Real Talk: Justin Bieber And Selena Gomez Mutually Love And Respect Each Other

Justin Bieber says he’ll never stop loving Selena Gomez, admitting, “I don’t know if I’m over it yet” in a new interview with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush.

Justin Bieber is opening up about his continuing love for ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez. He also confirmed some songs on his forthcoming album, Purpose, are directly inspired by the actress-singer.

The former sweethearts dated from 2013-2014, splitting acrimoniously last September. However, after the dust settled, Selena has spoken fondly about her ex-beau in numerous interviews. Access Hollywood’s segmented feature on Justin Bieber, who is their “Artist of the Month,” is the only the second time he has talked at length about their relationship. The first being his Complex cover story in September.

The Canadian superstar was asked by host Billy Bush to reveal how much of Purpose is specifically about Selena, who he called his “first real love” during their chat.

“A lot of it, dude,” Justin said, repeating. “A lot of it.” Pressed further on the exact number of songs (out of 13 on the standard edition of his record) he replied, “Probably like three.”

Noting that he moved in with Selena “at a young age,” the singer went on to admit he still loves her and finds it hard to accept the end of their romance. “It was really tough. I don’t know if I’m still over it yet,” he said.

The 21-year-old continued, “I think that I’m definitely in another place and I think we’ve definitely went our separate ways. I love her and I want her to be awesome, but there are things that remind me of her.”

He added, “Yeah, it was my first real love.”

At that point Bush asked the “I’ll Show You” singer if he thought he and Selena got together too early in life.

Agreeing, Justin replied, “Yeah, I wrote a song actually that didn’t make the album. It was called ‘If I Would Have Met You In 5 Years.'” Mused, he asked, “How true is that? How many people go through life and end up meeting someone and it feels so right, but it’s just the wrong time? So many people can relate to that.”

When asked if “how much” of him “hoped” Selena doesn’t meet “anybody serious,” Justin’s emotion-laden intake of breath was audible — and visceral.

His reply? “You know it always sucks when you see someone you love with someone else, but I just want her to be happy, honestly. I just want her to be happy.”

Although Billboard claimed in their recent cover story that Selena told the music trade she is no longer in contact with her ex but is on “good terms,” the Biebs tells it differently.

“Um. Yeah. She’s someone I love dearly, dude,” he confessed, to Bush’s question on whether the pair still talked. “And I’m never going to stop loving her. I’m never going to stop checking in on her.” He explained, “I don’t think if you end a relationship, you should end that, unless it was super toxic and you guys were hurting each other physically or mentally.”

Of their romance, Justin insists, “We always respected each other and we still respect each other.”

Justin Bieber And Selena Gomez's Relationship Under Attack From Gossip Media Onslaught

So why did Jelena fall apart? The Biebs’ answer was bravely honest. “Yeah, I think we [were] young,” he said.

Elaborating, he added, “And there’s things that we did, and things that we said to each other that were just kinda like, we broke some barrier. Things you just don’t say to someone you love or do to someone you love.”

Prompted on whether those “things” were “out of immaturity,” the heartthrob laid it all on the line, “Out of immaturity and out of selfishness, and out of just being human, dude. That’s it.”

Naturally, the pop prince was asked the $64,000,000 question: does he think the ex-couple will ever get back together?

“I don’t know what happens,” Justin replied, “what’s going to happen in the future. I think we both gotta do some soul searching ourselves and figure out ourselves before we can just try to figure out each other.”

(Credit: Selena Gomez/Instagram)

Interestingly, a lot of the Biebs’ answers mirror Selena’s past sound bites on him. Word for word, in fact.

Back in December 2014, while speaking by phone to Norway’s NJR radio, the Disney alum said of her ex, “I definitely have so much respect and love for him.”

Fast forward to February, in her cover story for V magazine, the Latina said of her relationship with Justin, “It almost felt like all we had was each other, like the world was against us — in a way. It was really weird but it was incredible. I would never take it back in a million years. You live and you learn, you know?”

To the New York Times in September, Selena referred to criticism she faced over her romance and spoke about the Biebs’ career comeback, saying, “While people were writing that I was stupid for being in it, this is what I always saw in him. I’m like, duh!”

In an interview with Elle the same month, she didn’t rule out reuniting with Justin in the future, and said “I don’t know!” when asked. She also told the magazine, “Genuinely, I’ll forever support him and love him in a way that… We grew up together. I think people want it to be different.”

“We’re too young for that. Nobody was married…I respect him. And I think he respects me — in a healthy manner,” she added.

In October, Selena told Refinery 29 magazine that she got her “heart broken,” and had been “pissed about it.” However, she also said, “at this point, there is no anger. There’s closure in a very good, healthy way.”

Gomez concluded, “We’ve seen each other. I’m always encouraging, and I am proud of his journey. I think people are making it out to be something that is more tragic than it really was. We grew up together. We both made mistakes. That’s it.”

Notably, Justin is two-years younger than Selena. The pair were introduced by their managers when she was 18 and he was 16. That gap is rarely — if ever — acknowledged, despite the scientifically proven fact that girls’ brains mature faster than boys.’ Rewind to November 2012, the first Jelena breakup, Biebs was 18. In reality, a mentally younger boy whose head was allegedly turned at a Victoria’s Secret show. Hardly the experienced playboy most media outlets painted him as at the time.

So, is there a possibility Justin Bieber that Selena Gomez might find their way back to each other at some point? Maybe. Maybe not.

But one thing is certain: A first love relationship, especially one which had a truckload of judgement and scrutiny thrown at it, clearly has not been easy for either star to let go of, let alone forget. That they both publicly talk about each other with affection and respect, despite everything, is what’s left of a once great, less complicated love as they attempt to remember the good — and the bad — with maturity.

The same cannot be said of some.

Justin Bieber And Selena Gomez In 'A Rainy Dream'

[Images via Getty Images / Instagram]