Selena Gomez made a quiet but significant move on her Instagram this weekend: Deleting the final public trace of her and Justin Bieber’s relationship. Fans noticed that Gomez took down the birthday tribute she posted to him last March. It was her way of going Instagram official with him then after they rekindled their seven-year on-off romance at the end of October 2017. The two went on a break shortly after that became a full-fledge breakup at the end of March.
Then, Bieber started dating Hailey Baldwin in June, got engaged to her in July, and married her in September. Gomez never commented publicly on Bieber and Baldwin’s relationship. (Also interestingly, Gomez has not taken down the two Instagrams she posted of her and her last boyfriend The Weeknd during the 1o months they dated.)
Gomez’s birthday tribute to Bieber was subtle confirmation of their relationship at the time. “March 1, 1994 someone I knew that happens to be super cool was born. Boom,” she wrote over a polaroid of her with a photo of the Biebs on her head.
That was posted on March 1, 2018. It was between Gomez’s Coach line teaser post (the photo of the pink lace slip dress, posted on March 12, 2018) and her final Harper’s Bazaar editorial photo of her on a motorcycle (posted on February 7, 2018). You can see in this screenshot taken today that the Bieber birthday ‘gram is gone:
While Gomez has not talked about Bieber, sources close to her have spoken to outlets about how she felt about Bieber—and his and Baldwin’s rapid-fire romance. The general consensus was that it was hard but better for Gomez ultimately that her and Bieber’s relationship ended.
A source told People in July that Gomez and Bieber’s relationship became pretty toxic at the end, and they hadn’t spoken in months. “Their relationship was always very complex and complicated,” the source said. “It was just too much baggage. It was like their past tainted everything. It wasn’t possible for them to have a future.”
In August, a source told Entertainment Tonight that Gomez’s friends didn’t approve of her and Bieber. “Selena is such a catch, and her friends want her to be with someone who’s worthy of her,” its source said. “They really didn’t like Justin and her together. He didn’t appreciate what he had in her.”
And in September, after Baldwin and Bieber’s courthouse wedding, a source told Us Weekly that their getting married was a “tough pill” for Gomez to swallow initially, but “it wasn’t enough to break her.”
Sources said across tabloids that when he and Baldwin first got engaged, Gomez was unbothered. One told E! that “Selena knows that Justin makes rash decisions but wishes them both the best. She is truly focused on herself and Justin is no longer a topic of conversation in her life.”
Bieber, meanwhile, has very publicly commented about Gomez since their breakup and his and Baldwin’s wedding. In one Instagram comment he wrote this March that he posted on his Instagram Story, Bieber explained that while he loves Gomez, Baldwin was the woman he chose to commit to.
He wrote, “I absolutely loved and love Selena she will always hold a place in my heart, but I am head over heels in love with my wife and she is absolutely the BEST THING that has ever happened to me period….This is a reply to all immature sick people who send Hailey hurtful messages like ‘ he always goes back to Selena’ or ‘Selena is better for him’ YOU HAVE NO IDEA MY LIFE AND WHATs good for me. Hailey is my Bride period if you don’t like that or support that that means you don’t support me and if you don’t support me your not a fan nor a good person.”
Gomez, naturally, never replied to that but did post an Instagram shortly after of her looking beautiful during her ELLE shoot.