Selena Gomez has dropped a new single, “Lose You To Love Me,” and many fans believe that it reveals details about her failed relationship with fellow superstar Justin Bieber.
For what it’s worth, Gomez’s camp isn’t acknowledging that the song is about Bieber—but they’re not denying it, either. In a statement to Us Weekly, a source close to Gomez said the song wasn’t about her relationship with singer The Weeknd, but left the lyrics open to interpretation.
“Although the song ‘Lose You to Love Me’ was cowritten and a collaboration, Selena was very involved in writing and creating it, and the song is obviously about Justin,” the source said. “Her fling with The Weeknd did not inspire the song—their relationship was much more short-lived and not deep enough to inspire it.”
Another source said that the song was “inspired by Selena’s breakup from Justin, but it would be incorrect to say it’s totally about Justin.”
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We’re not convinced. Here’s a look at Gomez, Bieber, and everything you need to know about the apparent disses in “Lose You To Love Me.” Oh, and while we were writing this, Gomez released another track about Bieber, so we’ll get to that, too. Strap in.
First, let’s (briefly) look at Bieber’s relationship with Gomez.
Both stars have kept their private lives…well, private, so we’re not exactly sure when they started dating—sometime in 2010 or 2011. We do know that Gomez’s mother played a role.
“His manager called my mom, who’s my manager,” Gomez told The Late Show with David Letterman.
Per Seventeen, they officially got together three times before calling it quits. Their most recent reconciliation occurred sometime in October 2017, shortly after Gomez and The Weeknd broke up. In May 2018, Gomez decided to walk away.
What caused the breakup? We’re not completely sure, but Gomez has said that she wants “honesty” in a relationship.
“You have to have honesty when you’re living this lifestyle because of the distance imposed when working—you are separated so often,” she told InStyle in 2013. “You have to be super-honest and open. That is key.”
A source close to Us Weekly claims that the power couple broke up for a simple reason: They weren’t happy together.
“Selena started seeing the bigger picture when it came to their relationship, like what was more important: her general happiness and her family and friends approval, or her being together with Justin, where no one really supported their relationship,” the source reportedly said.
Some lyrics in “Lose You To Love Me” seem to address Bieber directly.
Let’s get back to those lyrics. “Lose You To Love Me” is about a toxic relationship, and it contains a few clues that seem to hint at her on-again, off-again situation with the Biebs.
“In two months, you replaced us / Like it was easy / Made me think I deserved it,” she sings.
Now, Gomez and Bieber were together for quite a while; they dated on and off through their teens and twenties, and their most recent attempt at a relationship officially ended in May 2018. Bieber proposed to Hailey Baldwin in July 2018—that’s two months by our count. Bieber, of course, married Baldwin on Sept. 13 of that year.
However, it’s also important to note that this wasn’t the first time Bieber and Baldwin had gotten together. Bieber knew Baldwin before the couple dated—they met back in 2009 at one of Bieber’s fan events, and Baldwin told Vogue that she was somewhat interested in him in her teens. The key word there is “somewhat.” Baldwin wasn’t a true Belieber at first.
Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin meeting for the first time in 2009 😍 pic.twitter.com/NwwEcndDSY
— 234Star.com (@234star_) July 8, 2018
“I was never a superfan, of him or of anyone,” she said. “It was never that crazed, screaming thing. I didn’t think about it in any kind of way except for the fact that he was cute. Everybody had a crush on him. But for the first few years we had a weird age gap.”
Hailey is 22, while Bieber is 25. In 2015 and early 2016, they seemed to sort of, maybe be dating (they shared a kiss on New Year’s Eve but never put public labels on their relationship), so even though the engagement seemed awful quick, they’d been close for a while.
In any case, we can see why fans have latched on to the “in two months” line. While it’s possible that the lyric refers to one of Gomez’s other relationships, the Bieber connection makes the most sense—and there are other lyrics that make the association more clear.
Selena Gomez’s other lyrics are less specific, but no less interesting.
“You promised the world / And I fell for it,” Gomez sings. “I put you first and you adored it / Set fires to my forest / And you let it burn / Sang off-key in my chorus / ’Cause it wasn’t yours. / I saw the signs and I ignored it / Rose-colored glasses all distorted.”
