Selena Gomez on How ‘Tough’ Justin Bieber Breakup and Health Battle Shaped Her

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Selena Gomez gave a very wide-ranging interview to The Hollywood Reporter for its Awards Chatter podcast this week, and at one point, the Only Murders in the Building actress reflected candidly on how her public health struggles with lupus and breakups from Justin Bieber (in spring 2018, although they were on-off dating for 10 years with drama) and The Weeknd (in October 2017, although that breakup was far more peaceful) privately shaped her.

Gomez addressed that five-year period between her albums Revival (2015) and Rare (2020), saying, “It was necessary for me to walk through those things. I had a lot of soul-searching to do. By all means I don’t have life figured out, but I do know that during that time I was learning so much about myself. I was, you know, obviously going through a really tough breakup [with Justin Bieber, who inspired some of the tracks on Rare], and then I was left with the question of my career and where am I gonna go and what’s gonna happen? It just was all of these different things I was feeling. And then my medical stuff kind of kicked in—I was dealing with my lupus and I was dealing with some kidney problems. It was actually really hard. But, being on the other side of it, I have to be honest, it’s actually been really good for me. It allowed me to develop a character where I don’t tolerate any sort of nonsense or disrespect in any way, and I’m really proud of how I came out of it.”

The success of “Lose You to Love Me,” a track Gomez has heavily implied is about Bieber, was “wild” to her “because we wrote the song in less than an hour… I knew that it was gonna leave some sort of impression because it was me kind of saying my goodbye, and I was really happy about it, but I was also nervous.”

Gomez added that working with Steve Martin and Martin Short on Only Murders in the Building has led her to raise her expectations for men. “Being around two adult gentlemen—because that’s what they are, they are very sweet and kind and hilarious and inappropriate sometimes and it’s the best—I just learned so much,” she said. “And my expectation for a man, to be honest, or any human, is to be as decent as these two human beings are. They have been doing this longer than I’ve been alive, and they are the kindest people.”

Dating is not Gomez’s highest priority amid her booming career, she added, but she’s open to love and all things. “My therapist is like, ‘Girl, are you ever gonna find a man?!’ I’m like, ‘I dunno’…” Gomez said. “But I do feel like right now, in my life, I am just so open, and I love what I do… I just am in a really good space right now, and I’m enjoying it.”

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