Did Your Ex-Girlfriend Have Traits of BPD: How to Move on After Your Breakup

Many individuals who break up with women with traits of BPD wonder if they will ever be able to find another partner. And there are several very good reasons they may feel pessimistic about their chances for a healthy romantic relationship in the future.

Some of them feel that the bar before devaluation began was set so high that even though they only experienced the ultimate love for a short time, they don’t know if they can accept anything less. Others feel that the pain they experienced was so devastating that they would not be able to open their heart even if they knew their future partner was healthy.

In this blog post we are going to take a look at the false fulfillment that the woman with traits of BPD promised you. Learning the difference between authentic and false fulfillment can give you the knowledge necessary to make safe choices in future romantic pursuits.

But before you can learn how to tell the difference between false and authentic fulfillment it is necessary first for us to define what authentic romantic fulfillment really means. In other words, we need to look at what it is that makes us feel truly fulfilled in a romantic relationship.

Understanding romantic fulfillment should be an easy thing to do. After all, most people on the planet strive to experience it at least once in their lifetime. And even if we haven’t achieved this goal personally, we all have a great deal of second-hand experience from either reading about it or seeing it portrayed in film.

Yet many of us, when asked what romantic fulfillment consists of, will be at a loss to explain it. The truth is that for most of our lives we have been told that romantic fulfillment is simply not a quality that can be quantified. We are usually led to believe that we can only begin to grasp the heady complexities of romantic fulfillment indirectly through music or poetry, as though romantic love was a mystical experience.

Interestingly enough, although we tend to categorize romantic love as on a higher plane, it is actually one of our animal qualities that really should be categorized as on a lower plane of human consciousness. Contrary to what we may want to tell ourselves, romantic attraction is actually the result of ancient hard-wiring that once helped the survival of our species.

But as is the case with many other instinctual urges, as conscious beings we are more than capable of intervening with and even overriding the influence of these signals in order to create a more desirable outcome for ourselves. In fact, the person who has been psychologically damaged by a BPD breakup may be just the right candidate for learning how to interpret and intervene with the signals which accompany the beginning stages of romantic love in order to ensure that their last painful experience is not repeated.

There may be some mystery lost in this process, but there are also some very substantial gains to be made in discovering once and for all what makes our love-lives tick. There is a great sense of safety and security that comes from knowing in very specific detail what we must have to be truly fulfilled. The benefit of this level of self-examination should outweigh the uncomfortable cognitive dissonance that may come from this intimate glimpse into our genetic code.

Let’s begin our exploration of romantic love with the first signal that our brain, through our body, gives us when searching for romance.

The Signs of Romantic Love

We are going to start by examining the signals of human attraction. To clarify, it is important to recognize that when we use the word “signal,” we are actually oversimplifying what is a very complex sequence of events. Our brains and body send us a multitude of signals from potential love interests including visual signals, auditory signals and kinesthetic or sensation signals that lead to attraction.

Although all signals that make us feel attracted are authentic, not all of these signals are indications of authentic romantic fulfillment. This is because when we talk about romantic fulfillment, we are referring to an ongoing partnership with another person. This partnership is meant to last into the future, and it is defined by the ability and willingness of our love interest to take care of our ongoing needs, both emotional and physical.

Signals that elicit initial attraction in us are usually signals of temporary fulfillment. They might signal to us that our temporary sexual needs could be met. They also might signal that our temporary companionship needs could be met. But these initial signals are rarely indications that our long-term happiness could be fulfilled.

But just because initial attraction is not a signal of potential authentic fulfillment it doesn’t mean we should ignore it when choosing a partner. We will need to go one step deeper into our analysis of attraction in order to tease apart the qualities of initial attraction that will help us in our choice of mate from those that won’t.

Although we may never be able to track the complete neurological process of attraction, there are certain universal observations we can make about this process. There seem to be two different kinds of attraction. There is the purely physical level of attraction and then there is a psychological element of attraction.

