People with Borderline Personality Disorder often do not accept responsibility for their own behavior

When you have a mental health probably, especially Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and you are having trouble maintaining your romantic relationships, it might be time to think about stepping up your game a bit. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) teaches you how to navigate all your relationships successfully with the Interpersonal Effectiveness skills module. This is not to say that you can only be fulfilled with a romantic partner. No, that’s not the case at all. But if you are repeatedly hearing the same things from your loves (and your friends), it might be time to re-evaluate how you “are” in the world.

The most important requirement for having successful relationships of any kind

When we want to have more fulfilling interpersonal relationships, it is important that we take full responsibility for who we are, what we want, what we say and what we do. This is because we do not live with only ourselves. Most of us live in a community of some sort, be it a family, a group of friends or even just a church group. That means there are rules — some known and some unknown or unwritten. One of the first rules of being a successful community member is being aware of who you are and what you say and do.

Our primary responsibility to ourselves is to KNOW ourselves

As much as we want others to know and understand us, I believe the primary responsibility we have to ourselves (and by extension) our community is to know ourselves. That means you need to know what you want, how to ask (nicely and assertively) for it and how to respond gracefully if your request is not met.

So, if you expect other people to be attuned to your mind games and second guess you all the time, you are really not playing fair, are you? Doing that sort of thing creates instability in a relationship and puts it on a path of eventual destruction.

Don’t “test” the people you love.

That means that you have to stop “testing” the people with whom you are in relationships. Why? Because when people are “tested” without their knowledge, they will almost certainly fail. If you do this with a romantic partner you are setting yourself up for huge disappointment from the get go.

People who do this sort of thing will almost always have a trail of broken relationships in their past. And that leads them down the road toward anger and bitterness. This means that it is time to Get Real with the people you love and who love you. You must learn how to present (and be) your true, authentic self when you are with others and that means getting to know yourself — who you are, what you believe in and what you stand for.

How do you avoid being real in your romantic relationships?

I think a relationship is much more likely to succeed if it is based on a common set of values and common beliefs. Can you fall in love with a Republican if you are a Democrat? Possibly, as long as you can agree to disagree and not talk about politics.

If you want a partner to be committed to you, choose a partner who demonstrates an ability to make a commitment. If your partner (or even your friend) can not make a dinner date and show up on time, they are sending you a subliminal message which you will eventually have to listen to and pay attention to.

And what do YOU need to do in return? Well, you need to learn how to be accountable to the other people in  your life. That means learning how to give a genuine apology when you do something that either infringes on another person or disappoints them. This is very hard to do because most of us really don’t want to see that person in the mirror. But if we want to be successful with the other people in our lives, this is an important step to take. You have to learn how to give if you want to get. The glass is always half full — and you need to figure out how to fill another person’s glass without completely depleting your own.