In other words, the guy in the song was bad for Gomez, but she needed time to realize it. And he, uh, “sang off-key” in her chorus. We’ve never known Bieber to sing off-key, but maybe there’s a studio take somewhere that required a little extra autotune.
We also don’t think he “set fires” to any actual forests, but that’s poetic license for you (and if it isn’t, Gomez, please report Bieber for arson. Only you can prevent metaphorical forest fires). These next lyrics seem a bit more pointed:
“Of course she was sad / But now she’s glad she dodged a bullet / Took a few years to soak up the tears / But look at her now, watch her go,” she sings.
Predictably, fans are going nuts. Some noted that the lyric “set fire to my purpose” might be a reference to Bieber’s 2015 album Purpose, which includes several songs about Gomez. We’re inclined to belieb that theory, since “set fire to my purpose” isn’t a thing that people say.
Gomez hasn’t directly acknowledged the Bieber inspiration.
On her official YouTube account, Gomez explained that the song came from her own experiences, but she stopped short of saying Bieber’s name.
“This song was inspired by many things that have happened in my life since releasing my last album,” Gomez wrote. “I want people to feel hope and to know you will come out the other side stronger and a better version of yourself.”
So far, “Lose You To Love Me” has received positive reviews, including some glowing words from Gomez’s best friend, Taylor Swift.
“This song is a perfect expression of healing & my absolute favorite song she’s put out yet. A triumph,” Swift wrote on her Instagram story on Wednesday. “I love you so much @selena gomez”
Some fans think Hailey Baldwin Bieber stepped up to defend her beau.
On Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, shortly after “Lose You to Love Me” dropped, Hailey posted a screenshot of Summer Walker’s song “I’ll Kill You.” Some fans believe that it was a veiled diss toward Gomez. Of course, it’s possible that fans are reaching for something that isn’t there—and Gomez isn’t on board for any of the drama.
Selena Gomez dropped an honest and vulnerable song roastingJustin Bieber and minutes later Hailey Baldwin’s posts this lmaooooooineedtogotobed pic.twitter.com/WCOmGLTxVq
— CK (@ckmont) October 23, 2019
“I am grateful for the response that the song is getting. I am so grateful. However, I do not stand for women tearing women down,” she said on Instagram Live. “And I will never, ever be by that, so please be kind to everyone.”
“It doesn’t matter what the situation is, if you’re my fans don’t be rude to anybody, please,” the singer continued. “Don’t go off and say things that—that you just feel in the moment. Please, for me, know that that’s not my heart. My heart is only to release things that I feel—that are me, and that I’m proud of. And that’s all.”
Hailey also responded to the controversy (if “controversy” is the right term here), leaving a comment (now deleted) on tabloid Just Jared’s Instagram page.
“Please stop with this nonsense,” Hailey wrote, according to the outlet. “There is no ‘response.’ This is complete BS.”
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Monday came so fast never got a chance to express how amazing this past weekend was.. I know for me this conference came at the exact time I needed it, I believe God is THAT amazing and faithful that he brings us the right words during the season that we need it the most. I’m so blown away and inspired by you both @chadveach @juliaveach and I’m grateful for what you guys do and the way you both lead your church. This weekend was one to remember and one that put a new fire in both of our souls!!
That seems relatively straightforward: Hailey Bieber does not, in fact, want to kill Selena Gomez. Maybe we should all chill out and stop trying to read into every little thing we read. Then again…
Early Thursday morning, Gomez released another track with another possible Bieber reference.
The song, “Look At Her Now,” seems like another breakup song, though it’s a much happier take on the subject.
“They fell in love one summer / A little too wild for each other / Shiny ’til it wasn’t,” she sings. “Feels good ’til it doesn’t / It was her first real lover / His too ’til he had another.”
They were each others’ first lovers, as far as we know, so it’s hard to take these lines as anything but a Bieber diss. If the song contained lines like “He called her mom-manager / And he had a bowl cut at the time, and later he got tattoos,” we’d know for sure, but hey, you can only get so specific in your lyrics.
So, are we at the beginning of a Bieber-Gomez diss war, or are these tracks simply artistic expression? It’s too soon to say, but Gomez apparently wants to keep all of the bad blood in her music—not on social media. That’s probably a healthy impulse.