Speaking with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro during an episode of Weekend Edition Sunday, the 27-year-old pop star opened up about the deeper meaning behind the surface-level revelations the song featured. As it turns out, her reasoning for penning the ballad was a search for closure after the relationship (allegedly with Justin Bieber) ended.
"I felt I didn't get a respectful closure, and I had accepted that, but I know I needed some way to just say a few things that I wish I had said," Gomez said of her new album's most emotional track. "It's not a hateful song; it's a song that is saying — I had something beautiful and I would never deny that it wasn't that. It was very difficult and I'm happy it's over. And I felt like this was a great way to just say, you know, it's done, and I understand that, and I respect that, and now here I am stepping into a whole other chapter."
She stated that she also had to find a way to understand being a victim of "certain abuse," though she demurred about what kind of treatment she had been facing specifically.
"I think that it's something that — I had to find a way to understand it as an adult," she said. "And I had to understand the choices I was making. 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."
Gomez just debuted Rare, her first new album in four years, earlier in January 2020.