Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Just super quick.


Listen. I care for a range of things: the stiff hair that grows out of my chin, your feelings and the fate of the human species being three of them. But somewhere in the Filofax of all that holds my attention, nestled between climate change and those sticky hands from the 90s, is every particularity of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez’s on-and-off relationship. It’s neither reasonable nor defensible, but as a wise pop songstress once auto-tuned, “the heart wants what it wants,” and mine wants Jelena gossip.

I’m sorry! Seriously. I’m not even “sorry not sorry,” about it, I’m actually sorry.

I just can’t believe it! I can’t believe they’re back together. Or whatever they are. Didn’t Selena and The Weeknd just break up? Weren’t they best friends but also in love? What happened to that unshakeable multi-faceted bond founded upon 10 months of probably saying things like, “I’ve never felt like this before but also like to hang out with you like a pal!”

Whatever, it doesn’t matter, in literally every sense of the word. What’s important (barely) is that I was 488 characters deep into a story about how to conquer relationship troubles yesterday afternoon when I was sent a link to BRAND NEW photos of Biebs and Sel riding bicycles within petting distance of each other, indicating they were dusting off some old relationship troubles of their own. Coincidence? Absolutely. Still kinda weird though.

They look really cute, I must say. I love a gray look. But I’m shocked the photo exists at all. For one, I didn’t realize an on-and-off relationship could go on and off so many times. There must be rules to this kind of thing. For two, I thought Biebs had soared off the figurative rails. Have you seen his IG stories as of late? Me neither, but they’re genuinely unsettling. He basically just stares into the camera (a la Gigi but less chic) and makes spooky noises. Selena, on the other hand, charitable queen that she is, has been on a spiritual JOURNEY this past year. Did you see her Vogue profile? Did you hear “Bad Liar”? Watch “Fetish”?

What is it about him? Is it this new vibe? It is kinda fun. Is it his new tattoo which evidently took TWENTY-SIX HOURS? These two either have an incredible knack for not learning their lessons, are in a love story for the books or are pulling off the longest PR con of all time.

I can’t deny I’ve been following along since 2011, when they were falling in love for the first time and I was a young girl of 22, copyright Taylor Swift, learning how to fill the offbeats of a boring full-time job. I was rooting for them at first, but as the years passed and things got messier and he further cemented himself as a douchebag, I was pro-split. I mean, that teary opener to “The Heart Wants What it Wants” in 2014? How could I not have been?

That said, his full-song subtweets of 2015, “Where Are U Now?” and “What Do You Mean” were kind of good. And when he told Billboard, “When you love someone that much, even if something comes between you, it’s a love that never really dies,” I was almost impressed by their commitment to vaguely referencing each other in interviews for literal years. (Here’s a full timeline of the back-and-forth. I refuse to make it myself.)

Anyway, I can’t spin this into a remotely necessary essay. I’m just feeling a little nostalgic for a time when Jelena took up real estate in my mind more than the fate of humankind. And I kind of want to know if you think we should trust Selena right now.


Feature collage by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.

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  • Megan Cox

    Jelena is the drug we all don’t need, but it’s so much better than the rest of the news cycle and… I’m still rooting for them 😭 Somehow 😭

  • I too am nostalgic for a time when I didn’t inwardly plan my nuclear holocaust survival strategy (fill all available containers and the bath with water before it becomes contaminated, seal all windows) on the bus to work. Also Selena looks fab in grey.
    La Femme | Unofficially the best lifestyle blog in the world

    • Shevaun

      God, remember when you DIDN’T wake up every morning to news that nazis were literally marching in the streets?

      Take me BACK.

    • Haley Nahman

      k i lol’d

  • Anne Dyer

    Ugh. It’s like the Halloween candy I can’t stop stealing from my kids – sugary, sticky, unsatisfying yet totally addicting. I keep going back for more and feel nothing but shame about it.

    • flamesonthesideofmyface

      Thank you for reminding me to go raid my kid’s candy stash.

  • Alison

    I mean, how could you resist this? https://www.gofugyourself.com/is-justin-bieber-in-costume-here-or-10-2017

    Favorite line: “Is he just working on a bespectacled Val Kilmer from Real Genius?”

  • Rachel

    I always thought she could do better than Bieber. Not that I get emotionally attached to celeb relationships but it’s too bad it didn’t work out between her and The Weeknd, they were a cute couple. Also I love how much she upped her style game post-Bieber and subsequently with The Weeknd?

