I'm Clifford Stumme, and I use literary analysis and research to explain the deeper meanings of pop songs. Feel free to leave a comment or to email me at with questions or ideas!

What does "Lose You To Love Me" by Selena Gomez mean?

What does "Lose You To Love Me" by Selena Gomez mean?

“Lose You To Love Me” Lyrics Meaning

(The following blog post is a transcript created by Xalma of the below video.)

Selena Gomez is coming out with a new album; and while I generally make it a rule to dislike whatever she puts out, because of some past conflicts with her record label in my YouTube channel; the lyrics of her new song “Lose You To Love Me” actually weren't half bad; even if they're probably about Justin Bieber, and this could all quickly just turn into celebrity gossip; let me explain.

I will admit that this is a song by committee; we've got five songwriters on it, but Selena Gomez is in it; and we've actually heard reports that she had a strong hand in writing the song, which always seems like a good sign to me; and apparently one of the people that she worked with was Finneas, or as some of you may know as Billie Eilish’s brother; who has helped produce all of Billie’s music; isn't that cool?

This song is an important one to understand the meaning of, because I think it marks a possible turning point in the type of music that Selena Gomez produces; back when people used to talk about how these Disney pop starlets, like Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, and whoever else, they were all like coming out of working for Disney, and they were doing their own music; so it’s this whole Hannah Montana vs. Miley Cyrus thing; they did one or two albums, and that was super cool, fun, and happy; and everybody liked it; and then they go to drop a third album out of nowhere, that was like hugely sexual and provocative; and it felt like a giant middle finger, telling the world I can be an adult. Well, Selena Gomez is now 27 years old, doesn't really have anything left to prove, she's gone through a very intense surgery, she’s lost a boyfriend; so she's been through some stuff, and she is older and wiser now; and this song feels like a more mature approach than I have heard from almost any of her songs ever; I think we kind of already saw this with the music from Justin Timberlake on his most recent album, where it was very family-oriented; we haven't quite seen this turn in maturity from Ariana Grande yet; but I'm wondering if Selena Gomez is kind of foreshadowing this turn towards like “pop written for adults”, and not for twelve year olds; nothing against two twelve year olds, I love you dearly, and chances are that if you're the kind of 12-year-old who's watching my channel or reading this, you're not part of the twelve year olds we're talking about.

Let's jump into these lyrics, of “Lose You To Love Me” by Selena Gomez;

Verse One

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

That’s very relevant with the state of the Amazon rain-forest, I don't know if that's a reference, but it does feel kind of topical.

Sang off-key in my chorus
‘cause it wasn't yours

Now, that's about the meanest thing a singer can do, I'm assuming.

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 hurtin’
when it wasn't yours, yeah

She let her purpose burn, which is quite interesting. So, it sounds like a relationship with another singer went bad; and Selena is particularly accusing this person of deriving joy from her suffering; and then she talks about how she let her own purpose burn, as if though she just didn't have the strength to fight back, and to say “no, I have to stand up for myself”


We'd always go into it blindly

That sounds like young love to me.

I needed to lose you to find me
this dance, it was killing me softly
I needed to hate you to love me, yeah

The “killing me softly” is a reference to a lot of other songs that have mentioned that line, and it's actually like we could do a whole YouTube video unpacking just what that phrase means; but notice the progression here, “I needed to lose you to find me”, okay! so she needed to get rid of this guy to figure out who she was again, you know? to get that purpose back; but then she sings “I needed to hate you to love me”, because apparently staying away wasn't powerful enough.


To love, love, yeah
To love, love, yeah
To love, yeah
I needed to lose you to love me, yeah
To love, love, yeah
To love, love, yeah
To love, yeah
I needed to lose you to love me

So the chorus is basically just repeating the title of the song over and over again in different variations; nothing to explain here; then we get to the second verse.

Verse Two

I gave my all and they all know it

Probably referring to fans or the public; if this is a “high-profile celebrity” relationship we're talking about, which -let’s be honest- it probably is, based on some future lines.

Then 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, yeah

And this is something that makes me really like the song; because she starts to get pretty specific, and some people would be like “this is like a diss track against a former boyfriend!”; essentially, you know? It’s just in a melodic style, not a rapping style; but when she makes the specific allusion to this person being an artist, and then making the specific statement about how it was two months before he replaced them; that's some specific stuff; to an extent, Selena Gomez has said “you know what? it's not about being relatable to people, making a song that's so general and so vague that anybody could sing it and mean it 100%”; she's actually taking a risk as an artist, and saying “I'm going to put in some personal details from my life in there, and if people want to relate to it, they can sing around those lines; or they can just sing along with the vibe of the song”; and this is a big step forward for pop music; keep in mind, it's not something that nobody’s ever done before; artists like Taylor Swift do stuff like this all the time; but for someone who has written a lot of generic, boring, and vague lyrics to pop songs in the past; this is really really exciting; and the “two months” also seems to be a reference to the relationship with Justin Bieber, because it was two-ish months after breaking up with Selena that he started going out with Haley Baldwin.

And that's the end of the unique lyrics in the song; the rest of it is repetitions and variations of stanzas that have come before; but yeah, I would say that I'm hopeful to see what comes next from Selena Gomez; never thought I’d say that to be honest.

She also has a music video, so you can check it out here, and give the lyrics a listen yourself.

What does "Lose You to Love Me" by Selena Gomez mean?

What does "Lose You to Love Me" by Selena Gomez mean?

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