Note: Details of the Mike-Elizabeth relationship have been changed to preserve anonymity.
Or any one of the modern-day pop stars, ingénues and reality TV spawn who live as if they’re always in character, always trawling for companionship, looking for someone to love or blame, because they just can’t find themselves. Soon, Mike was breaking up with his girlfriend to fall headlong into a passionate affair with Elizabeth.
Psychologically speaking, they could all be diagnosed with shades of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), a sort of femme fatale of the new millennium, the very traits of which—a black-white world-view, deep fear of abandonment, passionate mood swings, unstable relationships and devastating vulnerability—can add up to an intoxicating woman-child with a dark side. He was a 27-year-old grad student in San Francisco, happily ensconced in a stable long-distance relationship when he met the ethereal Elizabeth at a party. Their sexual trysts were unlike anything he’d experienced—breathless and overwhelming.“We were turned in on each other and to hell with the rest of the world,” he recalled. There was just something enchanted about it, something like going back to childhood about it.”And, borderline experts say, is what makes partners with this particularly disorder so engaging at first.