The Full, Downward Spiral of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez's Relationship

How did it really get this bad?

Update, 9/14: It's been a month since the Jelena Instagram blowout—and Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber are reportedly not talking.

A source tells Us Weekly (make what you will of that) that Gomez "changed her phone number. She told everyone not to give it to him." After the entire thing, "Selena lost it. She can be fragile emotionally and Justin is a major factor."

Gomez canceled the rest of her tour at the end of August to focus on her mental health (particularly her anxiety and depression that are side effects of lupus). Bieber, who deleted his Instagram at the end of their spat, remains off the platform and seemingly with Sofia Richie, who told Billboard last week that she and Bieber have a "special relationship."

Gomez has silent on social media since her final Bieber-fight Snapchat.

Everything that led up to this, below...

Original, 8/15: In September 2015, not even one year ago, Selena Gomez told ELLE "I don't know!" whether or not she'd ever get back together with Justin Bieber—the guy she officially broke up with in 2012, but had been on and off with until fall 2014. "I'll forever support him and love him in a way that….we grew up together."

In November 2015, just a little more than six months ago, Justin Bieber told Access Hollywood of Gomez, "I'm never going to stop loving her. I'm never going to stop checking in on her."

They both went on tour; they both casually dated other people but still had their moments. (Multiple, most-liked-Instagram-ever-making moments.)

Then last night, Gomez dealt the blow no one expected: "If you can't handle the hate, then stop posting pictures of your [new] girlfriend lol. It should be special between you two only. Don't be mad at your fans. They love you," she wrote to Bieber after he accused Beleibers of not being true fans for attacking new fling Sofia Richie.

Bieber immediately fired back in the comments: "It's funny to see people that used me for attention and still try to point the finger this way. Sad. All love." He unfollowed Gomez shortly after. And the war is still going strong this morning.

But how did things change so drastically? There's a lot to it. Here, a breakdown of all the Jelena drama since the pair's final breakup in 2014:

October 2014: Gomez and Bieber are on-off in fall 2014, but one of their last major sightings was in Paris. They came there together for fashion week. But then Bieber was spotted getting lunch with Kendall Jenner alone, amid tabloid rumors Jenner and Gomez were having a falling out over Jenner's close relationship with Bieber. (Jenner, in 2015,would come out and say that she and Bieber never dated.)

Gomez suddenly leaves Paris alone after suggesting via a cryptic tweet that she and Bieber—who reportedly had just made it official again weeks before—are done.

Clothing, Eyewear, Vision care, Glasses, Sunglasses, Textile, Outerwear, Bag, Denim, Automotive exterior,

'At Charles de Gaulle airport, leaving Bieber and Paris.'

(Image credit: Archive)

Bieber hints, a year later in an interview with i-d magazine, his cheating on her may have been factor:

We were working out how to be in a relationship, how to be ourselves, who we were, in the middle of having people judge our relationship through the media. I think that really messed my head up too. Because then, it's like trust and all this other stuff that starts messing with your mind. You're on the road. And there are beautiful women on the road. And you're just getting yourself into trouble...

November 2014: Gomez releases "The Heart Wants What It Wants," a song about Bieber. The video's emotional beginning voiceover hints at the pain she went through being on-off with him:

When I was on stage and I was thinking of…I know him though, and I know that I know his heart, and I know what he wouldn't do to hurt me. But I didn't realize that I'm feeling so confident and feeling so great about myself and then it [can] just be completely shattered by one thing. By something so stupid. But then you make me feel crazy, you make me feel like it's my fault. I was in pain.

Gomez tells Ryan Seacrest that wasn't scripted: "They taped the mic underneath the table when I was shooting the video. And I had shot the video over a year ago. So, in that state—where I was in that place emotionally—I went in and I went into the room by myself, and I looked at the actual mirror in the music video, and I had a conversation [with] myself to every question I had in my mind in that moment: 'Wow, this feeling changes everything and you can't help it.'"

Gomez said Bieber "has heard [the song] and he has seen the video, and it's something that I feel like girls need hear, and it's something I'm willing to share with people."

Days later, Bieber posts what seems to be a reply to the video on his Instagram:

Gomez, meanwhile, posts a pic of the leading guy in her video. Bieber unfollows her on Instagram shortly after.

In May 2016, Gomez will reveal she can't perform that song anymore. "I don't want to," she'll tell Entertainment Weekly. "It's like when you smell a scent and it takes you back to a place that maybe wasn't the best place. That stuff is a little bit more difficult."

January 2015: Gomez dates Zedd briefly, after collaborating with him on their track "I Want You to Know". They never go public about their relationship at the time (though they tweet and Instagram about each other and were spotted hand-holding), but Gomez confirms they dated later, in June 2015. "I adore Anton [Zedd] a lot and I definitely had a thing with him, which was nice."

