Dating, With an FP

Having BPD + a platonic FP = a non-existent dating life.

Navigating love can be challenging as it is, but trying to have a healthy dating life when you have a personality disorder like BPD can make it even harder. 

As a quick refresher, an FP (or favourite person) to someone who has BPD is the most important person of their life, whether they’re conscious of this or not. Their whole mood revolves around this person, so if they’re on good terms with the FP, then it’s all happy days; if things aren’t great between the borderline and the FP, then the whole world is against them and everything sucks. (You can read more about my personal experiences with FPs at this link here.)

FPs can be in the form of a romantic partner, but if you’re like me, your FP manifests in platonic friends, family members, or even celebrities. This is where the main issue that I personally face arises when it comes to dating.

Love sucks. Adding an FP makes it suck even more. (CREDIT: eltpics’s Flickr photostream)

To set the scene, for example, let’s say I’m dating someone named Oliver. We’ve been seeing each other for a couple of months and everything there is going great. However, my FP is my friend named Bruno. While there is no sexual or romantic attraction to Bruno, he has become my entire life and my happiness solely depends on Bruno, and I constantly want to be around Bruno – even moreso than Oliver.

And thus there lies the problem. Even though I’m dating Oliver and there is a genuine romantic interest in Oliver, in my head, Oliver doesn’t even compare to Bruno. 

To be completely transparent, I am 29-years-old and still don’t know how to completely navigate life and relationships as someone with BPD, and I definitely am not an expert on navigating love and dating with a platonic FP. Currently speaking, I have a platonic FP and because my focus is so centered on him, I find it very difficult to even attempt a dating life.

From the outside looking in, it is very easy to assume that I have romantic feelings for my FP because my mind essentially becomes obsessed with them. I get it. I truly get it. In fact, growing up without the diagnosis, I had always assumed my strong feelings for my FP were romantic when that isn’t necessarily the case. I’m constantly seeking his approval and validation, my senses are almost heightened whenever he’s around, and I’m acutely aware of every small thing that is happening when he’s near. On the flipside, when he does the tiniest thing that could lead my borderline mind to think he’s abandoning me, all of a sudden he’s the worst person and I’m thrown into a bout of depression just because of this one man. 

Taking all of this into consideration, the normal person with little to no understanding of BPD could hypothesise that I in fact am harbouring romantic feelings for my FP. And while it’s true that I crave their attention and would be happy (or irrationally angry) by having them constantly around me, that’s where it ends for me. I can’t picture myself in a relationship with my FP, or getting intimate with them, or even building a life with them that wasn’t strictly as friends.

Passing it back to my love life, it’s essentially non-existent. I’m not seeing anyone, talking to anyone, or engaging in conversation with the attempt to bonk with anyone. It’s completely dead, and I’m not sad or miserable about it at all. I have Tinder downloaded on my phone, and every now and then I’ll swipe through profiles for about 10 seconds, and then close the app. During this rinse-repeat cycle that I’ve established, I’ll get matches, but I won’t do anything about it because my heart’s not in it. It’s as if I’m going through the motion because it’s expected of me as a young, attractive 20-something-old to want to date and find that special someone. But the truth is I don’t really want to, because I make myself happy, and if I don’t, then my FP will.

If I’m invited to an event where I get a plus one, I immediately think of bringing my FP as my date. If someone were to ask me to think of someone special in my life that I want to give a gift to, you guessed it, my FP shoots to my mind. 

It’s almost self sabotage, really. I’m blocking myself from potentially finding happiness with Oliver, because my mind is too fixated with Bruno. It’s like paying attention to one plant too much that you neglect the second plant that is withering and dying.

I’m working hard to try and set boundaries with my FP so I’m not as reliant or co-dependent on them to find happiness. I know I can find happiness in myself and with other friends and family, but sometimes I feel like that can be dramatically shifted because of a tiny incident with my FP. Establishing these boundaries with my FP, and hopefully in turn they establish boundaries with me, opens up the possibilities for me to seek independence from them and pursue potential relationships with others.

