What does "Lose You to Love Me" by Selena Gomez mean?
Lyrics Meaning of "Lose You to Love Me"
Selena Gomez released the anthemic single “Lose You to Love Me” on Tuesday, October 22nd, as a thinly veiled nod to her tumultuous seven-year relationship with Justin Bieber. The next day, she released another single, an upbeat dance tune, called “Look At Her Now.” In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, she says, “All I know is these two songs were me wrapping up a chapter in a pretty little bow.” After parting ways with Gomez for the last time in late May 2018, Bieber proposed to on-again-off-again flame Hailey Baldwin just two months later and they became legally married in a New York City courthouse ceremony on September 13th, 2018.
"In two months you replaced us like it was easy"
The relationship between Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber has been well documented by media outlets for years — since 2011, actually, when they announced their relationship publicly for the first time. Now, in the wake of the Bieber’s formal September 30th, 2019, wedding ceremony, Gomez released “Lose You to Love Me,” a single that gives listeners an honest look at the emotional healing she endured after her breakup. As the lyrics profess, “the chapter is closed and done.” Although Gomez has not confirmed specifically who this song is written about, some telling details within the lyrics all but confirm without using a name.
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
Undeniably, the lyrics of “Lose You to Love Me” are pointed. The lyrics are not a gentle, amicable explanation of the separation; they are a truthful expression of the hurt and disillusionment she felt in reflection of the relationship. Gomez elaborates on the lyrics in the same interview: “It would be stupid of me if I didn’t acknowledge what I felt because it would be inauthentic.” In the first verse, Gomez tells listeners about her continual investment of energy and emotion into the relationship, only for it to return unmatched. This verse is written in tit-for-tat examples (I did this, you did that; you did that, I did this) for listeners to better understand her experiences and to understand that each time she gave, she saw nothing in return.
I saw the signs and I ignored it
Rose colored glasses all distorted
Set fire to my purpose
And I let it burn
You got off on the hurtin’
When it wasn’t yours
A continuation of the first verse gives the listener more information. From the first line, Gomez says that she “saw the signs” and knew their relationship had problems, but she chose to ignore them and attempt to only see the good things in hopes that the bad things would disappear; however, he “set fire to [her] purpose” and she allowed it to happen because investing in their relationship had become a priority to her.
We’d always go into it blindly
I needed to lose you to find me
This dancing was killing me softly
I needed to hate you to love me
To love, love, yeah
To love, love, yeah
To love, yeah
I needed to lose you to love me, yeah
The culmination of the song is found in the chorus. She admits to the toxicity and recklessness of the relationship in the lyric, “we’d always go into it blindly,” meaning that they continually allowed emotions and impulses to guide their relationship, ignoring the logic and grounded consideration that would strengthen their relationship over time. She says, “this dancing was killing me softly,” which tells listeners that this relationship dynamic had been going on for awhile as it slowly chipped away at her resolve to make it last.
I gave my all and they all know it
You tore me down and now it’s showing
In two months you replaced us
Like it was easy
Made me think I deserved it
In the thick of healing
In this verse, Gomez lets some light into the darkness of the relationship by exposing her truth to the public. This song is her opportunity to tell her story, and she does exactly that. She says, “they all know it,” which means others were able to see the toxicity of this relationship too. Then the most telling lyric of the song: “in two months you replaced us.” This lyric falls perfectly into the Selena-Justin relationship timeline, which leads listeners to believe with a justifiable confidence that this song is about their bittersweet, seven-year relationship.
And now the chapter is closed and done
And now it’s goodbye, it’s goodbye for us
Gomez closes the song with a final statement, punctuating the story with a firm “goodbye.” She explains in the interview that she has closure now, and she’s grown a lot personally and relationally with friends and family since closing that chapter of her life. This song is a beautiful, emotional release for her, and she is finally saying her piece to the public after staying so reserved about her personal life for so many years.
Deeper Meaning of "Lose You to Love Me" by Selena Gomez
The interesting thing is that, in Gomez’s interview with Ryan Seacrest, she says she originally wrote this song over a year ago. Applying that to the timeline of her relationship with Bieber, she first wrote this song when they officially ended their relationship during summer 2018, and she watched from a distance as he became engaged to someone else just two months after their breakup. They discuss in the interview how, sometimes, it is more painful watching an ex move on with someone else than it was during the original breakup. This may be true, but Gomez has managed to find hope and happiness after a difficult time in her life. She tells fans about her upcoming album: “the rest … is just about where I am now, and where I’m going. In my opinion, these are great songs, but I’ve saved the best for later.”