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How Borderline Lures, Captivates You

Uploaded 6/16/2022, approx. 12 minute read

She lures you, she reels you in, she casts a spell on you.

It's the borderline.

How does she do this? How does she succeed to override all your rational defenses, lifelong experience, better judgment, advice from friends and family? How does she succeed to render herself irresistible?

My name is Sam Vaknin, I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, and I am a professor of psychology, and I have a long first-hand experience with this delectable variant of humanity, the woman with borderline personality disorder.

And yes, before I am attacked by third wave, second wave, first wave, and fourth tsunami feminists, half of all borderlines are male men.

But this video is dedicated to this enchanted creature, the borderline woman. Nothing like her, thank God.

Okay, Shoshanim, let's delve right in.


The borderline woman is multifarious, she is ephemeral, shimmering, a shimmering mirage, like frata morgana. She's like a kaleidoscope. You can never pin her down. She's always ethereal, floating around like a beautiful butterfly in the sun.

So the borderline, creative as she is, has numerous strategies to keep you pegged, to keep you in her ambit and vicinity to make sure that you never let go and she never lets you go.

Our life expectancy is limited, alas. So I cannot review all the strategies and tactics and strategies and subterfuges that are typical of the average borderline, let alone the intelligent one.

I will focus today on eight of them. Eight, probably out of 8,000.


Why is the borderline so irresistible? What makes her the thing, the person, the entity that you can't live without?

The compliment to you, your other half, the twin flame, soulmate, the missing part. What makes her complete you? What gives her the power to penetrate your innermost recesses, to take over your mind, to body snatch you, to play with your emotions, especially by the way, if you're a narcissist, what gives her so much power over you?

Start with the drama.

Borderline personality disorder is a cluster B personality disorder and therefore belongs to the dramatic or erratic cluster of personality disorders. And drama is the hallmark, the hallmark in trade of the borderline. She's all the time dramatic. Everything is exaggerated. Everything is emphasized. Everything is bigger than life. Now, if there's anything that characterizes modern existence, it's boredom. Boredom, anxiety. People are bored out of their minds, ask Netflix, and they're anxious.

Borderline's drama caters to your envy. She's there to make your life different, to imbue your existence with color, with the unexpected, with the forbidden, with the unpredictable. She provides you with entertainment, 60, 24, seven, every second of every minute of every day. You never know what's coming and you don't want to know what's coming. The only thing you can be sure of is that something is coming.

The borderline is there to unsettle you, to destabilize you, to make you doubt your own sanity and the foundations of the life that you had constructed for yourself. She challenges and undermines the very tenets that hold your belief system together. She is there and not there.

Mediningly and tantalizingly out of reach and yet right there in your bed if you're lucky.

So she allays and alleviates and mitigates the routine, the mundane, the pedestrian. She makes you feel special because you're a participant in a drama. She makes you feel a bit like an actor who had succeeded in an audition with a very, very special and demanding director. And of course you have no time for anxiety and no time for depression because you're too busy coping with her ups and downs, her vicissitudes and her crazy-making.


The second strategy that the borderline uses to get you essentially addicted to her presence in your life is approach avoidance. Approach avoidance is a form of repetition compulsion but not in her case.

In her case the approach avoidance has to do with twin anxieties, abandonment anxiety on the one hand which makes her approach and engulfment or enmeshment anxiety on the other hand which makes her avoid you. On the one hand she wants you to be her intimate partner, the regulator of her emotions, cognitions, effects and moods. She wants you to take over her inner landscape, her mind and then make sure that it's all rock solid. She wants you to be the island of stability in her life so she approaches you.

But then when you do fulfill these roles faithfully and lovingly she feels suffocated, she feels that you're taking over, she feels that you're hijacking her very existence, her very being and she feels engulfed, assimilated, enmeshed, subsumed and she wants out hence the avoidance.

Now this creates as far as you're concerned a form of intermittent reinforcement which is a major hallmark and a main strategy of abuse.

You feel that you're being abused, hot and cold, here and there, now and never, present and absent. It's very difficult to cope with this and it conditions you, it gets you addicted because she's the only one who can deliver to you the next dopamine hit and on the other hand she creates a lot of adrenaline with her acting out, decompensation, recklessness, defiance and secondary psychopathic behavior. So she generates in you cascades of hormones which get you addicted, get you in hook to her behavior. She is the only one who holds the key and in a way while you thought that you were regulating her moods and her emotions she ends up regulating yours. She frequently also is part of her drama, she frequently also threatens suicide and in her case it's not an idle threat. 11% of people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder do commit suicide, so when she threatens with suicide it is terrifying because she might just carry through with it, go through with it, you know, she might just do it.