Boundaries that I am endeavouring to set for myself, which you could also use if you feel like you’re in a similar boat as me, include:
– Creating distance, both physically and emotionally, between us if I think my feelings and emotions are becoming heightened;
– Relying on others for emotional support that I’d usually expect from my FP, sometimes unfairly;
– Practicing mindfulness when I start to feel like my FP is my entire life and I can’t function without him;
– Willfully acknowledging that my FP is a friend and nothing more than that, so I am able to pursue a romantic relationship without feeling guilty;
– Most importantly, acknowledging and validating my own feelings.

I am aware that my FP isn’t my entire life, and before we met, I was existing perfectly fine. Just like a romantic partner should, an FP is meant to enhance my life, not hinder it (even with BPD). Keeping this in mind will only assist me in searching for a life outside of them.

– by The Black Widow

To All the FPs I’ve Loved Before

I’m coming for your gig Lara Jean.

To understand what an FP (“favourite person) is, you need to understand what BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) is.

Image taken from VeryWellMind

BPD is described as a mental disorder characterised by unstable moods, behaviour and relationships, and those that suffer from this experience troubles regulating their emotions. Taking this into an account, someone diagnosed with BPD can have an FP, which is a colloquial term used and not at all a medical definition. For someone with BPD, a FP becomes the most important person in their life, whether they’re conscious of it or not. Most likely they will make this big attachment to this individual without consciously realising it. This can be in the form of a romantic partner, friend, teacher, parent, celebrity, or anyone else in their life. Because of their severe abandonment issues, the person with BPD will do anything to make sure their FP doesn’t abandon them, no matter how erratic or nonsensical the action may be.

I was officially diagnosed with BPD in 2018, although upon some self-reflection realised I was showing symptoms of this personality disorder in ages as early as eight-years-old. During this self-reflection, it had come to my attention that I had FPs nearly my entire life, and that realisation helped me understand that during those years when I thought something was wrong with me for having these strong attachments to certain people, it wasn’t weird; there was a reason to it.

The main thing one would notice about my relationships with my FPs is that it is either all sunshine and rainbows, or it is the absolute pits. There is no in between. This is called “splitting”, where the person with BPD sees the world in black and white and there is definitely no room for shades of grey. If my relationship with my FP was great, then my whole world was great and they could absolutely do no wrong; if it was facing turmoil, then they were the absolute worst person in the entire universe and everything else in my life sucked because of this one person. I could never see them as a good person  with flaws that wasn’t perfect. They were either perfect, or the worst.

Over the years, I’ve had numerous FPs, ranging from some close friends, cousins, and even a celebrity or two. And as I got older and my range of emotions widened, the elevator relationship I had with my FP got even crazier. No longer would I cry in silence if I felt my FB getting away from me; now, I’d lash out at them, say every horrible and nasty thing my mind could think of, and I’d push them away to test them to see if they would leave.

I would be crying over the loss of my FP as if someone close to me died, because in my warped BPD mind, that’s what it felt like; my relationship with this person died, so in essence, they had died to me. And then one day, as they say that time heals all wounds, it wouldn’t be so hard, and that FP would become a former FP and I would’ve moved on as if nothing happened.

As of writing, I have a couple of former FPs still in my life as friends, and those once strong and intense feelings no longer cloud over our friendship to the point where we can actually have a healthy relationship. That would make up about 10% of all the FPs I’ve had, however, as a strong majority of my former FPs found the relationship to be too much of a struggle and left. While I have “moved on” from these FPs, when I think about the times that we did have together in the height of our relationship, it makes me sad that my uncontrollable behaviour drove them away.

So, with the inspiration of Lara Jean Covey, here I go writing five short letters to some of the FPs I’ve loved before.

