Love, Patience, and Pain

A photo posted on Ariana Grande’s social media accounts that announced the release of her single "thank u, next." Photo credit:

Janet Liu, Staff Writer

On November 3, 2018, Ariana Grande released her new single “thank u, next.” It was Grande’s first No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The lyrics start off with Grande naming her ex-boyfriends and then goes into the lessons she learned from each of her relationships.

“Thought I’d end up with Sean/ But he wasn’t a match.”

Grande’s relationship with rapper Big Sean started off as friends after their first collaboration of “Right There” in 2013. The two dated for eight months before splitting due to their busy schedules. During an interview with The Real Daytime, Big Sean revealed that he was attracted by Grande’s determination and ambition. In other interviews, he also showed respect and care for Grande. Thus, indisputably, it can be said that Grande’s time with the rapper was memorable.  

“Wrote some songs about Ricky/ Now I listen and laugh.”

In the summer of 2015, Grande’s relationship with Ricky Alvarez, Grande’s backup dancer, was revealed after they kissed on stage during a live show. The two lasted over a year, and it was understood that Alvarez brought out the dangerous side of Grande. The couple was caught on camera in an infamous scandal: Grande licked a doughnut out on a counter and shouted, “I hate America!” Grande later apologized. Nonetheless, the public was still outraged and surprised by Grande’s action.

“Even almost got married/ And for Pete, I’m so thankful.”

 Grande recently broke up with Comedian Pete Davidson. The two dated unexpectedly past May, and their romance quickly accelerated as the two got matching tattoos, a pet pig, and engaged with only few weeks into their relationship. From the lyrics, we can assume that Grande learned patience– the idea that true love will eventually arrive– from Davidson. Nonetheless, the engagement was suddenly ended in October– most likely due to the abrupt death of Grande’s ex Mac Miller, who struggled with sobriety. This news made Grande realize the need to end her relationship with Davidson as he also struggled with drug addiction.

“Wish I could say, “thank you” to Malcolm/ ‘Cause he was an angel.”

The relationship between Grande and Malcolm McCormick, aka Mac Miller, went public in August of 2016.  After two long years, the pair ended with Grande stating that she could not date a man who struggles with his sobriety. Yet, the two remained as close friends. In September 2018, however, Miller tragically passed away due to an overdose. This sudden death caused Grande pain.

“Thank u, next” starts Grande’s new era. The song is beautiful as it demonstrates different ways to deal with breakups: instead of hate, be grateful for the lessons you learned from your ex.

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