February 2015: Bieber drops "Where Are Ü Now," the first of his Purpose tracks seemingly about Gomez. The music video comes out months later in June. Fans find Gomez's name in the graffiti.

May 2015: Bieber and Gomez attend the Met Gala separately. Gomez's friend Vanessa Hudgens later says she was helping keep Gomez away from Bieber. "We didn't really try to avoid him or anything. I mean, no one really wants to see your ex boyfriend..."

Bieber, while leaving the Met Gala, is caught on camera by TMZ. "Hey, Selena looked gorgeous at the Met Ball!" he tells them.

Gomez and Bieber are Snapchatted at dinner together with friends later that month, sparking reconciliation rumors.

August 2015: Gomez makes her first appeal for people to get over her and Bieber.

"It's difficult for people to separate us," she tells The Sunday Times Style magazine. "The Internet wants to freeze this moment in time and constantly repeat it."

She defends her actions during that relationship: "I didn't think I was doing anything bad by falling in love. There's such an emphasis on people being the perfect thing and then destroying them because it's good press. Throw in the fact that you're a teenager­­­­—it makes it more difficult."

September 2015: Gomez and Bieber, about to drop new albums and both single, start doing press for them. They talk a lot about each other.

Gomez, who covers ELLE's October issue, says she hasn't ruled out getting back together with Bieber. When they got dinner with friends in May, they were "genuinely" friends. "I think people want it to be different, [and more dramatic]. We're too young for that. Nobody was married. There was no…. I respect him. And I think he respects me, in a healthy manner." She talks about taking control of her image and finding her own identity, outside of any relationship.

Bieber covers Complex magazine and reveals he and Gomez were much more serious than people knew. He brings back the quote he Instagrammed in November 2014, right after they broke up: "Love is a choice."

I moved in with my girlfriend when I was 18. Started my own life with her. It was a marriage kind of thing. Living with a girl, it was just too much at that age. But we were so in love. Nothing else mattered. We were all about each other. But when it's like that and you get your value from that, people will always disappoint you. Your girl or your dude, they're always going to disappoint you. Your full identity can't be in that person. My identity was in her. Her identity was in me. When stuff would happen, I would lose my freakin' mind, and she would lose her mind, and we would fight so hard because we were so invested in each other. Love is a choice. Love is not a feeling. People have made it seem in movies that it's this fairy tale. That's not what love is. You're not gonna want to love your girl sometimes but you're gonna choose to love her. That's something in life that I had to figure out.

Bieber, who has debuted a new, more sensitive, humble, and likable side to him during his public apology tour that summer, is applauded by Gomez. "While people were writing that I was stupid for being in it, this is what I always saw in him. I'm like, duh!" she tells The New York Times.

October 2015: Gomez's new album Revival comes out. Bieber will reveal in November he didn't listen to it then—and still hasn't two months later, either. "I know I had a lot of play in that one. I don't know what she's saying about me."

A new duet featuring Gomez and Bieber leaks and is promptly removed, sparking reconciliation rumors. It's reported later it was recorded years before, while they were dating.

Bieber goes on vacation in Bora Bora with model Jayde Pierce. Full frontal naked photos of him leak, starting a "What Do You Peen" Internet scandal.

November 2015: Purpose comes out. Bieber confirms to Ellen DeGeneres that three of the songs are officially about Gomez ("Sorry", "What Do You Mean?", and "Mark My Words").

This is the month in interviews that Bieber makes it abundantly clear he's not over Gomez.

"[She] is someone I love dearly," he tells Access Hollywood. "I'm never going to stop loving her. I'm never going to stop checking in on her. 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. We always respected each other and we still respect each other."

He tells DeGeneres maybe they'd get back together. "I mean we have a lot of history together so I'm sure—I mean, it possibly could happen. But I think we're both just on our own journeys of just figuring ourselves out and I think maybe once we figure ourselves out we can come together and make an awesome duo or you know, she'll find someone awesome; I'll find someone awesome. I just want her to be happy, honestly."

But the Jelena reconciliation rumor really sparked at the end of the month. Bieber is filmed serenading Gomez with "My Girl" out in Beverly Hills. They're photographed walking together after. Days later, Gomez attends his AMA Awards after party.

December 2015: Bieber posts the first of his "crazy throwback" photos of Gomez, sending the Internet (and Drake) into a frenzy.

He posts a second one, five days later:

Gomez performs during the Victoria's Secret fashion show, which airs December 8. Outlets speculate she's dating One Direction's Niall Horan after they're photographed together. During the broadcast of it, she makes it clear who she prefers—Horan to Bieber—with one meme like and one comment.

Days later, she publicly friendzones Horan. When asked whether she's dating him, she says "Oh my god! No. I love him, I always have. He's amazing."

