16 Signs People With Borderline Personality Disorder Knew They Had a 'Favorite Person'
If you live with borderline personality disorder (BPD), you may have come across the term “favorite person,” or “FP” for short. Though the concept of having a favorite person is one familiar to a lot of people in the BPD community, others might hear the term and think, “Is that another way of saying ‘significant other?’”
While a romantic partner can be an FP, to someone with borderline personality disorder, it usually means so much more than that. So what exactly does having a favorite person mean to someone with BPD? We asked members of our mental health community to share one “sign” that let them know someone in their life was their favorite person.
Here’s what they shared with us:
1. “I think about that person constantly.”
“I think about that person constantly — I obsess about him/her. My FP becomes my reason to live and I do not want to spend any moment without him/her. In my case, my FP is normally someone I am interested in in a romantic way.” — Adeline R.
2. “He can make me want to live when I want to die.”
“My favorite person is the one I don’t feel I can live without, the one [who] loves me unconditionally, the one I go to for everything, the one [who] can talk me ‘off the ledge’ even via text, the one [who] helps me breathe, the one [who] makes everything better and unfortunately can tear my world apart without even trying because my head tells me I’m going to disappoint him. He is the one I need constant validation from, the one I want to believe in me, love me, care about me, the one whose opinion and love mean more than anyone else’s. If I had to pick one sign, it’s that no matter what, he can make me want to live when I want to die.” — Lillian M.
3. “If I don’t hear from them, it causes fear.”
“I know when someone is my ‘FP’ because I’d want constant contact with them, borderline obsession with them. If I don’t hear from them, it causes fear, making me think I have done something wrong and triggers my fear of abandonment.” — Sarah C.
4. “I knew he was my FP when the black and white thinking started.”
“My favorite person is my boyfriend. I knew he was my FP when the black and white thinking started. If he did something I hated, I devalued him, I became irrationally angry or upset, and I’d try to break up with him. It could be over something as simple as canceling our plans for the day because he was tired. Vice versa, if he did something that made me happy, I’d put him on a pedestal. I’d forget any wrong he’d ever done and convince myself he was absolutely perfect. There was never any gray area with my feelings for him.” — Shelby N.
5. “My emotions are completely dependent on them.”
“My emotions are completely dependent on them. When I wake up, I look for them or for a text from them. If there is no contact with them, I start the day off sad. When they are actively paying attention to me, I’m in a good mood. If they are busy, I’m on edge waiting for them to talk to me, trying to go about my day [but am] constantly distracted by the need for contact with them. If it’s been a long time since we spoke I feel sad and/or anxious. If they don’t make contact for a while after I thought they would and/or they said they would my mind tells me either they’ve abandoned me for good or something is terribly wrong and I start to panic.” — Anastasia A.
6. “I‘m constantly terrified they’ll abandon me because I’m ‘too much.’”
“My FP is someone who I feel I can’t live without — their absence brings a sense of emptiness to my chest and a feeling that I can’t make it through the day. My love for them is a borderline obsession and I elevate their accomplishments and thoughts on a higher level than everyone else, and I’ve forgiven their mistakes more than I rationally should have at the time. They bring meaning to my life, and I’m constantly terrified they’ll abandon me because I’m ‘too much’ for them.” — Lisa D.
7. “I get jealous when they spend time with other people and not me.”
“My favorite person is the person I trust most in this world. I get jealous when they spend time with other people and not me. I feel so alone when they’re not around. I realized that they were my favorite person when I was middle of an episode and they were the only person that could calm me down and I started putting their well-being over my own.” — Danielle Z.
8. “Absolutely everything revolved around them.”
“My whole world, my days, absolutely everything revolved around them. Looking back, it felt like blind and unconditional love.” — Alix S.
9. “I feel almost ‘normal’ with them.”
“My FP grounds me — I feel stable with them, we still have our arguments over small things because of my irrationality and fluctuating moods but he knows how to calm me, and doesn’t feed the arguments. I feel almost ‘normal’ with them. They have stuck by me through thick and thin for over a decade.” — Annemarie C.
10. “When I upset her I get so incredibly upset with myself.”
“My fiance is my favorite person. I’m very codependent upon her and rely on her for almost everything, from my own self-esteem to just needing her approval of whatever it is I may do. My moods are so affected by her it’s ridiculous. I feel totally lost without her and when I upset her I get so incredibly upset with myself that I start to not want to exist anymore. It’s a constant battle of being totally in love with her and totally not when she upsets me. Her opinion matters most to me.” — James T.
11. “I literally become them.”
“I literally become them. My mannerisms change, word choice, temperament. All of it. It messes me up, and I soon forget who I am.” — Jacob H.
12. “I feel safe around them.”
13. “I start to get butterflies when their name shows up on my phone.”
“When I start to get butterflies when their name shows up on my phone… It didn’t mean I had a crush, just that I loved knowing they were talking to me.” — Elyssa C.
14. “No matter how many times I push him away… he continues to reassure me he’s going nowhere.”
“No matter how many times I push him away, pull myself away, beg him not to leave me, he continues to reassure me he’s going nowhere and tries his best to keep up with my ever changing moods. He’s my ‘super bestie.’” — Libby S.
15. “An unanswered text or call from them makes it feel like my whole world is crumbling down.”
“When an unanswered text or call from them makes it feel like my whole world is crumbling down around me.” — Bridget O.
16. “Just by seeing that person, there’s a little bit of light.”
“I may be having a ‘dark day’ and just by seeing that person, there’s a little bit of light. Also, I feel free to be myself around my FP. I can express how I feel and not be judged. That person has taken the time to understand my mental illnesses and how to help me feel better.” — Glory G.
If you’re having trouble navigating a relationship with a favorite person, you’re not alone. We spoke with Dr. April Foreman, who specializes in BPD treatment, and she recommended these four tips for maintaining balance in your relationships if you live with BPD.
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