We know that a purely physical attraction is not indicative of a healthy relationship in the future. But because chemical attraction is one of the very important bonds that holds us together potentially for a lifetime it must not be ignored.

In other words, we do need to have a basic sexual attraction to the person we choose as a life partner. Interestingly enough, the physical attraction that we need doesn’t have to be present when we first meet a love interest. Chemical attraction can grow over time, even with a person that does not initially attract us.

Let’s now take a look at the second aspect of initial attraction, the psychological element.

The Psychology of Attraction

Generally speaking, when it comes to the psychological aspect of mate selection human beings tend to have two parts of their brain working to rank our choices. Sometimes these parts work together in harmony, and sometimes they are at odds.

What we might call the more conscious part of our brain will objectively judge a love interest. It will be looking to the future to verify the potential for authentic fulfillment. This is a part of our brain that we can count on and should be able to trust to be acting in our best interest.

Although our conscious brain is very good at identifying authentic fulfillment potential, its choice of mates often does not make it to the top of the list. This is because the psychological qualities that authentically fulfill us in the long-term are generally not very enticing on the outside.

You wouldn’t ask someone out based on the fact that they appear to be very mature or because they seem to be extremely fair-minded or because they act unusually responsibly or because they come across as particularly even-tempered. Yet these are precisely the types of qualities we should be looking for in a partner if we are looking for authentic fulfillment.

But the battle over mate selection between the physical and the psychological are not the only parts competing for our attention. There is what we might consider a third part of our mental process poised to take over if the excitement of the physical and the careful deliberation of the conscious mind allow it to have a say. Let’s now take a look at what happens when our subconscious mind drives our choice of partners.

Mate Selection and the Subconscious Mind

If you have in the past found yourself unable to leave a long-term relationship with someone with harmful BPD traits even though you knew your mental health was suffering, it was probably your subconscious mind that was directing the show.

Our subconscious mind often takes on the role of trying to heal our past psychological injuries through our choice of romantic partners. To our subconscious mind our love life closely mirrors our relationship with our early caretakers. Because of this it will often try to direct us to choose the person who is most likely to reenact the situations that caused us original pain.

In other words, If we were deeply wounded in childhood, we may choose partners who will similarly wound us in adulthood. Our subconscious mind may be hoping that this time around we can somehow reverse the behavior of the person who hurt us which will heal our original injury.

Since few of us would consciously choose a mate that we believe could hurt us, our subconscious mind must perform a certain amount of sleight of hand to get us to commit to an inappropriate partner. When we find ourselves inexplicably drawn to a love interest or we find ourselves justifying qualities that we would ordinarily classify as deal-breakers during mate selection it’s probably our subconscious mind at work.

Similarly if we find ourselves so dazzled by the outer shiny qualities of a future mate that we ignore obvious compatibility obstacles, we can be fairly certain that our subconscious mind is trying to get us to heal an old injury.

Although this goal is certainly noble, it is always preferable to take a more direct and efficient route to heal our psychological injuries. Rather than face potentially decades of pain with an inappropriate partner, it may be advisable, if you believe based on past inappropriate mate selection that you have past wounds to be healed, to find an experienced therapist who can guide you back through time to heal the original injury. Those who have chosen to heal their childhood wounds this way often find their attraction post-therapy naturally points them towards healthy partners.

Now that you have a clearer understanding of initial attraction, let’s turn our attention to how your ex with BPD traits first attracted you. Initially your ex would have presented herself as the kind of woman that anyone might be attracted to. Then later, once a relationship was established, she would have subconsciously zeroed in on your particular likes and dislikes and portrayed those qualities exclusively.

The act of not only portraying the kind of woman anyone would be attracted to but also taking on qualities that you had always been looking for probably added up to what you thought would lead to authentic romantic fulfillment.

But despite our wish to remain naive in imagining these initial signs are reliable, for those who have experienced the illusion of authentic attraction, it may be necessary to instead apply a certain amount of skepticism in beginning evaluations.

