It may be important before you embark on the process of choosing a relationship partner to think back to exactly what it was that made you feel like the woman with traits of BPD was the right person for you.

Many men in retrospect will say what made them choose her was the feeling they got when they were with her. They usually describe it as the most intense feeling they have ever had with a woman or the most exciting feeling or the most deeply connected feeling.

Although the feelings you get in a new relationship may be very enjoyable, they are not an appropriate barometer for compatibility in a relationship. We usually hear this advice given to women, but it is important for men to also remember to look beyond the emotional impressions that a women you are interested in gives off.

Careful and sober exploration of compatibility that relies on shared beliefs, values and goals and an assessment of relationship skills need to be undertaken in order to ensure that your emotions are not negatively influencing your relationship choices.

Related Posts:

Did Your Ex-Girlfriend Have Traits Of Borderline Personality Disorder?

Women With Traits of BPD – Why Did She Lie?

Breakups With Women With Traits of BPD – Five Misconceptions That Keep Men From Letting Go and Moving On

BPD and the Nice Guy Personality Type

Did Your Ex-Girlfriend Have Traits of BPD: How to Let Go of the Good Times

Romantic Idealization And Devaluation In Women With Traits of BPD

Women With Traits of BPD – Why Men Stay

Note To Readers: I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you who have taken the time to post in my comments section. Your questions, opinions and personal stories form an invaluable contribution to this important discussion.

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