Ariana Grande’s song “Thank u, next” and recent tweet are renewing a contentious historical debate: is true love even a thing?
The song highlights Grande’s illustrious list of ex-boyfriends. After naming each one, she chidley yet playfully chants, “Thank you…next.” She continues by declaring that her incipient love interest will be different. It’s not another man. As she sings, she’s “met someone else,” and “her name is Ari.” She wants to love herself.
So much for true love. Ari has effectively killed Prince Charming for herself as well as for her 59 million Twitter followers. (In comparison, President Trump has only 55 million. Ari wins.)
Following the song release, Grande confirmed her condemnation of true love in a provocative and sarcasm-laden tweet:
A few hours later, she followed up:
true love might exist i was just hungry
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) December 2, 2018
But that take-back lasted exactly one minute, when she tweeted “but still, f*** that.”
Frankly, I’m going to side with her on this one. True love is dead, and Ari has declared it. At least, in the way that our culture likes to depict true love…
If we’re expecting that perfect someone to emerge from an enchanted castle and sweep us off our feet, we’re setting ourselves up for disaster. Not a single person in this vast universe is perfect – including you and me – so we shouldn’t expect one imperfect person and one imperfect person to come together to equal one perfect couple. Less than one and less than one will never equal two. It just doesn’t add up.
Based on her tweets, even Grande gets hungry and cranky: no one is perfect!
Instead of searching for true love in some idealized, Hollywood fantasy, we need a different model.
Sick and tired of an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend? Sick and tired of chasing unhealthy relationships? Can’t even??
We need to take up Ari’s offer. Turn inward. Focus on ourselves. Heal. And let me add: Pray.
Then we might regain the strength to give and receive love not merely in the romanticized way that our culture often dictates, but as God loves us, as imperfect as we are.
So thank u, Ari, for smashing our flawed idea of true love. We just might find that a better one replaces it.
Cover image courtesy of FlickrCC user lindsay neilson photos.