Dear R
I still cry out for you because you are the one whose damage to my heart is the most fresh. Possibly of all of my former FPs, you are the one that I miss the most. Our stable and friendly relationship had become an unhealthy FP elevator so quickly that I didn’t even realise what it was until it was too late. You deserved better, my boy. I was good to you, but I could’ve been great to you. I loved that you allowed me to be mostly vulnerable with you, and you were the best listener you could be. I’m aware that I used to touch you a lot, whether that was a hug, placing my hand on your shoulder, or weaving my arm through yours, and I think that is because subconsciously my mind thought that if I could physically feel you, then there was no way you would be abandoning me. And you allowed it because I think deep down you knew that I was scared to lose you. I’m sorry I made you feel anxious in my presence because you didn’t know which Nikki you were going to get, because lord knows you saw Angel Nikki turn into Devil Nikki in mere seconds too many times. I’m sorry I put you through the torment I did when you were dealing with other things. You deserve the best. I miss you every day.

Dear E
Of all of my former FPs, you dealt with the most, and I commend you for having such strength during such a tense time for you. In such a small amount of time, you had gone from apparent stranger, to the most important person in my life, and at first you handled our relationship well as most people do. We got along well and our relationship was flourishing. But by the time I had realised you had become my FP, again, it was too late. The small promises you made to our friendship probably without realising, I held onto like gospel, and when you were unable to fulfill these promises, I lashed out. Through this, you were by my side as much as you possibly could, from anxiety attacks, to a suicide attempt, you were there for me. Until you couldn’t be. The rage you faced didn’t fit the crime, and I’m sorry you had to deal with that. I fondly think of the times we shared together, and I hope you are having an amazing life.

Dear B
You are probably my most upsetting heartbreak of my former FPs. You had gone from acquaintance, to friend, to one of my closest friends, and our relationship when it was at its best is something I deeply cherish even to this day. Because I had no understanding of the disorder that has plagued my entire life, I was led to believe my strong feelings towards you were romantic, and when I confessed that part of my soul to you, you accepted it. You had every right to leave me, ignore me, and cut me off, but you did the respectful thing and accepted it because that’s the kind of stand up guy you are. Now that I understand that you were an FP, it helps me realise why I had so many erratic outbursts. You put up with them and dealt with them as the kind and patient man that you are, until one day you couldn’t. One day you had decided enough was enough, and you left. I don’t blame you because those vicious words I had thrown at you haunt me every day. Under every single insult and vile word I had said to you, was a broken shell of myself that was crying for help, and as much as you wanted to help that version of me, you couldn’t break the wall, so you gave up. I’m sorry B. I miss you.

Dear N
You were another FP that I was led to believe I had romantic feelings for, when really the strong attachment I had to you was due to my BP and fear of abandonment. I remember the day you had jumped onto the FP elevator; everything in our relationship was perfect until that moment. You couldn’t make it to an event we had planned to go to together, and while you had simply apologised, all I heard was “I’m leaving you”, and so I acted out. This triggered a horrible chain of events that included too many angry outbursts or silent treatments for me to count. I remember once you had said that anytime I had that feeling of abandonment, you promised you’d remind me that you were never going to leave me. Promises never work for me, because one day you did leave me. To this day, I still think about fixing the destruction I had caused, but maybe your life is better off without me.

Dear L
Through our own shared heartbreaks, we had gone from friends to each other’s lifesavers in mere seconds, and to someone with BPD, that leads into dangerous territory. I loved every second I had spent talking to you, texting you, or even just tagging you in stupid memes. But of course, the ugly dragon reared its head and some point, and no matter how hard you tried to fight off this dragon, it became too much for you. Once again, I was too overwhelming for you, and regardless of what you said at the end of this relationship, all I heard was goodbye. You were led to believe it was your fault that our friendship blew up, but it wasn’t, and I’m sorry you felt that way.

I guess the point I want to get across to all of my former FPs, not just the ones mentioned above, is that I’m sorry. While a big cause of my irrational anger and erratic blow ups is because of this disorder which can be crippling at times, I still take full accountability for my actions, and I truly wish that all of the FPs that I’ve loved before are having the most beautiful life possible.