It is also important to keep in mind that most individuals who present a false initial presentation are doing so subconsciously. This leaves us in a gray area where we can neither judge a person to be purposely using a romantic con, nor can we assume that what is being presented to us at face value is authentic.

So what can a person who wants to establish an emotionally safe relationship do to protect themselves in this early stage of partnership? The answer to this and all such questions throughout the mate selection process will be the inclusion of a vetting process.

We use this word because it connotes a process of checking another person’s background in order to ensure that what is being presented matches the person’s history. Another reason we use the word vetting is that the process of vetting by its very definition is one that takes time.

The act of vetting a future partner before we jump into a relationship can in itself foil a person with traits of BPD’s wish to get you involved. One of the crucial elements to BPD fulfillment is to get their partners to fall for them before they really know them.

Many ex partners of these individuals insist on meeting family members and carefully listening to stories of their future love interest’s history as well as getting clear feedback from long-term friends to assure them that this person’s outer personae is a verifiable match to their stated history.

Now that we have taken some of the mystery out of the process of initial attraction let’s take a look at what it is that authentically fulfills us once we have chosen a relationship partner. We are going to be examining those qualities or personality traits in potential partners that can authentically fulfill our romantic needs. This exploration will help you expand the criteria you use to choose from when vetting a safe romantic partner.

Qualities of Compatibility

There are many ways to categorize the qualities or traits in people that can provide us with authentic fulfillment. The first set of traits we are going to be examining are those that match our own. This is a well-known way of ensuring a good match, whether we are choosing a friend, a business partner or a romantic partner.

Most of us already know how to identify traits of compatibility in those around us. We simply look for similarities. These could be similarities in temperament, taste or similarities in values. Looking for similarities is a great way to ensure compatibility which is a very important component of authentic fulfillment.

Although most people know it’s a safe choice to go with compatibility, few of us can resist the temptation to at least include in the running those who have opposite traits than our own. These opposing traits can at first seem very enticing.

Although there are certainly exceptions, most often the motivation behind your attraction to the person with opposite traits will be your subconscious mind trying to resolve old insecurities that you may not even be aware of. But many people find that the opposite qualities they so admired in the beginning can become qualities that they resent later on. Let’s take a quick look at why.

We often admire those who have qualities that we wish we possessed. It is only natural to want to associate ourselves with those who we admire. But when this person excels in areas that we have a strong lack, our hidden shame over our inability to overcome these challenges can catch up to us. Eventually the admiration can feel like salt in our wounds.

So if you find yourself attracted to a love interest based on the fact that she’s always on time while you’re always late, or she’s organized to perfection while you can’t seem to keep your personal space in any type of order, be aware that these differences have the potential to not only take away fulfillment in later years but can create a set of additional problems to overcome.

We’re now going to look at a second level of compatibility that will help us complete our investigation into romance that does not directly depend on similarities. We will find that this aspect of mate selection can be very helpful when it comes to authentic fulfillment. Interestingly enough, sometimes the qualities that will create the most fulfillment for us are not those that we like in another person. They are qualities in the other person that will make them like us.

Although we all have a natural tendency to try to find a mate who we will appreciate, we would probably do better to be looking for qualities that would make our future partner appreciate all our good qualities. Even more importantly we would also do well to try to find a partner whose personality will allow them to accept our bad qualities even after the glow of new romance wears off.

When we choose a romantic partner, we often decide whether to make a commitment based on not just the qualities we like, but how bothersome we find their negative qualities. The difference between a pass and a deal-breaker is often simply a question of temperament in the person doing the choosing.

Since there are many books and articles that can help you define both your good and bad qualities and also show you what kind of personality types are the most compatible with you we’ll leave this area and move on to the next part of our discussion.

We’re now going to take a look at the most defining element of romantic fulfillment, a quality that we all possess that is so rarely talked about that we lack even the most basic language to discuss. This quality exists because of a hidden personality trait that every single one of us possesses.