    • Haley Nahman

      she def could

  • Jules

    I actually have a co-worker named Jelena, so these headlines confuse me a lot.

  • mia |-/

    As a 20 year old who’s been on this ride since I was in 6th grade (buried in my twitter are my most hardcore belieber days, I went to all the meet ups, camp outs, the movie theatre takeovers, still actually have a good number of the friends) I will very, very, very reluctantly go down with this ship. As much as I love Justin, he’s a hoe and Selena knows that she deserves better, but they seriously will always love each other. They fell in love and moved in together and it just moved too fast when they were young, but I think they know each other too well to ever really leave each others lives, and I don’t think they intend to. If they don’t end up having kids together, we’ll definitely see pictures of them getting dinner together in their seventies.

    • Rosie

      “very, very reluctantly go down with this ship” made me laugh out loud

      • Haley Nahman


  • ValiantlyVarnished

    Is it wrong that I love them together? It feels wrong. But I don’t care.

  • Angela


    • OH MY GOD XD

    • Cléo Charpantier

      IMPORTANT QUESTION i was wondering that too the photo is so color coordinated

  • Abbey Leroux

    If I was photographed every single time I hung out with *that* ex (and anyone cared) the world would be very confused.
    But they’re just living their lives. What do we know?
    That said, I also apologize for caring.

    • Haley Nahman


  • Hanna F Lane

    Honestly I care more about the hard stance on the Oxford comma taken in the first sentence.

    • Sheila T.

      AP style doesn’t use oxford commas!

      • Joanie Ferguson

        I just looked this up (because I love AP Style but also love Oxford commas and was feeling like my world had been turned upside down) but here’s what they say (in my ancient 2010 Style Guide):

        “Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series: The flag is red, white and blue.”

        BUT it also says: “Use a comma also before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases: The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enough to compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude.”

        So I guess it doesn’t have to be a hard and fast rule. Don’t use ’em when the sentence makes perfect sense without ’em. Use ’em when your sentence could be read to say that JFK and Stalin are strippers. I like this new solution!

        • Joanie Ferguson

          I wish I was this passionate ab anything else in my life lol

        • Sheila T.

          there’s nothing I love more than random and ambiguous grammar/usage/style rules tbh

    • Laura

      There should be a pro Oxford comma movement.

    • Marisa Brenizer

      That’s the first thing that caught my eye, too. #oxfordorbust

    • Haley Nahman

      Guys I am pro-oxford but MR doesn’t do them per our style guide!!! Blame Leandra!! She thinks they’re superfluous.

      • Leandra Medine

        Doesn’t, the, cadence, of, this, sentence, annoy, you???

        • Leandra Medine

          Also, tho, i feel like I just overused commas so much when I was in school and have a strange reaction to them now/am afraid to use them because what if I’m doing it wrong??? +++ I love Vampire Weekend

        • b.e.g.

          I know you know this, but the oxford comma refers to a list in a sentence of three or more items. Not about random commas everywhere. Sometimes breaking up a sentence with commas is useful for comprehension, but other times they just get in the way. There was a lawsuit decision made based on the lack of oxford commas usage in a manual outlining who gets paid overtime. And the decision was tricky because with the comma it was interpreted one way, while without the comma the decision would be reversed. English language is very difficult.

    • Susan W

      OMG, yes!!! I totally give an F about an Oxford comma. Love that you noticed this and began a truly engaging thread.

    • Joanie Ferguson

      Yes! I read ‘your feelings and the fate of the human species,’ as one thing and was v confused at first.

  • Martha Pietruszewski

    Jelena reminds me of a warm sweater. It’ll always be there for you, like the best friend that you’ve had forever but you’ve recently realized that you’re in love with them. They’ll be together forever, in one way or another!

  • Áine Hegarty

    Sticky hands from the 90s!!! Yes!

    • Haley Nahman

      ty for noticing this

  • Rosie

    Just here to chime in that I’m also shamefully rooting for them, mostly because it feels VERY relatable!! Like, we all go through a phase of not being able to shake a relationship that we *know* is wrong but just feels so RIGHT. And like, maybe it will blow up in their faces, but it seems like they’re having fun and doing whatever the hell they want, which I admire tbh!!

    • Haley Nahman

      i love how everyone’s “shamefully rooting for them” it’s so funny

  • Kate Alexis Clausen

    I’m hoping that they’re just friends… no benefits and he’s simply there for her. But as someone who has gone back to the same guy more than once… if it makes her happy (and she’s clearly enjoying that biebs bike ride) then good for her. Also, kinda upset she and The Weekend are no more.

