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Billie Eilish Reveals She’s ‘Never Been Dumped’: ‘I’ve Only Done the Breaking Up’

Many of the relationships Lana Del Rey and Billie Eilish have been in are forever immortalized in their music, but the details about how they began and — more importantly — how they ended are usually more complex than what can fit into a three-minute-long song. In conversation for Interview Magazine, the musicians discuss the intricacies of falling in and out of love — and why the person ending the relationship isn’t always the villain.

“I don’t know how many times I’ve really been in love. I think there’s different versions of love, and I think that you can be in love and it might not be deep. I’m not going to get too in detail, because I’m going to be rude, but I’ve never been dumped, and also, I’ve never been broken up with. I’ve only done the breaking up,” Eilish told Del Rey, adding: “I think when people hear that, they’re like, ‘Oh, all you do is break hearts.’ Sure, but that doesn’t mean that people are totally innocent. It means that I was like, ‘Oh, let me get the fuck out of here.’ Or it means things just weren’t right.”

Del Rey knew exactly what Eilish meant, noting that the tendency to call it quits could stem from a need to run from the realities of the relationship. “I tell people that they broke up with me, because essentially, they did,” Del Rey shared. “Because they made me do that.” And from Eilish’s perspective, being broken up with and being the one to do the breaking up both come with their own lingering pains. “Obviously being broken up with hurts like hell, especially when you don’t see it coming and you wanted a future, and it’s taken out of your hands,” she said. “But honestly, the pain of knowing that you have to end something with somebody that you genuinely love is so horrible.”

Both artists agree that pulling the plug first does rob you of a certain emotional response from an external perspective, as though making that decision doesn’t come with its own fear, anger, or sadness. “You don’t get to even have the, like, ‘I got dumped, so fuck you guys. I get to go crazy and have a reaction and be mad at you. And I get to make you into an enemy, because you broke up with me,’” Eilish explained. “You can’t do that. You can’t become a victim.”

Figuring out how to preserve these emotions in music required Eilish to confront how she processed them within herself first. Creating her new album Hit Me Hard and Soft brought the singer to the realization that “maybe I’m obsessed with the idea of nonchalance,” and there’s an internal tension she experiences regarding how she communicates her emotions. “I would rather suffer in silence than tell you something’s bothering me and have you think I’m sensitive,” she admitted.

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For Del Rey, whose emotional process is similarly dissected by the public through her music, leading with raw honesty almost always yields greater long-term results. “I got in so much trouble just for writing a song about me watching my boyfriend playing video games that I felt sequestered into wearing a turtleneck for 11 years,” she said. “But just because our stories are written in the stars doesn’t mean they are set in stone. If I want to go back and say something completely different than I did a few years ago, I can tell you with the utmost confidence I will do that and risk what people are going to say. The only thing is that I have to stay out of all the results.”

Eilish echoed a similar sentiment in her recent Rolling Stone cover story, speaking specifically about the news cycles surrounding discussions of her sexuality. “The whole world suddenly decided who I was, and I didn’t get to say anything or control any of it,” she said at the time. “Nobody should be pressured into being one thing or the other, and I think that there’s a lot of wanting labels all over the place. Dude, I’ve known people that don’t know their sexuality, or feel comfortable with it, until they’re in their forties, fifties, sixties. It takes a while to find yourself, and I think it’s really unfair, the way that the internet bullies you into talking about who you are and what you are.”

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