How Ari­ana Grande taught us the joy of ex

The Guardian - G2 - - News - Poppy Noor

To see how far the genre of “ex diss tracks” has come, you only need to lis­ten to Ari­ana Grande’s new sin­gle, Thank U, Next, re­leased just af­ter she broke up with her fi­ance, Satur­day Night Live’s Pete David­son. In it, Grande thanks all her past loves for the part they played in the cre­ation of the “so amaz­ing” Ari­ana 2.0: “One taught me love / One taught me pa­tience / And one taught me pain … I’ve loved and I’ve lost / But that’s not what I see / Look what I got / Look what you taught me.”

The mu­sic press ap­plauded the sin­gle as a wel­come new spin on the scorned lovers’ songs of old (Ea­mon and Fran­kee, we’re look­ing at you), with Pitch­fork call­ing it an “elo­quent dis­play of in­ner strength”. On Twit­ter, its mes­sage of self-dis­cov­ery and for­give­ness was quickly em­braced as a meme, link­ing note­wor­thy exes in pop­u­lar cul­ture with lessons learned.

Thank U, Next tells us to be cheer­ful in the face of heart­break, be­cause love teaches us many things – such as, in my ex­pe­ri­ence, who not to go out with in fu­ture. My lessons came from the bad guys, such as the ex who gave me a crash course in how to spot a psy­chopath. An­other taught me that you will never be able to fix some­one who breaks your pos­ses­sions.

More than that, my worst re­la­tion­ships taught me about tol­er­ance. I now know that any­one, no mat­ter how new and im­proved, can fall for a wrongun – and take them back a number of times. Even that has an up­side. I spent my teenage years think­ing that no one would ever love me af­ter they found out about my im­per­fec­tions

– I now re­alise lovers make these con­ces­sions ev­ery day.

That’s why I keep the love let­ters I’ve been sent. It’s not just that I can’t be­lieve some­one other than the Stu­dent Loans Com­pany has ever writ­ten to me; they are a re­minder of who I once was.

Grande ends her song by mov­ing on to a new, bet­ter love: her­self. I’m not sure I’m there yet, but I’m a very good stu­dent and I am will­ing to keep learn­ing.

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