The trait we are going to be discussing next is what we might label an irrational need for validation. This is a trait that causes a very clearly observable irrationality in each of our daily interactions. But because it is so universal it becomes virtually invisible to even the most observant among us.

Despite any personality trait they might have, it is the ability of our romantic partner to fulfill our extreme need for validation that will define whether or not we are romantically fulfilled. Incidentally, we will find that it is this universal personality trait of extreme need for validation that can make even the healthiest among us vulnerable to the allure of the person with traits of BPD.

Let’s now take a closer look at the hidden personality trait that on one hand causes the greatest amount of pain in the realm of romance and on the other hand can supply us with the ultimate romantic fulfillment.

The Universal Need for Validation

Most of us are aware that validation from others for our thoughts, feelings and beliefs are helpful in our interactions and can create a positive environment. But very few of us are aware that we have an actual need for this continual validation. As it turns out, validation is actually something we must actively receive in order to feel comfortable in the presence of others.

In order to easily illustrate this rarely talked about need, all we need to do is take a look at any day in our lives where we interact with others. What will become clear very quickly is that in almost all of our interactions with others where we feel neutral towards them, we actually extend positive reinforcement or validation. And even more strangely, we can also easily observe that this non-neutral positive validation is actually perceived by the other person as merely neutral.

What this shows us is that in order to come across neutrally to others, we must put forth some kind of positive validation. Although few of us are aware of it, not extending validation, whether it’s with complete strangers or with our closest loved ones, causes us to feel insecure.

Even if no one has insulted us, without a positive approach we very often feel offended. The truth is that even those we completely trust, our best friend or long-time spouse must give us continual validation in order to keep our feathers from being ruffled.

In case you may be wondering why human beings possess this trait of insecurity that leads to the need for continual validation, while there is no way for us to really know where this odd sensitivity stems from, we can make a pretty good guess that it has something to do with the fact that our species happens to be social and communal.

Just as we know we have ancient hard-wiring that causes us to want to bond with our family, peers and community, it is an equally logical assumption that we would have similar hard-wiring that causes us to fear being shunned from family, peers and community. We might label these fears or insecurities as a fear of not bonding, with the end result being the same as those traits that give us the urges to want to bond.

So how does the personality trait of a need for excessive validation in order to just feel okay fit into the concept of romantic fulfillment? Validation is an essential component of romantic fulfillment. It is so important that when we fall in love our chemicals change us into people who obsessively validate our partner for up to a year or sometimes more. Let’s take a closer look at this strange phenomenon.

When we are in love, our brains literally change our perceptions when it comes to our loved one. Our brains seem to magically erase what we think are the negative qualities and magnify the positive qualities. The result is two people that are constantly validating each other to extraordinary levels, producing an amazingly strong bond between people who were very often complete strangers before they fell in love.

We have only one expression for this extraordinary phenomenon. We sometimes say love is blind. But we have no language at all to explain the lengths to which the average person must validate another in everyday life in order to not risk offending them.

This total lack of awareness and thus lack of language of a universally-experienced sensitivity causes terrible problems in relationships of all kinds. People frequently have falling-outs due to this over-sensitivity, and because they are neither aware of what offended them nor do they have language to communicate about it, they are helpless to resolve the problem.

Frequently those with more sensitivity and thus a stronger need for validation experience romantic partners with a less extreme version of the trait to be mean or unkind. But because none of the actions of their partner can be classified as negative but are instead the lack of continual validation, the issue cannot be directly addressed. And without resolution the relationship may end without either side truly understanding why.

You might think that validation only applies to our emotions and that those who are highly emotional need it while those who are less emotional don’t. But the truth is that validation comes in many forms. Certainly those with strong emotions crave validation for their feelings. But those who are highly intellectual will seek out an equal amount of intellectual validation from those around them.

