Here is one truth that will never change, no matter the era, no matter the technology: you can’t talk reason to people when they’re in love. Like that kind of love. You know. Because you’ve tried to talk to someone deeply in love or you’ve been so deeply in love it made you stupid. I was once so stupidly in love that I tried to tell my ma that all that mattered was that he loved me and that we didn’t need money, we would be happy. I was 21 years old. The look on her face, I’ll never forget it – a mixture of pity and contempt. Like, you goddamn fool. And … you poor, poor fool.
TMZ broke the news yesterday that Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson ended their engagement this weekend. She was with him at SNL on Saturday so the decision was made on Sunday. TMZ’s source says that “while things may be done for the couple for now, the two aren't ruling out the possibility of anything in the future”. Fast flames flame out fast.™
To be fair to Ariana and Pete though, what they’ve been through together, and what she’s been through the last year or so, it would have challenged any couple, it would been hard on any flame, fast or not. Both Ariana and Pete have been open about their mental health struggles. She’s still experiencing the trauma from the Manchester bombing and, just a few weeks ago, the death of Mac Miller. In the aftermath, even before breaking off the engagement, she’d cancelled appearances and put off the tour in support of Sweetener. Touring, by the way, is still the most lucrative promotional tool for an album. Touring can also break a performing artist – the travel, the schedule, and now, for Ariana, the security concerns, being away from home…she was already fragile from what happened in Manchester. And then Mac Miller died. Relationships are hard enough when they’re not strained by outside factors. It was always too quick. But after all this, it almost never stood a chance.
What’s probably not as obvious in Ariana’s case, in terms of what she’s been going through, is what falling in love with Pete so quickly represented. At the time, she wasn’t just healing from Manchester, we now know that she was a caregiver, who loved someone who had an addiction. As I wrote last month, caregivers experience their own mental health trauma. And leaving that relationship, for self-care, was likely one of the most difficult decisions of her life. Meeting Pete then, and freeing herself into that kind of whirlwind, sometimes you need that kind of release. It may not last. But it’s a break, you know? A summer. A season.