And to anyone out there who may be reading this who may think that this could possibly be you, or if you have any inkling that something might be “off” with you, I encourage you to reach out and seek professional help. I always say that I wish I had my diagnosis earlier, because it would’ve help to put everything into perspective, and my journey to healing could’ve started way before it actually did. And just remember that your diagnosis is not all of you; it’s a part of you. You are super. You have a special power that you can harness, and maybe one day that side of you will become a part of you that you truly love and cherish. I’m still learning to harness my superpower, but I know that underneath all of the ups and downs of being on an FP elevator, I am a great son, brother and uncle, and a loyal friend to those whom I love.

If you would like more information on BPD, please feel free to visit any of the following links:
BPD Australia
Helping Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder

– by The Black Widow

Dating Nikki: The sexy selfie

Back at it with the Dating Nikki.

Hello blogosphere! It’s me again, providing you with unsolicited dating advice even though I’m notoriously single and patiently waiting for someone to turn me into a Real Housewife.

Today’s topic: the sexy selfie, or in NSFW words, the nude.

I’m sure if you’re over the age of 18 (and let’s be honest, some under the 18 unfortunately experience this) and you’ve been chatting to that guy/girl/genderqueer person and things are starting to get fairly heated between the two of you, the thought of sending them a suggestive selfie of yourself has popped into your mind.

Some people like to spice up their relationship by sending photos or videos to titillate the other. Some have to tough it out long distance and to keep the sexual chemistry alive, they choose to share their bodies over different media channels to keep that spark. Some are even capitalising off of materials like this with things like OnlyFans out there.

I’m gonna be frank here: I personally do not do nudes at all for my own reasons. But I don’t judge people who do wish to send them out.

So if you are one of those few, there are just a few things to consider if you are contemplating sharing your body in picture format with someone:

– The most important part: seek permission first. I shouldn’t have to say that consent is consent, but for the love of all that is holy, please ensure that you have the other person’s permission first before sending them your dong/box pic.
Make sure you trust the person. You are choosing to share a private part of yourself with someone, and in this day and age, you never know what they could do with that information.
– Be prepared to face the consequences. Should, heaven forbid, your nudes get out because the person you sent them to is a royal scumbag, then unfortunately you must prepare yourself for the consequences. The internet doesn’t forget, and once your nudies are uploaded on there, they won’t be forgotten. Take a nude and send it knowing that there is a slight possibility that your grandmother’s friend’s attractive grandson might see it, or that your prospective future employer might know what your titties look like.

Now we’ve gotten the dark side of nudes out of the way, let’s talk about the scintillating part:
Know what your partner likes. Your partner may prefer you to bare it all; they may prefer you to leave a tiny bit to the imagination. Depending on what they like, you may send them a cheeky underwear selfie, or a full blown box pic.
Respect each other’s boundaries. If you’ve just delved into the world of sexy selfies, you may not know what each other’s limits are. Your partner may have a limit, which could be related to the above point. If they’re not ready to see your full blown genitalia on full view, then respect that limit and work your way up to it should your relationship go in that direction.
Don’t be afraid to spice it up every now and then. You’ve gotten into the groove of communicating with your partner via sexy selfies, and now they’re wanting to shake things up a bit. Add a theme to your photos: maybe you’re a burlesque dancer at the Moulin Rouge; or you’re a sexy jungle ninja looking to ensnare your prey (IE your partner).

Now that you’ve read this post, please re-read the first point of seeking permission/consent first. I cannot drill that in enough.

Enjoy your nudes you filthy bunch of animals!

– by The Black Widow

If you have a question or need some good ol’ fashioned blunt advice from #DatingNikki, use the Contact page on our website and put in your comment “Subject: Dating Nikki”, or alternatively send me an e-mail at widowslure@gmail.com and put “Dating Nikki” in the subject line. I will respond to your cries for help as soon as possible!

The Five Fundamental Roles of a Zombie Apocalypse Team

Every role is important.