Not only are there several types of validation, all of them leading to romantic fulfillment, but there are also several different ways to receive validation. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways.

We may validate others’ feelings, ideas or beliefs insincerely, usually referred to as being polite. This is most often done with acquaintances. We may slightly edit our own feelings, ideas or beliefs in order to bond with others or make them feel more comfortable. We usually use this form of validation with our friends.

We also might validate others by purposely adopting their viewpoint and then showing we would agree with their conclusions if we experienced life as they do. We most often put this type of effort in with people we have lifetime relationships with, those who are very important to us, often with our children or our spouses.

And there is one more way that we commonly validate others. We may validate them completely naturally because we just so happen to already share their thoughts, feelings or beliefs. It is this kind of natural validation that people refer to as clicking with another or being on the same wavelength. But even within this type of natural validation there are different variations.

We might have the same feelings, thoughts or beliefs as another person. But there are some people that not only share what we feel, think or believe, but have come to these conclusions for the exact same reasons. This particular type of natural validation is not only the most effortless, but it is also the most deeply fulfilling. We will find that sharing another person’s perceptions to this extent is the ultimate in validation and therefore the ultimate in authentic romantic fulfillment.

When we find someone who already shares not only our perspective when it comes to our feelings, thoughts and beliefs, but the reason we came to those conclusions, we find ourselves in a setup where both people are able to continuously validate each other without having to put in any effort.

At this point we are in a positive validation loop. This means that as long as we are communicating with the other person, both of our validation needs will met. We will be able to get and give all the validation we need with almost no effort needed on either side.

Sadly, since no two people have identical thoughts, feelings and beliefs, we can, of course, never achieve a perfect union. But sharing enough of our reasons behind our thoughts, feelings and beliefs in order to produce a certain amount of natural validation can be a very helpful criteria to use when choosing a partner.

So what exactly does validation do for us that makes it such a valuable commodity? Because all people have irrational fears around acceptance and approval, especially from our romantic partner, the act of being validated soothes those fears.

And when our fears of disapproval and rejection are soothed, we feel that we can drop our defenses. We can finally truly relax and trust knowing that we will be accepted for our true selves. And being accepted for ourselves is another hallmark of authentic romantic fulfillment.

Validation and Traits of BPD

Validation plays a very important role in relationships with people with strong traits of BPD. Because of the extraordinary aptitude of the person with traits of BPD to emulate a person who shares every thought, feeling and belief of their romantic partner, most people who get involved with them will have the distinct impression that this person is that sought after perfect natural match.

In reality it is important to recognize that this perfect love that you may have thought you found cannot exist in real life. An essential part of the healing process after a BPD breakup is accepting that the person that was initially presented to you was a fabrication.

Although it was probably not conscious on her part, her goal was to get you to believe that she could authentically fulfill your every romantic wish. This was done solely to guarantee that you would give her the only kind of attention that could satisfy her.

So how can you use the concept of validation to help in your future choice of romantic partners? Realistically we know you can’t simply wait around for the rare person who both shares most of your perspectives on life and who you are attracted to.

But you can certainly take a love interest’s personality traits into account to judge whether they will be able to validate you in the long-term. And if you do happen to beat the odds by running into a person who has the potential for this kind of positive synergy with you, by all means you should make the effort to pursue it.

It does take time to heal from a BPD breakup, but moving on in search of a healthy partner should not have to take additional time to heal from. With the knowledge of how the human brain can work to secure us either a healthy and productive relationship or, left on its own, to procure us one that is guaranteed to cause us pain, you should be able to navigate successfully through this challenging journey.

Related Posts:

BPD and the Nice Guy Personality Type

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

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

Identifying Traits of BPD In Women Before Relationship Commitment

Romantic Idealization And Devaluation In Women With Traits of BPD

Women With Traits of BPD – Why Men Stay

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

Did Your Ex-Girlfriend Have Traits of BPD-The Defense Mechanism of Projection

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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