The terrible news broke on Sunday. Less than five months after Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson got engaged, the couple reportedly split. Fans of Grande’s and Davidson’s—scratch that, the entire internet—watched their hyper-speed relationship blossom through a series of Instagram posts so normal, they were endearing. Every time Davidson posted another picture of Grande, everyone died. When the couple jointly purchased a tiny pig, everyone died all over again.
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But nothing killed quite as much as the news of their broken engagement. For some combination of reasons—their public Instagram PDA, the joy in seeing Grande happy amidst two years of tragedies, the birth of Big Dick Energy—this celebrity breakup hurt worse than most. Here, five women between the ages of 13 and 27 share their own feelings about the abrupt ending to Grande and Davidson’s summer romance
“I feel bad for them because of all the tattoos they got for each other.”
I found out about the breakup through a news alert I get on my phone. At first, I didn’t exactly know how to feel—I was shocked. I was a pretty big fan of them as a couple. I liked seeing a cute relationship and thought the fast pace of it was kinda cool.
I had a hunch it wouldn’t last—but I thought that if it did last, it would be cool how they fell in love so fast. Their romance was such a whirlwind.
But now when I think about it, the breakup seems good for both Ariana and Pete because the pressure seemed to be getting to them. I feel bad for them because of all the tattoos they got for each other, and I’m a still little sad, but it hasn’t affected my daily life at all. – Catherine Blyth, 13, Maine
“I think we all find that one person in our lives, and if a relationship ends, that person wasn’t right.”
I was kind of glad to see they broke up—I don’t really like Pete as a person because of how he treated Ariana publicly. He objectified her a lot during interviews and made really inappropriate jokes about Manchester. The relationship seemed to go against everything she stands for. I’m not happy that she’s probably heartbroken, but I am glad she’s out of a relationship where the guy wasn’t good for her.
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I think we all find that one person in our lives, and if a relationship ends, that person wasn’t right. That’s how I view breakups—if someone breaks up with me, I’m kind of happy because then it wasn’t the right person. I’d rather wait than have someone that’s not right for me.
I really do admire Ariana, I have ever since I was a child. I feel like, with her going through so much, I relate to that personally. I’ve had my fair share of dating where it’s gone bad because of the person being bad. I’m really glad she’s finally single for a bit. She can take a step back and take care of herself, especially with everything she’s been through the past year. — Aminda Mouradi, 15, Oregon
“It gave me a sense of happiness to know they were so happy.”
I was iffy about their relationship at first because they both got out of serious relationships and then immediately got engaged. I didn’t really like him for a while either, but then was like, OK, if he makes her happy, then why do I care? If she supports it, why does everyone else care?
It moved really fast, but if people really love each other, they can make it work. I really thought they were going to last. They just seemed so in awe of each other and both seemed really happy. You’d see their Instagram stories and they’d be laughing. They adored each other. That’s why I ended up really liking the relationship, because it gave me a sense of happiness to know they were so happy.
I hope they get back together, but at the same time, if it isn’t good for you, it isn’t good for anyone. — Gwynn Hammermeister, 19, Indiana
“I am the Pete Davidson in my own relationship.”
I was rooting for them. I don’t usually care about celebrity couples but Pete just seemed so sweet and caring. It was like rooting for the underdog. Everyone was making fun of him, everyone thought the relationship was a joke, and I was living for it.
I saw myself in their relationship—them goofing around and being stupid is me. They weren’t like other celebrity couples who are too cool to be normal. They would post pictures of them doing stupid stuff and arguing about Harry Potter. That’s me!
And I was into how fast the relationship progressed. If these people that barely know each other are already getting married, I could be doing the same thing with the person I’ve been with for-literally-ever.
So I’m sad about the breakup, especially because, from what I’ve seen, I am the Pete Davidson in my own relationship. I’m just hoping that people understand that sometimes one person is more successful than their partner, and it’s not something to make fun of, because I kind of feel like shit about it now. I’m sad, I was really rooting for the underdog. He’s me. — Bianca Ortiz, 21, California
“It was lovely to see a young couple so super into each other.”
Initially, I thought the relationship was exciting. I am a romantic and they seemed truly head over heels in love with each other. I am an Ariana fan. I love the Italian princessa. She seemed happy so I was happy for her.
I’m not someone who believes in external, arbitrary restrictions on durations that people should date or fall in love. Sure, you need to be practical, but the thing is, when you’re in love, no one can feel what you’re feeling but you. I know a couple who got engaged after three weeks and have been together for 25 years! Love is a spiritual, amorphous thing and who are we to judge if it is or isn’t real? Let people revel in their joy.
I didn’t have much of an opinion on Pete, but he seemed to adore her and that was good enough for me.
But as I saw more of Pete, I became wary. He spoke of her in a very objectifying way, almost fetishistically. There didn’t seem to be a lot of respect for who she was as a person, but of what she represented. He seemed infatuated with the idea of her, but I didn’t get much love from the way he spoke—just like a bro bragging about getting the hottest girls in school.
This breakup cuts deeper than others because of how beloved Ariana is. She sincerely seems a particularly genuine, kind, and loving person, and she has been through so much this past year and a half. She deserves reprieve. I think this ties back to why people were so hype for the relationship. It was like, Yes! Finally! Some joy for her! We clung onto it because it seemed to make her so happy, and it was lovely to see a young couple so super into each other. — Bolu Babalola, 27, London
Follow Hannah on Twitter.