Bieber, meanwhile, is reported to be hooking up with Kourtney Kardashian. They both never really confirm or deny that very convincingly.

January 2015: Bieber spends his New Year's Eve on vacation with new fling Hailey Baldwin and makes it Insta officialGomez spends her New Year's with rumored boyfriend Samuel Krost and friends. They're spotted holding hands out in January.

Gomez attempts to give the last word on Bieber, tired of discussing him in interviews about her music and finding herself outside of him. "Well, I am sorry, first of all," Gomez said of the "My Girl" reunion buzz to Rolling Stone. "And honestly, what I would love to be printed is that I am so beyond done with talking about that, and him."

Bieber echoes that, in a December interview that comes out Jan. 5: "I just want her to be happy. I love [Selena]. We're friends still. We needed time to grow for ourselves and we were like, 'Maybe we'll come back together in the future,' and then it ended up being so long and we just grew apart and we're not the same people anymore."

February 2016: Gomez tries again to end the Jelena discussion, explaining the toll the tabloid rumors had taken on her to magazine: "At first I didn't care. To me it was: I'm 18, I have a boyfriend, we look cute together, we like that. Then I got my heart broken and I cared. Because people had no idea what was going on, but everywhere it was a million different things."

Then she says it again: It's over. "I'm so exhausted. I honestly am so done. I care about his health and well-being. But I can't do it anymore."

Bieber, meanwhile, covers GQ magazine. He talks about how he is trying to erase the tattoo he has of Gomez.

March 2016: Baldwin and Bieber are reported to have ended their romance and are just close friends. Bieber kicks off his Purpose world tour—and, in the hopes of convincing Gomez to come watch one of his Los Angeles shows, he posts another throwback of them. It becomes Instagram's most liked photo.

Gomez likes it then. She responds to his caption "Feels" with "Perfect.

Three days later, Gomez attends Bieber's Purpose tour.

E! News reports he was going to rent out Staples Center after—where the concert was—to show Titanic to her and recreate one of their more viral, heyday dates. That doesn't happen. He reportedly just takes her home instead. Sources tell TMZ they're really just friends for now, but there's unresolved feelings. Things could change once their tours end.

Bieber ends the month by liking a photo of Gomez clad in a bikini on a piano.

May 2016: Gomez begins her Revival tour in Las Vegas. Fans speculate Bieber may have left her a voicemail her opening night from New York City when footage comes out of him wishing someone luck on the phone.

Gomez debuts "Feel Me," on stage, a song that seems to be about "crazy throwback" Bieber.

"So one night, I was really irritated and I wrote this whole song," she tells the crowd during her second show, before singing the lyrics "I won't be caught up in the middle/through your highs and your lows/Baby, long as you're not with me/you're always be alone."

During her Fresno, California show May 8, she crumbles a fan's sign that says "Marry Justin Please".

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Gomez tells Marie Claire that the Bieber ex label makes her feel defeated. "I would try to promote something that I loved, and the entire interview would be about my personal life. I would leave a room feeling defeated, feeling embarrassed, but I would always make sure to put that smile on my face because I wasn't going to let them get to me." She maintains she's single.

Gomez momentarily has a scandal when she and her friend/Bieber's rival Orlando Bloom (then and now Katy Perry's boyfriend) are spotted being handsy at her Las Vegas opening night after party. She and Perry shut the tabloid rumors down:

June 2016: Bieber re-follows Gomez on Instagram. Jelena fans celebrate.

July 2016: Gomez posts a Snapchat of herself singing "Let Me Love You," a new Bieber-DJ Snake track, sparking rumors it'll be a duet. Snake confirms Gomez recorded her own version. A Bieber-only one is released.

Pattie Mallette, Bieber's mother, wishes Gomez a happy birthday on Twitter to everyone's surprise and gives Jelena fans hope with one liked tweet:

Gomez repeats again in a new interview, never naming names, that Bieber has hurt her career. "You want to do what you love, but all this other stuff overshadows it. So it makes it a little harder for people to take me seriously."

Bieber goes on vacation in Hawaii, where more nude photos of him are released alongside a bunch of blonde models. He comes home and starts dating with 17-year-old Sofia Richie very publicly. He takes her with him to Tokyo, fills his Instagram with pictures of her. Fans hate on her, he strikes back, and then Gomez roasts him.

Text, White, Line, Font, Circle, Number, Screenshot,

(Image credit: Archive)

Then he hits her right back:

Gomez doesn't directly respond but makes it clear she's no fan of his and Richie's relationship.

Bieber, in response to all of it, unfollows Gomez on Instagram again. That night, he deletes his account.

Gomez goes on Snapchat and issues a statement saying she regrets commenting on Bieber's Instagram: "What I said was selfish and pointless."

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Alyssa Bailey
News and Strategy Editor

Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she's not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.