But behind the scenes and the breathless headlines it’s possible they have made a decision about whether they can or will go the distance, despite many observers wondering if they should.
If a picture says a thousand words, in our digital age so does an Instagram — just faster. There are a bunch of theories floating around as to why Bieber and Gomez evidently felt the need to tell the world they still, at the very least, hang out.
Most range from the “Heartbreaker” Instagram being savvy marketing by Bieber suspiciously close to the release of his same name upcoming single; ditto for Gomez whose album Stars Dance drops in 15 days; July 4 holiday madness; or the Canadian’s way of saying the “Come and Get It” singer broke his heart and continues to.
And, lastly, that the Instagram was the pair’s middle finger to a tabloid press who — up until now — have been running with a script in which Bieber is reduced to an embarrassing footnote in Gomez’s life with many saying the Spring Breakers actress could do better.
If this is a reunion, neither are letting on. Or maybe they just did? But, clearly the exes have found a way back from stings on David Letterman and alleged fumbles at an indoor skydiving center, enough to want to spend a holiday together that’s normally reserved for family and longstanding friends.
A look at ‘Jelena’s’ timeline reveals some impossibly, romantic moments. A surprise Staples Center dinner and Titanic date just for two, after which the then 17-year-old Biebs tweeted: “Romance isn’t dead. Treat your lady right fellas.” Gomez singing along in the Apollo Theater as Bieber performed “Be Alright,” a song he reportedly wrote for her. A kiss-cam at a Lakers game and a declaration of love last June.
“My first kiss with Selena was the best of my life. It was in the car,” the pop star recalled to the UK’s Fabulous magazine. “It was scary and spontaneous and it was just awesome. What does love feel like? It feels good. If you’re really in love, then you should get butterflies. Butterflies and happiness.”
In the midst of a competitive often brutal music industry and the Disney factory, once upon a time Bieber and Gomez found sanctuary in each other from the intense pressure, the crazy, the backbiting, and the immense highs and public lows of fast-paced, successful lives lived very visibly at a young age.
But somewhere along the way — whether due to career commitments, infidelity, one bad argument too many, the constant hate aimed at Gomez by a component of Bieber’s devoted fan base, other unknown externals, or all of these — ‘Jelena’s’ widely reported crash and burn last November was a foretaste of further splits to come.
There is a school of thought that believes couples who continually break-and-make-up should cut their losses and keep moving. Equally, especially when that couple is young, there are those who believe that what is fought fiercely for, should be cherished and held onto as long as it can be.
In the most embattled period of Bieber’s life, beset by multiple allegations, lawsuits, investigations, and under the kosh of a corrosive tabloid narrative — Gomez is there, apparently, holding steady as a friend and perhaps more.
Whatever happens, it’s certain neither will forget that.
Do you have a view on this? Should Justin and Selena keep trying to make their relationship work, or is it time for them to move on and put this one down to puppy love? Add your voice to the pop culture debate in comments below.