Picture this: some maniac created a virus that turns people into zombies, and before you know it, your entire city has become infested with zombies. Sure, surviving alone is possible, but you know that there is always strength in numbers, so it’s probably best to round up a group of people so your chances of survival are maximised, ranging from the fearless leader who happens to be super fit and adept with guns, to the sweet peacemaker of the team.

Beat his ass, squad! (Photo from David Shifflett’s Flickr photostream)

We’ve told you how to survive a zombie apocalypse before, but now we’re going to tell you the key members and roles that any zombie apocalypse team needs (and the secondary roles that they could potentially play).

The Fearless Leader

What would any team of any kind be without a leader? Now I’ve seen so many zombie movies and read so much literature where a breakdown between who is the leader segues into chaos, so it’s important that this role is fleshed out from the very beginning, while not placing too much emphasis on the “leading” part. Any good leader should guide their team, not dictate.

The leader needs to make the hard decisions for the team that some others may not want the responsibility of; this includes where to go, whom to trust, and most importantly, whether to leave someone behind or kill their team member if they’ve been bitten (depending if these zombies are that type of zombie). The leader also needs to be adept on how to take out zombies in the smartest way possible. Leaders tend to be really good with guns and melee weapons, very physically fit, and have the ability to physically and metaphorically carry their team on their back. While it is implied already with their primary role, the Leader’s secondary role would be the Marksman.

The Medic

Let’s face it: if you’re in a zombie apocalypse, there is going to be high chance that you’re going to get physically hurt somewhere doing something, and you’re going to want someone with the medical know how to safely patch you up and have you up and running in no time.

Hopefully with a medical background pre-apocalypse, the Medic may very well be the second most important role of the team after the Leader. They care for their team and know how to quickly bandage in a live-or-die situation, and also know how to make the smart decisions when it comes to someone’s physical wellbeing. The Medic will also be the go to if someone is suffering mentally also, therefore they should be well trained in how to connect with people and empathise when needed. The Medic may also play the secondary role of Advisor to the Leader.

The Gatherer

When all hell breaks loose, resources become scarce, so you’re going to need someone to safely get you all the resources you can. Enter The Gatherer.

The Gatherer is someone on your team who needs to be as quick as lightning, and should have the ability to get places without attracting too much attention. The Gatherer is in charge of – you guessed it – gathering resources like food, water, medical needs, guns, and other assortments of weapons. Most importantly, they need to be stealthy, and should know when to run and how to escape a bad situation: if there is gunfire, it’s probably best not to grab that last bag of rice. The Gatherer may also play the secondary role of Enforcer to the Leader.

The Peacemaker

Shit is bound to hit the fan during a zombie apocalypse, and you’re going to need someone who can appeal to your softer side and possibly sweet talk potential enemies into becoming potential allies. This is where The Peacemaker comes in handy.

While not necessarily being great with a gun or a bandage, The Peacemaker has the ability to talk their way into a situation, and out of one as well; they have a way with words and know how to use them and any other resources to their advantage. The Peacemaker needs to keep team morale high in a world where there is little to no hope, and needs to make sure that the team are always on the same path. The Peacemaker should also have a secondary ability to assist with the team, like being an expert driver, or a cook.

The Survivalist

While the Leader may have the know all for the team, the Survivalist will know how to do exactly that: survive.

It is up to the Survivalist to implement safe tactics to stay alive, while also knowing how to navigate the country and live in the woods where there is no shelter available. The Survivalist can make anything from nothing, and is a key role for the team’s ability to succeed in this apocalypse. The Survivalist should also be pretty handy with a knife and a crossbow should the occasion arise. With their skills in survival, the Survivalist may also play the secondary role of marksman for the team where the Leader is unable to.

Now that you know how to assemble a team, and we’ve already covered you on how to survive the apocalypse, you should be very well equipped should hell take over the world and everyone has turned into flesh-eating zombies. Safe travels!

– by The Black Widow