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Whisper queen Selena Gomez released her new single this week, “Lose You to Love Me,” after a two-year hiatus, and fans are speculating that it might have a whole lot to do with her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber.
In the emotional ballad, she sings, “You promised the world / And I fell for it / 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-coloured glasses all distorted. … Set fire to my purpose / And I let it burn / You got off on the hurting when it wasn’t yours.”
In an Instagram post earlier this summer, Bieber seemed to acknowledge that he hadn’t been a great partner to Gomez during a turbulent period in his life, writing, “I became resentful, disrespectful to women, and angry. I became distant to everyone who loved me, and I was hiding behind a shell of a person that I had become.”
And, of course, her use of the word “purpose” could very well be a reference to Bieber’s album of the same name.
In other lyrics, she sings, “I gave my all and they all know it / You turned me down and now it’s showing / In two months, you replaced us / Like it was easy.”
The “they” could be a reference to the press or to Gomez’s fans, who often direct hateful comments toward Bieber and his new wife, model Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin). Adding further fuel to the fire: Two months after Bieber and Gomez were confirmed to have split in May 2018, Bieber was engaged to Baldwin. And a year later, the two married.
When Baldwin posted a screenshot of the Summer Walker song “I’ll Kill You” to her Instagram stories shortly after Gomez released her song, her fans took it as an attack and fought back in the comments. Gomez then issued a story of her own, saying, “I do not stand for women tearing women down. 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 press release for the song also could be a cause for speculation: “This song was inspired by many things that have happened in my life since releasing my last album. I thought it was important to share the music, as I know many can relate to the fact that the road to self-discovery generally comes through the scars in one’s life.”
In her second single released Thursday, “Look at Her Now,” Gomez again seems to be targeting Bieber, with references to her partner cheating, trust issues, “fast nights” and “dodging a bullet.”
So can we finally consider this the end of Jelena? To reference a Bieber song, “Never say never.”