  • Jingxin

    What? Again?

  • Andrea Raymer

    ik really didn’t care about their relationship the first time around. But now Justin’s best friend is a pastor and he has become a good little church boy (do people that aren’t Christians know about this? because all of my friends talk about it like it is completely common knowledge but I forget that the whole world doesn’t know what Hillsong is).

    I just want Jelena to be a cute little normal christian couple so I am HERE for this.

    • Ellen

      What is a hillsong and what kind of (pastor??) best friend lets their crazy pop star best friend get a huge ink blob all over their torso?

      And also who goes biking with their way-out-of-their-league-ex-gf with their freakin headphones in??

      • Andrea Raymer

        His pastor best friend (Carl Lentz) is the definitely the kind of person to also get a huge ink blob all over his torso. Especially because Justin’s blob looks like Chronicles of Narnia and christians LOVE us some CS Lewis.

        And Hillsong is a super huge worldwide mega church that basically feels like a rock concert. It is also home to Hillsong United which is the biggest band you’ve never heard of. Walk into any Protestant church on a Sunday morning and I can almost guarantee that they will play at least one song written by them.

  • Shelby Soke

    Ugh. I know this is me projecting my own personal issues, but I feel deeply disappointed in this backslide. Also, I have been loving her new aesthetic/she seems genuinely lovely. I feel irrationally sad she’s (maybe?) back with him again.

  • Xenia Viray

    I love this because I really don’t care and I hate it but I also love it and couldn’t stop scrolling and was also in the middle of writing about self discovery and was all of a sudden like WHAT? TELL ME MORE.

  • Fayla Garcia

    The Weeknd is a winner…I don’t get it

    • silla

      But do you think she would ever be able to truly rid herself of how he moved from Bella to her so quickly? Like that would eat at me…is he half out of all relationships before he’s actually out?

  • Bonnie Paige

    Don’t ask why!!! Just believe the only answer is when your heart starts wanting the only answer is… The heart wants what it wants. No other song fits both of them so well. And think of it this way, if they break up again we’ll get some really great songs from both of them.

  • Summer Mosher.

    haley you are literally my soulmate

    • Haley Nahman

      surprised to receive this under this story but also deeply pleased

    • silla

      But she’s also my soulmate!!! Because I was just thinking as I was doing my morning scroll, ooh I really need to get across the latest Jelena sitch, but also my brain and heart desired their morning hit of MR. Why not both!

  • elpug

    1. I really love her sweater and groutfit
    2. She just looks so happy
    3. I think that – as she holds the most followed instagram account – she knows that the whole world is watching and for her to go out so publicly with him is her comment on their situation. I just hope whatever they’re doing they are happy.
    4. She looks so damn happy!

  • Kate Brown

    Is his instagram post a subliminal message to eat more McDonalds? Also, could the public demand for Jelena drama really just being our undying need for a beebz x selena album to drop?

  • scotthouston
  • scotthouston
  • LITERALLY BEST ARTICLE EVER!!! (Still laughing at the copyright)

  • Rose

    They love each other. I mean she literally GLOWS when he’s around and I truly believe he loves her. But he’s soooooooo young. He’s like 23. I didn’t wanna stay with one person and he has millions of options every Day. I really think he’d marry her if he was like 30. But she’s happy and I long for that feeling I had with my ex who was terrible terrible terrible 4 me.. but I’d take back if he were at the door right now.

  • Eliza

    ughi don’t know why i care about this but i REALLY care about this…. am i OK????

  • But… does anybody wish The Weeknd and Bella Hadid would go back together? I do, they were such a beautiful couple.

    • silla

      Yup. Purely for the aesthetics of it and the desire that they would have beautiful children

  • Shelby Nicole Scott

    Considering Selena allowed her PR team to say she was in rehab while she was getting treated for lupus, we all should accept that she has god awful judgement.

  • Kaila

    That link to the Jelena timeline sent me down the click bait vortex…tf am I?!

  • Dafne Pimentel

    He cacelled many presentations this year, and she was having a transplant surgery at the same time. Coincidence?? I think not. The fact that his explanation for this was far from satisfatory confirms that there was something there. The fact that they are back together doesn’t surprise me.

  • Joanne

    “These two either have an incredible knack for not learning their lessons, are in a love story for the books or are pulling off the longest PR con of all time.” EXXXAAAAACCCTTTTLLLLYYYYYYYYYYYY