The world of celebrities has many wild relationships. But few of them are wilder than Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber.
No one was quite as passionate as these two. No relationship hit the bricks quite like theirs. And for 10 years, no one kept going on-again, off-again like these two.
But how did their relationship start? How did it end? And what are the clues hidden inside Gomez’s latest lyrics? We’ve got the full scoop and hottest goss on lock!
Hot New Songs
Selena Gomez has been keeping relatively quiet for the past few years. Her last album, Revival, dropped in 2015, and her fans have been clamoring for some hot new tunes.
She ended up delivering last week with a real double whammy. First, she released the ballad “Lose You to Love Me” on Wednesday. A day later, she dropped the banger “Look At Her Now.”
Now, tongues are wagging, as the lyrics appear to tell us how she truly feels about her ex, Justin Bieber, who famously married model Hailey Baldwin in September 2018. Both songs are about getting over a past relationship.
Of “Lose You to Love Me,” Gomez says, “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. I want people to feel hope and to know you will come out the other side stronger and a better version of yourself.”
Hidden Lyrical Meaning
In “Look At Her Now,” the pre-chorus mentions “she’s glad she dodged a bullet.” This seems to say Gomez is happy that Hailey Baldwin married Bieber instead of her.
Another lyric says, “Fast nights that got him / That new life was his problem.” This seems to indicate that fame went to Bieber’s head and created problems with their relationship.
Finally, there’s the lyrics “She knows she’ll find love… only if she wants it.” This seems to cement that Gomez will now concentrate on loving herself.
Now that you know about the fire Selena Gomez is spitting, let’s check out exactly how her relationship with Justin Bieber began and ended, over and over again!
From Pancakes to Paparazzi
You might expect Bieber and Gomez to begin their relationship with a “bang.” Instead, it seems like an unromantic beginning: in 2009, Bieber’s manager contacted Gomez’s manager saying he wanted to meet her. Bieber was just 15 and Gomez was just 17 at the time.
They first publicly hung out together in 2010 at an IHOP in Philly in a classic “is this or is this not a date” situation. Gomez denied they were dating or that she had anything other than sisterly feelings for him. But eventually, they went both official and glitzy when they premiered as a couple at the 2011 Vanity Fair Oscars party. And there was nothing “sisterly” about the affection Gomez showed him, as their photo booth pics proved.
the photo booth pics of jelena at vanity fair were so hot i'm sad pic.twitter.com/r7PfS4Ugwh
— sarah (@outofyourIeague) November 8, 2015
Keeping the Romance Alive
Knowing now how long their “are they or aren’t they” relationship would last, you might have expected them to take it slow. But Bieber in particular was all about flashy and dramatic romantic gestures.
This started out with things like open smooching at the Billboard Music Awards and the MTV VMAs. It eventually turned into him renting out the entire Staples Center in L.A. in 2011. Why? So they could eat dinner by candlelight on the court and then watch Titanic together!
Afterward, Bieber had some earnest advice for fans on Twitter:
romance isnt dead. treat your lady right fellas. #REAL
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) September 24, 2011
From Serious to Seriously Over
This relationship burned brightly but soon burned out. In fact, we went from heavy rumors that the two were going to get married in September 2012 to an official confirmation that things were over two months later. (At this point, Justin was 18 and Selena was 20.) US Weekly reported that Selena broke off the relationship due to their conflicting schedules and major trust issues with Justin.
Still, things looked pretty amicable, and it appeared that all’s well that ends well. However, this whirlwind romance was just getting started.
It turns out that “over” is… well… so over! In 2013, Gomez traveled all the way to Norway for a Justin Bieber concert. Furthermore, they were snuggling whenever he wasn’t singing. They played coy on social media about whether they were really back together, but they finally confirmed it in early 2014.
It seemed like the relationship ended once again just as unexpectedly as it had rekindled. In November of 2014, Gomez confirmed their breakup and also confirmed that her song “The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants” was about Bieber.
This wouldn’t be the last time she penned a song about their relationship.
Singing Sexy Back
At first, it looked like they would stay apart this time. Bieber shut down social media rumors and Gomez even moved on to a relationship with fellow singer Anton Zedd. After they broke up, though, Bieber decided to shoot his shot.
In November 2015, the two were spotted at their first public outing together in a year at a Beverly Hills bar. Bieber decided to serenade Gomez with a rendition of “My Girl” at the piano.
Social Media Spat
The song stunt didn’t pay off — at least, not right away. And Bieber eventually moved on to a new relationship.
He was dating Sofia Richie by 2016 but claiming they were just friends. His followers were having none of it and kept criticizing their relationship, and it got to the point that Bieber threatened to leave Instagram.
You know who had no sympathy? Selena Gomez! She commented that Bieber should stop blaming the fans and “stop posting pictures of your girlfriend” if “you can’t handle the hate.”
This led to a nasty retort from Bieber: “It’s funny to see people that used me for attention and still try to point the finger this way.” Eventually, Gomez apologized and their social spat ended.
Just Friends? It’s Complicated
By late 2017, fans spotted Gomez and Bieber hanging out and doing things like bicycling together. But were they an item again? That’s complicated.
The two seemed to genuinely play the “just friends” game as long as they could. When they did begin seeing each other again, they kept everything low-key and out of the public eye.
A Real “Happy Birthday”
They could only stay under the radar for so long, though. Bieber took Gomez to Jamaica as his date at his father’s wedding in February 2018 and had publicly celebrated Valentine’s Day with her the week before that.
On March 1 that year, Gomez made an Instagram post celebrating Bieber’s birthday, basically announcing they were back together. This good news would only last so long, though.
Moving On With a Vengeance
The two were actually taking a break by the end of March 2018, mere weeks after Gomez’s Instagram post celebrating Bieber’s birthday. The break turned permanent: by June 2018, Bieber, 24, was dating 21-year-old model Hailey Baldwin (Alec Baldwin’s niece). And in September of that year, Justin and Hailey got married!
Gomez seems to reference Bieber’s speed at moving on in her lyrics to “Lose You to Love Me”: “In two months, you replaced us / Like it was easy / Made me think I deserved it / In the thick of healing.”
And now, we’re back to the beginning. Now 27 years old, Gomez made a musical comeback in October 2019 with “Lose You to Love Me” and “Look at Her Now.” While the general theme was about loving and caring for yourself, most fans read the lyrics as subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) digs at Bieber.
Ten years after she first met him, it looks like Selena Gomez is finally ready to move past Justin Bieber and on to bigger and better things!