Immediately what will strike you is the clashing of savage concupiscence to vulnerable catharsis. The next thing you will notice is that both singers, Halsey and Lauren Jauregui, feel the same way: they are engrossed with love for the other girl but think it is hopelessly unrequited. And here we are as listeners left in cognitive dissonance to their love story, as both girls share their hearts yet believe they are hated by the other. But if they both actually love each other, what’s the problem?
Now the answer to that question is so layered, I can only describe it at its surface. But the simple answer is that our gay community is defined by a hookup culture and by sexual lust instead of love. Even more so than Tinder, Grindr is solely for getting with a stranger once and never speaking again. And that culture, along with a lack of healthy queer relationships in entertainment media, has ruined our idea of same-sex love.
Both girls are desperate, wanting “to feel anything at all.” And that sentiment hits home for so many LGBTQ+ couples. We carry so much baggage into our relationships that of course, we sometimes feel like “we must’ve lost our mind[s].” Along the way of this relationship, these girls stopped communicating with each other. In their stoic self-defense, they stopped caring about the “innocent” phone calls or the “intimate” kisses on the mouth because they did not want to seem overly attached. But all that apathy did was make them appear cold to their partner. And that’s the painful irony because no matter how similar these two girls are, and no matter how much they still love each other, they have become so estranged, the relationship isn’t salvageable.
This song is important because of its same-sex pronouns and raw relatability. Halsey’s music video awhile back for her single Ghost featured a girl-on-girl relationship, and the comments and response were overwhelming backlashes about it being “too pornographic.” But why is that so? As much as our entertainment industry may think, gay relationships aren’t just a fetish. They are real, they are painful, they are confusing. And that’s the truth this song finally highlights. The fact that Halsey and Lauren Jauregui are both openly bisexual matters, because hearing the struggles of people who are similar to you is the only way to not feel alone, to not feel like you are surrounded only by strangers.