So her suicide threats are intended to keep you on your toes, you begin to walk on eggshells, you're terrified to trigger her, you begin to modify your behavior even the way you think and you begin to self-sensor their things, you don't say, you avoid conflict, you become conflict averse, she tames you and domesticates you and in a way she controls you the way people control their pets.

The borderline's neediness and clinging and helplessness cater to your grandiosity. She's a femme fatale on the one hand but on the other hand she's nothing but a child or at best a puerile, puerile adolescent, pre-pubescent entity and so you feel that you are a mother figure or a parental figure, feel like her father, you tend to cater to her psychological needs, you tend to preempt all her wishes and desires, she needs you, she clings to you, she's helpless without you, she can't survive without you, this is such a great feeling, it elevates your sense of masculinity, your self-esteem, it regulates your sense of self-worth, you feel a lot more confident, that's the secret source of living with a borderline, the feeling that you're god-like, that you're omnipotent, an omniscient, standing next to her you're seven feet tall as a minimum and you are capable of anything, she drives you into the territory of unlimited possibilities.

When you're with a borderline you feel that everything is possible, the world is open, all potentialities can self-actualize, all fantasies can and do come true, with a borderline you're both in a shared fantasy and you're in a dream-like state, that's, and she accomplishes this by consistently and repeatedly adhering to you, like an adhesive, adhering to you, sucking out of you every ounce of energy and force, a la vital, the force of the force of life, her neediness and clinging and helplessness are parasitic, symbiotic, vampiric.

But you love it, you love to be needed, you love to be adulated, you can't survive any more without these doses and dollops of greatness, you are a towering figure in the borderline's life, you're her leader, her guru, you're her mentor and tutor, you're her father and mother, you are infallible, you're a god-like figure, you are the focus of her laser attention, you are the center of the world, of her world, you're the pivot and the axis around which she revolves, you're the sun, she is earth, you are the earth, she is the moon, you are, she is your reflection, you are the source of light and enlightenment and happiness.

And this is very reminiscent of the relationship between a parent and a very very young child and it creates bonding which is much more typical of parental bonding or parental commitment.

You begin to love her as you would have loved one of your own children.


The next tool, the next instrument in the borderline's toolkit is idealization, not only does she need you, not only does she cling to you, not only does she react horribly to any hint of being ignored, being rejected, or being abandoned, but she also idealizes.

She communicates to you how perfect and brilliant you are, how handsome, how amazing, what amazing presence you have, especially in her life, how indispensable you are, how worthy, how unprecedented.

Again, this caters to your grandiosity and gratifies it and you can't let go, it becomes like a drug and you're a junkie.

The borderline offers you as proof of her allegiance, as a demonstration of her idealization of you, she offers you unboundaried sex.

There is no sex better than the sex that the borderline offers. Sex with a borderline is a tactical, surrealistic, psychedelic, kinky experience. It is everything you've ever fantasized and more.

The borderline offers you a theme park, a sexual Disneyland, free of charge, as you think. It's actually her way of getting you hooked, getting you addicted, making sure that you return, making it clear that there is a trade here. She will do anything you want, in bed and outside it. You will be there for her and only for her, every second of every minute of every day. Her sex is transactional, it's not about you, it's a currency, it's the coinage of the realm, it's coinage for the currency of the relationship. Unboundaried sex is embedded very deeply and intimately and integrated with fantasies and lies.

Part of the borderline's drama and crazy making is constant repeated prevarication, reframing reality, minimizing misbehavior and misconduct, fantasizing. All these things are intended to subtly and even, I would say, inadvertently gaslighting.

The borderline is not like the sacrifice, she is not cunning and skimming, she is not manipulative because she's evil or malevolent or malicious, there's no intention of deliberation there. She does it because that's who she is and she creates an environment which is detached from reality. A bubble which both of you inhabit, a bubble of fantasies, a bubble of confabulations, a bubble of imagination.

Inside this bubble you're like two children holding hands in a dark and dangerous and frightening forest. You are each other's comfort, you reach others certainty and safety. You begin to feel that without the borderline your life is not alive and that something ominous may happen.

This causes you to behave in obsessive compulsive ways.

The major compulsion is to stay with the borderline. The borderline's ability to impair your reality testing is essentially unlimited.

You want to gratify you, you want to keep her in your life, you don't want to lose her and you know that she's capable, capable, capable of acting out and abandoning you and cheating on you on a dime overnight.

So you become a slave, you become subservient and submissive, obedient and following every mood and every lead and every demand fulfilling all her wishes and making her preferences and priorities yours.

And finally the most overt and egregious strategy borderline is engaging is triangulation which would go all the way to actual sex.

The borderline uses other men to get a rise out of you, to provoke your anxiety and jealousy.

