As fans know, the singer dropped her new album, Rare, in January 2020, and it contained a lot of songs about the “Yummy” artist. It was no secret that her two lead singles off of the LP — “Lose You to Love Me,” and “Look At Her Now” — were inspired by their romance. But now, don’t expect any more songs about the situation.
“It was my idea to release ‘Lose You to Love Me’ and ‘Look at Her Now’ [back-to-back],” Gomez explained in the new interview. “[My label was] kind of nervous about it, because they didn’t want to take away from either song. I knew from the get-go that ‘Lose You to Love Me’ was going to be the bigger song, because I just felt it in my heart. I wanted people to take away that this was a journey and that it was completely closed. I don’t want people to see me as just sad and hurt. I didn’t want that anymore. I wanted people to know that I experienced something real, and that part of me is over.”
She continued, “[While making Rare, I] focused on creating more songs that were lyrically about transformation and vulnerability and heartbreak. It felt like [the material] was really, really strong, and I was very happy about it. I think that becoming more involved than I ever have been [in the making of the album] helped me gain confidence and empowered me completely. I took control over what I was going to say, what I was going to do.”
But wait, what exactly went down between Gomez and Bieber, you ask? When did they first start dating and how long were they together? It turns out, their love story had a lot of ups and downs. They broke up and got back together so many times over the years, and when they finally ended things once and for all, it was not pretty. In case you forgot, we decided to recap the entire romance from start to finish for you. Here’s their complete relationship timeline…
The Two Stars First Met Back In 2009
That’s right, this relationship started more than a decade ago. The two stars first met in 2009, after Bieber’s manager reached out to Gomez and set them up. But it wasn’t until one year later, when they were spotted cuddling up at an iHop, that rumors started to swirl that they were dating. At the time, however, the songstress quickly shut down the speculation, telling MTV, “Who doesn’t like pancakes? We were both performing in the same place so we went and had pancakes together. That’s all it is. All innocent. I love Justin. When he first started to come over from Canada his manager contacted me and he just said that he would like to meet me and he was just such a good kid… I feel like a big sister now, ’cause I want to protect him.”
Things Started To Heat Up Between Them In 2011
It’s unclear when they officially became more than friends, but in January 2011, fans got the confirmation that they were waiting for. Yep, the former Disney actress and the pop star were photographed kissing on vacation in St. Lucia together, and there was no denying that they were a couple. And one month later, they made their relationship red carpet official, when they attended the Vanity Fair Oscars party side by side.
“I don’t like hiding. I do like to keep certain things to myself, but at the end of the day, I’m 18 and I’m going to fall in love,” Gomez dished to Seventeen Magazine about the relationship in May 2011. “I’m going to hang out with people and I’m going to explore myself, and I’m OK with that.”
But Things Turned Sour Between Them In 2012
The two stars were practically inseparable after that, and they seemed like total couple goals! That is, until November 2012, when news hit the web that they had split.
“She broke up with him,” an insider told People Magazine at the time. “With them being apart so much it got complicated. She had some trust issues. It’s not easy, but the relationship needed to end.”
After that, rumors started to swirl that Bieber had cheated on the Wizards of Waverly Place alum when photos of him and model Barbara Palvin cozying up together at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show hit the web. To make matters worse, Gomez posted one of the pics to her own Twitter account, and captioned it “…….”
They Reconciled In 2013
But the relationship didn’t end there. Fans quickly went into a frenzy in April 2013 when the musician posted a snap of him and Gomez to his Instagram account. And a few days later, they were spotted kissing in Norway, so it appeared that they were going strong again.
“They were holding hands, hugging and they kissed on the lips,” an eyewitness revealed to People Magazine. “They looked really in love, like no fights ever happened before. It definitely looked like they were back together.”
Throughout the rest of 2013 and a lot of 2014, they were caught hanging out all the time, and get this — they even shared numerous pics together. But everyone was left pretty confused about their relationship status when Bieber claimed in numerous interviews that he was single, despite the fact that him and Gomez were spending a lot of time together. Well, whatever was going on between them came to an end in December 2014, when the 26-year-old started dating his future-wife, Hailey Baldwin. Gomez appeared to move on as well, since she entered into a relationship with Zedd.
There Was No Bad Blood Between Them
At the time, it seemed like there was no animosity between the exes.
“There’s closure in a very good, healthy way. We’ve seen each other. I’m always encouraging and I am proud of his journey. At this point, there is no anger,” Gomez shared in an October 2015 interview. “I think people are making it out to be something that is more tragic than it really was. We grew up together. We both made mistakes. That’s it.”
Bieber also opened up about the relationship to Ellen DeGeneres, explaining, “I’m never going to stop loving her. I’m never going to stop checking in on her. I don’t think if you end a relationship, you should end that, unless it was super toxic and you guys were hurting each other physically or mentally. We always respected each other and we still respect each other.”
Gomez Threw some Shade Towards Bieber In 2016
In early 2016, they were photographed hanging out again, but this time, they insisted that they were only friends.
“We don’t talk often, but we’re cordial. If she needs something, I’m there for her,” Bieber explained at the time to GQ Magazine. “If I need something, she’s there for me.”
But when the singer started dating Sofia Richie a few months later, Gomez couldn’t help but throw some shade towards him and his new relationship. At the time, he started to get some hate for posting pics with his new girlfriend, and he addressed the backlash on Instagram.
“I’m gonna make my Instagram private if you guys don’t stop the hate. This is getting out of hand, if you guys are really fans you wouldn’t be so mean to people that I like,” he wrote. Gomez was quick to reply, “If you can’t handle the hate, then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol – It should be special between you two only. Don’t be mad at your fans. They love you and supported you before any one ever did.” Yikes!
They Reconnected Again In 2017
After that, Gomez started dating The Weekend, but if you thought that was the end of #Jelena, you thought wrong! In October 2017, the 27-year-old sent the internet into a frenzy when she was caught going to church with her ex. News hit the web a few days later that she and The Weeknd had split, and it appeared that her and Bieber were officially dating again.
“Justin is still very happy. They have had quiet date nights at home and outings to local, low-key spots. They are still catching up and just enjoy hanging out,” a source explained to People Magazine at the time. “They have learned from past mistakes and are not putting any pressure on each other. Things are much different and more mature.”
In the weeks that followed, they were photographed riding bikes together, going out to dinner and they even went to Jamaica together! Then, in March 2018, Gomez posted a tribute for her beau in honor of his birthday, writing, “March 1, 1994, someone I know that happens to be super cool was born. Boom.”
But one month later, there was trouble in paradise, when E! News reported that they had split once again. A few months later, Bieber started dating Baldwin again, seemingly ending #Jelena once and for all. They got engaged in June 2018, married three months later, and have been as happy as could be since then.
So Where Do Bieber And Gomez Stand Now?
In a January 2020 interview, Gomez seemingly alleged that Bieber “emotionally abused” her.
“I’ve found the strength in it. It’s dangerous to stay in a victim mentality,” she said to NPR, when asked about her relationship with Bieber. “And I’m not being disrespectful. I do feel I was a victim to certain abuse.”
She continued, “I think that it’s something that … I had to find a way to understand it as an adult. As much as I definitely don’t want to spend the rest of my life talking about this, I am really proud that I can say I feel the strongest I’ve ever felt and I’ve found a way to just walk through it with as much grace as possible.”
Now, it seems like she’s officially done discussing the relationship publicly.