If you’re a Selena Gomez fan, you probably already know that the 27-year-old singer is gearing up to release her third (as-yet- untitled) studio album, her first since 2015’s Revival. And how do we know that? Well, the arrival of her latest, YouTube-topping track, “Lose You to Love Me,” is a pretty big clue.
As with many of Selena’s songs, there’s much speculation about whether this single is about ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber. But whether it’s about him or about someone else, it’s clear that Selena has a melodic, piano-driven message to share about the surprising benefits of a broken romance.
In “Lose You to Love Me,” Selena reflects on a past relationship that was both consuming and flawed. But she realizes that the relationship’s demise was the best thing for her.
Selena remembers how she gave this guy her all (“You promised the world, and I fell for it/I put you first, and you adored it”) only to be caught off guard by the wounding choices he eventually made (“Set fires to my forest/And you let it burn/Sang off-key to my chorus/’Cause it wasn’t yours/You got off on the hurtin’/When it wasn’t yours, yeah”).
Her hurt was also magnified by how easily she was replaced, even after everything they’d gone through: “In two months, you replaced us/Like it was easy/Made me think I deserved it.”
That said, Selena openly confesses that she, too, played a part in the couple’s dysfunction. She says she perpetuated it by ignoring what was right in front of her all along: “I saw the signs, and I ignored it/Rose-colored glasses all distorted/Set fire to my purpose/And I let it burn.”
That led to a cycle of unhealthy behaviors (“We’d always go into it blindly/ … This dance was killing me softly”). Eventually, she realized that the only way to find true emotional healing was to let go of everything she’d known: “I needed to lose you to find me/I needed to hate you to love me, yeah/And now the chapter is closed and done/And now it’s goodbye … for us.”
The chorus in this track can sound really harsh at first listen: “I needed to lose you to find me/ … I needed to hate you to love me.” Still, anyone who’s ever endured the end of a dysfunctional relationship will probably relate to her sentiments here.
I don’t think Selena’s saying she literally hates this ex-boyfriend. Instead, she’s making it clear that to get over him, she needed to confront his bad behaviors, as well as her own, and to meditate on how they negatively impacted her. Only then was she able to heal and remember who she was before it all began.
In a deeply personal YouTube interview on the Zach Sang Show, Selena opened up about the entire backstory and how it relates to first love:
“You’re in a phase where you experience love for the first time, and I think that that can be a little toxic. … You have this codependency that you think is love, and then you have this addiction to the passion and the frustration with each other that you think, ‘Oh, that’s love.’ … I believed that for a long time.”
It’s clear in the interview, as well as in the video (which features a black-and-white close-up of Selena’s face as she expresses a range of emotions) that she’s has been through a lot. And now she’s ready to be vulnerable with herself and with fans alike as she comes out of troubling times as a stronger woman.
Selena’s journey has obviously been a painful one, but she seems to be learning from it. And her personal insights could potentially encourage others stuck in painful, broken romances to consider how they need to pursue something healthier as well.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, loving raising their little guy, Judah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).