Whenever the borderline feels that you're about to abandon her, reject her, humiliate her publicly or privately or that you're beginning to doubt the relationship or that you're looking for options or that you're considering changing the arrangement or the relationship, she would immediately exit the dyad and find a rescuer and alternative and she will demonstrate to you and sometimes go into graphic details, for example, of sex she had in order to get you back.

The idea is that your possessiveness and new jealousy will take the better of you and will force you to return to the relationship on her terms and conditions.

There's nothing more devastating to the borderline.

When you find your agency autonomy and independence and tell her to f off, she is utterly shattered. She can't believe that she had lost her power over you.

Some borderlines become vindictive and dangerous from the fatal attraction, the movie.

Other borderlines simply sulk and go into deep depression and anxiety.

The borderline assumes, takes you for granted, she assumes her power over you is unlimited and she thinks that she can use other men as pawns in a never-ending chess game with you on the board of your relationships.

When that fails and you bid her farewell because she had misbehaved, she is shattered, she is disbelieving, she thinks it's a strategy, she thinks it's a gambit, she thinks you're faking it, she thinks you're just testing her or it's a power play and you want to emerge victorious and triumphant, she simply can't digest the fact that her misconduct is unacceptable and that she had crossed the boundary and that she had forced you away.


These are eight of the strategies of borderlines. There are hundreds, literally hundreds. I can go on and on and on, but the day is young and you are younger and I want to usurp your life just for the sake of getting better acquainted with the borderline.

The borderline is a fairy tale, it's an enchantment, it's what the ancient used to call magic, it's a spell, it's something bordering on the supernatural.

When you attach to the borderline, when you resonate with her, when you alchemically react with her, you're both transmuted like the philosopher's stone and what comes out is not gold, regrettably.

Relationships and borderlines are exceedingly destructive for both parties, not only to you, the borderline also suffers.

And if you're a narcissist, the borderline is the only one who can make you feel alive because teaming up with the borderline is a form of self-mutilation and self-harming, exactly like using a razor or using a lit cigarette to burn your skin.

You are committing suicide by borderline, you feel alive because the borderline hurts you and pain awakens and you also drown your internal turmoil and tumult, the emptiness, the void that is inside you, inside you.

Many, many narcissists and partners of borderlines believe that the shape of the empty schizoid core matches perfectly their borderline partner.

They have a borderline shaped empty core and they need to feel it. The only way to feel it is with a borderline.

So, good luck with that.

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How Borderline Sees YOU ( Intimate Partner)

Professor Sam Vaknin proposes a new diagnosis called covert borderline, which better suits men as it combines borderline and narcissism. Borderlines have two anxieties: abandonment anxiety and engulfment anxiety, which lead to approach and avoidance behaviors. In the approach phase, the borderline sees their partner as their savior and regulator of emotions, while in the avoidance phase, they become paranoid and view their partner as an enemy. This creates a roller coaster of emotions and pain for both the borderline and their partner.


Borderline Triangulates with Rescuer to Silence Pain, Abandonment Anxiety

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and its similarities to narcissism. BPD is currently thought to be a female manifestation of secondary psychopathy and involves dissociation. Borderlines often have a diffuse identity and rely on their intimate partners to regulate their internal environment. They may engage in dysfunctional attachment strategies, such as running away or triangulation, and experience dissociation during sex or other emotionally intense situations.


Borderline Bible: Switching to Identity Disturbance, Psychopathic Self-state (Compilation)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the perspective of a person with borderline personality disorder (BPD) towards their intimate partner. He describes two phases in the relationship: the approach phase and the avoidance phase. In the approach phase, the person with BPD sees their partner as their world, savior, and stabilizer of moods. They feel completed and whole with their partner. In the avoidance phase, the person with BPD feels overwhelmed by pain, anticipates abandonment, and may engage in acting out behaviors like cheating or other reckless actions. They may experience dissociation and view their partner as wanting to control or harm them. The cycle of approach and avoidance is compulsive and not mitigated by external factors. Vaknin emphasizes the intense and chaotic nature of relationships with individuals with BPD.


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Covert Borderline, Classic Borderline - Psychopaths?

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Borderlines: No Win Relationships, BPD Enigmas Decoded

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the complex dynamics between individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) in intimate relationships. He explains that people with BPD experience two types of anxiety: abandonment anxiety and engulfment anxiety. These anxieties lead to approach-avoidance behaviors, which can be disorienting and confusing for their partners. Vaknin also highlights the concept of dual mothering in narcissist-borderline relationships, where the narcissist provides unconditional love to the borderline, while the borderline becomes the narcissist's "dead mother," allowing the narcissist to attempt to heal and fix their original mother through the borderline partner. This dynamic creates a strong bond between the two, making it difficult for them to separate.


When Narcissist Says "I Love You" - What Does It Mean To Him?

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Borderline Seeks Fantasy but Flees to Reality

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