Are Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande Right for Each Other?

The SNL comedian Says He Has Borderline Disorder

By Randi Kreger, author of Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder and The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells.

We here at the Black Sheep Project are usually too busy helping you to follow celebrity love lives. But when it involves a celeb who has publicly acknowledged having Borderline Disorder (BD), we follow them closely.

Late in 2017, Pete Davidson, a youthful member of Saturday Night Live, revealed he has BD. Davidson is known for basing his comedy on “a series of brutal truths and vulgar confessions.” In his comedy, he has even touched upon losing his father in 9/11, so it’s not surprising that once he learned he had BD, he wouldn’t keep it a secret from his fans.

But being a mental health crusader has a downside. When rumors started that he was engaged to singer Ariana Grande, people on social media said things like, “Never get involved with a Borderline.”

We believe it’s just as wrong to make negative generalizations about people with mental disorders as it is to make then about race or gender. It’s not just unethical—it’s inaccurate because each person with BD is unique. For example, some people with BD rage, while others are quiet and never seem to get angry.

If you are contemplating a relationship with a man or woman who has BD and is in treatment, it’s important to do two things:

1. Do some research about BD, because your potential partner is highly sensitive to many things, including rejection and abandonment. For example, you may not think twice about canceling a date or arriving late as long as you have a good reason. But your love interest may believe you’re ditching them forever. The key is open, honest communication and the commitment to working on problems together.

There are great books, such as Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder by Shari Manning, that will give you insight into your partner and offer special tools to help you and your partner communicate.

2. After learning about BD, think about whether you can meet your partner’s wants and needs and vice versa. To start, read our BD101 page. You’ll learn your partner may have a tendency to put you on a pedestal and knock you off. They may pull you to them, then push you away. Keep in mind all partners have issues—in this case, you know what they are ahead of time!

People with BD deserve love just like anyone else, and they’re just as wonderful and loving as anyone else. But both people need to make sure the other one meets their wants and needs. That’s true for everyone—if someone wants a mountain-climbing partner and their date is afraid of heights, better to know as soon as possible. So take some time to learn about each other, even if on the first date you feel like Romeo and Juliet. Doing so will help make sure your time together is a healthy and happy experience for both. 

Pete Davidson's openness about his Borderline diagnosis is a sign that this couple understands the Disorder and the need for open communication. We at the Black Sheep Project wish all of you success in your relationships and hope the information and skills on blacksheepproject.org help in your journey.