Friday, March 1, 2013

Borderline Flirtation

I am a flirty person. If you’re female and I’m not sure whether or not you’ll take me the wrong way I might not be quite as flirtatious but otherwise, well, Guy? Girl? Trans? Androgyn? You will probably encounter flirty Haven at some point, most likely early on when you first are introduced to me.

Least sexy wink ever.
I don’t think anything of it. I really just think I’m friendly, not really flirty at all. But I’ve had people, particularly jealous significant others, mention to me otherwise. We’ll be out having a good time, talking to people around us, and I’ve been accused of flirting with someone other than who I was there with. I’m almost always shocked when I hear this too, because I don’t try, I’m not trying to impress people that way, it just feels like being engaged in an active conversation to me.

I have many thoughts on this. One. I think being friendly and polite is so foreign to some people (especially here in New York) that what I consider just being a decent human being, they take as showing more interest than is in any way there at all.

Other times, if I am genuinely attracted to you in a potentially romantic or purely sexual way… and feeling social enough to want to act on those urges… yes, absolutely, I’m a big flirt, but in my own nerdy quirky kind of way.

But neither of those things are what people are typically asking me about when they’re confused regarding a Borderline partners apparent flirtation. Especially when you ask us about it or confront us about our flirtatiousness (say as our current relationship partner), and the response you get is, “I’m not flirting. I’m just being friendly. I don’t mean anything by it.” I have found myself saying this on a number of occasions. Mostly when I found myself with a partner that was less than secure in our relationship or that was the jealous type.

Whenever I have said this, it is absolutely true, with maybe a hint of enjoying the attention. I really don’t think about it at all. If I’m in a mood to be social I am very non-discriminating in pretty much any setting. I talk to everyone. I listen to whoever wants to talk to me. Well, for a while anyways. I get bored easily and some people are asshats that I don’t really have time for. I am always smiling. I’m an active listener and a pretty good audience. I seem to draw people to be naturally. So smiling, being engaged with your conversational partner, while being a little flirtatiously sassy is an easy disarming way to garner a positive reaction from people. It’s basically evolution in action. Make the community like you, you are more likely to treated and provided for better. I mean, that’s obviously not the train of thought that occurs in the moment, but it’s probably the origin of that natural ease of flirtation.

For me, my actual thoughts tend to go along the lines of, **tapped on the should/meet a stranger** Hello! ::smile:: Absolutely quirky shoulder shrug. Oh  you like that thing, this is what I know about it. This is a cool conversation. It’s nice that someone is interested in letting me talk about this thing/it’s nice that someone actually has something interesting to say that isn’t boring me to tears…. There’s not usually a conscious thought of, Hey there Stranger, can I get a little flirtation up in here?

Mildly flirtatious behavior is a simple social lubricant that ingratiates you to the people around you and puts them at ease because it makes them feel special and accepted. When you have BPD and you have this main motivator to avoid rejection and abandonment by anyone, it doesn’t take any consideration at all to learn that when people feel good around you, they are less likely to leave you. Even if it’s a just avoiding a simple social rejection.

Simply put, No I don’t think about it or always even realize that I’m being flirtatious. It’s not necessarily on purpose. Yes, I’m being honest when I tell you it doesn’t mean anything. Yes, it is just friendly.

Now, that’s just me and definitely some of the Borderlines I’ve known. Some people may have ulterior trying-to-get-closer-to-the-inside-of-someone-else’s-pants, motives. Some people with BPD don’t do this at all. And sometimes there is a poor impulsive judgment to make a significant other jealous. That’s why it’s important to discuss this with your partner and not just accuse, which is likely to inspire a very offended, and probably angry response. 


  1. Dear Haven, I need to please ask you something. I am just coming out of a three year emotional affair with someone who I think has BPD. For this past year I have been sure of it. She has been diagnosed with depression, and is under medication for it, but no therapy. We are at the moment no contact (one push-pull cycle too many). Now all the 'experts' say I should not tell her of my home made diagnosis. They say, if she has BPD it will further enrage her and make it even more unlikely that she will ever talk to me again. They say that she is not in a condition to hear me. They also say that I should be aware that it is probably my own dysfunctions, namely a desire to control and manipulate and still mean something in her life that makes me want to tell her. Now I don't care about any of this. I reckon she will speak to me if she wants to and that nothing I can do is going to make much difference one way or another - because her behaviour is not about me. It is about trust and her being afraid of trusting people. And I love her more than I have ever loved anyone. That love has got to be bigger than my abandonment issues. All I can imagine is from my own experience, I suffer from post traumatic stress (multiple rape trauma syndrome)and have a history of repressed memories. Yet with all the pain involved in fully regaining my memories and fully accepting who I am, I would not have anything undone. I would rather know than not know. At least this way I can seek treatment, build a support group, and every day get a little bit better. What do you think? Should I tell her? If so, should I do it myself or perhaps seek a more indirect way of doing it? I really need to hear from someone who has experienced BPD, I don't want to hurt her but only to help. Respect, Peace

    1. I understand completely what you are going through and your perspective. However it's also important for you to understand that what has really helped you, may not be the same kind of helpful for her.

      Whatever you do, do not tell her you think she is BPD. That is not your place. Here I wrote this on it specifically.

      However what you can do is let her know that you care about her deeply, that you will always be there for her, and try to gently encourage her to seek therapy so she can begin to feel better.

  2. Thank you!Please keep up the courageous work with your blog.


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