I have borderline personality disorder with a lot of commitment & abandonment issues. I’m in a relationship with a man I love but who has depression & all those years of negativity are really starting to drain me. I feel stuck. Recently I met a guy who’s adventurous & fun & passionate & says he loves me & wants to make me see the world & I don’t know if I like him or just the attention or the wild & free person he wants me to be. I feel lost & horrible for both of them. I don’t want to hurt them.

First, bpd is incredibly tough and you have my respect and support for working on it. I am not a mental health professional, and since you know your problem is partly informed by your bpd, you really should talk this out with a therapist or someone who’s helping you work with your bpd.

If you are feeling drained by your current relationship, that’s a problem. Have you talked to your partner about this? Have you worked with him on ways to shift some of the burden of negativity off of you? Is he working on his depression with a therapist, medication, or other things? If this is something you haven’t worked on addressing, definitely do that. If you have tried to alleviate this problem but still feel drained and dragged down, consider that maybe this relationship isn’t healthy for you.

This new person may be helping you realize that you’re not happy in your current relationship - that you want fun, and adventure, and positivity - and that’s actually pretty normal. But be careful of idealizing this new person. New people often seem more exciting and interesting than current partners just because of the novelty and the fact that you can’t take their affections for granted. Dating him will not solve all your problems - eventually you will settle into his habits too. It’s possible that he’s just generally a better person for you to date, but it’s also very possible that the real issue is the boredom and negativity in your current relationship.

Try taking this as a signal that you’re unhappy and need something to change. Maybe that change means working with your current partner to improve things. Maybe it means leaving him to try and find who you are without that relationship. Maybe it does mean dating this new guy. But be introspective and intentional when working out what you really need in this scenario vs. what you may be idealizing or projecting onto.