Dating Someone with Dependent Personality Disorder

woman looking at camera while hugging man

A personality disorder is defined as a type of mental disorder in which a person has a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning, and behaving. Living with a personality disorder can affect every aspect of one’s life. Dating someone with a personality disorder can also be challenging. Bustle has noted the following characteristics of someone with dependent personality disorder (DPD): low self-esteem, often seems “clingy” or “passive”, unable to make decisions on one’s own, hates being alone, goes from one relationship to another, is unable to take initiative on projects, and is very agreeable with partner in fear of them leaving.

Individuals with DPD may appear very fearful, anxious, or sad. If you are dating someone with this disorder, they may take a lot of energy from you, seek your approval constantly, rarely disagree with you and be very influential. People with DPD often to not rise to their full potential because they rely on someone else’s support. There are several things you should be careful not to do with your partner if they have DPD:

  • Empower learned helplessness by doing things for your partner.
  • Reinforcing low self-esteem by taking over tasks for your partner if they say they cannot do it.
  • Keeping your partner financially/emotionally dependent on you.
  • Not allowing your partner to do simple home chores they can easily do for themselves.
  • Finding excuses for your partner’s inability to do things.
  • Providing your opinion on anything your partner does, even when it’s unnecessary.

The first step that you can take with your partner is to create a safe environment. Since your partner has DPD, they fear sharing the unique aspects of themselves through thoughts and action because they do not want to be rejected or abandoned. Encourage your partner to speak his/her own mind, and be very supportive whenever they express themselves in a healthy way, even if you disagree. Recognize that your body language, facial expression, words, actions, etc. can be perceived as criticism by your partner and adjust accordingly to help them feel supported. Make it verbally known that you appreciate their thoughts and that you support them.





If your partner is ready to seek treatment for their DPD, please call us today at 888-958-7511. Avalon Malibu is a mental illness and addiction recovery treatment center state-licensed by California. We will work with your partner to overcome their fear and anxiety, and will help them develop tools to cope with their thoughts and become a stronger person. Your partner deserves to break through everything that has been holding them back. Give us a call for a consultation.

We will work with most out of network PPO policies

Call 888-835-8075 to verify your insurance benefits today!
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Health Net
Blue Of California